Welcome to this teeny bit of cyberspace we call our own. After years of boat travel we’re now completely aground and loving our new life in St. Asaph, North Wales (that’s part of the UK)!
If you peek through the downstairs window you’ll see this:
Myrtle House Gift Gallery where we show our work as well as lovely things from other UK makers!
… our new studio and really enjoying the warm, light space. Fancy having a look at what we’ve been up to?
This is inside one side of the outbuilding in February 2017 when we viewed the house as prospective buyers. A sort of garage and utility room separated by a wall.
And here it is now –
It’s amazing how a new space can encourage new creativity – some very different work is evolving and we’re really excited! We’ll post when there’s finished work to see …
Best to you all in the meantime.
We have indeed been off the radar for a long time … life-changing events do that, don’t they? And we certainly have a changed life after the sale of our boat a year ago. But life moves on and earlier this year we bought a house with a run-down outbuilding … aah, that was the carrot for this particular property: we reckoned on a couple of weekends of spicking and spanning and we’d have a great studio to work in! Do you see the potential like we did?
Those couple of weekends turned into 8 months of daily action; at last the outbuilding is looking like a studio. Just a few more weeks of interior work and we’ll be arranging the easels. And the solid fuel fire works a treat!
Mixing muck, laying bricks, replacing roofs doesn’t leave time for much else so we haven’t yet updated our website or blog to reflect our new status as landlubbers … ignore all things salty: we’ve well and truly swallowed the anchor!
Now we’re in one place we have a chance to enter local art exhibitions and our studio hums with discussion about what to enter where. No glaring nudity, we decide; and none of the ummm, ‘a-little-weird-if-you’re-a-conservative-art-buyer work’, we agree. That’s because we’re in the lovely county of Hampshire and we really don’t want to scare the horses … or the children who (we hope) will be taken round the exhibitions and introduced to ‘proper art’ to become a new generation of original-art buyers.
Coming up next weekend is Titchfield Art & Craft Show and we submitted our entries well before the closing date. When we received the email of acceptance asking us to check our entries we did just that … and failed to see that we had submitted a pair of watercolours as landscape rather than portrait orientation. It was only this week, as we measured up the pictures for framing, that we realised our error. We debated calling the Art Fair but decided that this could well be one of those happy accidents and, instead, a new pair of watercolours needs painting right away.
As we can’t change the titles either, the portrait orientations of ‘El Campo 1’ and ’El Campo 2’ will be pushed along to become numbers 3 and 4 and new landscape landscapes of the beautiful Spanish countryside will take their places.
This is how the new El Campos are starting out and next week we’ll post the finished works. Stroll over to our website here to see the first two ‘El Campos’, which won’t be having a weekend out in Titchfield after all. Instead they will be framed and grace our gallery walls until the right buyer comes along to give them a whole new outlook on life!
The other day, a young woman came into our gallery to ask about drawing lessons. We talked her through the format of our classes and how our style of teaching developed through seeing how quickly it brings about results. As we chatted she was looking at our art work and seemed especially taken by a drawing of the old penitentiary on Île Saint-Joseph, one of the trio of islands that make up Iles du Salut (the film, Papillon made Devil’s Island famous). The drawing is called BACK TO NATURE, it measures 35 x 50 cm and is executed in pencil.
“I want to learn to draw like this,” she said. She gazed at the picture, went forward to look at it up close and then added, “How long did it take?”
And that is the thing about art; how long indeed! No matter how early or late one learns the techniques: practical skills in the use of media, line, colour, shape, texture, perspective etc., it is our lives that shape what we create, our experiences that define our art, as well as our characters that form what we produce.
There is no doubt that BACK TO NATURE would never had been made if we had not visited the old penitentiary on Île Saint-Joseph. And we would not have visited those Salvation Islands if we had not built a boat to sail across the oceans. And every event links to a preceding one and that’s why artists know that it takes our whole lives to produce each work.
Of course, we could not tell that to the young woman with the urge to learn to draw. We said that once you know what to do it doesn’t take long. And we said that learning to draw is like learning anything else … acquire skills, add practice and express in your own way. It takes only the first step.
She committed to that first step and we will enjoy welcoming her to our studio next week … and continuing our journey of learning to know what to do.