Saturday, 28 May 2011

Paint and more paint!

Deary me it's a while since I blogged...actually I haven't even managed to look at my computer all week. This week is The Winchcombe Festival of Music and Arts. spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday working with the whole local school..210 pupils aged between 5 and eleven.and all working on the same project. I had four 4ft x 7ft cut out butterflies and twenty cutout slot together pieces of ply that made a long Caterpillar ! A lot of fun but very tiring. I had a class at a time and they decorated the pieces..the next class following on filling in the spaces. It was really hard not to join in but I did help with mixing colours, opposite colours that clash and how to hold a paintbrush. Tuesday night was the Launch party at St Peters Church. Jane  organised a great Sculpture show there featuring Rupert Tills life sized sculpture of a child on a pony !
I also illustrated and helped produce a booklet of Poems by Helena Cavan. local composer and Poet. Helena and Marcel Zidani performed a cocert of piano and poetry yesterday...all went very well ..standing ovation...wish I could have been there but I was painting a Georgian dresser and doing some restoration on some pieces by Walter Crane. Last night was Ceroc night and tonight is Blues and Jazz. The sculpture exhibition is on till Monday I believe and there are open st. Please look at the Winchcombe website for more details.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

gypsy dogs (Jukels)

I'm half way through reading 'Smoke in the Lanes' by Dominic Reeve. It's one of those books that I have owned for a long time but daftly had never read. It's a great book telling of his time travelling in a wagon with Beshlie in Wiltshire in the 50's. Some of the descriptions remind me of my time although short in a wagon..horses rearing in the shafts, the daily chores ,the fairs and many more events. I wish I had spent a lot more time in wagons and maybe I will again..The story also mentions the dogs they had, Dominic favouring great Danes of all dogs ! I had the good fortune of meeting both Dominic and Beshlie last year. Beshlie does the most lovely illustrations .
I had a beautiful lurcher called Megan..missed it meg (mystic meg )..because she often missed the rabbits but she was my shadow and I miss her still and although I'd love another dog I still can't think of replacing her. Somehow when you get a good dog you want them to live for as long as you do. She died a few years ago at the grand old age of fourteen. A couple of years ago I was working just outside Stow, during the morning I had to go out to my van to get some more paint. As I looked down the road a couple had parked and were walking across the road with a lurcher..just like my old Meg. I rushed down to them and asked if I could say hello, one look in the dogs eyes and I knew it was related to Meg. It turned out that the lady had been a vet down in Barnstaple when a chap living in a flat dropped some dogs off because he couldn't look after them and was moving. Well, I had got Meg from such a chap in Ilfracombe just down the road ! so I was more than likely right.
I've opened a shop on Etsy seling postcards of my paintings og gypsy scenes-

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Wagons and Selbourne

I Popped down to Selbourne Hampshire last weekend to see Peter Ingram. He is a brilliant wagon painter but has now mainly hung up his brushes . He used to have a Romany Museum but this has now been dismantled. I've known Peter for many years and have always admired his painting. He has a free yet accurate style of painting tied with a huge knowledge, skill using brushes and a natural design flair.  Some wagons are over fussy and can look like they are stiff and stencilled but never one of Peter's.
Anyway, I am writing a little illustrated book and needed help with my Romany words , and he was able to help..and also commented that my book was charming !..Its not going to be a best seller but hopefully people will enjoy it...when I get it to the printers !
Thank you Peter for being such a great host and for helping me with my words !

Selbourne is very pretty, and is well known for the book 'The natural history of Selbourne, written by Gilbert White. Gilbert White is now regarded as Britain's first Ecologist.There is a museum there but I didn't have time to visit time. I wish I had had time because the weather was beautiful and I'm sure the gardens they have there were beautiful.I did walk through the fields behind the church. I also walked up the zig zag steps before walking three times anti clockwise around the sarson stone at the top..and wish !.Of course Peter might have made that bit up..he is a great teller of old Gypsy stories. There was also an exhibition about Captain Lawrence Oates who was with Scott in the South Pole. He is the one unfortunately remembered as saying " I an just going outside...I may be some time ". Sadly he never came back.

Today I've been finishing aged white furniture for a ladies holiday cottage in Cornwall..old white is very popular these days..couldn't be more opposite to the fairground and wagon painting !
I have opened a shop on Etsy selling postcards of my paintings of gypsy scenes-


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