The Cathedral, the storm and the tree

The festive spirit was slow to arrive in our house but we gave it a kick start by travelling to Salisbury for a weekend break where we visited the Christmas market and Salisbury Cathedral. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

I must just make a quick mention of the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at  in Salisbury, Cathedral View. A lovely house in an excellent location just a couple of minutes walk from all of the shops and the cathedral, and run by the lovely and attentive Wenda and Steve.

In the cathedral we were given a guided tour by a very nice gentleman who showed us the glass engravings by Laurence Whistler which I found enchanting and they have helped to shape my first main piece of work of 2014. I found this video (below) on youtube and it shows the rotating engraved prism that I could have stood and watched for hours.

by hnmcmurray

boxing day 2013

The storms started over our weekend away and escalated on our journey home culminating in a major storm on the Monday which, overnight, took down a tree just outside our gateway which in turn took down our power and phone lines – just 2 days before Christmas. Our plan to leave everything christmassy ’til the last minute was scuppered and we had to adapt fast. Still with no power, we finally wrapped presents on Christmas day after a lunch cooked on wood fired Rayburn, calor gas fired hob and oil fired Esse and the homemade gingerbread presents for Boxing day were cooked, decorated and assembled in the morning while there was sufficient daylight.

christmas 2013The greatest pleasure of Christmas is having the family together and we were together with no distractions from computers or television, no temptations to facebook or check emails. It was hard work and not very comfortable but the most christmassy Christmas day we’ve had for a long time. But by the end of the fifth day we were very relieved to finally get the power reconnected.

My sketchbook has become a complete mess of chunks of sticky glass and taped-in sheets of painted and scratched acetate. I’m very proud of it. My aim has been to try different techniques for creating layered works, layers of transparent images incorporating texture. I have a plan of images that I’ll create for an exhibition at Gallery North in July but am currently awaiting an order of sheets of cut perspex so for now am working on glass which is a bit more limiting with the mediums I want to use but great fun nevertheless. Here are the progress shots of my first piece, black gesso on glass, removed with a scalpel to the accompaniment of Radio4Xtra.

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