We are open again after a break of a couple of weeks when we needed to return to the UK. Lots of interesting painting going on this week
Patricia is as prolific as ever and finished off two pictures this week
Steve finished this painting as home – absolutely gorgeous
He also brought this long thin painting of a pier. The top is a detail of the left hand side – it’s not finished yet
I had to paint these hellebores in water colour – I was a bit rusty
And Daniel was painting another in a series of coastal water colours
some lovely water colours and mixed media
Chris does some beautiful horse paintings
A couple from Patricia
Pauline has finished her acrylic painting
I did some small quick acrylics
Dawn was doing some beautiful little water colours
I am really impressed with Pauline’s improvement
Patricia rattled off another acrylic today
Daniel was doing this lovely water colour
… and Sally Ann was doing some cross stitch
For a couple of weeks this winter the writing group are meeting and here are some extracts from some of the members
Tony’s poem Lost Love appeared on The Dronne Valley Network recently. He has created an unforgiving landscape in which familiar places and objects provide a menacing backdrop for the arrival of a tourist.
Lost Love by Tony Kirk
this outcrop of rock
sits heavily in the scheme of things
the village square is spooked
by trees that are in constant motion
these incontinent isobars
crisscross the hail bruised sky
while the old broken sundial
waits patiently for the sun
the old church bells
like dormant rocks
pounds heavily like distant ancestral drums
rain clouds ebbs and flow
covering the square
in a thick skin
a half filled polythene bag
stop starts, slides, starts stops
and is held fast on the grill
of an old forgotten drain
a lonely tourist appears
bent forward like an old parishioner
she pushes away at the elements
from the inside a borrowed broken umbrella
her feet moist damp from torrential trudging
she struggles to find a welcoming window
a warm place to wait
and seeks refuge in a homeless doorway
she waits in agitation
that broken promise
last night’s perfume permeates
through sulfurous pores
but the shop doors are shut
firmly into their frames.
all hermetically sealed
like supermarket meat
her windows heavy now with condensation
her facades wait in silence
for the lost lover to return
the lightning cast its sheet
over the old church wall
she starts to count one….. two …….
she wonders if the tourist office
will ever open again
Brian recently brought “Machines” to the group and we were impressed by the way he’d taken the idea of something inanimate having a voice. It is at once powerful and melancholy.
MACHINES by Brian Wilkinson November, 2018
Bright light startles these lathes, millers and drilling machine soldiers.
Regiments of Staggered lights steadfastly scatter to advance before you.
Your clinging with short hopeless hope to darkness is done.
Once again, inky Shapes appear in short time yet now silent from their mischief.
Suspect! standing steel grey war making machines, did you play through this spent night?
Did you touch, did you speak, did you watch mice scattering spent sandwiches hither and dither for their young,
They too avoiding spent oil, dirty suds laying their liquid death around, should they skirt these silent grim puddles?
Watch startling bright lights follow busy hurrying humans accepting you are now back in position
Welcome the quiet cheerful peacefulness of this brief morning moment.
A mechanical awaking of sculptured machine tools slowly emerges energizing your vast space.
Human chatter, laughter, smiles, drowned by your lustful noise, urgent to change metal into parts.
You pursue for hours this screaming din.
Your reward! the birth of shining parts lying orderly in dirty metal trays awaiting leave to their appointment.
Your magnificent worthy hours now waiting for a silent calm. To again welcome the night’s darkness.
Colleagues cease creaking. Mulching mice riffle through to paltry scraps.
Now is your time once again.
Sheila was fully aware that she had grown somewhat invisible and that as she walked down Talbot Road on this particularly grey day, no-one would remark her passing. She had become a ghost.
Burying her bluing hands into familiar pockets, now cold, she drew her chin down into her scarf and walked towards the Hospice Shop as usual. She stopped in front of the window to peruse the bargains described in marker pen on torn off pieces of cardboard box – but today she didn’t feel interested in special offers. She really was cold and though entering inside such a warm interior was tempting, she stayed out there in a darkening street, where she felt she belonged.
