Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

A headache or two….

This book is an experiment and gave me a bit of a headache. The covers are patterned polypropylene (try saying that that after a glass or two of wine) I bought it from Paperchase. It’s tricky to cut and get a neat edge as it is difficult to handle and quite slippery. I ended up cutting it roughly to size with scissors and then neatened the edges with a guillotine. I decided to do a coptic binding – and then decided to complicate things further by trying this – a ‘dos à dos’ binding – two books back to back. Each book has one front cover and shares the back cover.


I went up to London today to go to the ‘Affordable Art Fair’ which is held twice a year (Spring and Autumn) in Battersea, London. 120 galleries exhibit a wide range of paintings, sculpture and photography which has to cost less than £3000, so it’s often a good place to pick up some very good art at relatively reasonable prices or just have a good old mooch about to see what is going on. Some friends of mine have a lovely art gallery in Totnes, Devon called White Space and they exhibit at the Spring fair so I was going up to see them.

White Space is owned by Sarah Bowman, a talented painter, and her husband Joe White. I have known Sarah since she was a teenager and used to babysit my sons and I have been buying her paintings since then. She comes from a very talented family – her father, my great mate Mike is also an amazing painter as is her sister Vanessa. All their work was on sale at the Art Fair and it was selling like hot cakes!

This is one of Mike’s paintings – I am particularly fond of this as it is a view of Portofino in Italy, painted from a photograph I gave Mike which I took a few years ago. Mike specializes in Dorset and European landscapes.

This next one is by Sarah. She specializes in beautiful paintings like this one which combine landscape and still life. This one is a view of the Scilly Islands which are off the coast of Cornwall, in South West England.

And finally, this one is painted by Vanessa Bowman. This still life is typical of her work, beautiful interiors painted in jewel like colours with lots of lovely details like the little bird in the window….

I have a head cold and feel rough as rats today so be gentle with me. Here’s some advice…click to enlarge.
Apart from the Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer impersonation, my head feels like it is stuffed with cotton wool (no change there then, I hear you cry) but I managed to drive up to London and back in a day – on a Friday – in the rush hour. I am now officially exhausted. I hate driving in London. I get as far as Twickenham and I feel the stress levels ratchet up to 10. The traffic is appalling and everyone is impatient and I wasn’t sure how to get where I was going and where I was going to park when I got there – and you know how much I like parking – almost as much as this lady :)
Anyway, I managed to get to the Fair, without getting lost AND without entering the congestion charge zone AND I managed to park AND I bought a painting.
(We won’t mention that I couldn’t bring it home as I forgot it would be too big to fit in my car…..)

11 responses to “A headache or two….

  1. RennyBA March 14, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    I was scrolling up and down to see the book cover and almost got a head ace too – but holding it still, it was a nice collar combination!
    Thanks for taking us with to the galleries too – too long since I’ve been in London I can tell!

    Wishing you a great end to you week and also A Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  2. dianeca March 14, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    I love your artwook, those books are really cool….and the art work you have displayed for us today. I am a true art lover and plan on doing a little painting myself this weekend, just for fun!! Have a good weekend.

  3. Teresa March 15, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Oh my dear, you’re either drunk (didn’t you mention it was hard to say “patterned polypropylene” after a glass or two of wine? ;) ) or nuts to attempt all those difficult things with that book. But, look how amazing it turned out!

    I am very impressed you made it in and out of London, and with you feeling so bad. I hate to drive and I can’t imagine driving in London, ever. I got to know the Underground pretty well when I was there.

    For some reason, I can’t see that last graphic (is it a cartoon or ??) you put in about the lady parking. Love the Scott Meyer cartoon. He’s a very good artist, I just noticed (I was too busy laughing at that previous cartoon about the eyes to pay attention to the drawing).

    Glad you had a fun day in London despite the head cold! Hope you’ll feel better soon.

  4. Teresa March 15, 2008 at 12:42 am

    Oh wait, I can see it now…YouTube!

    She parallel parks worse than I do (I actually did a great job to pass my driver’s test, but haven’t done it since the ’80s), and she has a terrible sense of space. If she only knew someone video taped her….poor woman.

  5. strugglingwriter March 15, 2008 at 1:35 am

    That’s a pretty nifty book, but I’m sure it was really difficult to make.

    The artwork is very nice and I’m sure the Art Fair was fun. We have something similar in our town called the Arts Festival. I miss summer :)

  6. tulibri March 15, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Diane, I’m so impressed with your printed canvases! May I ask what kind of a printer you use? I’m a little suspect about that my freeby-printer given to me when purchasing my dell wouldn’t quite be the right one to print canvases with … and the colours, are they lightfast?

  7. Creechman March 15, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    I’ll pass on the tuti-fruity, thank you. Give me Gilligan’s Island any day, with Mary Ann.

    No still life.

  8. Diane March 15, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Renny – London is bursting at the seams with great art! Very inspiring!
    Sorry the book gave you a headache too – it is a bit jazzy :-)

    Happy St Patrick’s Day to you too!

    Diane – artwooks – I love it! I’m not sure if it was a typo or not but you have a invented a great word for my books a perfect hybrid – artworks and books – artwooks – excellent :-D
    Enjoy your painting, you must let us see some of your work!

    Teresa – the worst of it was trying to drive and grab tissues from the giant box on the front seat and read road signs simultaneously but we ladies are supposed to be good at multitasking :-)
    Glad you like the book. It did turn out quite well really.
    I’m glad the video played too, I’m impressed the parking lady keeps trying – I wouldn’t have even attempted it. I’m sure the space is too short for the car anyway :-)

    Paul – the book was very fiddly, it was slippery and I’m not very good at coptic stitching at the best of times. If you look at one side closely there are actually spots of blood where I kept pricking my fingers. Talk about suffering for one’s art :-)

    Astrid – I bought a Canon Pixma Pro 9500. It uses light fast archival quality pigment inks – 10 of them including 2 different blacks and a grey, so that black and white printing is exceptional too. And it prints up to A3+ as well. And it wasn’t too expensive in the grand scheme of things :-)

    Creechman – not sure if you don’t like the book or the art. Never mind, we can’t all like the same things, life would be very dull if we did……

  9. nursemyra March 17, 2008 at 10:43 am

    can’t believe how many times that woman kept trying to park…..

  10. Natalie de Guzman March 25, 2008 at 5:37 am

    Really cool books, I must say. Keep up the good work.

  11. Natalie de Guzman March 25, 2008 at 5:38 am

    Keep up the good work. The book cover is nice

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