Whilst the weather hasn't been as idyllic as we'd imagined when planning our trip to Tuscany, the converted barn that we're staying at in the hills close to Sansepolcro is about as perfect as it could be, surrounded by olive trees and wild flower meadows.
After the rain yesterday I collected a few unassuming local specimens to paint in detail. View larger images over at my Facebook page.
Posted by Angie Lewin on May 9th, 2013
We managed to sneak in a quick trip to Sissinghurst the other week. Maybe it's a bit ambitious to try to make the large scale planting schemes of these great gardens work in a small garden, but the spring-flowering anemones, snake's head fritillaries, trilliums and hellebores were just so beautiful and understated. I'm going to try to emulate it in our long, well, long-ish, narrow front garden in Edinburgh.
The Charles Rennie Mackintosh watercolour below shows the unique chequerboard pattern on the fritillary's purple flowers. Apparently, Vita Sackville-West called it "a sinister little flower, in the mournful colour of decay" which seems a bit harsh.
Posted by Angie Lewin on May 6th, 2013
We took a return trip to North Norfolk just before Easter - our first since not having a permanent base in the county.
Despite the time spent catching up with Kate and Elaine in our Norwich studio and the bitterly cold & windy weather, we did manage to get in a few decent walks.
One of the joys of not having a specific place to stay is that we can now spend time exploring some of the areas we hadn't properly visited for a while.
This time we stayed in Cley Next The Sea at Manor Coach House - a traditional brick and flick property dating back to 1825. Definitely somewhere we'll return to and highly recommended.
Find our more about Manor Coach House.
Posted by Simon Lewin on May 5th, 2013
Here's my latest screen print, Autumn Garden, Norfolk.
Growing cultivated and wild plants together often creates a beautifully random effect. This screen print depicts huge papery artichoke flowers, astrantia and miscanthus growing amongst teasels, wild poppies and grasses in my Norfolk meadow garden on a late autumn afternoon.
Posted by Angie Lewin on April 28th, 2013
We're pleased to announce the launch of a short film about the work of Ed Kluz.
Filmed and edited by Alun Callender, Ed Kluz discusses his work, inspiration and working practices. The film is shot on location at Racton Tower in West Sussex and at Ed's Brighton studio and home.
Posted by Simon Lewin on April 10th, 2013
I've recently exchanged the tending of a large semi-wild Norfolk country garden with the cultivation of a tiny walled back garden and even smaller front garden in the centre of Edinburgh. Having spent a number of years living in London after graduating, I'm enjoying urban gardening again and I find myself studying the plants growing here in as close detail as those in our old meadow garden.
We're lucky - on one side we have woodland (with owls, woodpeckers, buzzards and foxes) and a small burn as neighbours. It's one of those renowned damp Scottish gardens and so, in the old stone walls and between the bricks edging the beds, we find a variety of ferns and welsh poppies too. Honeysuckle happily grows in the mortar of the walls in places.
When in the plant nursery or leafing through seed catalogues I now find myself being more choosy as every plant must really earn its place here. At the same time, I want to keep the same chaotic mix of the wild and the cultivated that inspires me, to continue to celebrate the self-seeders, to welcome those that climb and creep over and under my neighbours' fences and walls.
In her gardening anthology Garden Wisdom, Leslie Geddes-Brown includes 'A Gentle Plea for Chaos' by Mirabel Osler in which she asks... "So when I make a plea for havoc, what would be lost? Merely the pristine appearance of a garden kept highly manicured which could be squandered for amiable disorder. Just in some places. Just to give a pull at our primeval senses. A mild desire for amorphous confusion which will gently infiltrate and, given time, one day will set the garden singing".
This is the garden I hope I'll create here.
Posted by Angie Lewin on January 13th, 2013
Yorkshire Sculpture Park have just released this great film about Mark Hearld's current Birds & Beasts exhibition which runs until February.
Posted by Simon Lewin on December 11th, 2012
Currently on show at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh is Revealed: A Familiar Landscape featuring a selection of Angie's watercolour drawings and limited edition prints alongside Lizzie Farey's woven willow forms.
At the recent opening night I think it's fair to say all involved were taken by just how well the works - created in two very different mediums - sit together.
Lizzie originally worked in stained-glass but has been professionally weaving since 1997. Finding traditional basket weaving frustrating, she now creates abstract works for interiors - working since 2002 in her workshop in Dumfries & Galloway.
In 1997 CRAFTS magazine featured one of Lizzie's woven willow and catkin spheres on its cover which sparked interest from galleries and museums worldwide where her has exhibited ever since. Last year saw a major exhibition of Lizzie's work at the City Art Gallery in Edinburgh.
Revealed: A Familiar Landscape runs at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh until 3rd October 2012. And on Saturday 29th September between 11am and 12pm Lizzie will be giving a guided tour of the works (booking required).
Pictured from top to bottom: Aerial Lines (photographed by Kim Ayres), Lizzie working in the studio, Willow Vase (photographed by Shannon Tofts), Leaves and Seeds, Lizzie harvesting willow and Wild Grasses.
Posted by Simon Lewin on September 23rd, 2012
On Sunday night Angie and I joined one of the groups of walkers taking part in NVA's Speed of Light project in Edinburgh - a mass choreographed act of walking and endurance running.
We were in the first group that headed from Holyrood Park up to the top of Arthur's Seat.
Light poles in hand we worked our way up towards the summit, pausing regularly to watch the display provided by hundreds of runners wearing light suits designed for the event.
As we reached the summit, the altitude triggers speakers within each light pole to generate a musical score that responds to the motion of the walkers.
I was going to try to put the experience into more words than this - but hopefully my snaps will tell the story.
The event runs until 1st September 2012 and I think we'll be doing it again.
Posted by Simon Lewin on August 15th, 2012
Looking forward to taking part in NVA's Speed of Light on Edinburgh's Arthur's Seat on Sunday night.
It's a tricky event to explain - a combination of a walking audience and runners carrying/wearing portable light sources will take to the hill. Find out more about the event and how you can take part.
We were determined to see this having missed out on the opportunity to see NVA's previous project on Skye, The Storr: Unfolding Landscape.
Posted by Simon Lewin on August 8th, 2012