Happy Monday to all! It's a bank holiday here today, but sadly the weather isn't behaving itself. The rest of the weekend, however, has been stunning and I spent it nestled down in Devon at the home of my friend Sanna. It was perfect! She has a beautiful home in the depths of the countryside, an old stone house with loads of rolling land to get lost in.
Sanna collected me from Totnes station on Friday afternoon and we headed straight into the town to check out the shops and mooch around. After an amazing meal at The Curator restaurant we headed up the hill to check out some of the musical happenings at the Party in the Town event - a celebration of the musical talent of Totnes. There were chamber ensembles, jazz acts, choirs, folk singers and many more, including Courtney Pine as the main attraction.
After a fab day on Saturday of meandering through the stunning grounds of Dartington, and chowing down on mussels at a quaint local pub, Sanna took me on a dusk walk of her surrounding property. I lost track of how many fields we walked through!
As the sun was going down we said hello to the sheep, owned by her neighbour, who conveniently keep the grass nicely mown!
I first became friends with Sanna in Tokyo and so on Saturday evening we enjoyed our love of Japanese food by cooking up a wonderful spread of soba noodles and miso aubergine, all washed down with some glasses of sake.
Everywhere we went, nature was blooming. A walk on Dartmoor on Sunday took us through fields of daisies that were at their juiciest in the May sunshine.
On top of the music festival, the Totnes and Dartington Open Studios event was also going on and I dipped into a few of the artists studios for a look round. One was the studio of Janet Mitchell who creates work that is about finding a balance of colour and tone reflecting the weather, time of day, atmosphere and the seasons. The work below uses plastic found on the beach.
Her most recent work uses watercolour and collage to create abstract pieces in vibrant hues. Rich colour is washed and painted onto soft, thick paper and collage is applied along with over-painting until delicate balance is affected.
I love the soft hues of the piece below.
I also went to the home of Barbara Milligan Lancaster who works in oil, watercolour, acrylic, graphite, charcoal, and pencil, as well as printmaking through woodcuts and monoprints. I was especially drawn to her life drawings.
The piece above was drawn using graphite.
The one below was created using pencil and watercolour.
The reclining figure below was printed using a woodblock technique.