Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Day In The Sea Breeze

It's been a day of April showers here. In between the rainfall the birds have been singing as if they were in a fairy tale forest. I think they are thankful for the water. Thankful that plants will grow and seeds will set. I've been sat at my desk all day close to my heater. (It's always chilly inside when it is damp outside) I've been working away on a new painting which I will tell you about and show you next time...

 A couple of weeks ago I made some more faerie hangers. I didn't get time to write about them before they were put into my Etsy shop and now they have all sold. But... there are some more on the horizon. They are cut out but are waiting patiently to be brought to life with the touch of a paintbrush. So if you are interested, keep an eye on my shop in the merrie month of May.

I love this time of year. Everything is fresh and new and brightest green....
 A couple of weeks ago we decided it was time to  pack up a picnic and travel to the coast. Dorset being our next door county, the beautiful coastline is not very far away, almost 2 hours, as much of the journey is around winding roads. We stopped to look at the view and had a quick cup of tea.  The sun deceived us with her enticing brightness glinting on the sea, but it was cold and windy up on Lulworth hills. So windy the flask cups almost blew away.
We carried on down to Lulworth Cove.
The village of Lulworth is a pretty unspoilt place and is quite dear to me. I've been visiting since I was a child, spent my honeymoon here and have enjoyed bringing  my own children here on several occasions. There are fishing boats, pretty cottages, a duck pond and a man painting magic on oyster shells by the cafe.

 I love this cottage..
And this one...
This one is known as the dolls house. It's much smaller than it seems on this photograph I should have  took it from a different perspective. Take a look here for another picture of it.
The origin is uncertain but, it was believed to have been shipped across the ocean to Lulworth from Canada. This house has always fascinated me whenever I visited, because for years it was empty and looked very unloved and derelict. There was something about it, a feeling? It's quite recent I think, that it has been done up? Sometime in the last 15 years or so? It was at first transformed into a replica fisherman's cottage that you could view, and now it has been turned into an old fashioned sweet shop. This cottage features in one of my paintings. Can you spot it? ;)
Now the children have become teens there is the advantage that they can walk further. (This is not guaranteed at all times. ;) When you visit Lulworth you can't go home without walking the 2 miles up the hill across to Durdle Door.
Again it was windy up here. You wouldn't think so though as the water is so still.
Such a magical beach.
 There were wild cabbages growing on the cliffs which made me daydream and  imagine  a hermits life, a secret cave, boiling up cabbages and other plants and wild swimming for bathing...
 Durdle Door.
The word 'durdle' is derived from an old english word 'thirl' meaning to drill or bore. This is exactly what the sea has done to the rock over the many many years transforming it into the perfect doorway arch that it is today. You can read more here
Or of course it could be gateway to somewhere else.... The land of selkies and mermen? I'll leave that  up to you to imagine..
I must say a big thank you to my daughter for taking the wonderful photo's. I left my camera in the car and only realised after I had walked a mile up the hill, so didn't really fancy walking back to get it. Why not go and visit her tumblr where she shares many a magical thing. :) 

Back home to Wiltshire there was not a trace of a cobweb left in my head. A good spring clean, the brisk sea breeze had swept them away. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

African Hare

Let me introduce you to 'African hare' He came to live with us just before Easter when my husband brought him back as a present for me, all the way from Zimbabwe. I think he enjoys his new home and his new hare friends, but is a little in awe of the golden chocolate bunnies. I did tell him they were just short term guests of course. ;)

I hope you had a good Easter weekend?
April showers have arrived, and the hazel is showing off her new leaves.
Today I found it hard to concentrate. The breeze and bird song played tag with my ideas so in between, I transplanted blue cornflowers for bees.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Violet Hare

Recently when we were walking one Sunday, I spotted the most beautiful clump of wild purple violets growing in the grass on a hillside.

After I took this picture of my son and daughter, my rechargeable camera batteries decided they needed recharging, so I didn't get a picture of the violets. How annoying! (Note to self, always take spare batteries!)
The violets were not forgotten and inspired me to paint a Violet Hare.

I love violets but especially love seeing them grow wild. They remind me of mossy banks and childhood walks and holidays. As a child whenever we visited Devon or Cornwall you would always see little bottles of violet scent as holiday souvenirs. Do you remember? I remember bringing them home as a gift for my Nan. I especially loved the white glass bottles that were hand painted I think? I 'm sure you can still get them, but they aren't as common as they were years ago. Years back violets were grown commercially and sold to Covent garden flower markets in London. Then during the war the land was used for growing food and violets went out of fashion. Browsing online, I was pleased to find that you can buy violet products here.
I like the name Violet. When I was painting, my mind wandered on the theme of violet and strayed here for no particular reason?
Violet Baudelaire from Lemony Snicket's books 'A Series Of Unfortunate Events'  Strange, imaginative and beautiful imagery. Here is a still from the film.

(Copyright Paramount pictures/Dreamworks pictures)

O wind, where have you been,
That you blow so sweet?
Among the violets
Which blossom at your feet.

The honeysuckle waits
For Summer and for heat
But violets in the chilly Spring
Make the turf so sweet.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

The violet hare is for sale in my Etsy shop along with a primrose hare here.