Sunday, 20 May 2012

Boats, Blooms, Birds...

This time last year, the Scillonian III whisked (or rocked!) Karen and me away for a very special week on the Scilly Isles. This week has been very sad and similarly our trip last year was in the aftermath of my Father's death but despite this we found our little holiday very uplifting and it is with great fondness that I find myself looking back at it.
Our guest house was just along this tiny lane...
...with a gorgeous view across the bay which emptied almost completely of water at low tide.
The atmosphere of the whole place was truly unforgettable. I felt that even many of the mad-made things added positively to this feel - not least all the boats!

Even 'retired' vessels get put to good use!




The islands were adorned with stunning flowers and we especially loved these Whistling Jacks (a type of Gladioli).

The Scillies are famous for birds. Many of the common residents, like the Backbird and this Song Thrush, seem to have no fear of man and are surprisingly tame. Also, as these islands lie 28 miles off Land's End and right out into the North Atlantic Ocean, they are possibly the best place in the UK to see more unusual migrants and we were delighted to see plenty of interesting visitors including a Woodchat Shrike and a Golden Oriole. 
Not forgetting more familiar migrants like this beautiful Swallow
Last year we celebrated 25 years of the best imaginable marriage and our trip was part of this celebration for us. So we made sure we enjoyed eating out at restaurants, visits to a lovely pub near to where we were staying (on St Mary's), lovely walks, trips to amazing gardens...
...enjoying the scenery...
..and, of course, painting it. Here I photographed the painting, scene and artist in the one shot - I'm always envious of Karen's spontaneous style and instinctive use of colours.
Our last day (exactly a year ago today) we didn't have time for 'island-hopping' but we found a little studio that were happy to give us a lesson in lino-cutting. Karen did these Whistling Jacks - such a pleasing and well balanced design that was not too cluttered either.
I used this photo (taken the day before) because I thought that simplifying the strong shadows might be quite effective on a lino cut.
(sorry it's rather a dull photo - it should be black and wight - and straight!!)
Finally, I painted Karen this card for Valentines Day this year.
I couldn't resist reminding her of our unforgettable adventure and sharing it with a truly amazing lady!

25 comments:

  1. What a nice holiday, the birds, the boats and your wife, the grand artist.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello,Jerry!What sweet post, loving family, beautiful places, full of peace! All artists
    in your family! I go to sleep thinking about those beautiful fields of flowers!

    ReplyDelete
  3. what a beautiful place and sweet memories. the flowers are wonderful - as is that old boat shelter! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks TexWisGirl - I found the boat shelter impossible to walk past without sitting in it!

      Delete
  4. I find that being near water is very healing to my heart... and all those beautiful flowers and birds! I can see why this trip would have been especially good for you last year. PLUS, what a wonderful place to celebrate 25 years of marriage! I just love your and Karen's paintings! I started dabbling with watercolor and I love it, trouble is finding the time. There are always so many wonderful things to do and so little time to get it all done! blessings ~ tanna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tanna, I am so with you about being near water (especially the sea). Plus equally true re: not having enough time to do all the those things I'd like to!!

      Delete
  5. What a wonderful place to go for a holiday, I would love to go there! It certainly looks and sounds like you had a lovely time and I'm sure it was very restorative after your sad loss.

    Lovely photos of all the blooms and birds. I am very envious of the beautiful one of the Swallow, I have never managed a decent one!

    I also particularly loved the card you painted for Karen, really beautiful, I'm sure she was thrilled!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your lovely comments and I totally recommend the Scillies Jan. The flowers are especially a feature of spring. That Swallow was very confiding and kept landing on that gate for us! We photographed it while watching the (rather distant) Woodchat Shrike.

      Delete
  6. I enjoyed the beautiful photos from your part of the world.
    Charming place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Aase Lind Art

      Delete
  7. WOW... so many beautiful images in one post. I love the scenery, and your blooms are stunning. Your wife is a talented painter (as are you!!)
    What a lovely series of memories :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Liz, yes we had a fabulous time there - one we'll never forget.

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. J'ai passé un très agréable moment à admirer l'ensemble de ces dernières photos... Magnifique.
    Gros bisous

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you Martine, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Jerry, beautifully told in photos and prose. You took us back there with you to you wonderful celebration. Karen is a wonderful artist -- love the painting and her linotypes. I must say that you are not only good with the camera, but also with the brush and knife. Great card and you were right. That scene made for a terrific print.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mary, you are very kind.

      Delete
  12. ...what a lovely post. I enjoyed reading about the Scilly Isles. The flowers are stunning, and I especially like the artwork, both Karen's and yours. The lino cuts are beautiful!! I've never tried one, but am always fascinated by the process. I love the composition--they are gorgeous.

    ...also...what a wonderful shot of the song thrush. The angle is so interesting!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kelly, the lino cut is a very interesting process - the thing you have to remember is to cut away to leave the lines etc. that are to be printed. The Song Thrush came to say hello to us while we were sitting watching the scene so I was able to photograph it from low down.

      Delete
  13. Such a gorgeous setting--thanks for letting us tag along. I love your watercolors!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi!
    Absolutely stunning serie.
    Greetings from Sweden
    /Ingemar

    ReplyDelete