I’ve not posted for ages! It’s not good enough – I’m sorry. I’ve been working, just not blogging, and now I’ve an exhibition coming up. It opens on Saturday June 18th!
Back in the Autumn I escaped in Daphne (Daphne is my yellow Fiat 500. It’s impossible not to be happy when driving her) for a couple of drawing days in North Yorkshire. My friend Emma, owner of Chantry House Gallery suggested ages ago (in the first lock down I think) that she’d love me to have an exhibition of North Yorkshire Abbeys. So I had a route and a plan and an abbeys wish list…
I’ve never been to Byland Abbey before. It’s an incredible place! The day was rather grey, but the autumn colours spectacular – in their last throws before the November gales took the leaves. It’s a very silent place – very still. I love tiles and Byland has the most beautiful, and most complete, tiled floors I think.
I’m painting two pictures of Byland. This one is finished. The tiles merging into the autumn colours inspired by the mosaics inside.
This one is well under way. If I’m honest, I’m saving the tile designs in the bottom section for a treat, when something else is proving tricky. They will be a joy to do.
After Byland I drove to Rievaulx, then the next day to Jervaulx – again, somewhere I’ve never been. It’s beautifully wild and overgrown. Unkempt in a romantic way; I can see why people love it. I went early in the morning so I had the early morning light. It was very cold so i couldn’t draw for long before my fingers went numb, but I had the place to myself:
From Jervaulx to Fountains Abbey. One is nearly finished. One just in the early stages…
So that kept me busy up until February when the weather was fit for venturing out again. We escaped Hebden Bridge as the roads were flooding at February half term, and went to Staithes. There’s nothing like sea air to blow the cobwebs away, even if our rented cottage had run out of heating oil, so we spent our first evening huddled around a fan heater, and we slept in hats and jumpers.
I did speedy drawing in high winds and, at one point, standing in the sea! I’ve had a picture in my head for ages, and needed to work out the composition.
And then this! The Abbey was actually closed to the public in the morning because the winds were so strong. Again – speedy drawing in freezing wind!
Hattie and I are off to York on Monday. Me to draw, and her to meander. It’s a teacher training day and she loves York (as do I!) so we might allow ourselves afternoon tea in Bettys if the drawings go well.
One last thing. This exhibition needs a title! North Yorkshire Abbeys sounds very formal. I wondered about Silent Ruins – but maybe that sounds melancholy. Something that encompasses stillness, sometimes wildness, and the vastness of the decaying archticture. If you have any ideas, please let me know!