A visit to Bunhill Fields

July 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Image of me (the author) standing at William's grave stone

Since deciding that I wanted to visit London, I was tasked with figuring out what I wanted to actually do in London.  I hadn’t actually looked at a map of London until I had bought my ticket (which was very last minute given the cost of traveling across the globe) and was surprised by just how big it was.  None of the streets were on the familiar friendly grid system the way they are in Seattle. There weren’t huge swathes of trees with a few squiggly gravel roads the way it is in my native West Virginia either. I was a bit lost.

None the less, I was in good hands so I needn’t worry to much about how to get from A-Z (or “zed” as it’s pronounced by the British).  Since my friends L. & M. were to have their post-wedding picnic there, the first place to visit was the resting place of artist/poet William Blake.

William Blake (1757 -1827) was a wonderful person; a brilliant poet who wrote “Songs of Innocence & Experience“, a painter, and professional engraver.  If you haven’t seen his work or made to read his poems, please do (although you’ve probably read “The Tyger” and have forgotten).  Bunhill Fields, the cemetery where William is buried, is a “nonconformist” graveyard for people who didn’t conform to the views of their time.  Like many grave yards in London, Bunhill Fields is small -  less than 4 hectares (1 acre) but contains the remains of nearly 200,000 people.

Very few of those 200,000 people have markers or grave stones. Instead, they are memorialized with cobble stones, large old trees, fat pigeons and a field.  Bunhill is green and cool and lovely; there is a fig tree to the right of William’s marker that children play in on their way to school and lots of people stroll enjoying the sanctuary from the harsh London streets.  So while having a wedding picnic in a cemetery may seem odd at first thought, really I couldn’t think of anywhere lovelier.

<3 g

Onward to London

July 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

I had braced myself for what my itinerary spelled out clearly; Seattle to Canada on a prop plane and then an overnight non-stop flight across the Atlantic to London. I’m sure you can understand why I’d be nervous!

Getting to the airport and the airport itself were blessedly without incident.  There seems to be no amount of electrical sockets to satiate the power needs of travelers. Nearly everyone had a portable electronic device and was stalking an available outlet; a much different experience than when I  last flew in 2007 let alone my first international trip in the late 90′s.

Once on the plane, I was pleased to find out that Air Canada believes vegetarians qualify as “special” and delivered veg meals piping hot and a good half hour before everyone else was served.  Disposable blankets, tiny pillows and free drinks; somethings never change.

Touching down in Britain, all tensions ceased. L. & M. picked me up from the airport, got me an Oyster card, and got us on The Underground.  A pint and a basket of chips cured most of what ailed me and a good night’s sleep fixed the rest.  Pictured is my morning view. Gorgeous!

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A Skip Across the Big Pond

June 7, 2011 § 2 Comments

I’ve been talking about it for years and now it’s finally going to happen.

I’m going to London! It’s true, I’ll be crocheting a jet plane and heading over the big pond tomorrow to attend the wedding of my lovely, dear, wonderful friend L.  It will be wonderful to attend what is sure to be the wedding of  the century (with promises of moonshine and picnics on Bun Hill how could it not be?)  There is so much to do and see in good ‘ol London town, I hardly know where to begin!

On the List of Many Adventures: The V&A, The Royal Gardens at Kew, Hand & Lock, Freedom Book Shop and The Globe Theater…there are actually far too many to list here!

Dearest reader, have you ever been to London? Do you have any recommendations or fond remembrances? If so, feel free to share in the comment section below!

<3 g


“Where have I been?”; fielding a question from eager readers

June 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve been taking a wonderful, if not spontaneous, respice.

During my time away I’ve partly read and then abandoned “Pride and Prejudice” (being young and having lots of money does not necessarily make you handsome, Mr. Darcy), decided to read a fantastic book called “Writing Down the Bones” instead, spent magical time on a beautiful island with someone who is as equally if not more beautiful, indulged in a lot of daydreaming, ate fantastically, got up early and listened to music in bed (Florence & the Machine!), drank plenty of water and got plenty of rest, rode my bike and just breathed.

