Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I just got back from doing a bookwrap workshop in Pontardawe, Wales seems to be the only place not too bothered by flooding, all the rivers are coping well (in the south anyway). I love going to Wales, i feel welshness coming upon me when i pass through Monmouth. Apparently my Great Grandmother came from Pontardawe and quite a lot of my Dad's family live in Ammanford and Brynammon although he's from Caernarfon, my maiden name was Maldwyn-Evans which i never changed back to after my divorce but it's quite a nice name.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I've been in Shropshire for the last week trying to catch up with a back log of project work for mags and books, while there i made a journal, here are a few notes from it!

Sun 17th June - Arrive 5.45pm, it's a warm soft evening, Polly's garden is growing wildly in all directions, weeds merging with cultivated plants, i love the chaos and it prompts me to take a few shots (barn studio pictured). I feel the stress of the past few days ebbing away in this beautiful place. The Oak Barn is situated between Titterstone Clee Hill and Brown Clee Hill, only the sound of birds ans trees swishing interrupt my thoughts.

It takes a while to unload the car but i don't think i brought as much as last year, set out my makeshift studio in the barn facing the garden and the valley. I'm preparing the last project of my book 'Sundial Diptych' and cut all the stuff out ready for the morning, the only drawback of this place is the lighting gets bad at night. I'm going to stop and practice some new songs for Wednesdays, the acoustics are great in the kitchen.
Monday 9.30am After a restless night i wake up to a misty moist morning in Shropshire. Ever since coming back from Winchester, i've been having trouble sleeping, i think I'm developing nocturnal tendencies! For the photographic process of producing a step by step book you have to have all the stages prepared to save studio time so i knuckle down to the hypnotic process of repetitive making. I quite like making multiple pieces you can allow your mind to drift aimlessly and let your muse take over. It's a romantic idea but frustrating when you can't act on your thoughts while you're making 15 diptych's.

The rain washes the garden intermittently all day but it stops me from procrastinating in the garden, so it's a good thing today. I relax into a productive way of working and wish i was here for two weeks.

I came with a small amount of money but i must brave the chaotic clamour of ludlow tesco's to get supplies, i'm getting sick of fishcakes!!

10.30pm the light is bad so i'm stopping to work on 'Reuben' by the Be Good Tanyas and 'Carey' by Joni.

Tues 9.30am i had every intention of rising early but i slept badly again, i'm going to ludlow for supplies and wine, i will have to knock myself out tonight. I keep getting twitchy legs when i go to bed, i remembers someone on Terry Wogan saying sleep with a potato but i'd rather have a man at least you'd be distracted a while from the legs, i have neither potato or man so have to manage.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Have a listen to the Be Good Tanyas on this fine Summers Day!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

I went to Winchester this weekend to visit Mark's sister and see his niece perform at The Railway. Chris and Martin have bought a piece of Alice Kettle's work 'In the Guise of Angels', it was great to have the time to study it closely and enjoy the skill of her work. I went round to the Guildhall to See her mammoth piece for the Winchester Discovery Centre. It is made in 9 large panels and she has been at it for months on display in the Guildhall Gallery space. She is also trialing a Brother multi head computerised machine which gives blocks of regular stitch, it gives a great contrast to the ragged chaotic stitched textures she achieves. The whole display is on until July.

While we stayed at Chris and Martins we shared the house with a group of touring musicians 9 in all, not including us 4. Mark's niece Rozi writes and performs her own stuff and also plays in a band called Frànçois and the Atlas Mountains. I don't think I'm cut out for the late night rock 'n roll life style, it's going to take me a week to get over it!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Just back from the Contemporary Quilt group summer school at Alston Hall, Preston, I was teaching a course called 'Poetic Images' and the students rose to the challenge magnificently! I had a great time as it's a lovely place to visit and has a wonderful atmosphere, the food is great and the quilters were energetic and enthusiastic as usual.

I made a rare diary cock up though and missed my last weekend with Hilary Bower at Missenden Abbey, i had it down in my diary as the 1st week July not June and returned home to frantic messages wondering if i was dead in a ditch. ... I was gutted to realise I'd missed the weekend though, i really feel like i need external input and Hilary is really good at prising out hidden nuggets of creativity you were unaware of!

That drive from Preston is quite exhausting though, i kept myself entertained by listening to Margaret Atwood's 'Alias Grace' which is a bit raunchy in parts so the distraction kept me awake!! I didn't wake up til 11.30 this morning i must have been knackered!