#557 theoldmortuary ponders

Suddenly temperatures have shot up. Thank goodness. Yesterday at a Street Food festival I managed to get sunburn and have to wriggle out of my thermal vest while deciding exactly which Street food vendor would get my spends.

Oddly she is from Otley

Publicity for the Festival had failed to attract our attention in Plymouth, but our friends sister who still lives in Otley alerted our Gillian to a brief, burger orientated, Northern migration to our Atlantic City.

Co-incident with the food festival Plymouth Argyle were facing a seriously important match in the same place on the same day.

The sun was out, spirits were up and the atmosphere was buzzing.

We got our first sight of a newish statue.

Jack Leslie https://g.co/kgs/7qC8qd

Should you be interested, Plymouth Argyle won their match and we chose Poutine as our international food of choice.

#556 theoldmortuary ponders

From the moors to the sea.

Yesterday afternoon and evening I had the pleasure of receiving and unpacking the work of 42 artists who had submitted work to the Drawn to the Valley Spring exhibition.

On average the artists had submitted 10 pieces of work. That is a lot of glorious creativity to unpack.

Work that beautifully swoops from the moors of the Tamar Valley down to the Atlantic Coast.

Sometimes in minute detail.

I know that I witter on about art a bit but last night was such a delight to see how people are inspired by our local and dramatically changing landscape.

It is also just the loveliest thing to spend some time with the artists themselves. We work away in our studios like solitary bees only coming together infrequently.

For local people a trip to Meavy Lane in Yelverton might be just the thing for a long Bank Holiday Weekend.

I’m going to pop along on Monday to see the exhibition in full show-time mode. More pictures then.

#555 theoldmortuary ponders

And Poof! Just like that the temperature has risen and blossom is all around. Late blog because I have more activities than time today.

30 hours in a new pair of sandals. Woo hoo,only tiny blisters and a whole flat packed up and ready to move.

Normal service will resume tomorrow. Friday Fabulousness to all. I even found a roundel of rust while rushing hither and thither.

#554 theoldmortuary ponders

Yesterday I bought myself a glossy interiors magazine. Clearly from its slightly tatty corner the Plymouth Station mice are big into interiors. And we just thought their nest building was intuitive rather than based on actual knowledge or skill.

This was not bought on a whim, one of my favourite television chefs had opened his home as an aspirational dwelling. I have long had aspirations on Nigel Slater, there are others, men who cook or love food and art.Nigel, because he has one of those television fridges with a camera at the back.  Nigel stretches in and sensuously pulls out his exotic left overs and then artfully creates a midday snack and then wanders into his beautiful North London garden to nibble at nirvana while birds sing and the wind fuffles* the leaves of his elegant trees.

©World of Interiors

I have long wanted Nigel Slater as my North London BF.  Seeing limited images of his home just makes that need even greater. Then this article showed me that,just once,our stars nearly aligned. Nigel is actually best friends with Edmund De Waal an artist and writer who, in my Dulwich Park years, I was on nodding terms with.

Edmund de Waal installation at the home of Nigel Slater. © World of Interiors

Nodding terms is admittedly no great link but on one early Summer morning Hugo took leave of his adolescent senses and took Mr de Waals lovely dog behind a tree for some experimental dogging. Mr de Waal was unmoved by this unexpected event, saying that Hugo was rather lovely. We talked awkwardly until the moment passed. I managed not to be creepy and kept off the subjects of World Wide success in book writing and pottery. We parted convivially and our future nodding acquaintance acquired a little more gravitas. If only I had known he was best friends with Nigel I could have steered the conversation away from the awkwardness of dog shagging to friends who do great snacks, so close and yet so far…

©World of Interiors




*fuffles, one of life’s illogical spell check errors.

The word I wanted was ruffles but in the context of eating with a fantasy friend fuffles is exactly the sensation I was after.

Hugo met a lot of dogs in Dulwich Park. These are the trees but I don’t think this is the dog in question. That would have been weird.

#553 theoldmortuary ponders

I am a mucky painter. The only time my studio desk is tidy is when I am a procrastinating painter. Yesterday’s victory over the admin for entering an exhibition gave me time to do all sorts of life admin and a spare hour, to start another painting. The chance, I realise to talk about light quality.

Late afternoon light.

Thankfully this is proper paper so the blotting paper battles of the last couple of days are over. I rarely paint at night but I wanted to get a push on this one. The next picture demonstrates why I need to get a daylight bulb.

Artificial light, no natural light.

My studio faces west but our back yard is painted a brilliant white. So early morning, reflected light extends natural daylight from early spring until October.

Early morning light.

And then finally, although this picture is far from finished the positive impact of a mount.

Sunset Storm WIP

I realise there is not so much pondering here so far,but the blotting paper debacle did, in a crisis, teach me that I can prep paper with Alcohol inks. I gave that a little whirl on this painting which is a doodle really. I over-did it but the marshmallow clouds are exactly what I was aiming for.

