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What I did on my holidays

This is partly because I and Rosie went away with my Mum to stay for a week in Maldon, which is where she was born and lived until she was 18 and wiped the Essex mud off her feet with alacrity, to go off to university.

Although Mum still has cousins in Maldon, and we've seen them occasionally, I'd only actually been to Maldon once, when I was... probably about six? For a family wedding.  I can remember almost nothing about the place from that visit but a vague impression of mud.  This proved to be accurate, as far as it went, although actually Maldon is considerably more pleasant as a place to visit than I was expecting.

First of all, if you ever need to go from Cornwall to Maldon, do not go on a Friday.   The route involves the M5 (holiday traffic going home and on holiday) the M4 (Contraflows as far as the eye can see!) and the M25, which as we all know is specifically designed to be the shape of the character Odegra, meaning “Hail the Great Beast, Devourer of Worlds” in the language of the Black Priesthood of Ancient Mu.   Then after that you get to do the A414 which for a busy multi-carriageway A road is in appalling poor condition, and has so many holes and patches that driving on it at more than 60, which everyone does, feels like it's going to shake you apart.

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Some Arty Stuffs

I had a couple of paintings in the Heritage art exhibition in Tavistock.  This was a more fun and less deliberately arty event than the one in the Town Hall, and Butcher's Hall is a very different kind of hall.  I think I prefer it, but apparently the art group feel it lacks atmosphere.
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And here is a painting from art class this week: The Lion, the Unicorn and a sleepy friend, somewhere, apparently, in Calstock since that dratted viaduct has popped up again!
(We were learning about painting gardens and drifts of flowers.)


There's something not quite right about this, but I don't know what it is or how to fix it. Somehow they look a little bit plonked in place,rather than part of it, I think that's some of it... 

Things Done and Seen

This week I went down to the Minack theatre with my mother on what proved to be a VERY windy day, to see Pericles, a play written probably-mostly-maybe by Shakespeare.  The wind was loud and wild and the plot fast-moving, so I'm not sure I caught all the intricacies, but we enjoyed the play anyway.   I have some more photos, which I may dig out later, but in the meanwhile have a video of the wild waves on the beach at Porthcurno, where we stopped afterwards to give the outbound traffic a chance to clear.



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Arty Stuff

So, this was the Tavistock Group of Artists exhibition.  It was in the Town Hall, which is perhaps not ideal because the Town Hall is upstairs and you have to be prepared to venture up the steps, you can't just see in.  Also all the panels and things have to be got up there, though there IS a lift. 


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And next week, I have my two paintings of mining ghosts in another exhibition in the town!  That one is at ground level in the Butcher's Hall, which has glass doors so you can stroll by and see in : it'll be interesting to see if it ends up being busier.  It has a specific theme, too, being about mining heritage rather than just All The Art. I wonder if that makes a difference. 

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Because I have not posted for a while, and this is potentially DISASTROUS as I rarely remember things if I don't write them down.

- Yesterday I took 8 large paintings, four small paintings and 5 paintings in mounts and envelopes for the 'browser' (which is one of those y-shaped floor stand things where you flick through a bit pile of art) to Tavistock, for the Tavistock Group of Artists annual exhibition.

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- on Saturday, we watched the Chernobyl HBO/Sky miniseries.

Wow.  I had no idea that the Chernobyl disaster was not a pure unforseen accident rather than what appears to have been a cocktail of really terrible management, secrecy, and ambition combined with a near-insane lack of caution.

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It also created an interesting link with another superb miniseries we watched recently, Good Omens, which begins with this statement:

“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”

Which provides a nearly complete explanation of Chernobyl, really.  Fortunately neither miniseries ended with the threatened Apocalypse, though Chernobyl was 99% more depressing than Good Omens

I can see many fun re-watches of G.O. ahead, but I shall probably never rewatch Chernobyl, though I thought it was brilliant, and I am very glad I saw it.

