Definitely the best decision this year was to miss Helfa Gelf Open Studios, now known as Helfa Gelf/Art Trail. The changed title more accurately reflects the reality: small, individual rural studios do not stand a hope in **** of attracting sufficient visitors to make the event viable unless they are either very close to other participants or else completely individual like basketmakers Coates & Farey or Pybus & Brown , and Helen Melvin with her dye garden. Visitors seem not to be interested in travelling round the countryside for "just another painter".
But, of course, I haven't needed to tidy my studio.
However, I have cleared two rooms in the house to make way for major replastering work.
|"found painting" - wallpaper|
|"found painting" - windowsill|
The Curious Travellers' exhibition is looming, but I have one drawing finished (I think - I haven't the room to unroll it all) and one in progress. Whether it will be completed in time I don't know, but it doesn't matter - to me, anyway. Whether it will be hung as a work in progress I rather doubt, but that's OK too.
|Somewhere near Hafod-gau, up on the moors beyond Llansannan.|
I wonder if Hafod-gau does really mean "the closed summer residence", or whether it's a mis-spelling of Hafod cae (=field). Both would be appropriate as the farmhouse is both derelict and in a field on the moors. The term "hafod", or hafoty, apparently dates from the days when farmers moved with their flocks up to the higher pastures in the summer. It's a common name for farms and houses on the higher ground.
The drawings are a sort of map of memories of the walk made last autumn; sketches and photographs taken at the time are used to jog those memories, and are definitely doing the job. The segment above shows a circular sheep fank, or corlan, and recalls the mud by the difficult-to-open gate. This is the point at which I wondered whether I really wanted to carry on on my own: the house was unoccupied, but the cartshed at the side was obviously in use. I suddenly thought of the poem by Walter de la Mare, which scared me silly when I was a child: ""Is there anybody there?" said the Traveller, knocking at the moonlit door .... never the least stir made the Listeners...." It brings me up in goosepimples, just typing it.
Back to the real, recorded world in the sketchbook:
So, having one (probably) completed drawing, and one well under way, there's one deadline I don't need to panic about too much, at the moment. "Curious Travellers" opens in Oriel Sycharth, Wrexham on October 12th., and runs until December 16th.