Monday, July 24, 2023

My week

It has rained here forever. This has led to stretches of ‘wet playtime syndrome’ at Hepworth Towers, but there have been some interesting and/or pleasant happenings none the less. 

One day our new granddaughter’s other grandparents brought her, Ms X, over for the afternoon, and there was much admiration of this gorgeous baby who is now almost 9 months old and oh how I wish I was allowed to show you a picture of her because she looks so very different from all of the other grandchildren. She has a lot of curly brown hair - which she has had since birth - beautiful blue eyes, and a very serious expression a lot of the time, because - as we all agreed (!) 😊- she is so intelligent and is attentive to and absorbing every little thing in her environment and thinking about it. Imagine an intellectual baby drawn by Mabel Lucie Atwell.

One day I spent a lot of time pondering my book Even When They Know You, and wishing I’d made the main male character more likeable. I like everything else about the book, but there was something not entirely convincing about Joe. However, writing a book again, revising a novel,  isn’t a runner…well…I suppose I could rewrite it, making changes, but who is going to want to read it? 

It is, however, possible to paint a picture again. A friend wanted to buy one of my paintings that I wanted to keep, and I thought hmmm…if I painted a second version I might iron out what I saw as the imperfections and then she could have the first one. Halfway through painting the “replica” I got bored, and that convinced me never to paint a picture twice. And then when I’d finished, I liked the first one better - even though the second one was just as good. My friend bought this second one and was very happy.

On Friday I went to Mary’s bench and left her some flowers, as I was away in Anglesey on her birthday.

On Saturday Dave and I went to a wonderful exhibition in the Buxton Dome. It was built in 1880 and measures over 150 feet in diameter. It was then the largest unsupported dome of its type in the world and is still the largest in Europe. 

There was some super art there.

I had a chat with the artist Cath Dunn, who gave me some zoom lessons during lockdown on the basics of acrylics. Here she is talking to Craig Longmuir whose vigorous and vibrant work I see on Instagram. I was astonished at how large his pictures are in real life, especially as they are all painted en plein air. Those three at the back were eight foot tall. He goes out into the Peak District with his paints and brushes in a  rucksack and carries the canvases, which he lays out on the ground. Then he gets stuck in.

Dave and I were particularly smitten with the work of Elizabeth Forrest, a calligrapher and paper maker. We were both very moved by her work. She makes the paper, then paints it, and then does the calligraphy with a brush. She only paints quotes that are meaningful to her. It was uncanny how many of her chosen quotations were on our wavelength. We decided we’d walk round the exhibition and then come back and see if we still wanted to buy one of her works. When we returned, I welled up - again.

We bought the original of this, which was my favourite, 

And a print of this, which Dave has now framed. 

Back home we had to find room to hang them, now my work is all over the house. This meant some rearrangements. And the introduction of a new method - thanks to Dave -  of assisting a person to decide how high to hang a picture. The picture can be raised and lowered by pulling on the string. Dave is incredibly patient with his pathologically indecisive wife.

On Saturday night I watched the film Brooklyn, starring Saoirse Ronan, but had to break off in the middle to check on Google that it was going to end how I hoped it would. I couldn't have coped if it hadn't. Yes, I am that much of a wuss.

Sunday was rounded off with Facetimes with the beautiful granddaughters who I am allowed to show you.

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