I’m sitting in here looking out at so much damp, lush greenness that it must be affecting my eyes ( you know the way if you stare at a green thing for long enough when you look away everything looks red?). Because of the way this place stands, tucked into the hillside, surrounded by massive Sycamore trees… high windows on one side and a huge glass sliding door on the other- there is very little sky and today it feels very much like a being in a cave (or a treehouse if you stand on tiptoe and look out of the high windows). Either way it’s cold today so I’m remembering the heat wave of last week when we swam in the river Duddon at Birk’s Bridge and drank instant coffee with a couple of young lads from Barrow who befriended us and left a warm feeling of wellbeing. Here’s a confession; when I first saw two lads on motorbikes near the spot we’d chosen to swim, my heart sank…when did I become so mistrustful of other people and such an awful snob!? They turned out to be amazingly polite, friendly and considerate… shattering stereotypes I didn’t know I had, because in fact it was they who made the friendly gestures- starting a conversation, offering us coffee, helping me find my way over the rocks through the beery water and generally appearing blind to differences of age, class or situation in a way that I am obviously not now that I’m middle aged and more self conscious than a teenager. Anyway, It was a lovely experience made memorable by a chance encounter with strangers.
Life in Keswick continues to feel special, if a little unreal. At work I can see Robinson framed by watery glass or a circles of swifts and its hard to believe this is home now. There’s just the thin line between solitude and loneliness and the moments when I wake from a nightmare in which I’m being chased around my old garden by the evil Kev Sayer as I frantically try to gather as many precious plants as I can carry! Its been almost 6 months.
Last week I finally plucked up the courage to take some of my new prints to work and so some magic tents and white cottages have snuck in amongst the oil paintings in the wonderful Northern Lights Gallery. They’ve just started doing Own Art too, so my framed pieces are just eligible ( work has to be original or limited edition and priced between £100 and £2500)
In between making pictures of various shelters. from tents to imaginary towers, I have been working on some needle felted alpacas for Alpacaly ever after. who have recently had their Kickstarter project funded and are pretty funny and amazing people. I helped out a bit on shearing day and came home with a bag of fleece to attempt felting experiments. Washed and set out to dry on the bench it looked like some disgusting old wigs but just over 4 hours of vicious stabbing later some alpacaish creatures started to emerge… here is number two with his friend the Earth Bear. Now… how to price something that takes nearly 5 hours to make? The Bear is currently for sale in my Etsy shop for an amount that wouldn’t even pay me minimum wage…. grab him quick before I come to my senses!
And finally… what do you think of this new design? I’m planning to get some silk or thin cotton printed up to make scarves, this is one of the designs from an original cyanotype drawing that is now in the gallery.