Christmas is a very special time of year, especially for children and I have five grandchildren in England, so this year I decided to visit. I was born there too and in the seventies worked in London for a few years, so I enjoy the trip back to a place that does seem like a ‘second’ home.
It seems so far for me to be a ‘mild’ winter with no frosts or black ice (hate that stuff) and although coats and gloves are obligatory the skies have been blue and the air ‘crisp’. Beautiful Cambridgeshire was my initial port of call – to check out nativity plays and walk the ‘wild’ woods with my favourite dog, Daphne the Staffy and to provide some babysitting help for three very lively and gorgeous children.
Popped into Cambridge itself – love that town, for Christmas shopping and a cheeky coffee and Chelsea bun at Fitzwillies, near the Magdalen Bridge. the architecture in yellow stone with soaring spires is so ‘mellow’ and timeless and I always feel as if I am in the middle of a movie set…
Back down to London for the birthday of a two year old and to dangle a three month old on my knee. A celebratory pub lunch and the following day a visit to the London Graphic Centre and the famous Cornelissen’s for art supplies – I am an absolute sucker for a beautiful art shop. A bit more babysitting and an opportunity to catch up a few more episodes of ‘The Crown’ on TV.
Managed to draw and paint a couple of sketches from my window in both places – lucky to have a great view in each – totally different, but each one quite mesmerising.
One of my favourite places to visit is Bankside in Southwark where I saw exquisite high end crafts at the Contemporary Applied Arts Association (89 Southwark St) – got some ideas for an artist in residence at Tweed Regional Gallery I will undergo in October 2019. Also spent some time at Tate Modern examining the Anni Albers exhibition. She was a ground breaking weaver who designed amazing woven art, architectural draperies and created a whole new way of creating woven fabrics. I must say the first room with it’s loom brought back memories of my grandmother who was also a weaver and had a large loom in her flat attached to our house and who also created wonderful fabrics – I remember a magnificent white and grey tweed coat that she had woven and sewn and also a tartan style fabric she wove for me and which I made into a winter skirt.
And yesterday it was a trip into Fortnum and Mason and across the road to the Royal Academy of Arts to view the drawings of Schiele and Klimt – both had amazing drawing skill and great colour sense – sadly none of the Klimt style of painting with vibrant colours and mosaic like style. In the afternoon a walk with sleeping babe in pram around Regent’s Park and the varied bird life.