Friday, 17 February 2012

What I've been doing...

I usually manage to write a blog once a week, but it seems ages since I last posted.  In fact it hasn't been that long, but I have been busy.  Last weekend was a real treat when I went to Art Van Go on Saturday to see the exhibition put on by the Spectrum textile group.  Not only did I see some very high class work, eat rather delicious cakes and drink tea from pretty cups, I was able to chat to Gina.  I also met Gill of Vintage Rock Chick and Jane from Things to Make and Do.  It was especially good to meet Jane as we exchanged postcards as part of out Postman's Knock project last year.  You can see photos of the exhibition on Gina's and Gill's blogs. After a pleasant Sunday I was pole-axed on Monday with a violent headache, mainly down to sinus problems, but I seem to have spent most of this week half asleep. I have been raking around for things to share with you. 

These are colour exercises for my course


This book arrived on Tuesday so I was able to sit and have a lovely read between naps.
It is "Breaking the Rules of Watercolour" by Shirley Trevena.  There are lots of examples of her work on the web and even a couple of short videos of her talking about her techniques.

Laura Kemshall is a fan of hers and recommended her work to me.

I haven't done much this week bit I did unearth these two drawings which I must have done over fifteen years ago. They are on A2 size paper and I must say I especially like the tope one.  I had completely forgotten about it.

The second one is a sketch done of poppies which grew in my garden at the time, but have long since disappeared.

Finally I will share with you this old book I found in Letchworth some months ago. 

 I bought it to have a go at an altered book.  It is in very bad condition, but it is old.
The cover is marbled paper with a leather spine.

The spine is broken, the paper brittle and badly foxed.

However it is just seven years shy of being 200 years old.

It is Volume IV of Boswell's Life of Dr Johnson.
I have been pondering what to do with it, and what theme to take.  As I bought it from a book dealers very cheaply, I know it is not worth much, but I haven't been able to bring myself to start altering it.

I stalled for longer when I found that Doctor Johnson and his friends visited Lord Bute's garden at Luton Hoo.

Although here Dr J seems to be unimpressed with the gardens, overleaf he is quoted as saying,
"This is one of the places I do not regret having come to see. It is a very stately place, indeed; in the house magnificence is not sacrificed to convenience, nor convenience to magnificence"
I wonder if the hotel management which now runs the house has this as their motto. 
After their visit DR J's party dined and drank his Majesty's health at an inn, in the village of Luton, as it was the King's birthday!

So what shall I do with the book?  I still haven't made up my mind, but if I keep reading it, it is going to fall to bits!

I have another busy week ahead.  On Thursday I am giving a short talk to my U3A Natural History group on Bumble Bees.  I'm no expert, but I hope I can keep my group entertained for 30 minutes or so.  The BBCT have provided me with a Powerpoint presentation so that has given me a good start.
Wish me luck.
Have a great weekend