Adventure, art, beach, Coast, Cornwall, creative, Dream, Editorial, Eye Candy!, Harbour, I HEART, Inspiration, Nature, photograph, Polperro, Seaside

Changing Tides

The evolution of ones own art is a strange thing.

This past week I visited the beautiful seaside town of Polperro on the enchanting south coast of Cornwall. Having had no prior idea as to where I wanted to take the family for an ad hoc 6 night break, I trawled the web for images of pretty Cornish harbours, towns and villages before I finally stumbled across Polperro. Immediately I was captivated by it’s narrow cobbled streets, the whitewashed cottages that bowed over the crystal clear waters of the harbour and the phthalo blue skies overhead. ‘That’s it! It’s perfect! Let’s book it!’ I shouted ..and we did.  A week away in what turned out to be a tiny cottage sat so close to the waters edge that I could have helped moor a boat from the window. We packed and a few days later we set off on the 4 hour journey from our home on the edge of Gower.

When we arrived and finally squeezed the car through the narrow winding streets we had a little time to take it all in. The week brought traditional Cornish wind and rain (though being a hardy Welsh lass it’s not something I shy away from). We spent evenings in front of the wood fire, sat in the window overlooking the water and listening to the gentle chit chat of the moored trawlers as they rose and dipped in unison on an undulating tide. When the light returned I wandered, sketchbook in hand through the snaking streets looking for anything worthy of a 10 minute bit of inking.. there where few corners of this great fishing village escaped ‘the pen’.

It was during this time that I realised something quite poignant about Polperro and subsequently, my own art. I had travelled to this famous harbour expecting to see unparalleled beauty. Clean white houses, boats lining the old stone walls, galleries and little back street cafes oozing with the smell of Cornish baked goods and coffee. What I had was a clutter of rusted boats dressed in chipped paint and weighed heavy with battered buoys, rope and chains, weather worn cottages and the smell of a closed fishing market on the breeze. Now don’t be mistaken in thinking that this is a negative description of Polperro – on the contrary – this is EXACTLY what it is I loved about the place. The working harbour that so many tourists frequent during the warm summer months is stripped bare come winter; a time when it’s true character breaks through. The result was a staggeringly beautiful place steeped in history, the cogs of which are turned by the hard working fishing folk who live there.

As I sat and sketched the broken boats, the empty holiday lets and listened to the seagulls overhead, something struck me..

The preconceived idea I had about ‘beauty’ (in a harbour sense) couldn’t have been further from the truth. I loved the gritty atmosphere I was presented with, the stained walls and the muted winter colours that saturated everything. It was only at that point that I realised the direction my work needed to move forward in. For years I’ve produced large vibrant pieces that oozed colour and are outlined by bold black acrylic. Don’t get me wrong, I love painting in this style and it reflects my personality..  but, seeing the gnarly beauty of a winter in Polperro made me realise that what I’d been searching for in my work was something a little less ‘pretty pretty’. Something less perfect in it’s colour and a little less picturesque. The sketches I inked during my stay are ready for this new phase of painting. This is by no means a new concept or idea, rather something I’ve been searching for, for sometime and what it took was a week submerged in that grainy atmosphere to realise it. Over the next few weeks the plan is to get this style out into the world. It will still be recognisable as my work, but with a stripped back feel, a lot more texture and a richer quality to each piece.

From the beginning of 2017 I really felt like there was going to be a change, something in the air told me that I’d be taken down new paths and the thought of that is an exciting one. Alongside a sketchbook primed with rough images and a camera filled with photographs of this remarkable place, I really am raring to go. All that’s left to do now is paint.

Rhiannon x

 

p.s – If you’re interested in seeing more images from my time in Polperro you can check out my Instagram account: @moogledoo and follow me on Twitter (@moogledoo) for updates. Enjoy!

