Pandemic Pondering #168

I don’t know quite how to describe pleasures enjoyed when alone. This morning, in England and Wales, pupils returned to school after five months away . Twice, on my 8am drive through urban areas, the fragrance of multiple , simultaneous makings of toast and butter were transfixing . I only had dogs for company so was unable to share conversation about the unusual pleasure of smelling toast. Created, I’m sure, by many houses being on the same schedule for the first time in ages and the continuing lower levels of traffic and pollution. The dogs , of course, experienced the smell of toasted bread far more vividly than me but didn’t feel the need to talk to me about it or even amongst themselves.

I also had some ‘alone’ time in the the park at Devils Point. Once again it was me wondering at the surprising absence of other humans and canines while they just took it in their stride, reading the messages left by other dogs but never once looking up and exclaiming ” Wow we are such lucky dogs to have this beautiful place to ourselves”

The smell of toast and these beautiful views this morning were lovely pleasures that I was unable to share with another human and made me think about another ‘alone’ pleasure I had recently . A swimming pool that just had no-one else in it at the time I went swimming.

Am I odd to enjoy these moments of serendipitous alone pleasures? It’s easy enough to isolate myself from other humans but somehow a chance encounter with aloneness plus a pleasure is one of life’s joys.

However I also love to share things and of these three things the one I most wish to share is the intangible one. The smell of many toasty breakfasts wafting from homes eager to return to some form of normality. If only I could copy and paste a link for you to share the buttery, toasty, smell of normality this morning.

Pandemic Pondering #167

August was a blast. September is the month of holidays @theoldmortuary, but most importantly it’s the month of more interesting light and textures. This year September will be all texture and no holidays. The angle of the sun both in the mornings and evenings makes everything look a little bit more interesting. Trawling through my photo archive some gorgeous textures popped up. Textures are my references for abstract paintings. I stuck to textures photographed in past September’s to illustrate this blog.

The first one is a lovely Palimpsest photographed in Devonport. It is a traditional paper advert posterboard. I drive past it a lot , you have to catch it at the right time. Seemingly one team rips the old posters off and another one follows up and sticks the new one on. I drove past between the two visits and luckily got this lovely piece of serendipity.

The next two are also in Plymouth, one in a hotel and the other in a restaurant. I’ve stuck them together because that is what I do when I’m trying to work out the way forward in a painting.

Textured inspiration also comes from the preparation of food , another two stuck together, one coffee and one gravy.

A couple of years ago we went to a Jazz Festival in Nafplion in Greece.

The venue is an Art Centre and was also holding an exhibition of wedding dresses. Not normally something that would attract us , but I am so glad not to have missed it . The textures of the wedding dresses were amazing and deserve a blog on their own but there were also this colourful, textural piece that can brighten up this blog first.

I love the juxtaposition of beautifully crafted metal and plastic flowers.

If I wasn’t sticking to the ‘photographed in September’ rule I could share loads of pictures taken in European Cathedrals of ornate gold leaf work , gem encrusted and beautiful, with plastic flowers in a jam jar, close by,somewhat ruining the aesthetic.

Black and white texture comes from a negative image of a blackboard and plastic wrapped rolls of hay, looking other worldly in the sharp sunlight.

Finally a little pink texture, the Dahlias grow in our garden and the Crochet and cracked paint were an installation at Plymouth Art Weekender a couple of years ago.A city wide art festival held every September.

Despite Covid-19 the Art Weekender will be held in Plymouth this September.