9 hours ago
Tuesday, 20 October 2015
A tour of England (and Wales)
After our North Country quilt design course with Lilian Hedley at The Royal, Bridlington, we had a few days touring England, visiting family and friends, delivering garden furniture and a pine bedframe and acquiring some prints. We visited the former head of Art when I was at UCW Aberystwyth, Alistair Crawford, who now lives in Suffolk and ended up bringing home some prints of Wales, which we visited briefly with a one night stop in Wrexham before we came home. I am sure Alistair's landscapes will appeal to many of my blog readers, so have a browse through his website - www.alistaircrawford.co.uk
One of the prints we brought back to Scotland is 'Night, Ceredigion' (above), although it was a tough choice between this and 'Rain Cloud' (below). Both are quite large etchings/aquatints and I would think quite difficult prints to edition, technically speaking. I remember 'Night' from an exhibition in Aberystwyth in the mid 1980s. Lines of trees on the crest of a hill are one of my favourite images and so typical of many areas of the British landscape.
'Rain Cloud' reminds me a little of a tsumugi nagoya obi in my collection, which was probably made in the 1970s and also some of Pauline Burbidge's recent quilts we saw at her open studio in August. I like landscapes taken back to quite minimal elements but still inviting the viewer to become lost in another world.
'Welsh Landscape Variations 6 (A print for Samuel Palmer)' is another interesting etching, again working on lots of different levels and seeming to have landscapes within landscapes. Glyn liked this very much - his kind of trees, a little like the Paul Nash painting 'Wood on the Downs' that was his favourite when we went to Aberdeen Art Gallery last year. We chose the darkest version of this print.
The picture I actually went to collect was 'Going Home III', a small picture combining gouache over an etching. It seems to be a continuation of 'Pictures for a small room' and is very similar to this, in that they share the same etching as a starting point. I thought I had a photo of it saved already but I can't find it and as my camera battery is flat right now, I will have to wait to take a photo. I was thinking about putting it in a slightly larger frame, but have decided to keep it in the small white frame for now, as there is a little space between to the ruler storage racks and the window in my sewing workroom that it will just about squeeze into, so I can have it as one of my 'views' (including the view of the beech trees through the window) while I am hand quilting. The photo below was from two years ago, but it looks almost identical today.
We had a very enjoyable afternoon with lots of discussion/reminiscences and fish & chips! My plan to visit Sutton Hoo again got shelved for the next time we are down south. I really must do more textile work based on landscape. When I was an art student, I didn't really do much work inspired by landscape at all, probably partly because I didn't drive and didn't cover much more than anything within walking distance (i.e. two miles) of the Aberystwyth seafront for months at a time. As I've done so much motorway driving since I started teaching patchwork & quilting, I see far more panoramas of Scotland and England than before. Even the view from a motorway services can be wonderful - this is from Tebay on the M6 a few years ago, when I was still doing 'stitched together' panoramas.