Hillside and Water Meadow

22 Feb

Isn’t it fun to follow a trail of websites and pick up things you never knew along the way?

Today, an email from this blogger, designer and shop owner, advertising a fine collection of objet appropriate for Mother’s Day. Since I’ve grown up with Mother’s Day being in May, rather than March, and that at work I am currently considering things for July and even August,  I wondered, wistfully, what I might buy for myself were I to come into a small windfall…

The answer was this: Lascombe, a wood cut by Howard Phipps, in a limited edition of 150.

Lascombe by Howard Phipps from Ben PentreathPerhaps a couple of busy weeks in the office (working through lunch, barely seeing any of the day outside) influenced the choice but, if I concentrate, I can hear water flowing in that stream and I can feel the shade of those trees lining that path. Can’t you feel it, too? Do you also wonder what those clouds will turn into and whether you should have brought a jacket?

I was not familiar with Phipps’ work but he seems to have done all sorts of super things, not least collaborate with the Whittington Press (from whom I have a print tucked away until there is a suitable place to hang it), Bloomsbury and the Folio Society. He is an Academician of the RWA and has pieces in the collection of the British Museum.

Phipps is also represented at the Rowley Gallery in Kensington, London, and it was there that I came upon their great blog, Frames of Reference, which today includes sketches of a water meadow by  Andrew Walton and a related poem by David Attwooll:


For Andy Walton

Blank: the water meadow we both walk across
Is veiled in mist and frost, a screen for time
Stuck between clicks deleting and loading data;
Teaches us to read objects singly, in freeze-frame.
Blink: a bare tree’s film-star silhouette,
A polystyrene lump in a pool’s iced rim.

Damp fog buffers the turf, silt, and river,
Searches textures and densities of white.
Our feet trace the hillocks and ditches of grassed-over
Rubbish dumps, Iron-Age barrows, ghosts of Civil War
Fortifications, a racecourse, the lost aerodrome –
And frosted goose turds like spent cartridges.

You can see the sketches and read the final verse of the poem here.

We are not far off snakes-head fritillary time, when those nodding, mottled flowers turn up in undisturbed water meadows in these parts – perhaps the subject of a future post.


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