Art and Eating

We’ve just been on a bit of an art safari in Devon and had a wonderful time. Started in our home county of Dorset, with a quick pop in to the Artwave Gallery in Morecombelake. They had a great mixed exhibition. We were very taken with the work of Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf and you can see an example below. The fantasy element was enriched by her use of colour and you felt that you needed to hear the story of this mysterious figure.


We were also taken with the lovely paintings of Donna Goold who uses oil bars on paper to wonderful effect in her dreamy landscapes. Her husband Martin had a way with pastels, working with  a geometric precision that brought to mind Kaffe Fassett’s needlepoint work.

Our art fix the next day was at the wonderful Devon Guild of Craftsmen’s gallery at Bovey Tracey. We were so lucky to find that the big exhibition space had been given over entirely to Anita Reynolds’ work and I have long been a fan of hers. The work was based on a year in Datmoor and her monoytpe prints portrayed this in a sensitive way that still managed to convey the massive and lovely tors and boulders. Here is a general view of the exhibition which was also a masterclass in hanging as it really made the most of the big space. The dynamic between large pieces and the smaller rectangles of her lovely concertina books worked very well.

Clive and I were unanimous in choosing the piece below, ‘Super Moon at Greator Rocks’, a monotype print (where the plate is cleared after printing, ensuring that only one copy is produced) as our ‘standout’ favourite. The technique used was monotype print with chine collé.

As I am very into concertina books at the moment having just produced one for the WOWclub members (coming next week, folk), I loved these books and there were quite a few in the exhibition.

There was a lot of extra information about the artist and her working methods and one idea that I loved was the ‘Bus Prints’ idea. These are made on her mobile press on location  – in the camper van on Dartmoor. Instant impressions – so immediate and satisfying. Must try that with the die cutter used as a press.


Finally, to show that it’s not all about colour, these monotone trees presented a powerful reminder that colour is not everything. Stark, yet flowing, they delighted the eye.


A final view of the gallery and then it was time for a lovely lunch in the gallery upstairs. Art watching makes you hungry and they do wonderful food!


Of course we did some silly holiday things, too. On the Golden Hind replica at Brixham, I made Clive walk the plank.


The ship was very interesting – much more than I expected. We had a lovely break.



WOW. What a week

We’ve had an amazing d4daisy week with the new book. We told ourselves that WOWbook 02 would be a quiet launch, as it’s summer-time and we didn’t think that we would match the Christmas launch of the first WOWbook. But it has overtaken it and it has been a frantic, yet wonderful week. Thank you everyone who has said such lovely things on our Facebook page. In addition to all the goodies in the book we have already got some offerings on the Members’ web site and one of them is this Kozo bark treescape that I made. I had such fun and Fiona is already responding to requests for a materials kit. Out very soon, folks.


While Fiona has been busy trundling her wheelbarrow to the post office, I have been slaving over my sewing machine making a concertina book. Some of you will recall that I had been moaning about the fact that my workroom has recently shrunk. This is, in fact, a well known phenomenon and several others have experienced shrinking workroom syndrome. Clive, in panic mode because he feared that his study (known as the growlery as he sits at his desk and growls at politicians on the radio) might be in danger, suggested that we get a new desk and set my machine up in the conservatory. It is lovely not to keep having to put the machine away and the light is so good in there – although it is a trifle warm, sometimes.

In fact, having finished the book, I got my embroidery unit out and found some designs on a USB stick. So that is tomorrow’s excitement. I’m not sure that any of our computers will run the old software so I might look out for an update. Watch this space.



Finally I just had to show you this piece by Lorraine Fitches. She made it from Angie Hughes’ instructions in the first WOWbook. Isn’t it wonderful? Our private Facebook Group is such fun and so inspiring.



Further along the art trail

A lovely day, so off on another Dorset Art Weeks trail. Our favourite art couple,  Irene Burgoyne and David Marl,  had moved to Sherborne – the other side of the county , but we didn’t let that stand in our way.

Their new house was lovely and David now has a much bigger studio (see below) while Irene has a suite of rooms for her patchwork. You may have followed my recent Facebook posts bemoaning the fact that my workroom has shrunk, so will understand my twinge of envy. However, they both produce such wonderful art that they can be forgiven anything.


David’s acrylics have a lyrical, mystical feeling, often based on biblical events or spiritual awakenings. Some new tryptychs allowed the stories to unfold.


The one below was my absolute favourite and, if my premium bonds are generous, I may be returning to purchase the one below.

Irene makes my kind of patchwork: colourful, beautifully stitched work but with less than precise patterning. She told me the story of one quilt that she tacked together, decided it was just too regular, threw the pieces up in the air and pieced them where they landed. The work shown below is comprised of perfect hexagons but the fabrics are chosen so that the shapes all but disappear into the overall design. Clever stuff.



It was good to see them settled in their lovely new house and we both felt moved by the experience. On to Sturminster Newton, where we had hoped to find lunch but nowhere was open. However we then had a somewhat unexpected experience as we walked past a park. It was packed with loads to do for children and adults. It was apparently part of a nationwide event called The Big Lunch – to encourage neighbours to meet and mingle. We were not neighbours but we bought sandwiches, duly mingled and had fun.


















We then moved on to see Rose Hatcher and Kate Osman in The Workhouse Chapel, Sturminster Newton. If you think this sounds grim, you couldn’t be more wrong – opening the door was like going through the back of the wardrobe into Narnia. It was a light-filled space with the vibrant colours of Rose’s felt and silk paper pieces providing a contrast to the ethereal glass of Kate. Impossible to believe that many of her pieces were recycled greenhouses.


The display was wonderful with glass mingling with wood and pebbles and the maximum use made of the wonderful space. Loved it.


Finally, on the recommendation of Irene, we went a little way down the road to visit Imogen Bittner. She works with printed and painted fabrics using wonderful old sewing machines and producing masterpieces. Her mixed media work is also flawless. I am not going to tell you any more than that as I am determined to get her in the next WOWbook and she will this be a lovely surprise for you all.

We arrived home worn out and with our minds full of wonderful art. Whoever invented artweeks needs to be toasted with fine wine, so I prop0se to do that right now.