Sunday, 14 August 2011

Bones, and stones, and an oyster shell.

First blog post in a month.  These past few weeks, I've been on Summer time:  kids at home, no fixed schedule, a visit from my mother from Canada, outings.  I've also been finding my time at the computer to be more draining than usual, so I haven't been on it as much.  I seem to have been drawn to tactile things more.

Inspired by some of the items I have around my room, I painted more paper for collages.  The neutral tones in bone and shell, the stark and sometimes surprising colours found in stones.

Near the beginning of the holidays, we did a 12k walk with our two boys to Kloster Schaeftlarn.  The last time I went, it was by bike.  On foot, one sees so much more.

A huge snail.

A brilliant orange slug.

Piece of bark almost the same colour as the slug.

A pile of logs, waiting.

And a stone with a spiral on it which reminded me of Valerianna's gorgeous spiral paintings.

I would have taken it to add to my collection, but it was larger than a pebble and we still had a number of kilometers to go.  Besides, it looked quite comfortable where it was.

There is a stunning little late-Baroque church at Schaeftlarn which has recently undergone an extensive renovation.  It was built under the direction of J. F. Cuvillies from 1733 - 1740.  We spent a while exploring.

I found this little fellow at the foot of the confessional.

Another outing was to the beautiful mediaeval city of Regensburg.  Reminders of the Roman settlement can be found throughout the place, sometimes where you least expect it.  In this case, it's smack in the middle of one of the public underground parking lots.

Outside, the elderberries were just turning.

There are many churches in town.  This was a Menorite church, which is connected with the Historical Museum of the area around Regensburg.

There we met with images of death.

And dragons.

And creatures who once would have drooled water down from the Cathedral in the centre of the city.

And death.  Again.

There was also a trip to the mountains south of Munich.  It was my first time in the mountains.  We took the train to a lake called Spitzingsee in the foothills of the Alps.

A cable car up.  Incredible views.  Incredible, hearty flowers.

And an incredibly welcome Weissbier at the end of our hike.   I have absolutely no head for heights.

And back to work.  More paintings in their early stages.  Very early stages.  Note the Thames in the background, from a printout of a 1746 map.  A constant reminder of the manuscript which I've been neglecting.

More pieces.

And finally, since this post doesn't seem to know where it's going or why, here's one of me.  I needed a new photo of myself for my website.  I have a bit of a problem in that I don't look like the same person in any two photos that have ever been taken of me.  The one I had put on the website a couple of months ago was the one chosen from about 150 shots my husband took of me.  (Thank heavens for digital cameras.)  In it I looked confident, professional, full of vigor and ready to take on the world.  Not a damned thing like me.  I think this one captures it a bit better.

Hope everyone's having an enjoyable, creative, and productive Summer.


  1. A post packed full of inspiration - and a wonderful stone, for sure!! I love all the photos of the mountains and the gargoyles and the hiding green-leafy being at the foot of the confessional. I like this photo of you, it is nice to see the face behind the blog and this one is wonderful with the bit of one of those beautiful, atmospheric paintings...

    I, too, have been not so computer-y lately. I know a post is due, as well as many other things. Just a couple more weeks until school starts again. I wonder what I have accomplished this summer because it surely wasn't painting!

  2. Glad that you are enjoying your summer! It's been a while since I've posted myself: have been waiting to hear back on something, and that has been holding me back a wee bit, that among other (life) things. :D

    Glad that you included the photo of yourself, you look like I would've imagined ... both you and your art are beautiful.

  3. That's a wonderful catch-up post. I really enjoy seeing a photo tour of your adventures ~ the orange slug and the rock spiral are especially WOW and your paintings are beautiful, even in the early stages!

    The collage papers are lovely as well. I think it takes a particular kind of talent to use such subtle colors and shading to their best advantage. Kudos!

  4. Lynn, to me this looks like a good picture of you at the end of a dreamlike composition of pics, impressions, thoughts. Nice post!

