Delighted in Dorset…

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!

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Im sure there are sprites and pixies living in that tree.

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.

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Rather timeless when cars aren’t pictured…

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The ruins are not overly protected. Visitors are trusted to act and tread carefully. I was enamored with all the unobstructed views.

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There are currently ravens nesting high up in the tower wall. And a flock of jackdaws kept us company.

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This. As lino print. As weaving. As ceramic tile. This!

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.

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Time to head home after a stunning inspiring day. Then THIS happened:

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That late afternoon light!

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Again – so much inspiration here!

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Greens in January made me so happy.

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!

 

 

Recipe for vacation.

 

2 parts “Travel” Reserve one, set aside. 

Season with city traffic, add ferry ride for garnish. 

arrival collage

 Marinate in equal parts sunscreen and salt water. The more time the better. Coat lightly with sand. 

sand castles

Spice things up with Trivial Pursuit games, and epic sessions of “Angry Birds”. Serve with a micro brew Heiffeweissen. 

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Savor the weekend with family on the Texas Gulf Coast. Enjoy! 

Return home rested, pink, happy tired…  with many memories!

travel collage

Bethany. Beach. Boardwalk. Beautiful…

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The day dawned cloudy and a little hazy, but that did not last long. I had a great spot on the boards, at the top of the main drag in town. 

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The dunes and the beach as my backdrop!

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For this show I was in the “Mixed Media” category. So my jewelry display had to be limited, just ceramic components. But they were very popular…

hat

I never wear hats. Thank heavens I had borrowed an umbrella from Betsy!!!

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reunion

Pleaseant surprise! Kim was a student of mine whose Grandparents live in Bethany. I was thrilled to see her, to catch up and to meet…

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Jack! (And her husband, of course!)

 

Sorry this was rather brief. This is a big week. Today is my birthday, and I had a productive studio day – mixed media collages are in progress for this weekend at Artsfest. Tomorrow I have to finish earrings for a blog swap, and the infamous Bead Soup! Bead Soup posts will go up on Saturday – stay tuned!

 

 

Holiday weekend: shows, summer, beach, neighbors…and water ice

Shadey view

This was my view a week ago – Saturday July 2nd, to be exact. I cant believe a week has gone by already! Yikes! Last Saturday was the St. Peter’s Fine Art Show in Lewes, DE. It is one of my regular shows, that I enjoy, and this weekend was even more perfect – the weather cooperated! Take a look at that sky…

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There’s a shot of my street. Honestly – it was such a nice day, smooth at set up, sunny, and don’t forget the water ice. Its a St Peter’s tradition for me. That afternoon lull, when you are feeling a little sleepy… It was great to see familiar faces, and to meet and chat with new customers!

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One beautiful little incident: a woman was very drawn to a ceramic pendant – a crescent moon and star. She initiated the stealth buy; it was for her daughter, who was going to catch up with her any moment. Yet in the brief time we shared – she told me her daughter was adopted, and she had said to her from the beginning to the present – “I love you to the moon and stars.” She wanted her daughter to have the pendant, as she was away at school, majoring in art. It means quite a bit to me, when people are moved by the work I do – even something as simple as a pendant. And that she felt compelled to share that with me, inviting me into her trust in our short interaction together. Thank you !

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My new tile: the split tailed mermaid made her debut at the show. She is a confident mermaid, a bit sassy. I quite like her!

St Petes view

I did stroll my block – sadly I wasn’t able to take a stroll through the whole show… But I met some wonderful neighbors!

(Speaking of block… block printing!) I had to meet Jennifer of Home Sweet after a customer shopping in my booth raved!!! about her block printed fabrics – even unwrapping and showing off her purchases. And I couldn’t agree more. Gorgeous work, bold, colorful, great design, great craftsmanship. 

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Scraps of fabric in a bowl… you mean I can have one?! Like a treasure! And a very green business card as well! You can find her at her site and on Etsy

Printed sample

Off the Wall

There you see the lovely and charming Peri of Off the Wall Art. I couldn’t ask for a better neighbor as we explored the Square up credit card services for the first time. ( Review: quick, easy, generally brilliant. Stylus recommended.) Her work is very creative, very fun. Colorful, whimsical, and heartfelt; it draws you in with a strong sense of “joie de vivre”.  Wonderful sayings – not overly sweet, but endearing and sincere, and often punny. The two cards below show you what I mean: “Be who you arrrghh!” (Piratical words of advice!) “We all laugh in the same language” I just love them! Check out her site – great work for kids, or the inner child in all of us. 

Off the Wall art cards

It has been a busy week – we stayed at the beach to visit the ocean, and enjoy the Fourth…unpacking after the show, Oops, caught a summer cold, clean the house… and get ready for the second session of clay camp starting tomorrow! Did spend a few quality hours in the studio yesterday. Stay tuned to see the results! It wont take a week before I post again, promise!