Sunday, 5 August 2012

Dear my old friend, Art.

At the village street fair we went to while in Norfolk (see last post!), I came across this rather delightful little paint box for £2.  Since being offered my position as an Art teacher, I have been rekindling my passion for the subject.  As many of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know - crafts, textiles and dress making have been my outlet for creativity for the past three or so years, which led to me training as a Textiles teacher.  Just to recap, my degree was in Fine Art, although even then I focused on more contemporary media, such as video and photography, so it really has been a long time since I have attempted to paint anything properly.  I tried to create a watercolour of me and Steve a couple of years ago, but it did not go well!  At school, I always found painting quite challenging, preferring to work with dry materials such as charcoal and pencils and my old favourite - the black biro!  Now that I am going to be teaching others so many different skills, I really felt that it would be valuable for me to start experimenting with some of these lost techniques again.

I love the little colour chart inside which that gentleman that I purchased it from left there!  It's not really of use to me, but I can't bring my myself to tear it out!

One of the teachers in my new department gave me a beautiful, brown paged A3 sketchbook when I was offered the job - I love it!  I am really enjoying having a sketchbook again.  When I was at school and sixth form, I would carry mine everywhere, I have not really had one since.  I have really loved buying new art materials too and browsing around small, independent art shops, it's just a shame that everything costs so much money, I'm having to give myself a monthly budget at the moment!
So, here are a few of the things that I have been up to, it's quite daunting sharing my art with the world, I never have had much confidence in my work!  I would love to hear your thoughts and any top tips to improve though!  You never stop learning after all :)

The last image is a painting which is currently unfinished.  It's one of those works that you never seem to be happy with, but I am trying really hard to keep improving and to not give up on it!
I have also recently been reading a book called The Story of Art, which I borrowed from school.  I have become really quite engrossed in it.  I have never really had any desire to learn about ancient art, such as Egyptian and Greek, but this book is so well written and easy to understand that I have found it rather fascinating!  A really good read for anyone out there who is constantly swayed towards contemporary practice!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Norfolk adventure - day three

Our final day in Norfolk was a good 'un!  Last summer, we really wanted to go on a boat trip to Blakeney point to see the seals, but the weather was so miserable that the tours kept being cancelled.  This year though, we did it!  I have a strange affinity with the sea and an odd obsession with boats.  So obviously, I thought that the whole thing was amazing!  I didn't realise quite how much I adored seals until I got so close to them in their natural habitat!  We also had to option at stopping off at Blakeney point for an hour, which was exciting and felt a bit like being let loose on a private, remote island (ignoring the other tourists of course).  

We also went to a village street fair which as you can imagine was very exciting!  A whole street full of stalls selling bric a brac, food and crafts, activities and games for children and tombola's.  The sun was shining and it all felt, well, very British!  I brought a little wooden case for my new acrylic paints and Steve finally found a zoetrope - I'm looking forward to seeing what artistic creations he comes up with using this!

To end our day, we went to Sheringham.  After watching some Harley Davidson enthusiastic zooming off on their motorbikes along the high street, we went on a search for a bag of chips to eat on the sea front.  A perfect end to a seaside break - not forgetting the mushy peas, nom!

That little break now seems like ages ago and it has only been one week!  I do have lots and lots of other happening taking place in the next couple of months though, so hopefully there will be many more things to keep inspiring me!

I am holding a stall for the first time in a year tomorrow (eek!).  It's at Whetstone Farm in Leicester -  you can see the poster here.  I'm really looking forward to preparing my stall and to be talking to people about my crafts again - if you're local, you should most definitely pop down and say hello!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Norfolk adventure - day two


In the village of Walsingham where we were staying, there is an old fashioned steam train which runs directly to the coastal town of Wells next the Sea - a favourite of mine!  In the morning we caught the train and sat on uncovered seats, which may have been a small mistake as traveling at 5mph for thirty minutes when it's windy was quite uncomfortable!  It was great to feel as if you were just cutting through the fields and the woodland though, as the train tracks were so narrow.  

Once in Wells, we walked to the main high street in search of one of the best cakes we have ever tasted (we had one of these when we visited last summer).  It is a chocolatey, peanut buttery, nougarty delight and completely indulgent!  We had a look around some of the charity shops and old book shops and I purchased one new (old) ladybird book all about how to crochet.  A wonderful book to add to my every growing collection and also useful as I have been attempting to learn how to crochet for many months now with little success!  On that note, I received the new issue of Mollie Makes through my letter box this morning, and the free gift is an oh so cute wooden crochet hook!

We eventually caught the steam train back to Walsingham (this time opting to sit on covered seats).  We then jumped in our car and drove over to Cromer for the remainder of the afternoon.  We browsed around a few more charity, junk and book shops, where I picked up a 1950s children's illustrated dictionary for 50 pence and embarked on finding a whippy ice cream to enjoy while we strolled along the pier.  

We decided to try out a restaurant in Walsingham for our dinner.  There is a fish and chip shop with a restaurant attached called The Norfolk Riddle.  After looking at the menu and seeing no accommodation for vegetarians, I was a little concerned I would be ending up with simply a big plate of chips.  However, I must say that I was really impressed with the service of the staff.  On stating that I am a vegetarian, the waiter spoke to the chef who then offered me an entire range of dishes to choose from.  I opted for a goats cheese, olive and artichoke filo parcel, and it was amazing!  Myself and Steve also sampled some local beers and ciders alongside our meals, delicious!

So that was our second day. I already wish I could go back, I feel that I have not yet got my complete fix of seaside this summer!  One more stream of photographs to go...


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