Part 1 of 3.
This January I spent a magical week in and around Dorset visiting my friend Lesley Watt.
If you know me or are familiar with my work, you may be aware of the currents of magic, myth and folklore that run through all I do… So this trip was part vacation, part art retreat, part creative interlude. It was restorative, invigorating, inspiring, and immensely fulfilling. The creative seeds planted this one week will grow all year…
But for now – let me share a few ( or many!) images with you.
The village of Burley IN the New Forest. ( Day 1)
The New Forest was established in 1079 by William The Conqueror. ( Yes, THAT William the Conquerer.) In villages throughout the NF, “Commoners” or residents hold the same rights to access/grazing/resources as their early Medieval predecessors. The New Forest ponies roam free, and are loosely managed by the “verderers”. The town of Burley has numerous ties to witches in history, namely Sibyl Leek and Gerald Gardner…
The New Forest itself – with its history, landscape, biodiversity… has captured my imagination. I have been starting to read up and work with images inspired by the Celtic Tree alphabet – so this dovetails in rather nicely. Although I was there in Winter, the gorse and broom were blooming. The ponies were wearing their shaggy coats – and as you see a gorgeous blue sky appeared.
Corfe Castle. ( Day 2)
Again – Norman in historical time period. ( I DO like OLD stuff.) Begun by William the Conqueror in 1090; finished by his son Henri I in the early 1100’s. These majestic ruins command the skyline, and its placement as a fortress is evident!
The gentle hike up to the castle and the village was like walking into a fairyland. So much free, mosses and lichens, a stream cascading… And you arrive in Corfe Castle village.
Then a fabulous lunch… and one more historical marker.
This made me chuckle, incredulous. This stone marks the millennium of a regicide. And even that was 40 years ago!
We left Corfe Castle – and drove back towards Bournemouth via the Isle of Purbeck and Studland Bay. ( Isle of Purbeck as in Purbeck stone of which Corfe Castle is built.) Weather was cooperating – so we did a little beach combing on Knoll beach… I could see white chalk cliffs and even the Isle of Wight in the distance.
Time to head home after a stunning inspiring day. Then THIS happened:
The third day was a day spent at home, in the studio! Sketching, collaging, and working on my travel journal. ( Stay tuned for that.) Then to the pub for a proper Sunday dinner. A cute pup, a delicious Dorset cider, and Yorkshire pudding ( not pictured.)
Stay tuned for the next installment that includes magic, alchemy, camaraderie, and more!