Since the Open Studios at the beginning of May, I have visited the Scilly Isles.
Each of the islands has its own special character. It is the wilder side of the landscapes and the early archeology which is of real interest to me. My friend and I have both sailed and anchored here, and felt the frisson of anticipation at navigating in these waters.
The weather conditions, warm and with good visibility this time, proved ideal for visiting the small islands by the small ferries. Plants were at least one month ahead and hay making had already started. It was even good enough to do the odd tiny sketch leaving on the Scillonian for Lands End and the Cornish Coast at the end of the holiday.
These rather idylic conditions disguise the fact that over 700 ships have been wrecked on the rocks round the Islands even since the lighthouses have been built!
This of course can be viewed two ways; as a grim reminder of the challengers of going to sea with cargo and passengers, or as a legacy of the threads of skills, and human spirit rescued for new generations to emulate.
There is a collection of thoughtfully carved ship’s figureheads recovered from wrecks around the Scilly Isles.which is proving a fascinating study, and I am planning some new paintings or collage from studies of these, and the landscape.
As I watched the Jubilee Pagaent with its diversity of ships progress down the River Thames I started to notice not just the loving care which had gone into the preparation of the vessels for the event, but also themes of gilding , carving and the use of diverse materials, old and very new. All of which should be cherished in the 21st century. More of my thoughts will be posted as art work progresses.