Kettle’s Yard

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Self-portrait with pears at Kettle’s Yard house, Cambridge. It always a pleasure to visit this wonderful house. The light, the rooms, the spaces, the relaxed collection of images are received as intended…”Kettle’s Yard is a place where visitors would ‘find a home and a welcome, a refuge of peace and order, of the visual arts and of music.’ It is a favourite place to spend an afternoon.

Waiting


Yesterday my friend said to me, “you can’t live your life like you are in a waiting room”. It was a welcome reminder. Today I made my own yoghurt raspberry pudding, bought a new fish for the pond, planted zinnia’s, weeded the vegetable patch, spoke with my sister, sprouted alfalfa, received an email from an old friend, drank home-made elderflower cordial, watched football, enjoyed sunshine, spread compost, planted beetroots, hugged my husband, felt generally very lucky and decided I must make better documentation. It has been a good day.

Soft Furnishings

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Over the festive season, I found myself at home surrounded by snow….not so terrible as my new sewing machine was delivered and I’ve spent some time improving our soft furnishings. Our sofa is now sporting a bold new tufted cushion look with new throw pillow and matching self-covered buttons.  Very stylish (I’d like to think) and what joy to have some home days.

Drawing

It was reiterated recently on a program discussing modern art, that the importance of observational drawing has underestimated in art training in recent years. I felt pleased to be involved with two institutions who are correcting the balance. I currently spend 9 hours a week teaching students to draw, sculpt and paint from life and another 3 doing my own drawing. It is a satisfying way to spend my time.

Motion


“Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash” by Giacomo Balla, 1912. As a child I was given a book called The Enchanted World, it was an eclectic collection of artists and the results of their imaginations. The painting above and the lion from Alexander Calder’s circus were the two images I loved the most. I think in observing this image, I had my first understanding of how time worked and how it could be represented visually. The animator in me still loves this painting.

Rediscovery


This week in the process of writing lectures I have rediscovered two favourite things. The first is Otto Runge’s Farbenkugel (colour sphere, see above) and the second is Alexander Calder’s circus, courtesy of the ever delightful www.ubu.com. It is so great to revisit these things that have inspired me before. There is a simplicity to both of them which I find just lovely.

100% Design


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Last Friday I went to the 100% Design expo in London. I had intended to go for a few years but never managed it. It was a great day with many very lovely and inspiring things to see. Also delightful to spend a day surrounded by people who had brought their ideas to fruition. One of the best sections was 100% materials, which featured a vast selection of newly developed materials for architectural and other purposes. The blue image above is an example of a translucent concrete. How very pleasing.

Belief

What a joy it is to have friends who believe in you. I had a great conversation with a friend today about a project idea of mine, which is very beautiful but verging on mad impossibility. But, if it could work it would be an extraordinary achievement and an excellent excuse to work together. Sometimes you need the enthusiasm of someone else to remind yourself just how great you could be.

Familiarity

I recently went to an exhibition of the work of Sebastian Romo, what a delight it was and filled with a certain level of familiarity. His work included collages of unfolded boxes, a series of mutoscopes, collections of coloured squares and cut-out paper structures. It was rather like walking into a gallery of my own imagined and completed projects and a testament to how great it is to realise one’s mad schemes.