Friday, June 18, 2010

A Crowded Early Summer

Its been a packed early summer and I have been busy, even by my standards. I am currently illustrating two books back-to-back, involving large full page engravings and, to cap it all, Our younger son was married in mid May. It was a lovely day which combined a beautiful ceremony, a stroll through the city of Ely, a surprise river trip, and enjoyable meal and ended with everyone making balloon animals. Great fun!

The honeymoon couple jetted off and we decided to follow suit and headed for the SW Mediterranean coast of France, to a small apartment with lovely views of the harbour.

There is a lot of art in this area. We were within walking distance of Collioure, once home to Matisse. It is a pretty and colourful little town with lots of studios and galleries:

A short drive in the other direction is Banyuls Sur Mer and the museum that occupies the former home of the wonderful sculptor Aristide Maillol. The work on display included lithographs, drawings, maquettes and full sized sculptures and everything looked just sensational in this setting. Maillol is buried in the garden and his work "Mediterranean" marks the spot:

Back in town, another of his works can be seen in a lovely sea-side setting:

We were staying a very short drive from the Spanish border and drove to Figueres one day to visit the Dali Theatre Museum. Apart from housing a fantastic collection of Dali's art, the building itself is quite spectacular:

Our last foray was to the small town of Ceret, sadly just missing the cherry festival. The main street is shaded by plane trees which gave welcome shelter from the burning Mediterranean sun. We visited the Musee d'Art Moderne and enjoy not only a fine permanent collection but also a special exhibition of paintings by Frank Burty Haviland.

Even the graffiti was sweet:

After a well earned rest, its been back to the treadmill and no mistake. With the coming of June, our garden is at its best and it has been a real treat to sit out and enjoy it:

In the printing studio I have been printing the menus for our niece's wedding from photo polymer blocks:

While back in the engraving studio, I am continuing to work on images for "A Christmas Carol":

Last week I took delivery of a fine set of ash exhibition frames. This is my favourite wood to present my work in. I am having my first exhibition of engravings since 2006 and will start to frame my engravings this week. The invitations are ready and more information will be available very soon.

We delivered this lovely lithograph to my framer, who used the same ash as my exhibition frames and carried out the work overnight, doing a lovely job. It is a lithograph - beautifully drawn on the stone and printed with impeccable registration by the talented Richard Sell, who sadly died last year.

We admired each others work and both appreciated working in a medium where precision and taking pains are needed but Richard was the better of us and he is sadly missed. It is a real pleasure to have this lovely print to remind us not only of Richard's skill but also of concerts attended in the cathedral. I am very pleased that Richard's memorial exhibition in upstairs at the gallery at the some time that my own show is downstairs and I know that anyone who visits to see my work will enjoy seeing his.

Details of dates and venue will be posted here very soon.


Acornmoon said...

I have enjoyed looking at your holiday images and can well imagine how much you needed a holiday after all your hard work.

I have also enjoyed views of your studio and your choice of artworks.

Unknown said...

Your vacation looked lovely - so glad you could rest and catch your breath. Thanks so much for taking the time to show me around!