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ABCD late May 2021

May 29, 2021

Last Saturday, 22nd May, was Artists’ Book Club Dove’s first in-person meeting since September last year. We have had ark-building weather recently, but by great good fortune this was a warm sunny afternoon with very little wind. We carried our chairs and picnics through knee-high buttercups in Dove Meadow to a clearing beside the Tree House (visible top right in the photo below, taken by Bron) and passed books and ideas around. What it treat it was to be together. Heartfelt thanks to Jane for giving Clare and me a lift there and back.

Kate brought a large-format single-sheet coptic-sewn collection of charcoal drawings done by young children during a school residency with a local willow basket maker acting as artists’ model. The liveliness of the drawings and the variety of artistic approaches are captivating, and some of the drawings are astonishingly sophisticated. Some are minimalist – a few expressive strokes on an otherwise empty page. Others lovingly depict every detail of the background and the man’s patterned jumper. One is quite disturbing: a tiny figure seemingly imprisoned in his basket and surrounded by the velvet blackness of charcoal. I’d be happy to have any one of these drawings on my wall.

Bron writes, ‘Here’s the book I circulated at our meeting … “Signs of Life”. My computer keeps trying to say “Sings of Life” which I rather like. The format was Guy Begbie‘s lesson on pamphlet stitch (he always surprises), and the content is an old etching plus other related bits and pieces. I really enjoyed converting my 2D prints to 3D and will do more.’

Judith arranged her paper tepees around the fire-place. They look so much like moths!
She has enrolled on this year-long course with Australian eco-printer India Flint.

Bron, Judy and Judith had been working on our book of foremothers, ‘Grand Women’, during the morning. I delivered Janine’s embroidered title; it will be recessed into the front cover. Here, Judy is in the print studio writing the title-page.

Here are some images of Judy’s sculptural book of mokuhanga prints.

I (Ama) brought my two winter books, both inspired by the Shetland webcams, currently a great place to observe puffins and pufflings.

Carol has been on Radio 4 talking about the moths that turn up in her garden moth-trap.

Clare brought her current sketchbook, rich with watercolour sketches of local wildlife. She regularly swims in the company of kingfishers and dippers.

Later we went to meet the newly planted trees being nurtured by Bron in Wild Lea – formerly a ryegrass monoculture, now a forest in the making.

… and over the stream into Whitefield, a carpet of buttercups and cowslips.

The next meeting, also outdoors, we hope, will be on 19 June.

And now for some fragments of conversation that found their way into my notebook.

Late May Dove-droppings

I’m only half-way through India
I’d rather do the washing up
if I were a reptile

in between the showers
a bit of deckle-grooming
cuckoos bitterns warblers marsh harriers

hot chocolate with a dash of brandy
hedgehog highways and rabbit lintels
your mother sounds so posh

the mothing community
clinging to the suspension bridge
a few brimstones

breeding might not happen
Julia draws eels
catch them on the way out

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jane Paterson permalink
    May 29, 2021 12:51 pm

    Thank you, Ama, that was a lovely account of a really happy, inspiring day. May there, at last, be many more!

    Sent from my iPad


  2. May 29, 2021 2:29 pm

    Great that you could meet at last, and the weather smiled on you. Your posts are always inspiring and I love the Dove Droppings feature.

  3. Sue Bonnin permalink
    June 7, 2021 6:48 pm

    I do enjoy these posts, and long may they continue. Thank you.

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