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Adventure, art, beach, Coast, Cornwall, creative, Dream, Eye Candy!, Harbour, I HEART, Inspiration, Nature, photograph

Feel, Smell and Taste Polperro

I thought you might like to see Polperro. What a gorgeous Cornish town it is too! That glassy blue water and bright blue sky is enough to make anyone jealous. Certainly me anyway!It’s lovely to paint such breathtaking scenery and it really helps to inspire me for future pieces. When you immerse yourself in art like this, it really has an impact on how you think, feel and act for the rest of the day. With me for example, I spend the following hours noticing the sound of seagulls overhead, craving the sea and wandering around in a sort of ‘holiday like daze’ – it’s just fantastic. That’s the power of art. The ability to transform the viewer (or creator) to a different place, somewhere special and unique to you. You start to smell the seaweed and remember the taste of your favourite ice cream, you can literally feel the surroundings and you can get lost for a while in your head.. memory is a wonderful thing and art simply turns it on.
Polperro is my latest work, measuring 20×30″ (before framing) and available to buy.
http://www.moogledoo.com

Rhiannon

Pretty 'Polperro' 20x30"
Pretty ‘Polperro’ 20×30″
art, beach, Coast, Commission, Cornwall, creative, Dream, Eye Candy!, Harbour, I HEART, Inspiration, Nature, photograph

Escape through the Window

This is ‘Bolthole’. Look at it and through it and tell me what you see..

When I decided to paint ‘Bolthole’ I had little real understanding of what I actually wanted to create. I had an idea yes, I knew the colours I wanted to use, the items I wanted to include and the feeling I wanted to produce but there were no preliminary sketches, no rough drafts, no photos and no clue as to where to start.. (no change there then.) After dolloping on some background colour and patching in the window, I decided to let the piece develop organically. For me personally, it’s when I create my best work because there are no boundaries, no expectations and the possibilities are limitless.

When I get lost in my head I visit this place. I know what the house looks like, what flowers are in the little walled garden, how the breeze smells like a mixture of the sea and wood burning stoves in the evening and that the wooden gate needs oiling. I can hear the seagulls and the clinking of the masts in the wind.

The details are endless.

When we look at a piece of art that draws us in and inspires us, it creates something of a ‘safe place’. Somewhere the mind can wander and switch off. It generates a range of feelings and allows us to drift away in a daydream. ‘Bolthole’ lets me do this and I’ve had a similar reaction from many of my customers, (some claim they’ve become tearful looking at it! Hopefully in a good way!)

Since I rarely post these pictures on my Facebook page, I thought Id give you the chance to see how ‘Bolthole’ came to be.

Initial sketch on canvas
Initial sketch on canvas
Colour added
Colour added
More colour!
More colour!
Nearly finished!
Nearly finished!
The finished piece 'Bolthole'
The finished piece ‘Bolthole’

Why not say hi on Facebook – I’d love to hear from you :)
http://on.fb.me/1jYbHOt

Twitter: @moogledoo

http://www.moogledoo.com

Rhiannon x

art, beach, Coast, Commission, Cornwall, creative, Dream, Eye Candy!, I HEART, Inspiration, Local, Nature, photograph

Gorgeous Glass!

Who doesn’t love to look at coloured glass shining in the sunlight?! Whether its sea worn or hand crafted, looking at glass is a magical experience! Having recently had my birthday, I was lucky enough to have been bought two pieces of Jo Downs glass art. What more could I ask for?! This superbly talented artist takes her inspiration from the Cornish coast, with her designs remaining true to Cornwall’s breathtaking scenery, nature and colours. Reminiscent of days but he sea, these fabulously bright and vibrant works come in all sorts of varieties. Whether its a 3m custom designed wall panel, room divider, soap dispenser or a ‘pilchard bowl’ for the table, Jo creates fresh, textured works that have you daydreaming about the beach in seconds!

Jo’s handmade glass has elements of everything you remember about the seaside. From cool, crisp tones to ‘Wall’s ice-cream’ colours, her abstract forms and unique fusing techniques have made her one of the worlds most respected glass artists. Whats more, is that EVERY piece of Jo’s work is hand crafted. So even the smallest item is unique to you!

I had the opportunity to visit two of her galleries in September. One quaint little corner shop in St Ives and another in Padstow. If you are ever passing through, you simply must take a peak! Standing in those spaces with the light drenching the glass on the walls and in the windows, its not hard to imagine why Jo is an expert in her field.

Staring at some of the larger pieces, what I find appealing about her work is that Jo has not over priced anything or aimed her art at an exclusive, wealthy audience. Her art starts from as little as £8.50 for a gorgeous glass coaster with bronze fish inlay and of course can go into the thousands. But, with something for everyone, her work has become the ‘achievable art’ that we rarely see these days. I’ve lots of favourite artists, but without some serious saving, I can never hope to buy any of it on my wage. Yet with huge wall pieces coming in at under £500 (for something that looks like it should cost £15,000) its no wonder she’s so popular amongst the masses.

