Thanks to everyone who took part in my calendar giveaway; a name has been picked out of my hat, ---- drum roll----- and the winner is Kerry O’Gorman. In my last post I mentioned our trip to London where we visited The British Museum and just managed to catch the Shakespeare exhibition. As that has now closed I will move on to our visit to The British Library where we saw an exhibition called “Mughal India, Art, Culture and Empire The library itself is based next to St Pancras station; both buildings are worth visiting and could not be more different. The photograph shows the station in the background and the library in front. The new library building reminded me of a Japanese temple. It has simple, modern lines but has a great beauty, not in its ornamentation but in its proportions and in the choice of materials. I love being exploring this wonderful space and if you are anywhere near you should take a moment to go inside. There is always something to see for free, there are places to sit, eat and rest and of course a lovely shop! The main exhibitions are ticketed, having said that they are not overly expensive and the ones we have seen have been unforgettable. I can honestly say that the current Mughal India exhibition is truly spectacular. There are so many treasures on show the effect is dazzling. I was particularly interested in the exquisite miniature paintings and illuminated books. The artistry on display was amazing, the tiniest of brushstrokes, the brightest of colours, pattern everywhere, on the clothing of the figures in the book illustrations, on the carpets they sat upon and in the borders around the pictures, so much detail it hurt the eyes. If I had to choose one piece it would be a painting of squirrels being chased up a plane tree, you can explore this for yourself here by following the link. As you zoom in over the image bear in mind that this painting is a really small, so much detail has been packed into a tiny area, painted by Abu’l Hasan, 1605-08. And now, it is time for me to get back to my desk, I have more hand made, limited edition books to parcel up for my Etsy shop. This time I remembered to make a note of the edition numbers outside the boxes, before the final wrap. We live and learn!
No sun, no moon! No morn, no noon No dawn, no dusk, no proper time of day. No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease, No comfortable feel in any member No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds November! Thomas Hood. This month began much like the poem by Thomas Hood, dreary mist and rain, gloomy news from home about the state of our ash trees, and a distinct lack of birds, which was very worrying. Everyone has remarked on the shortage of starlings this year, even the house sparrows were thin on the ground. We watched the news and worried for the safety of friends across the ocean after the devastation of hurricane Sandy. Added to that we had our own drama here in the shape of a car crash which demolished the telegraph pole across the road, so added an extra line to the poem- No internet- November! Fortunately nobody was hurt and the fault was fixed but it took ten days, which made work very difficult. It wasn’t all doom and gloom however; we had lots of trips and caught up with family and friends. We went to the NEC in Birmingham and handed over the original painting of “Hare’s Hideaway” to Mike and Hilary Emeny of “Art of the Imagination”. It is always a wrench to part with an original painting, knowing that if all goes well I may never see it again! I was comforted by the fact that printing technology is so far advanced as to allow an accurate copy to be made. We also visited an exhibition called “The First Cut” in ManchesterThe exhibition showcased the work of 31 international artist who specialize in cutting and manipulating paper. I was particularly drawn to the work of Su Blackwell who’s work is book inspired (see paper house- Wuthering Heights). Many of the works were incredibly complex and fragile and made us wonder about the logistics of setting up such an exhibition. Later in the month we visited London but I will save that for next time. And now, ladies and gentlemen, I have a give away for you. I have a copy of my “Nature” calendar for 2013 up for grabs. This slimline calendar has twelve different nature based images including many taken from my children’s books. You will find an owl, foxes, a puffin, rabbit and hare, hedgehog and many more. The calendar has been published by Judges and is available in the shops here in the UK only. My giveaway is open to everyone, no matter where you live but please note the holidays are UK bank holidays etc that may not be relevant to you. To be included in the draw all you have to do is indicate you wish to take part by leaving a comment below. I will pick a winner at random on Friday 30th of November. You may also be interested to learn that you can help a worthwhile charity and buy my new Birthday calendar here- and my Gardener's Scrapbook Calendar 2013 here-