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Sea air and feminine responses

Well, I’ve had some fabulously positive reactions to the last blog post about International Women, so that’s been a wonderful response to the talk I did. A couple of teacher friends have told me it was well written, and friends from far and near have praised it. And just to show how International it is, I’ve been contacted by a woman in South Africa whose friend went to the talk and told her all about it. How good is that!!!!

Since then I had a small break in Devon on business relating to my Mum’s death, and although it was poignant and sad, it was a nice break too. I’ve missed the sea air. I knew before I went how much I’d missed it, but when I got there I  spent as much time as I could by the sea, taking photos and just soaking up the ozone to replenish my spirit. And it shows how much the artist is in me. I look at a scene, and I might like the overall landscape of it, but its the little things that excite me. Like the shape and colour of stones on a beach. These in particular excited me because of the pinkness of them, as much as their texture. The five foot high sticks embedded in the beach at Dawlish Warren also stopped me in my tracks. I think they are old wooden posts to stop the sand shifting down the beach from the Exe estuary, but the aged weathered look of them as dark verticals against the lighter background of the grey sea was the thing I loved most. A pity that the sun wasn’t shining at the moment I took the photos as the horizontal shadows would have really added to the exciting geometric designs. And I absolutely adore the picture of the sea steps at the harbour at Brixham because of the light on the water and the gorgeous green of the sea against the ochres of the stone in sunlight. Wow! I want to paint it!!!!

So, I’ve come back all fired up and wanting to paint! Which is  a good job since I have an important commission to finish – of the landscape/portrait/spiritual portrayal of the Royal Crescent in Bath in oils. I was working on it til almost midnight last night, and have finished the acrylic underpainting. That means I’ve got to the exciting bit. The part where the oils go on the canvas. And I shall smile to myself as I use them, because I love the buttery feel of them, and the way the paint just happily moves over the canvas blurring, and merging, and creating fabulous cloud effects. Which is a good job really, since half the painting is of a dramatic and cloud filled sky. And my house will smell of oils and turpentine!
How wonderful.
Oh, and just as an aside. I’ve been watching the growth of a clump of daffodils outside my office window for weeks now. They have slowly sprung up during the snowy weather, and each week have filled out their leaves, and their delicate buds have formed. I knew when I got back from my weekend in Devon that they would be out in their full golden glory. Except they weren’t. Because someone has nicked them! They have gone. And presumably are sitting in a vase in someones house. Which is a shame, because it means that they won’t last so long, and only one or two people are enjoying them, instead of the passing world. So, I went to the local garden centre and got three pots of my own, which are  now sitting in my garden for me to enjoy. And their bright yellowness makes me smile each time I see them. They are sunshine itself on these grey days. And when they have finished flowering I shall plant them in the garden so that they’ll come up year after year. Bringing fresh hope for springs to come.