Monday, 29 August 2011

Holiday hoarding


As well as armfuls of inspiration I've returned from holiday with bagfuls of materials. I love the different degrees of worm action in these four pieces of drift wood and I think I'll try to keep them together, not sure for what end yet though. I splashed out on a few pieces of tweed, a gorgeous sea blue-green from the Harris Tweed Hebrides , a little placemat and a fabulous piece of Breanish Tweed . I've started working with the  blue-green but I am saving the multi-coloured piece for something really special. The sea glass is actually my son's so out of bounds, but my eye was taken instead by these weathered buoy and float pieces, I love the way their colours have mellowed.

Here's a piece of the Harris Tweed, with wool covered limpet shells :) 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


View across Bagh Thiarabhage, Barra

We spent the first week of our Hebridean hoiday on the island of Barra. We stayed in a little cottage overlooking Bagh Thiarabhage, which is one of those long fingers of sea that seem to reach into the island and tickle it under the armpit. We watched seals and oyster catchers and wondered at the crowds of gulls who gathered in anticipation of the fishing boats landing at the fish factory up the road.

There is a certain tension in this landscape between the ruggedness of the terrain (which can change from bog to bare rock to machir to bare sand to sea in a 10 minute walk) and the overwhelming orderliness of the croft system, which superimposed straight lines across the land and regularly spaced cottages. I think I’ll be returning to this in future prints.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Outer Hebrides (and back)

Finally made it home yesterday after a long long trip back from Ullapool after a couple of weeks on the far north-western tip of these lands. My mind is buzzing with images of stunning landscapes, plants and critters and a heavy dose of inspiration from some of the local artists and artisans. I couldn't wait to get at a block of lino last night , but could I find my scapel? No of course not, cue much swearing and procrastination. I found it today so am looking forward to cracking on with my first Hebrides print tonight :)

I had hoped to do a spot of painting whilst there. I packed paints, cut wads of my favourite watercolour paper, even stretched a sheet in anticipation. BUT I FORGOT MY BRUSHES!!! There are no watercolour brush shops on Barra. I thought the coop might have a make-up brush that I could at least daub around a bit with, but no. In the end I bought a small decorator's paintbrush in desperation but didn't have the heart to waste paper with it in the end.

Luckily I had thrown in some sewing bits and bobs at the last minute so at least I had some channel for the making urge. Lots of sketches for prints too:)


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