More scruffyness

#552 theoldmortuary ponders

Six original paintings and 3 prints , wrapped, labelled, priced and packed along with 20 cards, ready to go to Dartmoor for an exhibition later in the month. It has been a busy month artwise. Some of my bigger pieces have been hanging,for sale, in a large waiting room for some years. Relocation and an interior designer with differing tastes has returned the unsold ones to my studio. Some have subsequently sold but others will find their forever homes later in the year.

All the pictures for the latest exhibition look like classical landscapes but there is a twist, I have been galvanised recently to represent wind in pictures, using abstract imaging to demonstrate buffeting and movement, or not, when the experience of gusting storms affects the way the landscape feels.

One picture is vaguely accurate but is actually entirely imagined. The Rock at Yelverton is a place to go for families, hikers, dog walkers and lovers. This rocky outcrop is a destination and holds multi generational memories. A virtual geocache of love.

It is both exactly as I remember it and yet always different whenever I visit.

Currently it is in a box with all the other artworks. Memories and sensations trapped first on paper, then mounted and framed, snuggled in travelling blankets and boxed up ready for their big moment. A Spring Exhibition at Yelverton on Dartmoor.

#551 theoldmortuary ponders

Inside @ Hutong

Rather a greige weekend to report but there were colourful and opportunistic highlights. The coffee shop on our regular dog walk is very popular and there is rarely a chance to sit inside and shelter from inclement weather. The weather conditions frightened off most coffee drinkers and only the most hardy were out and about. A free table turned us to people and dogs who were ‘in and about.

An entirely acceptable way to walk dogs in the rain. All the tulips on our walk were very woebegone, wet and droopy. Creating a double exposed image is a far more pleasing image to view than the poor drenched blooms were actually feeling.


In other bad weather news, the little moss heart that I found for Saturday’s blog had been blown off her last posing location and laid broken on the pavement.

#549 theoldmortuary ponders

I picked her, the moss heart, up Sunday evening and brought her home to safely rest in my wild garlic. I have no idea if wild garlic can fix broken hearts but you never know.

Wet weekends, enough now, roll out sunshine please.

#550 theoldmortuary ponders

© Clare Law

What would be the wisest thing to do on a dreadfully greige day that is coincidentally World Earth Day. We took ourselves off to a fabulous friends solo art exhibition at Cotehele in the Tamar Valley. Clare creates landscape magic with a palate knife.

Wonderful pictures of landscapes at their vibrant best.

© Clare Law

She is also super clever at creating realistic and enticing, to cold water swimmers, waterscapes.

Clare and I have sat at opposite ends of the same Wisteria Pergola on Drawing Days at Pentillie Castle

I don’t think she was as troubled as I was by the black labrador.

©theoldmortuary.design https://theoldmortuary.design/2023/04/12/532-theoldmortuary-ponders/

Link above for the dog story. Image below to more clearly see her painting.

You night even see me at the far end of the picture… I joke of course, I would have been off canvas interacting with a big dog!

World Earth Day, a greige old day spent in glorious technicolour. Clare’s exhibition is on at Cotehele House until May 1st.

#549 theoldmortuary ponders

Jot down the first thing that comes to your mind.

Goodness me that Prosecco hit the spot last night. It bubbled gently into the fissures, sulci and gyri of my brain and loosened up random thoughts that I felt obliged to share. Thank goodness it was a talking party and not a dancing one. Undoubtedly Prosseco would have given me the misguided belief that I was flexible.

On the way to the party we found a little moss heart. Tossed to the ground by birds impatient to get their nests built.

It is the time of year when something soft and yielding provokes a sinking feeling as we walk in our street. The instant reaction is that it is a poo left behind by an inattentive dog owner, or worse a fox. Such a sense of relief when it is just a bit of carelessly dropped moss. The little heart had three locations to pose in on our short walk.

Stark wooden boards.
Craggy church wall.

I would not have been so creative with a poo.

‘Jot down the first thing you think of’

It could have been worse.

#548 theoldmortuary ponders

Dew Point

Not exactly a low tide blog today. But ‘ Tide and Time wait for no (wo)man.’

My personal tide has been a little on the low side, hence the somewhat late Friday Blog. I have been a blog gatherer with so much new stuff to write about and no time to do it.

Hardening off near the looks.

The last two days have been a bit mad, planned things failed to materialise and unplanned things filled the gaps.

My usual early morning blogspot was taken by early morning photography for a Tennis Club that I do a little Social Media work for.

Then every available moment to blog was filled with imperative stuff. The most exciting, was taking delivery of this seasons art cards to be sold at exhibitions.

The first card has already gone to a new home as this evening we toddled off to a party and used one as a thank you card. Rather too much Prosecco was involved and, lucky for you all, I was only briefly guilty of over- sharing. Time to, moderately, share one of this mornings pictures of an old wheelbarrow taking a rest in the corner of the Tennis Club.

Stone House Lawn Tennis Club