Sunday, 15 March 2020

Let's make maps!

In my last post I spoke about a recent visit to Warley Place.  This is a favourite place to visit this time of year with the meadows and hills of daffodils.  There is a circular path that wanders around the extensive grounds, starting along the well worn track, past the circular drive way to the house that can be traced in the grass, with the haha and wonderful ancient walnut tree standing alone in the meadow. Then you turn right, around a rockery that is shaped like a maze, twisting around ferns to dead ends or curving paths that twist back on themselves. The maze always brings a huge smile, with memories of my then-3 year old granddaughter as she skipped around the path, giggling and lost in her imagination. 

Then, onwards, through the carpets of wild garlic with it pungent scent filling the air, past trees with tessellated plates of bark, and smooth birch with it's silvery smooth trunks. The trees increase in number, a small woodland now, and loops back onto the track towards the walled garden.  Or what remains of it, because Warley Place was once forgotten. A large house with stables, greenhouses, and a large conservatory, that over time fell into decay and was demolished. You can still see the raised brick rows of beds, rusty nails in the garden wall that once supported plants and cobbled steps that lead nowhere, except in your imagination.

So when I went to a map making workshop yesterday I knew what I would draw. This garden is so full of interest and happy memories that it asked to be recorded. Christine Nicholls of 'inkpotandpen' ran the workshop, I had been eagerly looking forward to this day and it was everything I hoped for and more. Chrissie bought a large collection of her map collection as well as her beautiful map books. These provided great inspiration, and Chrissie also gave a wonderful introduction to making maps with clear instructions and lots of ideas. One thing I love about attending workshops is how the tutor gives guidance and everyone ends up with totally original work. All of our maps were completely different, and this gave even more inspiration and ideas. I was also impressed that while we were totally absorbed in our own map making, Chrissie drew one of the room and I learnt another way of drawing a map....

It has given me great ideas for future and I can't wait to make some more. But first, let's see my map of Warley Place. 
After folding the paper we started to draw...

I took photos and background information as inspiration...

added some photos and colour...

then attached the cover to make it into a book.

Today I added more, and the finishing touches.
Unfortunately,lack of light means they are not the best of photos but it feels good to have a completed work. So often I add these to 'work in progress' and that's where they remain.  

Thank you to Chrissie for a wonderful day. I see more books being added to my collection and if you want to find out more about Chrissie's work check out her website here.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Warley Place

Today I went to Warley Place, in Essex, once home to a Victorian plants-woman Ellen Wilmott.  Her collection of narcissi are a testament to time, and each Spring I visit and am breath taken once more.  After what feels like a week of rain and cold, today was blue skies and Spring like. So not one to miss an opportunity I invited a friend and took my camera. Here is a small sample of my photos taken....

After such a cold wet start, many of the plants were still in bud so I hope to revisit in a week or two and see even more colour. Like the Lost Gardens of Heligan, this garden too was once forgotten and overgrown. The Essex Wildlife Trust are doing a sterling job in uncovering the secrets and history of the former house and garden. There is always something new to discover on each visit, and this is my favourite time to year to go. Photos do not do justice to the swathes of flowers and I always come home feeling uplifted. 

Next week I am going on a map making workshop, and I have been wondering what map I could draw. Today it became clear. Warley Place will be the perfect focus, the circular walk is full of interest and I now have lots of inspiration and ideas.  

Thank you for popping by. 

5 in 5 - March 2020 - Edward Bawden

Welcome to '5 in 5' where on the 5th
of each month I post 5 photos that I have
taken in 5 minutes.

You know those wonderful days that spring from nowhere? Well, this was one of those.... 

A London based friend let me know she was coming to Essex to see the Edward Bawden exhibition at a local museum. I was unaware of this event and was keen to see the exhibition myself, so I suggested that I meet her there. It was also an opportunity to collect posters for a workshop that Chrissie is running in Essex, and I had offered to display them. 

Our meeting was planned at short notice and I love days like that. The exhibition was everything I anticipated and I hadn't realised that the Museum holds a large collection of Edward Bawden's art (1903-1989). I have seen exhibitions of Essex Artists there before and was immediately drawn to his style and range that includes prints, painting, and illustrations. Let me show you a few:

This scene shows some of Bawden's prints and artwork set against his wall paper design. It made lovely setting and during our visit we spoke to the technician who designed the room. We asked about the wallpaper and he said he would be scraping it off the walls at the end of the exhibition. I expressed interest in any pieces that he could salvage, and he kindly offered to call me if this was achievable. Needless to say my heart was a flutter when I heard that he had saved some scraps for me! This would have been thrown so with my philosophy of reuse, recycle, I have plans for this wonderful offering and it will also make a lovely memory of this memorable day.

Below are some of the lino prints.  This is something I want to spend time doing and I have all the tools at the ready. Now I have even more inspiration and what's more, Chrissie's friend, who she bought with her, is a professional printer who runs workshops, so I may be looking into getting my tools out soon. 

Lady Filmy Fern is one of the many books that Bawden illustrated. He also wrote and illustrated his own books, and these are timeless. 

It was lovely to share the experience with other artists, especially ones who love making books as much as I do.  

We enjoyed chatting about the exhibition over lunch and I am excited about the forth coming workshop that Chrissie is running in Essex next week.  There are still places available so if you are interested and want to find out more here is a link:

I will also be seeing Chrissie and Ruth at the Society of Bookbinders Fair in London so good things are planned, and many photo opportunities.

Meanwhile here is information about Edward Bawden if you would like to know more.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you have enjoyed some interesting visits and days of your own.  As always I invite you to join in this monthly photo challenge. It's very simple, and it offers a new way of looking through the camera lens and adding a spark of new ideas.

So here's how it works: 

1.  Choose a location.
2.  Have your camera ready.
3.  Set a mobile timer for 5 minutes.
4.  Take as many photos you can until the time is up.
5.  Choose 5 photos to download and share by using the link tool 
You have until the 25th of the month to add your photos and if you want to know more about 5in5 there are details here.

And one more thing - when you use the link tool, please click on your post title.  This will show the web address. Please right click, copy and paste this as your link.  This will take readers directly to your '5 in 5' blog page and be easier for them to find.

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