Friday, January 23, 2009

Byzantium 330-1453

On Wednesday I went to London for the day to meet my friend Vicki and go to the Byzantium exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts Wow. The pieces on show were wonderful, bright shiny gold, crusty old icons, unbelievably intricate carved ivory and bone panels, boxes and chalices and bowls and and ... my mind is bursting with ideas, I scribbled and drew in my notebook and quite possibly annoyed one or two people as I was in their way.

It was very busy at the RA, spurs on elbows might have come in handy, you had to be standing right in front of the object to read the descriptive card, and some of the objects were so delightful we all wanted to stand there for a while to drool. But it was all good natured and I think I managed to catch a look at everything.

I bought the book of the show which was the second most expensive book I have ever bought in my life - even though I got the paper back version. It is worth every penny. Each piece from the exhibition is expertly photographed, the smaller items are shown in great detail so that you can see the things that you couldn't in real life. It is a hefty tome - 500 pages - but the paper quality is excellent and in addition to the photographs there is a good description of each piece with just enough history not to overwhelm (me) with information.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stuff and excuses

This is my stuff. My paints and creative materials, dyes, fabrics, papers etc. I haven't been able to use my studio since the middle of November when we found we had a leak under the concrete floor. Rather than dig up the floor, our insurance company arranged for the water pipe to be capped and a new one installed. It is very cold out there and it is taking ages for the damp wall to dry out. In the meantime my brother has put up the frame to line the wall, he will insulate and plasterboard it out as soon as he has time. Brian offered to pay for the insulation and laminate flooring with his christmas cash so all in all it should be much better next winter.

My rather nice Big Bro' has already put in a ceiling and built a wall in front of the garage door. This is meant to be a temporary wall and I have the mechanism for the up and over door still in place, (it is good for hanging drying fabric from.) This wall made a huge difference to the draft and noise in the studio. I intend to paint the plasterboard white to reflect light once the weather improves. I am on the look out for an old table to convert into a print table and can't wait to get back out there and play with my paints and dye.
In the meantime I thought I would sew indoors and got out the patchwork fabrics I bought whilst I was in New Mexico last spring. Of course I didn't buy enough so ordered some more. On the 4th December! I am still waiting for that to turn up. By the time I get these lap quilts sewn, it will be summer and I won't need them.
So with the damp and the grey sky and the waiting for the postman I haven't achieved much recently. I could easily dive under the duvet and stay there until Spring! I do have other fabric and could easily do something else, but my mind is everywhere and nowhere and I am spending as much time un-picking as I am stitching this week.
Roll on March.