What a lovely surprise to return to find nearly 700 views since my last entry. Fabulous! Thank you!

<3 g

Exhibit: Domestic Patterns at ArtsWest

March 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hey everyone! My newest exhibit, Domestic Patterns, will be on view at ArtsWest from March 28th – April 23rd.  The show features artists Sue Danielson, Diane Culhane, in addition to video artist and animator Tess Martin.

Sue Danielson’s work explores the dynamic tension that exists between reality and the monolithic concepts that encompass “home.”  Her definitively emotional representations of houses exemplify the chasm between chaos and simplicity.  Danielson’s artwork has been exhibited nationally including the 2011 West Coast Biennial and the 2010 Denver Biennial.  Locally her work is shown at SAM Gallery and CORE Gallery.

Diane Culhane is an award-winning artist and educator that creates art using both paint and clay.  Featured in Domestic Patterns are her vibrant scenes of suburban-like landscapes with floating people, their pets and cars painted with an informed rawness.  She is represented by galleries throughout the US including Zeek Gallery in Salem, Oregon and Art on 5th in Austin, Texas.

There will be an opening during the West Seattle Art Walk on Thursday, April 14th, 2011 6-7:30pm.  ArtsWest is located at 4711 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116 (Alaska and California) (map). Hope to see you there!

Website: www.artswest.org

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12-7 PM

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Inspiration: Friends and Fiber Artists

March 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

There are some really awesome shows in and around Seattle right now.

Rachel Rader: Her Majesty

Her Majesty is a softly colored exhibit of all new work from friend Rachel Rader.  The show is a collection of artifacts from an underwater Utopian  kingdom ruled by a reverse mermaid (fish on top lady on the bottom).  Not to be missed are the coronation jewels – scepter, orb, wedding rings and crown in delicate pink glass lavishly decorated in coral, pearls, and hand made beads.  Delicately displayed on strawberry cream colored pillows, these pieces make me want to be a princess! On view until April 2nd.

Material Content of Softness

The Bellevue Arts Museum never disappoints. Through June 26th, check out the newest fiber art show bringing together 11 national/international artists. Worked in embroidery, knitting, crochet, and various other fiber techniques all pieces focus on the human body.

Featured artists include: Diem Chau, Lauren DiCioccio, Angela Ellsworth, James Gobel, Angela Hennessy, Rock Hushka, Lisa Kellner, Miller & Shellabarger, Lacey Jane Roberts, Jeremy Sanders and Nathan Vincent.

It’s a truly fantastic to experience hand work in person, to get very close and really admire every stitch.  I certainly did that with Rock Hushka’s meditative herbal embroideries.  Worked in seed and bullion stitch on cloth that contained his own blood these works had the stoic appearance of medieval embroidery with out the anonymity.

I always enjoy seeing local artist Diem Chau’s work – in person you can see the faint shimmer from the rayon/silk cloth and  can really appreciate the intimate scale of the cups, bowls, and saucers.  If you are unfamiliar with her art, please do check out her website. In addition to being an embroideress she also makes wonderful carvings from crayons.

Artistic Merit

While you are at BAM, head down stairs to the new community room gallery located next to the gift shop.  Artists featured in this exhibit are recent scholarship recipients of Pratt Fine Arts Center – friends that I see just about everyday.  It’s an  incredibly well curated show of glass, prints, and small sculpture.

Not to be missed are Armelle Bouchet O’Neill microcosmic inspired pieces!

Featured artists include: Granite Calimpong, Isabella Leary, Jenny Wittlinger, Julia Harrison and Armelle Bouchet O’Neill On view until April 23rd.

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First Look at the Microcosm

March 4, 2011 § 4 Comments

This is an unidentified moss from outside my door way…

A magnified view of the same moss.

The little lichen that I based my newest piece on (in greater magnification obviously)

My lovely friend from London sent me an original Klaus Kemp microscopy slide. This is only a part of the arrangement – its made out of the tiny scales of butterfly wings.

These photos were made possible by the wonderful and generous folks who pledged to my Kick Starter project -THANK YOU!

 

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