My fabulous presents consisted of items from Jo’s ‘Cornish Pilchard’ range. A beautiful deep blue and bronze coaster – that will be used ONLY for my wine glass, and a stunning square pilchard bowl for my kitchen table. What can I say, I’m in love!

Buying a piece of art like this is what art is all about. Its not simply something you pop on your wall, rather its an event. A home coming or new arrival to the family! I spent over an hour on my birthday washing the french windows to let in the light and polishing my big wooden table so that when I finally unwrapped my beautiful glass art, the light would catch it and it would sit, glistening, pride of place for everyone to see!

If you have a spare five minutes, check out Jo’s work at http://www.jodowns.com and get lost in all those gorgeous pieces!

'Cornish Pilchard' Bowl
‘Cornish Pilchard’ Bowl
Cornish Pilchard coaster
Cornish Pilchard coaster
Jo's fantastic textured fused glass!
Jo’s fantastic textured fused glass!
art, beach, Coast, Cornwall, Harbour

Cornish Adventure

This monday was our 6th anniversary. We deliberated over how to celebrate it for quite some time.. France? Scotland again? Anglesey perhaps? Before settling on Cornwall. But where? The advice all seemed to point to St Ives, so, after a few phone calls, a B&B and a restaurant booked – we were set.

St Ives is a place as full of galleries and artists as it is tourists, seagulls and trinket shops. The cobbled streets, cottages and sandy beaches are there, but it took a second and third look to find them through the crowds. For me, a self-confessed crowd hater, I was immediately overwhelmed and slightly disappointed by St Ives’ immediate, ‘Brit’s abroad’ style impact. Uncharacteristically, we had gone to a known tourist location IN the tourist season, where we would usually visit in winter to avoid the rush. What we did find was that although st Ives was full of tourists (many of which we found were void of manners!), it wasnt the fault of the town itself. Give st Ives a second glance and you’ll find yourself drawn back to its artistic, beach lifestyle atmosphere, its quiet harbour and its fantastic fresh food. The rain came in and the town became quiet, dashing through the streets laughing at our misfortune (not having brought an umbrella) we headed back to Headland House B&B  to dry off (http://www.headlandhousehotel.co.uk/stives.html) – a beach chic, driftwood filled pad with gorgeous nautical linen, soft furnishings and white washed wood. Not to mention the spectacular view! Within no time the storm had passed, leaving a cool, calm sunset on the horizon. Hungry, we had some last-minute lunch in a local Cornish-italian restaurant then took to the beach. Less than a five-minute walk to the bottom of the hill is Carbis bay. Completely, utterly and wonderfully deserted! Not a soul in sight! The sun was setting and dusk was well and truly setting in. The sea was calm and the sand was cool beneath our feet. We walked for over an hour back and forth on the water’s edge, taking photographs and fooling around. A nightcap and a chat whilst sitting in the bay window and we were ready for bed.

Monday morning, happy anniversary! Breakfast, then into the car for a trip around Cornwall’s most southerly peninsula. To st Michaels Mount, Mousehole, Sennen, Lands End and around all other beautiful coves in the area. Yet, for all its sweet personality and pretty little harbours, the best experience without doubt was visiting the Minack Theatre. This fantastic cliff built theatre was the vision of one woman, who’s dream and perseverence has led to one of Britain’s most beautiful and imaginative artistic hubs. Why not check it out for yourself and book a visit!? http://www.minack.com/

I’ll let the images below do all the talking!

On route back we listened to our stomach’s and called into Hayle for one of the legendary Philp’s pasties (and PHEW it was legendary indeed!!) Filled, we sneaked back to St Ives for one more wander around the cobbled and quiet back streets before stumbling onto Porthmeor beach. What a sight! The sand was white and the ocean was blue. Blinker your vision and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the Maldives! Course sand glistened below our feet and the wind whipped against the sea worn pink and blue cottages. Stunning! After mooching around some of St Ives artists studios, we headed back to get ready. Well, that was the plan. Add another quick detour to the Carbis beach to get some extra sand between the toes and THEN we were ready. Hair done, new starfish earrings in and slipping into a shell designed maxi dress and we were ready! Amazing how quickly time flies when your by the sea. We caught a local taxi to St Ives and enjoyed a 3 course Meal in the fantastic Alba restaurant http://www.thealbarestaurant.com/)Some Cornish wine and locally sourced fish later, we were done. Back to the hotel for some wine, chocolate and a lazy night watching the incoming rain lash against the town. What a weekend – now its time to plan the next trip!

The gorgeous Headland House