31 March 2019

Cooking by the book

A happy hour spent following the recipes to make a couple of tasty veg dishes -
 The potatoes are from Simply Ottolenghi...
The bean and herb salad is from Olia Hercules' "Mamuschka: recipes from the Ukraine & beyond" ...

30 March 2019

Saturday afternoon in Camden Mews

Saturday was the first day of the "tea and textiles" in aid of Medecins Sans Frontieres. Homemade biscuits and wonderful cakes were being served - a Polish walnut cake, and and Ruth's poppy seed cake -
As is to be expected with an event like this, some times were very busy and others were quiet. It was good to see old friends and meet new people.

Five more afternoons - and new cakes - are to come...

On the way home I found some branches-in-bud struggling in a weedy area beside the road and - happening to have some secateurs in my bag - cut off some, to have something greening in the house -

28 March 2019

Poetry Thursday - In Westerham Woods by Andrew Young

In Westerham Woods

Two lovers here once carved their name,
A heart between them like a flame;
Now these two lovers' names depart
From either side a broken heart.

Andrew Young (1885-1971)

This evening my son helped a friend move house - a few belongings - after a split from his girlfriend. Perhaps they'll get together again, perhaps not, he said. There seem to be "complicated backgrounds" on both sides. Sadly, the girlfriend is pregnant and the friend won't have the same contact with his child that my son is so enjoying now.

Young was born in Scotland but moved to Sussex in 1920. Westerham Wood in Kent (if indeed this is the one in the poem) is now a site of special scientific interest. Andrew Young seems, as with many lyrical poets, to have become rather neglected...

27 March 2019

Woodblock Wednesday - advanced, week 1 (of 2)

Techniques that are "on the menu" include betazurie (flat uniform printing), bokashi (different types of graduated printing) and Kakenase, using dark pigment over light pigment for an impression of transparency -
Some of the class were drawing up and cutting their "mountain and moon" woodblocks, as we did last term, while Carol showed us kakenase (on the left) - possibly next week we'll do the hakkake and stencils (on the right) -
 First, "quite a lot" of white pigment is laid down, and printed -
 Then the dark pigment
once that's printed (over the white), more pigment, halfway
A line (ichimoji-bokashi) turns the mountain into a mountain behind the lake, which holds the reflection of the moon.

Over to us -
I'm using one of the unprinted blocks from the plates prepared last term. Simple cuts in the sky evoke clouds. At the moment I'm not interested in having realistic clouds - these abstract ones use the process, tools, and materials of mark-making, different gouges, and the wood itself ... the making uses the available materials and processes in a "natural" way.

Which is not to say they are under my control, quite...

The first print was done in indigo, and I hoped adding an ultramarine layer would even up the sky -
first layer

ultramarine added
The second print has an indigo bokashi at the top, and ultramarine mostly at the bottom -
On the third, I was trying to mask off some lighter "clouds" by laying torn paper on top of the pigment ... not terribly successful! -
And that's the extent of my actual printing!

After class, a walk over the hill to N8 (Alexandra Palace in the distance)
to check the garden - wallflowers out, tulips about to bloom, much weeding and replanting needed...
 and to hang out with the grandbaby -

26 March 2019

Drawing Tuesday - Barbican Centre

Wandering around, I framed up some of the architectural features

 ... and it was the final three of these that, sat comfortably at a cafeteria table, I put into the sketchbook -
Judith sat outside drawing balconies -
 Carol worked quickly on these planters -
Jo found some books (3 for £5) at the nearby church - this drawing is from the one about the Picts and shows Daniel being gently pawed by some lions -
... and this is from the book about Italian Renaissance pottery -
 Sue, also outside, lost count of the floors on the highest high-rise -
 Tools etc

Judith made her new sketchbook from pastel paper of various shades -
 Jo used these brush pens (chinese ink) for her drawings -
 ... and she had used brush-tip felt pens on scraps of photo paper for some vivid small drawings -

25 March 2019

Art work at the ready!

After another afternoon with stepladder, nails, hooks, nylon line, etc, almost everything is in place at Ruth's for the "tea and textiles" art sale in aid of Medecins Sas Frontieres, which starts this weekend. 

Now all that's needed is pricing of the ceramics, and a few cakes baking - and hoping lots of people come! If you're in London and free on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon before Easter, do email me (mcooter3) at gmail.com. The venue is in Camden.
Intense embroidery - seas and sunsets

"And Flowers, Almost Poems" - vintage silks and
Chinese characters 

Verge Blur travelled as part of a CQ challenge

Small quilts that need new homes

Mounted quiltlets - abstract landscapes

These two go waaaay back!

Travel Lines bags

Little "japanese" bags, and single and grouped porcelain pots

Just to say that it's not just work by me and textiles and photographs by Ruth Ingram - there are also ceramics by Kate D'Arcy, Robert Harbord, Jackie Lewis, Lindy Mason, and Kate Macindoe, textiles by Sue McKay, prints by Gillian Harding, and poetry books by Rorbert Hirschhorn, Fiona Moore, and Christine Webb. And greetings cards and little notebooks by various people.

I've been fixated on this for so long, and can now turn to tidying up (and clearing out) the home studio, getting back to the ceramics studio, and getting on with woodblock printing.

24 March 2019

The week that was

Coincidentally in the Science Museum's "The Sun" exhibition, on the same page as reports of nuclear fusion, the great hope for energy production, alas not be be achieved then, or yet (and not to be confused with fission, the dangerous stuff) was a topic of interest closer to home ... large babies ...
 Nice long toes on this large one -

Well it's spring and the blossom is fabulous. Camellias and magnolias in front gardens ...
 ... and street trees of various sorts ...

 There's been a super worm moon - close to Earth and close to the equinox -

Indoors, there's been a removal of "the albatross" - 20 square metres of solid-wood flooring that it seemed we almost couldn't give away -
Some of the inaccessible treasures that are now returned to the light of day are the photo albums of Tom's childhood, including very early photos -

This one is even earlier ... it's me, all those years ago ...

Moving on to other topics - "How much is that doggie in the window" - !! This was in a charity shop in Crouch End - Binkie and mirror and doggie-friend (in basket in mirror) - these doggies weren't for sale, though -
N8 - in Crouch End's capacious greengrocer, enormous lemons - Italian bergamot lemons, £5.50/kg -
 N1 - topiary on Copenhagen Street -

 Back in N8, please indulge me in today's family photo -