November has tied me to an old, dead tree.
Get word to April, to rescue me.
I realise that I have not posted anything on my blog for quite a while. I don't know where time disappears to at present. We are about to enter the very last month of the year, yet it seems only a few weeks ago that we were celebrating Christmas. Anyway, I apologise for my absence.
The weather is slowly beginning to turn. Autumn stayed with us for quite a while this year. We were lucky to have the rich, golden treasure of autumn leaves on our trees for longer than expected, before the winds came. This really is the most spectacular of the seasons, which we had the gift of enjoying much longer than expected.
You might recall Luna, the hare which I had the pleasure of creating back in the late Spring, for Framemakers Gallery in Cirencester? It was painted and displayed as part of the towns annual Hare Festival.
Cirencester, or Corinium as it was called in Roman times, is the only location in all of the United Kingdom where hares have been found depicted on the remains of Roman ruins. Many animals have been found within Roman murals - but only in Cirencester will you find the hare.
Now that the festival has come to a close, the gallery and I thought it would be a lovely idea to auction Luna off in aid of a charity. The gallery have very kindly let me chose which charity I would like to support and, of course, I have chosen the Alzheimer's Society. Some of you may know that both of my parents currently suffer with this devastating disease, so it seemed only right. The auction is still running and will close at the start of December. I must thank the gallery for their fantastic support and I do hope we will raise a few pennies for such a worthy cause.
Earlier this month I had an invitation from Greg Spawton (Big Big Train) to come along to Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios to watch the band record parts of the new album, Folklore. It was a really fascinating experience : not only to see a recording studio of such legendary status (what an amazing place!), but also to get a little insight into the process of recording an album. Whilst I was there, the band were laying down the brass parts for certain tracks. It really was an honour to be in the company of such enormously talented musicians as Dave Desmond, Ben Godfrey and the rest of the brass section. Their sound was rich, warm and, well, huge!
After the day's recording was done, we all enjoyed a lovely dinner courtesy of the studios' catering team and were able to begin a few brief discussions regarding artwork and branding for the new album.
I was then able to expand on these initial discussions a few weeks later, when I met up again with band members Greg and David to talk about the album in more depth. It was a great meeting : we looked more closely at certain narratives and themes which run throughout the album. I have come away with a clear idea of how the album art might look and have already begun sketching.
This month has seen me working on a number of commissions - which means that I am unable to post photographs, as I suspect that a number of them will be Yule gifts. I have also been busy creating some new hearts for my Etsy shop - which will be re-stocked this Sunday (November 29th) at 7 pm. Hopefully these will make a nice, affordable Christmas presents.
I have also been having great fun with clocks! These will be lovely little 6 x 6" original works which function as clocks. The battery run clock parts are quartz, with a hanger on the back ready to mount on the wall. I am not sure if I will have any ready for Christmas though. I don't want to rush them, ensuring I spend time getting them just right. They will be available via my Etsy shop and exclusively through one or two of my galleries.
So December will be here in a few short days. I quite like the advent of Winter : the chance to draw the curtains, light a candle and be cozy inside. But I also love my walking at this time of year: my partner and I walk regularly. Cold, sharp, bright days are the very best days to go walking. The absence of leaves on the trees make for a very architectural landscape. I am lucky enough to live in the heart of the Cotswolds, one of the most beautiful parts of England. There is no better way to appreciate this beautiful land than on foot.
When I am not painting, walking is one of my very favourite ways to spend my time. Walking, I am able to clear my head and have learnt to be completely in the moment. It has given me a very strong connection to my landscape, my environment : this beautiful, precious place which informs and inspires all my work.
So wrap up warm and get out into the countryside. Fill your lungs with the clean, sharp air, get some daylight on your face. Take in your amazing surroundings, no matter where you live, and let them consume you.