Saturday, 27 February 2010

Winifred Nicholson In Scotland

This post is for Claire - thanks for making me smile. Below my first ever snippety book overview!

I first heard about Winifred Nicholson from Maggie. I highly recommend a visit to her studio in Saltdean.

'Winifred Nicholson In Scotland' written by Alice Strang and published by the National Galleries of Scotland, accompanied an exhibition of the same name in 2003. It is a 64 page hard backed pocket book full of delights. Essentially it follows Winifred and friends such as poet Kathleen Raine on working trips to different Scottish islands in the late 1940's and 50's.

For me the opening photograph of Winifred painting in a cottage sums up the book. She is sitting at a kitchen table, painting on a canvas leaning at a slight angle, wearing a woollen cardigan. There is no easel, pile of paints, splattered overalls. I imagine her children might have sat opposite her as she worked, eating toast.

The book includes 22 colour reproductions of her paintings, 4 photographs and two reproductions of handwritten letters and poems. My favourite paintings are her flowers on windowsills, such as 'Loch Hourn' shown above.

Winifred writes

"This place looks even more beautiful this year in stormy weather, and it is even harder to paint. The high mountains shroud themselves and blot themselves out with white cloud with black cloud with drifting mist and drifting sunshine - the sea is silver black is azure is lead is white with sea horses, is not visible at all - Kathleen makes the house very gay with dozens of bunches of wild mountain flowers and we have a good fire of sea driftwood. I have painted 4 pictures this week"

"I like painting flowers - I have tried to paint many things in many different ways , but my paintbrush always gives a tremor of pleasure when I let it paint a flower - and I think I know why this is so. Flowers mean different things to different people - to some they are trophies to decorate their dwellings (for this plastic flowers will do as well as real ones) to some they are buttonholes for their conceit - to botanists they are species and tabulated categories - to bees of course they are honey - to me they are the secret of the cosmos"

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Brilliant Books

Another pile of favourite books, if you are interested in painting or painters!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Herstmonceux Trim?

Who knows why there are four hairdressers in Herstmonceux? This week everywhere I roam, field hedges have been cut ready for spring, creating neat edges. I have my rusty snippers to hand, but prefer our cottage garden scruffy. Behind the scenes Arts Hut is a bustle of activity, cardboard boxes and bubble wrap, as we prepare for our show 'Nest'.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

In The Studio

After my recent coastal excursions I have been head down in the studio for a fortnight. Yesterday I pinned my drawings and rough paintings up. The seagulls are a surprise hit, I find they all have great legs and characterful faces. Close ups of boats, with flags and buoys feature large, alongside painted letters and numbers. Despite attempts to keep to a palette of blues and browns, oranges and pinks keep creeping in.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Prospect Cottage

More photographs from Prospect Cottage, Dungeness, much loved home of Derek Jarman. His garden by the sea, was exactly as I anticipated, though more immaculate. The nuclear power station was enormous.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


This week Mr PWP indulged my desire to be beside the seaside and we enjoyed snow and sunshine on a road trip to Dungeness, Camber Sands and Pett Level.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Canned Pilchards

The hounds favourite treat and I love the packaging. I am saving the cans for sowing seed later this year.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Sussex Snow

Outdoors the hounds enjoyed this mornings soft snow. Indoors I am enjoying the fire and heart shaped tea lights.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

In The Studio

Today I have primed all my wood blocks, tiny through to large. Then working in acrylic, "roughed in" boats, seagulls, huts and a few square still life.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Hastings Hot House

The first two weekends in April I am pleased as punch to be part of Hastings Hot Houses with Anna Keiller at 4 Dudley Road. I have visited Hastings Fishing Quarter for many years, so am using it as inspiration for some new paintings. Last week I went to explore the weather beaten black Huts, however the characterful seagulls really caught my eye.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Say It With Flowers

This wall hanging denim blue vase with test tube, will hold a single stem. Made by Barbara Lawrence

Friday, 5 February 2010

Love Ewe

The habits of our Arts Hut regulars often inspire Mr PWP greeting cards. If your other half allows sheep in the  kitchen or just loves woolly, this card and heart are for you.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Lavender Lovebirds

We are woken by the cheerful chirping of birds in our garden. Inside Arts Hut a flock of lavender lovebirds have settled in our branches. Made with love and vintage fabrics by Kirsty

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Rural Valentine

For rural valentine cards, look no further. The card above is made by Clare Askaroff

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

HeArt of the Village

Take an enormous cardboard box, drawer of press cuttings and flyers, wallpaper paste and brush. A few hours later, pink curtain hung, the Arts Hut season of love is upon us.
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