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Friday, 20 June 2014

Hamsterley Forest, Just Right For A Barbecue

It was such a lovely evening on Wednesday that we hopped in the Van and went up to Hamsterley Forest for a BBQ.

It was nearly empty. The air was still. The Bedburn Beck rippled by and we sat and read our books while the burgers cooked.
On Thursday we walked along Burnhouse lane...our regular walk and so much had grown since last week.
Today we took off for the Bowes Museum at Barnie to see the Hockney prints and caught the Coalminer-Painters' exhibit as well. Wonderful stuff!
It's still fine and we toyed with the idea of another barbie but the breeze has come up and it is a bit cooler this evening.
Cheers for now

Thursday, 12 June 2014

A Fetching Etching and The Pilgrim Way At The End Of The Day (Lindisfarne)

I've had a lovely arty-farty week. My usual painting class on Wednesday was based on a photograph of "The Pilgrim Way at Lindisfarne" taken by our teacher Paul Dillon. We all enjoyed this one and here is my unfinished piece.
I still have to paint in the sinking sun. Definitely a make or break moment and all could be lost with a careless wipe of the paintbrush.
Then this morning I did an etching workshop at the Tom McGuinness Gallery at the Bishop Auckland Town Hall. Simple dry point on acetate sheet and then inked and printed on Tom's own enormous printing press, now owned by the Town Hall.
I felt like Goldilocks. The first was too inky, the second was not inky enough but the third one was just right!
Here is the best one in close-up. I am hoping to tint or wash the finished products and produce a set of "fine" cards. The ink is not waterproof so I'll have to be smart with the washes.
So here is is my first etching..."Cow Parsley in the Field"
Cheers for now

Sunday, 8 June 2014

TOMMY at Seaham Harbour

We went over to Seaham Harbour today to check out the improvements to the old dock area. It has been refurbished into a marina and there are some lovely new buildings, housing the rebuilt George Elmy Lifeboat which capsized at the mouth of the harbour after a rescue at sea. All crew were lost and four of the five rescued fishermen died too. There is a cafe, toilets carparks and lots of new stuff.

After this we followed the people over to the seafront where "Tommy" is situated.
Tommy is very big.
And is loved by young and old.
Loved so much that the people of Seaham Harbour (and all those of us who love the place) are trying to buy the statue so that it can remain there permanently. It is extremely moving and very detailed.
The head is modelled using contour sheets and wire thread for the moustache.
The veins are shown on the hands and the weariness mixed with relief shows on his face as the hour reaches 11.01am on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

On a day like this we think... "why don't we live in Seaham Harbour?"...A couple of the houses in the far left of this pic are for sale! We shall return for a closer look.
Cheers for now