Sheila gazed at her grey indistinct reflection standing next to the inflatable Santa and plastic reindeer. She was a huddled shape with everything drawn in. Buried in her scarf, she thought she looked a sorry sight and decided to move on. She took a step back and watched herself fade into the coats and umbrellas on display – each made merry with a twist of tinsel – and there she still was; a spectre amongst it all, looking on: separate. She sighed.
Sheila was a little surprised when she saw her own face wink. Her own face now large against the glass, brown eyes shining, flushed with excitement and animated by a huge grin. She nearly died again when her own body raised a hand and began to tap with one finger upon the windowpane. Sheila stared, the tapping turned to a thudding and then she heard her own voice call, “Hello!”
It was certainly her own voice. Sheila stared, fascinated and unable to tear herself away. She went closer to have a better look at her face which beamed back until the lips pursed and emitted a loud raspberry blast.
“Oh!” Sheila jumped back from the spray that splattered on the glass. On the other side, her spectre threw back her head and laughed and then Sheila watched herself rummaging through the coatrack, then pulling off her own grey coat and replacing it with the blue fur one that was suspended, its arms at jaunty angles, from the ceiling. “What do you think?” she laughed, striking a pose and spinning on the spot. Sheila was horrified to see herself, hand to head, strutting around the inflatable Santa, kicking aside the neatly laid out shoes at the front of the display. Was she really singing “Santa Baby?” Was she really dancing like that?
There was giggling behind her and Sheila turned to see a young lad with his arm thrown around a girl-friend. They had stopped despite the drizzle of rain to watch her window display. Then, to Sheila’s horror, an elderly man stopped in his tracks, a steaming pasty not yet reaching his open mouth and then there came a little boy and a little girl, all bundled up in warm coats to tap on the glass and laugh delightedly at her antics. And no wonder, for now Sheila watched herself waving at the children and straddling the plastic reindeer, crying “Gee-up! Gee-up!”
What next? Would she juggle with the shoes? Sheila’s thought was answered with a “Why not?” from the other side and soon there were shoes flying everywhere. Sheila could see silver court-shoes and red and green wellingtons rising and falling above the heads of the crowd and then they started to rise in rhythm and everyone was counting until the air exploded with a round of applause. The crowd started to disperse, chattering and laughing, pink cheeks glowing, rubbing their hands against the cold, as Sheila’s spectre took her final bows.
She was now looking straight at Sheila, standing right in the middle of the window. Next to her, the Santa was decked in the blue fur coat and the reindeer had a lampshade on his left antler. She was wearing a sparkly jacket over her grey dress and she was still holding a pair of red stilettos. She smiled and Sheila smiled back at this curious, wonderful woman. “Don’t worry. I will tidy up.”
Sheila laughed and shrugged, stepping forward to put her hand on the window where her fingers felt warm against the cold of the glass. She watched her spectre as she did the same – two women linked, two women separated.
It was time to go. As Sheila watched her reflections fade into the glare of electric light, she thought, “That was fun,” and headed once more up the busy road.
New Year, new tablecloth
Nice and cosy
As usual Patricia finished a painting
… and Gill was cutting !!
A couple of Christmassy themed paintings going on
Jane’s bag of Christmas cards ready to go
Sally had done this at home but it deserves to be here
… and just before the Christmas party – not much painting of pictures – just Sue painting her nails !
Merry Christmas !!
Jeanette was using decoupage to make an animal tray and I used a page from an Angie Lewin calendar for this small drinks tray. Jane and Brigid came this afternoon and were decorating bottles for Christmas
A couple of sketches from Chris and Steve
Some works in progress by Jackie, Dawn and Frances
This almost looks like a tapestry – an acrylic from Jane
… and this is finished – from Jan