Friday, 28 November 2014

The Earthly Paradise

I recently spent the weekend in London. Whilst there I visited the William Morris exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and it has re-ignited my love for Morris and his band of merry followers. If you haven't visited (and are able to) I thoroughly recommend it. Not only are there a delightful and delectable selection of objects but it is all curated in such a loving and thoughtful manner, it left me feeling utterly inspired and with a long list of people, objects and themes to research!

I particularly loved two items; this beautiful iridescent vase by William de Morgan and this sweet wallpaper designed for a nursery by C.F.A Voysey called The House That Jack Built.

Sources: 1, 2

On my arrival back in Cornwall, the tree branches were bare and a crisp chill had set in the air; winter had arrived. These photographs were taken in my mum's garden and are very much inspired by the pictures of Morris, his family and friends in the garden at The Red House

 Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

I wanted to celebrate that beautiful cusp between Autumn and Winter and my mum's garden is the perfect place to engage in such celebration. My mum's grassy lawn is a wonderful array of moss, clover and strange yellow mushrooms which make padding across it like walking on thick pile rug, close up snaps of it form the border for these photographs.

The outfit was inspired by Morris and Burne-Jones in the picture above and a little by the outfits of the children in The Secret Garden (both book and film).

 Source: 6

  I've been after a pair of velvet breeches for many years, these ones were a recent find at a Vintage Flea Market and they are an absolute dream; the perfect fit and colour. The tweed waistcoat is another recent find. Purchased in Oxfam, there is also a matching tweed jacket, I haven't taken them off since I bought them last month. I've recently taken to a sort of dapper gent look, I've always enjoyed dappling in cross-dressing but for some reason this year I've felt particular drawn to menswear. The shoes were also from Oxfam, a lady had donated her entire collection of brogues to the shop and I bought two pairs, both hardly worn and only half a size too big (one has to suffer for dandyism!) There were another pair, a slightly lighter brown, which I wish wish I hadn't left behind, I'm just secretly hoping somebody I know has bought them for me for Christmas!

The shirt is Bavarian, I bought it in the summer from a friend's car boot sale stall. It's striped cotton and has little embroidered chickens on the front; I love the voluminous sleeves, they feel so theatrical. The cravat belonged to my mum in the 1980s and has been the source of much fighting between my brother and I. I originally owned it, then he nabbed it for a Halloween costume (a dead Lord Byron) and now I have reclaimed it, all be it with a little more fake blood attached.

This post has taken inordinate amount of time to put together due to a number of dull details that I shan't bore you with but I will say that over the last few days I have gained a greater appreciation for the transiency and effervesce of life and objects. This weekend for several reasons I will be staying as far away as possible from my computer. I'm going to take a long walk, inhale deeply and appreciate the details because as William Morris said 'the true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.'

I hope you all have happy weekends and enjoy being outside: the crunchy leaves, the damp dusky smells and the crisp, fresh air.

Linking to Visible Monday

Outfit Details

Striped and embroidered Bavarian shirt - Car boot sale
1950s tweed waistcoat - Oxfam
Ex-theatre green velvet breeches - Vintage Flea Market
Cravat - belonged to my mum
Vintage brogues - Oxfam
Vintage faux fur hat - Car boot sale
Red Christmas bow - The Range
1960s reversible tartan cape - Charity shop


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Work in Progress

I've been so busy lately painting for my exhibition at The Glorious Art House next year and also for a Christmas art fair in Falmouth that my mum and I were asked to join. I'll be selling smaller canvases and maybe prints too.

I've been working in my mum's studio which is at the bottom of her garden. It's been great having the space and time to just get on with things and not be interrupted by daily life. There is also a wood burner which is SO nice; being warm whilst working is a definite luxury.

The photographs above are for the Christmas show and below are for the exhibition in February (using my Virgin of Guadalupe series) All these photographs are of my work in progress, they are still to be resined and then overpainted.

My mum's studio is the most wonderful place to work in, there is so much to look at, it's a very enriching experience. I never wear anything fancy for days in the studio as I am commonly recognised as the messiest person in existence; I end up with paint on my sleeves and in my hair! I always wear one of my two pairs of jeans (501s of course!) and a nice printed tee (helps mask the paint better!), this particular one is Celia Birtwell for Uniqlo which I got for a meagre £2.50 in their sale last year. Red lipstick is about my only attempt at looking less messy.

Right! It's back to studio, I have lots to do. I'm off to London tomorrow and I want to try and get a few canvases resined so they are ready when I return next week. I'm so excited to catch up with friends and see lots of exhibitions (particularly Anarchy & Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy at the NPG). I love London at this time of year, it's much colder than Cornwall, I've been finding it odd how warm it is here so it'll be nice to feel the crisp chill!

P.s spy my mum right at the bottom, painting away!