The pleasure of learning

I started a short course on mixed media and photo-transfer this week, having no real background in painting or mixed media beyond the little dabble with artists’ books. It took me back to school days, scrabbling round at the last minute to get the required list of kit together and packing up the bag with pinny, paint and sundry stuff.

It was an interesting introduction and we produced some practice pieces using acrylic paints on gelli plates and managed a couple of photo transfers too, so a productive session. For someone who took to photography as a surer means of achieving the images I visualise than relying on my limited painting skills, it was a bit daunting, but thoroughly enjoyable.

Next step is to plan the larger piece to produce over the next few weeks and identify my photos for inclusion. The main problem as ever is my indecision – the session stimulated so many ideas I can’t settle on one! At the moment I’m tossing up between using old family photos as a tie-in with the genealogy or to go with a theme from my own images.

Here are the first two attempts at phototransfer (using tutor-supplied photos). I have learned the hard way that it’s a good idea to leave more light areas! Whatever their limitations, it’s a delight to me to have created them and to be learning new skills. Thank you to Malvern Hills College and tutor Ivan!

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Feeling crabby?

It’s been a while since I did anything vaguely foodie, partly as I’ve been on an awkward exclusion diet (low FODMAP) for a while. All bets were off in Lisbon last week though! I am now back on the wagon prior to a complex reintroduction phase!

Tonight was seafood treats night, with crab bites for starters – an improvised job to suit both my restrictions and Stew’s tastes.

A Little Gem lettuce heart forms the bases, though I’d also be tempted to try chicory/endive for a bitter contrast to the sweet crab. Wash, separate and season the lettuce or endive lightly.

Take about a third of a green pepper, the green of a couple of spring onions (scallions), a small handful of coriander leaves, a pickled gherkin and about 8 capers and chop finely, then combine with a couple of tablespoons of low-fat mayo and about the same of (lactose-free for low-FODMAP) yoghurt – but alter amount and proportions to suit. A dash of salt and pepper and the juice of up to half a lime complete the dressing. You could also add a touch of fresh chilli or dried flakes for a livelier zing, but don’t overpower the crab.

Spoon the dressing into the leaves and top off with fresh dressed crab (or tinned would work too).

With a little bread on the side and less generous portions you could serve 4 with this: we were in post-holiday and computer-disaster depression, so troughed the lot!

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Childhood

It is an ever-recurring pleasure

to relive vicariously the discoveries,

joys and little triumphs

of early childhood,

whenever I see

their glow shining

in Ava’s eyes.

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The wave

A bit of phone fun.

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Disappeared…

Looking through some Yorkshire directories on a genealogy hunt last night I found two wonderful, if rather niche, job categories – Strickle Makers and Scribbling and Fulling Millers. It set me off, not least as I think my last job is now a defunct category….

This revolutionary alpaca mill would have been full of jobs for which even the words are now lost, and the model village of Saltaire had worker’s houses and slightly posher, 3-storey ones for the ‘overlookers’ who could thus literally overlook their workers!

(For more on Salt’s Mill see here )

Continue reading

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Signs

Sparse, icy winds

slink away

under the banishing

warmth of the

sun’s stern glare,

surrendering to the

nascent

spring song.

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Winter into spring

A tad optimistic, perhaps, as I’m sure winter has more to surprise us with, but spring has been advancing of late.

A few phone snaps from a couple of meanders in the last few days, at Worcester Woods and my usual haunt at Lower Smite Farm…

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Entmoot

A wayside stop last summer in rural France (in the Brenne). The tree circle looked like an Entmoot…
Entmoot

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The Dreamer

Artistic treatment of reflected figure

Just a bit of phone fun…

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Insomnia…

…a mobile phone and Snapseed.

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