"Watercolour" Tate Britain.

Today I would like to share with you some amazingly beautiful images courtesy of an extraordinarily gifted artist called Rachel Pedder-Smith.

I first came across her work in London recently during a visit to Tate Britain’s “Watercolour” exhibition. The exhibition features so many and varied artists whose work spans 800 years. There are medieval manuscripts, maps and botanical illustrations alongside works by Turner, Ravilious and Samuel Palmer to name but a few

I was immediately drawn to one painting in particular and that is how I discovered Rachel’s work. Her bean painting has everything I most admire in a work of art; it is inspired by nature, shows incredible artistry and attention to detail and has an overall marvelous sense of design. I am sure you will be smitten too! In the bean painting you are presented with something familiar, maybe even humble and everyday and yet you see it through the eyes of the artist who transforms each legume into a visual miracle. In the world of modern art we often hear the overworked saying about “challenging our preconceptions” as if that in itself were enough. I would say that this piece by Rachel does just that, it presents us with a selection of natural objects and through her skill and observation of the artist takes us to a new level. She makes us not only look but actually see.

As William Blake would say
“To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.”

You can see more of Rachel's paintings here on her website which also has a shop selling cards and prints.

You can learn more about the exhibition here, and now I will leave you with this beautiful image, Samuel Palmer's 'A Hilly Scene' (c.1826 - 1828). Tate. The exhibition runs until the 24th August, see it if you can, you will be enthralled.


The Cult of Beauty

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is hosting an exhibition called “The Cult of Beauty”. It features the work of many artists and designers of the Aesthetic Movement, amongst them Walter Crane who has been a personal favourite of mine since my student days. Peacock feathers, lilies and sunflowers abound, not to mention the very many retail opportunities so when I saw this clothbound facsimile copy of “A Flower Wedding” I had to have it, you understand don’t you?

There were also lilies, sunflowers and peacock feathers to be seen in The Garden Museum, (next door to Lambeth Palace) in floral arrangements and growing in the church garden. The beautiful natural arrangement shown here was actually in the ladies loo. Art for Art’s sake, I am sure the Aesthetes would have approved.


And the winner is .....

We have a winner, the first name to be drawn out of the virtual hat, or random number generator if you prefer is ……. Rosie !

Thanks to all who entered in the giveaway and left such kind comments, I read each one with a happy heart and gratitude.

And now, back to work, I have a lovely newly stretched piece of paper on my drawing board but my mind is elsewhere. I left my inspiration somewhere in William Wordsworth country and forgot to pack it in my suitcase. I read this inspirational quote recently, which has been attributed to the poet “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart”, despite searching I cannot trace it to any of his writings, do you know?

The lovely kitchen photograph was taken at Wordsworth House in Cockermouth, I did think of attributing it to my own larder but you would not fall for that now would you?