Also on Saturday, we got rid of a couple of chairs that have been lurking in the diningroom by advertising them on Facebook as free (because the cats had had a go at them and they were quite severely scratched) A lot of people wanted our scratched chairs, but it proved oddly difficult to get someone to actually come and take them: the first person dropped out, so I contacted the other people who had left messages, but ALL 6 of them had already sourced other chairs!  So I advertised again, and second time lucky.  But clearly free things move fast on Facebook, and now I have space for some shelves for art supplies, which is welcome because at the moment they are not so much stored as strewn.

What else has happened?  Oh, Fankil continues to improve and become less scaredy.  He often hangs out in the livingroom in the evenings, and also you can now rub his ears and his tummy and he purrs!

Took Rosie up to the hill-fort yesterday, and she hared about looking for rabbits, then well, OK, she didn't exactly come back, but she did stand still and let me put the lead back on, which, in a large empty space far from roads, will do.

Oh, and because I had some spare Perspex, I decided to try a design that could be painted on Perspex to be mounted in a window.  Glass/Perspex paint really shows every blob or hesitation, so I drew this out several times before deciding on this design:

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I met these angry little ponies last year on Dartmoor, they galloped straight past me, intent upon their argument, and I had a chance to take quite a few photos of them, so I used one of the photos to make this.  I changed the colours and textures of the background to make them stand out.


 Pp doesn't like the top bit, I think he feels its too abstract. I feel that it's OK because it's only there as a backdrop to the ponies.

I drew this quickly last night, and it is very small: Huan & Luthien.

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A dumping of small arts

If the art is going to get better, there needs to be lots of it...
So, I got a small watercolour sketchbook for ink and watercolour pencils.  Here's a tiny inktense pencil and red ink tulip with a dragon in it.



And here is a recognisable if not perfect Pp with Yama Bungle.
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This concludes the blogspamming for the day.  I think. 

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A garden update

Oh god, the garden.  The last few years my energy and optimism have been low, and I have pretty much entirely let the garden do its thing, with the expected jungly results.  But this year, I seem to be keeping it together better and am beginning to hope that at least a measure of order can be regained.
I was chatting to someone about pansies, and I thought, you know, I could grow pansies.  Pansies are simple and forgiving plants.   So I bought a box and they are doing pretty well in several baskets and pots now.
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Making an exhibition of myself...


I have taken a VERY deep breath, and arranged for  a whole bunch of my paintings (8 large, 4 small, and 5 mounted but not framed) to be shown at the Tavistock Group of Artists exhibition in the Town Hall in Tavistock from 18th to 22nd June, including my Daughters of the Rivers series.  All the paintings will be for sale : eek!  I had no idea how to price them, except that the exhibition rules said that the large paintings must be at least fifty quid, and the small ones at least 20, and I have a vague rememberance from seeing what people exhibited last year that a lot of people went for roughly double that plus the 30% commission so I stuck my finger in the air and guessed wildly.  If anyone buys something I shall be enormously pleased with myself, but even if they don't, I'll have made an effort and Done A Thing and I hope they won't look too embarrassingly amateur among the efforts of professionals.

I’ve also had a couple of paintings accepted for the Tavistock Heritage Trust exhibition to  celebrate Tavistock’s status as a World Heritage Site (ie, it's RIDDLED WITH MINES) in Tavistock’s Butchers’ Hall,  Wednesday 26th and Saturday 29th June. Doors open to all between 10am and 4pm, and there will be a special family event on Saturday 29th (??!!).  What the hell, I thought, so my two paintings (one of ghostly balmaidens and one of the ghostly bargeman and his horse by the canal) will be for sale in that too.  If someone buys either of them I shall be surprised, but again, vastly delighted, and if they don't, then at least I showed them off!

'It isn't busy' I said...

In my last post with the dragon where I mentioned I had been Left in Charge.  This happy state of affairs persisted until Friday, when suddenly the orders began pouring in, and they continued pouring in until Sunday. I think there were probably about... 40 of them? Most were for several items each!

I went to the post-office twice on Monday and Pp went once too! Fortunately though, because of the sheer VOLUME of orders, there was no point stressing about them: I found and packed as many as I could, but it was obvious they weren't all going to be able to be done and some would have to wait till Pp got back from UK Games Expo, where he bought a truly monstrous amount of Stuff. Still, the orders are all done now, and as Pp says, they cleared some space for all the things now sitting all over the house in boxes...

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