  5. Looks so interesting! ...bones and stones. Old churhes are amazing places. I am not religious, but still go to old church when it is possible, because of history and athmosphere of them! :)

  6. You always have so much in your blog posts.. it is like going on a long walk with a friend.. your collection of rocks, pebbles, shells etc are all the colors and textures I love.. I collect them all and the colors end up in my collages and paintings.. love it all.

  7. It's been nice over the Summer to take a bit of a break from blogging, Valerianna. Glad you enjoyed the post. It seems quite a few of us have been taking it easy. Hope that you're all rested and regenerated for the school year. Where did that Summer go?!

    Thanks, Jan. At first I wasn't going to post a picture of myself, but then when I think how curious to see the face behind the blogs I read, I thought I ought to do so.

    I could hardly believe the slug and the stone, Donna. Nothing like nature to knock you on your backside. Glad you like the paintings - even in their raw forms. They're closer to completion now.

    The papers with their subtle, natural colours is difficult for me. I've always found it incredibly challenging to recreate those muted colours - I either go too subtle, or start getting into slightly "icky" colours. Hopefully I can finally get something going here!

    Glad you enjoyed the post, Sue. Thanks for your comment.

    There is so much atmosphere in those old churches - I agree, Thilda. It's great when there aren't to many people and you can sit and really experience that - regardless of any religious connection. It goes beyond that, to something deeper and universal in us.

    Thanks so much for your visit and comment, Donna. I like the way you described it!

  8. Happy to see you getting out and about too :) Sounds like you have been having some wonderful adventures out and around Bavaria! xo

  9. Yes, Stephanie, I've been getting out and about a bit - though not as much as I'd like! I loved the Vienna pictures on your blog. That's a place on my list.

  10. Very nice photos. I love that slug and the fact that Roman ruins are just, just there.

  11. Lovely series of photos! I really don't like the idea of meeting an orange slug but I know they have their place in the scheme of things.The forests around Munich are beautiful,it must be wonderful to have this countryside so close.
    I've decided to join you otherwise I may miss your posts!

  12. Thanks, Don. It is amazing to be so close to that kind of history.

    Thank you, Ruby. It was a really, really big slug too! And thanks for joining.

  13. It sounds like you've had a brilliant summer! I love the orange slug and the stone dragon. It's lovely to be able to put a face to the beautiful artwork and words!

  14. Thanks, Claire. It was a good Summer, though I must say I'm glad it's drawing to a close. Looking forward to some kiddie-free work mornings.

  15. I see I'm not the only one who's not been blogging as much, though it sounds like you've been up to much more interesting stuff than I! Loved this post. Hope you're enjoying the end of the summer and all is well in Germany :)

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Oops. Fingers not working this morning. Can't let that typo-ridden comment out alive.

    Hi, Roisin. Yes, I've been a bad blogger this Summer! It has been a good Summer, though I am glad that we're heading into Autumn. It always feels like an inspiring new start. Hope you're enjoying the changing of the seasons, too.

  18. The colour of that slug and the inside of the bark! Wonderful. These days, here on Dartmoor, we're coming across marvellously-coloured fungi every day. The colours of some of them astound me.

  19. I love being taken off guard in that wonderful way which only nature is capable of. One day, I hope to take a September or October walk through Dartmoor. So far I've seen it in a perfect June and in a very, very wet November.

  20. Sometimes it is good to get away from everything and take a holiday, be a tourist in your own area. Good to enjoy the open spaces, take in the views and see the nature. That snail shell would have been coming home with me, well if it was empty. You have been busy, hope you feel refreshed and inspired.
    As for taking over the house, I have spread into many rooms, you just need an understanding husband! My patchwork fabrics and sewing project stay unfinished for long lengths of time. Lovely photograph of you.
    Glad to see you back.x

  21. I am very lucky to have an understanding husband! You're right Milly, it wouldn't work otherwise. Alas, the shell was inhabited, otherwise I would have pocketed it too. It is a good thing to be a tourist in your own area, as you say. So easy not to take a look at what's right around you - I'm very guilty of that, but trying to change it.