Bittersweet Symphony


Hawnby Hill-Black and White-North York Moors

I took these pictures from the car window on the way to work last week; a day when the sky had fallen in and I quite literally had my head in the clouds. Progress along these moorland roads can be slow when you are constantly stopped in your tracks by a perfect cloud or the way a heavy frost makes delicate sculpture of the dead grasses and seed heads. Hawnby Hill, is the perfect miniature mountain I can see from my garden, unlike its surroundings it has rocky outcrops and scree slopes like a bonsai Lake District fell.

Hawnby Hill, North York Moors. Kim Tillyer

Two weekends ago we went on a house hunting trip to the Lakes and viewed freezing cottages in the woods with dead wasps on every windowsill and semi perfect places (if the yellowing lace curtains and orange pine were removed) in wildly unsuitable locations.I keep trying to picture myself in these places, miles from home, friends and family and thinking about one of those annoying motivational pictures people share on Facebook, it said ” If you don’t like where you are, Move, you’re not a tree” … but what if you do like where you are and you have deep roots and if you got transplanted you’d just feel like a felled tree anyway?

View from Snilesworth North York Moors. Kim Tillyer sketch

My trip to the Lakes also took me back to Temporary Measure where Emma was about to leave the tearoom for the last time and decamp to a wonderful studio just up the road. I’d gone to get some advice on preparing for the British Craft Trade Fair and talk about getting some samples printed and it was lovely to catch up; I left feeling a lot more positive about doing the event despite all that is going on, after all it’s paid for now so I may as well go, even if I just have a suitcase and a handstitched copy of the Big Issue to show! Rupert described Emma as “positive and uplifting” which is true; she is also very funny and makes lovely things if you didn’t already know. I was feeling a bit odd and had accidentally referred to Rupert as Richard Ashcroft when talking to an estate agent… my mind then went blank and I forgot his real name which isn’t so good after being with someone over 4 years! Being a grown up is such hard work and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t make a good impression on future landlords to introduce your partner as the lead singer of the Verve while crying with hysterical laughter and leaving them with the conclusion that the ” The Drugs Don’t Work”.

Horse sketch Kim Tillyer

And so, home on Witchmountain, the house is swaddled in fog, the stove is glowing and I must get on and draw something instead of staring out of the window at the chickens or scouring the internet for houses to rent. I found another company that might be able to supply mugs with my designs on via the lovely Charlotte Vallance ,who I first came across through the Sketchbook Project; so I’m just messing around with box and mug templates and kind of wishing I’d done ceramics instead of textiles because I’d love to be able to use bowls and cups I had made myself. Some gorgeous ceramics like the ones below, from Mary Johnson came in to the Saltbox Gallery last week and I loved the fact that each mug was unique and you could almost see the maker’s finger prints.

Mary Johnson Ceramics

So, I have loads more to say but I’ll leave you with this poppy, as it’s Armistice Day tomorrow. With lots of love, until next time. x

Peace Poppy-Snilesworth-North York Moors

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6 responses to “Bittersweet Symphony

  1. Absolutely beautiful post, that first photograph sums up why I love this blustery, misty time of year in this country! So glad I found your blog, just settling down for a proper read!

  2. This really is such a wonderful post. Those photographs you took really do look invoke ideas of passion and fury. On a lighter note, those pots are adorable!

  3. Another beautiful post~ both the evocative photos of the landscape and your own artwork. It did make me smile to read about your mistake in telling the estate agent the lead singer of the Verve’s name instead of your partner’s ~ I think this is just one of those things that happens in situations like you are experiencing~ so much on your mind , thoughts flying off in a 100 different directions ~ even the things we know best seem to change form or content at times when under stress. You have so much going on and to think about I am surprised it was not your own name you forgot! It is good that you have your art as a medium in which to express your feelings or disappear inside it for awhile . All the best.

  4. Sending love and support and a few tears that came when I stood beside you for a moment, looking at the scene beyond the poppy.

    • Wow,thank you Ann, if anyone can understand what I’m going through it’s you. I was given one of your books when I moved here ( by a man who knew you through the Samaritans) and the poem I’ve shared in earlier posts is just perfect.Thank you x

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