I am getting ready to enter the Open Studio Scheme and biting my nails about Application forms, which really aren’t my thing. I always make a complete hash of forms and have already had to fill in about a dozen to Transport a car back to the UK this Summer, not an easy job , i can tell you. UK Gov. And DVLA, not to mention 6 weeks waiting off road without wheels except the daughters’…

Sketchbooks abound with « 1960s Revolution » sweeties and Matisse look a-like fleurie and too many stripes, well Open STudios aren’t going to want THAT… They are going to say what can we show that the Royal Academy wouldn’t mind hanging in their Summer Exhibition…. I just got back from LONDON but i chose to see the BALENCIAGA Exhibition at the Fashion court at the V&A museum, my favourite museum in the capital. I didn’t have time for anything else and am still chewing the canvas that i didn’t see Zandra Rhodes’ Fashion Museum Exhibition about the Austrian Designer who worked for a Scandinavian or Danish  company who are now in the process of Re-issuing all his mid 20th Century Fabric Designs : Josef Frank Textiles, it was in the Spring i believe…Yet another Catalogue to lug home at some point in the for-seeable.

I’ll just have to keep developing those 15 notebooks of sketches, of all those Jazz & Blues Musicians from last summers outings and turn them into Resist Lino prints, maybe i won’t have time for more than about six – prints i mean, NOT six whole Notebooks! For in fact, They only want 6 Works anyway, but I expect a variety would look good. « BUT you’re work is so Diverse anyway » I hear my friends & family say, yes, no one will believe it at all came from the same hand anyway… i think that’s most of my trouble as an Artist, Designer, Maker, usually

When I go to paint in Dorset with my elder brother and it’s this sort of weather, rainy and cloudy, and not very summery, and so no one else much has turned up to the workshop – because he’s advertised it as « Painting in the Landscape », we tend to sit or stand alongside each other, occasionally perching on a high stool, in the old Abbotsbury school room, except i think it was the village library once, companionably silent, each working on our own Paintings. Mine are quite good but i never bring them home to examine all the way back to France, so on my return to the UK i look for them, they’ve usually fallen down the back of the piano or gravitated back to behind the hatstand under the stairs, and i’m pleasantly suprised as i said, by my large scale A2 watercolours and gouaches and by how well they turned out really, considering i’ve had all of  a day and a half en plein air before it’s too rainy and too misty to see anything at all on that piece of Dorset coastline. Lovely rolling hillsides, covered sparesly with cattle or sheep with matchstick boats on the horizon and the Chesil beach way down below us. And unfortunately i forgot to photograph those 3 paintings didn’t i… They were simply Too big to transport back here and even by car, they were liable to be sat on by the dog.

H for husband is thinking about puppies… Dreaming of little chiottes like their curly haired Shepherdess maman. She’s a rare Belgian Bergère beauty, but not terribly trustworthy, and is prone to wandering off down the road if you’re not looking nor is she reliably obedient unless he reads her the agility manual at the local Doggie club which i believe she enjoys. Whenever i take her out alone, we return with a lot of Photographic images for my Sketching and Painting towards making my Resist Lino prints of French Country landscapes BUT we nearly always lose a ball, whistle or BELL ! Miss Noa-Noa, she’s notorious for jumping in and out of streams and muddy ditches, chasing frogs and lizards, ripping her way though Brambles after pheasant and returning to me ball-less, as she’s forgetful & then she fairly frequently loses her famous bells from around her neck, to trace her through woods and undergrowth, that are usually strung on her collar by  a dog clip or key D ring.

H picked up a miniature copy of a Swiss cow bell at the weekend, it was sitting on our vast French Mahogany Dresser, and H said « she could wear that couldn’t she? » Brass with its’ little embroidered handle. And then he grinned at me ! It’s the monstrous Dresser that he bought on E-Bay, dare i mention its name ever again, Nothing but trouble: first it arrives from the middle of France without its’ shelves, you know, the ones that Dressers are bought for, the ones that hold plates ! SO we ask the famous local Ebonaiste, a Cabinet maker to you and me, to make us a set of matching shelves, replacements at vast expense, only to find on our return this Spring that all our Swiss bells & china ornaments are on the bottom shelf , having fallen through – the supports at each side have come unstuck ! Ah well, back to the specialist maker once again… Currently, his son is fixing an old small pastry table, the ones with marble heavy tops, with rickety shot to pieces worm hole pine legs, not fit for purpose… Guy is happy to source another knob for the one of a pair our Removal guys lost 4 years ago, but he wants me to drop by the Atèlier to check it’s suitable; I’ll probably have to choose two to make up a new pair. Shame ’twas white china and we’d managed to hang onto it since my mum bought it for me about 32 years ago now… Sod’s Law really, when that happens, Men losing my things.

BY The Way – Dear Reader, Please tell me when you are reading my WordPress Notebook Because i shan’t know whose joined me otherwise, shall i ? AND then i’ll be Talking to Myself again as usual ! So Sorry it didn’t end up being the article about : HOW To Choose the Perfect ART Work for an Open Studio Application… Perhaps that will be NEXT time’s theme now, instead! I closed the Derwent Textiles website as no one Told me they were enjoying or even looking at my Fashion Blog there and have now Re-opened this column, and am lately trying to Re-instate LaRoseAnglaiseSilks page on Facebook. Wish me luck !