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 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
I took a trip up to Speyside last week for the opening ceremony of Knockando Woolmill.
We're working on another project with the Mill - more on that soon (you might like to sign up for their newsletter for details of this - and to enter their monthly prize draw).
Here are some words from Dr. Jana Hutt, chair of the Knockando Woolmill Trust, about the event...
"The Woolmill was filled with over 120 guests, Trustees, volunteers and staff to greet HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay. We were celebrating the (almost) completion of the restoration of the Woolmill. The sun shone and the autumn colours glowed.
The Duke had visited the Woolmill prior to restoration and we were anxious that that he would be pleased with the results. luckily, he seemed delighted with all he saw. He met a variety of people involved with restoration project from funders to the main contractor. He was especially interested in the Old Shop, the Design Studio where all our cloth is designed, the cafe, where he discussed the merits of different quiches, and, of course, the machinery. The refurbished carding set and spinning mule ran beautifully. Before leaving, the Duke then 'unveiled' the commemorative paddle by starting the waterwheel going.
The guests then had a celebratory drink and lunch. Huge thanks to all who worked so hard to make the day a stunning success."
Find out more about Knockando Woolmill - including details of opening times, tours and other events via the Knockando Woolmill website.
Posted by Simon Lewin on October 17th, 2012
We spend a fair bit of the winter crossing snowy Highland roads and it's always good to know that the 4th emergency service aren't too far away.
And as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year, the AA will be bringing back the iconic 'Highland Patrol' name - almost 60 years after it was introduced. Find out more
All images © The Automobile Association Limited
Posted by Simon Lewin on June 19th, 2012
We'd love to visit this unique destination in Sweden.
A collection of architect designed rooms, each suspended 4-6m above the ground in the canopy of the surrounding forest - all with views of the Lule river.
Find out more from the Treehotel website.
Posted by Angie Lewin on March 22nd, 2012
It's taken us an embarrassingly long time to visit Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Our last attempt was thwarted by car trouble. But we made it today and were rewarded with bright blue skies.
We were visiting in-between shows - a major show of Joan Miró's sculpture opens on 17th March 2012. But there was plenty to see within the grounds including works by Henry Moore, Anthony Caro, Barbara Hepworth, Anthony Gormley, James Turrell and David Nash.
If you've never visited, you must. Find out all about Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Posted by Angie Lewin on March 6th, 2012
We recently commissioned Ed Kluz to create this collage/painting of a long lost landmark of the North Norfolk coast.
Randall's Folly (also known as Great Eye Folly) was originally built by Onesiphorous Randall in the 19th century but was seriously damaged by the great floods of 1953.
The novelist Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-1978) rented the folly in Salthouse from 1950 to 1951.
She describes her first impressions of the folly in a letter to Alyse Gregory - written in 1950 (courtesy of Literary Norfolk)
"...I think Valentine will have told you about the Great Eye Folly. I have the oddest impressions of it, since we were only there for about fifteen minutes, and conversing all the time with its owners. But the first five of those minutes were enough to enchant me. It is the sort of house one tells oneself to sleep with, and sometimes I almost suppose that it is really one of my dream-houses, and no such solid little assertion of the rectangle breaks the long sky-line of salt-marsh and sea."
Find out more about the folly from the Salthouse History website.
Ed is currently working on a new fabric for us - the follow up to his Painswick design.
Posted by Simon Lewin on January 11th, 2012
Chris Watson was a founding member of the influential Sheffield-based experimental music group Cabaret Voltaire but you'll now often come across his name within the credits of various natural history programmes on TV and radio.
'El Tren Fantasma', (The Ghost Train), is Chris Watson’s 4th solo album for Touch, and his first since Weather Report in 2003, which was named as one of the albums you should hear before you die in The Guardian.
Andrew Weatherall has reviewed Watson's latest recording over at Caught By The River...
"Trying to describe Watson’s work would be like sharing last night’s dreams and you don’t want to hear about my suppressed feelings of wistful romantic regret, fear of ageing [that's the teeth falling out one], fear of the future or be taken on my erotic flights of fancy. I’ll stick to a sonic description and let you dream your own dreams."
And you can find out more about Chris Watson's work from his website.
Posted by Simon Lewin on November 14th, 2011
Here's one of the new prints that will be exhibited at my show with Rob Ryan in Cambridge which opens this week.
The wild flowers in the Andalucian mountains were amazing. Beside a track lined with pines I spotted these purple-blue tassel hyacinths growing with phlomis in the stony earth.
The exhibition opens at 6.30pm on Friday 28th October at Cambridge Contemporary Art and runs until 20th November 2011.
Further copies of the edition will be available online from St. Jude's soon after.
Posted by Angie Lewin on October 25th, 2011
You may have already seen the hanging sign that Alex Malcolmson created for his exhibition with us earlier this year.
Coast magazine have just featured Alex and his work in their November issue.
Alex has created two pieces based on his time in spent sailing round the Scilly Isles to accompany an article by Ceri Levy which will be appearing in our forthcoming Random Spectacular publication.
Posted by Simon Lewin on October 16th, 2011