Monday, 29 March 2010

Printmaking brain

Things have got interesting around here, with the old man's health getting complicated. And now the old man's "old man" has been skidded into hospital in a dramatic state. One hundred and fifty miles away and undeniably elderly. The phone has been red hot.

And I've realised I've got a printmaking course to attend next week; and my brain is somewhere else. Hmmmmh! Get your act together girl. Am I rusty with the printmaking? Yes I am.

I was lino and wood "cutting" like a steam train this time last year. I opened up my "studio" during Cornwall Open Studios week. I took the advice of one visitor about a gallery to approach.They took some work. But - I'll be blunt about it - no sales yet. And as I said - the old man's health got complicated. And my printmaking engine ran out of steam.

Now - it's time to get that brain in training; get those ideas running again; get those knives and rollers out. Get stuck in.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Rural life

This morning there were six buzzards wheeling overhead.
Spring for all birds. I sowed my peas.
In the afternoon a magpie strutted indoors to look at me. Then it strutted on out.

On Monday, the "pit-man" comes to empty the septic tank. I was bothered about living in a house with a septic tank, when I first came here. Now, I think it's good. Everyone should have to take care of their own crap.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Art for the Day : St Ives

We've been to see the Dexter Dalwood exhibition at the Tate St. Ives. Living in Cornwall, friends assume that I - "go there often". But it's no good. I just don't like the Tate St. Ives.
Once I enter the chunky, cupola-ed building, there seem to be more walkways, lobbies and stairs than "Art". Up, down, and around and around and whither shall I wander? I find the exhibition spaces are an anticlimax.
And now they have "alarmed" the space in front of the art! I found this out when I squeezed past a couple in order to get to an alcove where two smaller paintings had been hung - and a bell started ringing. The frosty faced attendant informed that I had stepped "too close" to the artwork. It appeared that the grey line running around the edge of the floor, about a metre from the walls, was not a decorative feature. It was the frontier zone. This embargo does not of course apply to the curatorial staff who whizz about, blithely triggering the alarm to highlight their discussions.
All I can say is to beware of really popular shows in high season. You'll be coralled in the centre of each exhibition space and be clambering on to the central seating (if there is any) just to get a glimpse of the work.
But when you've managed that - you can climb to the top of the building and go into the overheated "cafe" and pay a healthy price for a perfectly ordinary sandwich - and know that you have done it all for ART.
I just love that Tate experience.

Go and see the Dexter Dalwood. It's on til May 3rd and makes a change from the usual.

What made my day, happily, was looking round "The House of Fairy Tales" at Millennium Contemporary. Sadly it finishes in a couple of days. But it's packed full of mysterious and rather dark gems of imagination: drawings, sculpture, paintings and prints - including 2 by the wonderful Paula Rego.

Now I am going to put my feet up and watch rubbish on the telly, cos I'm such a pleb.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Mobile phone

I have a mobile phone.

I have to have one now because phone boxes are disappearing. But - it's all new to me. This little glowing object with flashing lights and loud noises; a vibrating, shiny, little box of tricks.

How do I open it?
Where do I put my sim card?
What is a sim card? Qu'est-ce que ce, le sim card?
How do I make call? Je veux parler avec quelqu'un.
Who do I call? Qui parle avec moi?
Pass me the tweezers I need to extract my memory card. Ou est le tweezers? Je veux ouvrir cette tres tres petit thing.
Where can I get good reception? Zoot alors, ou ...
I cannot get my web connection. Zoot alors... il n'ya pas de .... je ne retrouve pas ....

Ooh look. It's got a camera!
Regardez - une camera petite!
Click. Click. Aah c'est un petit portable tres tres merveilleux .... Aah ... click ... click ... click.
Qu'est-ce que ce, le Blue Tooth?

It's a new country.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Charlie Gillett

So this is my first post.

And I am bereft.
I've lost my music man with the death of Charlie Gillett last week.

I bought and read his books, "Sound of the City" and "Making Tracks", in the early 1970s. Then I changed my postgraduate bibliography topic from Art History to the Literature of Rock & Blues.

I was listening to his show on Radio London, "Honky Tonk", every week. On Saturdays, the Old Man and I (more of him later) - would visit Hot Wax records in Kentish Town and spend our money on 1950s-60s Doo-Wop and Acapella recordings. The Old Man would jump around to Gabby Pahinui's Hawaiian songs. I jumped around to Cajun. We both jumped around to Doo-Wop.

Everything was brought to us by Charlie Gillett. Right up to his last broadcasts of World Music on Radio 3 and World Service. We listened to these and searched out recordings from Mali, Congo, Argentine, Ethiopia and Lebanon.

Over the years Charlie Gillett opened up so much music. He laid it out, talked about it, and shared it around. John Peel has gone. Now Charlie Gillett has gone.

I am bereft.