Late summer

Well, I think it is still summer, although there is much falling of autumn leaves and many trees with golden highlights. It’s been so dry here this summer, they are having to wind down early. The good weather started early too. Today and yesterday were beautiful, definitely summer temperatures, and I was lucky enough to have a day off yesterday. I have been at the studio a lot recently, and although I certainly love it I find I don’t get any outdoors activity on those days, just a quick walk if I’m lucky, or a brief bit of gardening. So after a haircut, and a touch of shopping, we went to Coughton Court in Worcestershire for some lunch and an airing. Wonderful.

The shopping was done in Redditch, in a shopping centre called the Kingfisher Centre. The reason I’m rabbiting on about a visit to a shopping centre is that there are some fantastic mosaics there, designed by Eduardo Paolozzi. They are based on the needle making industries of Redditch, are very large and gorgeous, and worth a trip; you can sit and have coffee while you take them in. I do love a mosaic, and Paolozzi. Sorry no pics, they don’t like bods taking pictures in shopping centres. There are lots of websites about him and his work.

A view of the old farm buildings at Coughton Court. The rowan trees have so many berries this year.

The front of Coughton. It’s a  Tudor house, with a glorious courtyard at the back too, and stunning grounds.

A view from the vegetable garden. I wish my two little apple trees were trained like this, they just ramble where they want to against the fence. I must get to grips with them…

There’s an excellent bog garden there too. I have a gunnera [the large leaved plant seen here]. It’s a bonsai in comparison to this chap, but I have to grow it in a large container to keep it wet enough. It obviously needs an even larger home, but we have a very small garden. It will get its own way, off course, all our plants and animals do.

This chap will be in a piece of work I hope, probably one of the new series of books I’m planning/making lists/taking photos/drawing for.

And this stylish creature will feature in some work too. [See below the wall picture for more rabbit…]

And what textile bod can resist a wall close up? Here’s a lovely bit of limestone and lichen. I do print these onto fabric to use in my work. My favourite so far is a wall in a church in Paris, with black mould and gold decoration, glorious and dark. So the above is ideal for the work in progress I’ve featured  below, and the Paris church for the winter book in the same series.

I manage to cover most surfaces in the house with my work too, even though I have the studio, where I planned it would all reside. I’m working on The Moth Pages there at the moment; that piece is quite monochrome; at home, in contrast, I’m working on gathering material and ideas for some new textile artist books based on the seasons. I’m putting together sketchbooks,[ images were posted previously of some of the first one], drawing, photographing and printing so that when I start to make the summer book[s], in the depths of winter, I’ll have enough [too much probably] material. It’s bright and colourful in comparison to The Moth Pages, and will feature insects quite strongly, it seems.

A close up. I’ve printed on acetate too, which I love working with.

Different pics on the table, there’s always more than I thought, but I get very excited when I see all the possibilities.

Topiary and hoverflies, ligularia and mysterious abstract shapes. I must not start this until I finish The Moth Pages…

4 thoughts on “Late summer

  1. Isn’t Coughton Court great?! I go there such a lot with the children and one of our favourite places to explore is the church yard. Although this is rather macabre, there is a rabbit warren constructed around and under ancient graves and in their digging, rabbits have dug up old bones. We’ve found (and left where we found them) vertebraes, finger bones and other we couldn’t identify. It is always a weird, feeling picking up and handling these pieces of a person but exciting and priviledged too. They also do a great literary festival coming up soon. Mum and I went to hear David Starkey speak a few years ago..fantastic

  2. Hi Alex,
    I’ve not been to the church for a couple of years, so have missed the bones! I imagine they will bury them again though, but it sounds as if the rabbits will just dig them up again.
    The literary festival does look good, I’ve read the leaflets over the past couple of years but have never gone. There’s so much on offer isn’t there, but it’s time we are short of.

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