Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Saturday 22 February 2014


I was employed as manageress of a small art gallery for a couple of years before I established 'The Sea Garden', and one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job for me was to visit artists in their own studios and select work for sale. It is an honour and a privilege to be invited to step into someone's studio as it is always a very personal space. I love the smell of them; the jumble of paints and  brushes and canvases, the mess on the floor and the walls, the half-finished pieces, the preliminary sketches that give you an insight into the development and thought processes involved in producing a completed artwork.
My friend Angelica is a full-time practising artist, and after struggling to paint in a cold and very damp outhouse for the last few years she has finally managed to rent a fine purpose-built studio in a lovely location not too far from home. 

Today was my first visit there, and whilst Angelica pottered about unpacking her things and preparing paints, I took the liberty of taking the following photographs, which she has given me permission to share with you all.

Having a space in which to work away from the distractions of everyday living is so important, she told me. 

She hasn't had time yet to stamp her identity on the place, but already there are a few things tacked to the wall to lend inspiration, and some finished pieces:

She works with a mixture of oils, acrylics and pastels.

Some close-ups of the palette....

A well-earned cuppa!

Truly scrumptious-looking pastels, they appear as though they have light shining out of them!

The accoutrements of the artist: palette knives, brushes,

canvases and frames.....

tubes of paint and sketchbooks....

Whilst Angelica prepared a new canvas ground I sat and produced a little drawing of my own, just for fun. I very rarely sit down and produce any kind of artwork these days.

I used oil pastels, not my favourite medium, but all I could find to hand to bring.

This was my chosen subject: in a corner of the studio a shelf with two of Angelica's paintings and a vase of daffodils, and a comfy chair on a rug.

 Et voila! 
The chair came out a bit elongated, and I used artistic licence with the colour of the shelf and the skirting board, but I enjoyed the challenge!

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Settled in

My new home feels just right.....I hope to be here a long time.......On the mantelpiece in my bedroom sits this beautifully hand-made doll which I purchased from Christine of Gentlework at The Cotswolds Vintage Fair last summer. I love the Liberty fabric bodice of her dress.

I am still living without phone or internet access.....and I hadn't realised just how much I would miss that regular contact with friends through email, and being able to keep up to date with blogs and what's going on in the Vintage world. I confess I've been going slightly potty! I also love to listen to radio programmes on iplayer, and without that on tap I've pretty much exhausted my cd collection. How much longer I'm going to have to wait I just don't know......

On my dressing table are 'Nod, Wilfred and Bun', purchased from Jane a couple of summers ago....Nod is always 'nodding' off to sleep, so he lies in his little wooden bed whilst Wilfred and Bun regale him with tales of when they were young and carefree. I found the delightful black and white photograph in an antique shop in Falmouth.....I used to wear my hair in little bunches like that! 

There have been nights when the lashing rain and howling winds have kept me from my sleep; my home is quite high up and exposed to the elements. Many days the weather has been too awful to even contemplate venturing out of doors. Storm damage is evident everywhere you go....footpaths washed away, trees newly cut where they have fallen across roads, landslips at the base of cliffs and all the sand disappeared from Towan beach...... but we are very fortunate not to have suffered the awful flooding. 

On my wardrobe hangs this hand-stitched dress made by the lovely Teresa Dunne; she and I were selling at several of the same fairs last year. On it are stitched the words, 'she followed the path down to the sea', just appropriate for me I thought.

Over the stair bannister hangs a pre-1900 American quilt recently purchased on ebay. A simple design of strips of little triangles, all in beautifully faded shades of blue, beige, brown and pink, with the occasional red accent. Someone had stitched (quite crudely) newer patches over the top of the more worn-out triangles, but I unpicked them all to reveal the original patches beneath. 

Lots of new cushions and cards have been made during the enforced  'indoor' time, ready for forthcoming fairs over Easter and beyond. In early May I am venturing further than I have ever ventured before, and have booked to exhibit at the Weald and Downland Spring Countryside Show (Sussex), followed by the Decorative Living Fair at Eridge Park (Kent). I am really looking forward to seeing a part of the country I have only explored briefly before, and Kent not at all. My trusty van and I will spend a couple of weeks on the road, (hopefully in the sunshine!) seeing lots of nice gardens and villages. It's a real pity Ardingly Antiques Fair doesn't happen in May, as I am longing to go to it.......I shall have to make do with the next Shepton Mallet Fair in March.....can't wait to do some serious rummaging! x

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Coastal Living

Sorry for my absence of late dear friends, but in early January I moved into a new home which as yet does not have a phone line connected, and hence no internet either. I can only read emails and post on my blog when staying with J, and this is my first trip up to Calstock since moving. My new home is on a working farm only 5 minutes drive from Portscatho, on the Roseland peninsula of Cornwall. I have never lived this close to the sea before, and I can walk to the nearest beach, Pendower, in about 12 minutes.......first I cross the busy main road, then a couple of stiles through two fields of sheep (the sight of two new-born lambs last week brought a smile to my face), and then this view of Pendower opens up before you.....ah such a glorious vista!

Steep steps take you down to the beach itself, and at low tide there is about half a mile of sand to walk along.....

I can walk here every day if I choose to......how lucky am I? (I still have to pinch myself every time I see that view of the bay)

Happy days of beach combing and swimming await.....
x x x