A Life in Layers

Friday, 27th February 2004
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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tripod binoculars bumbag
small sketchbook

Fossilised Folios

My plan chest, a battered old oak one that I bought from Queen Elizabeth Grammar school (that was the first Elizabeth: it's an old school) and restored resembles a geological formation. Drawer upon drawer, stuffed to bursting with the artwork, posters, publishers' letters, sketchbooks and folios, represent the eras of my life. At the bottom you can find artwork from my foundation course days while the top drawer, labelled 'Current' is anything but: it's work that was current five or six years ago.

Limiting myself to one drawer, the top one, I go through the papers, assigning them to recycling, the rubbish bin or the appropriate box files I keep on a shelf in the attic. So many memories.

I've enjoyed drawing every day this week but now I feel the need to come back down to earth and bring a bit of order to my studio before I start on book production again.


Crucial Colours

We tend to use the staircase as a place to hang the paintings (my framed watercolours and acrylics) that don't fit into any other room. We've done a lot in the house over the past year and the staircase, linking the other rooms together, has had to wait for all the messy work to be finished elsewhere before we redecorate it.

Mississipi Stripe design copyright of Crucial Trading
limestone fossil

I'd like it to be a calm, airy place to hang paintings so I don't want to just cram it full of surplus pictures, I'd like to paint some canvases specially to hang there. I like to see pictures on a plain, light, neutral background. I think they can end up fighting unsuccessfully for attention when hung against a zingy wallpaper print.


As we're both drawn to the coast we thought pebbles, sand and sea would be a good start for a colour scheme. We thought of taking a pebble into our local paint shop and getting a colour scanned and mixed from it. As we want the walls to be plain painted plaster, the carpet is going to be a unifying band of interest. Barbara spotted a sample of this, which I think is a work of art in itself, when we were in the Redbrick Mill the other day.

cockle shell

Crucial Trading sent us swatches of the four colourways they produce in this 100% wool Mississippi Stripe design. This is the blue/gold colourway. Very pebbly; it's like a section of a geological formation - Liassic Clays perhaps - or a woven hanging of a seashore landscape. It should be a perfect setting for those canvases. Next Page

Related Link

Crucial Trading floor-coverings and rugs.

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk

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