Friday, July 18, 2008

Oxford Churches And Books, Glorious Books

I love drawing this simple black cat shape with crazy coloured backgrounds. I have used this image quite a few times for various pieces of artwork and it still has a lot of mileage left. I love the posture of this cat and the position of the tail.

A pointillist ink portrait of a young woman with a megalithic stone structure in the foreground. This took many weeks of work.

Pen and ink sketch of Art Deco bird and flowers

A selection of clay figures from my newly purchased book. There are another 495 like this. Click on the image to enlarge.

Eye candy for the artist - my purchases from Oxford

View of the beautiful box pews in St. Mary the Virgin at Oxford

I decided to make a visit to Oxford on Thursday. It is somewhere I haven't been for a long time but I decided I needed some me time, so off I went. It turned out to be a cross between retail therapy and church visiting. I love looking round ancient churches and Oxford has some lovely ones. The first one I visited was in a spot where a church had stood for over a thousand years. I love the feeling of sanctity of space in these places which has nothing to do with formal religion. The spaces which churches now occupy were sacred long before Christianity, but I think the worshipping of hundreds of thousands of people has increased the feeling. The second church I visited had some amazing old box pews still insitu. The majority of our parish churches have lost their box pews to conventional pews or chairs. I loved the feeling of cosiness tucked into my little box with the door shut. I should image the congregations of old could snuggle down to some sleep when the sermons got too lengthy.

My retail therapy consisted mainly of bookshops. Oxford has some great bookshops due mostly to the presence of the Universities. I have included a picture of my purchases which include a wonderful book called 500 Figures In Clay and another book which features lovely ceramics and shows step-by-step photos of how they were made. My third book was a Directory of Printmakers which details over a hundred printmakers with their work in full, glorious colour. I am neither a ceramicist or a printmaker but I love to look at the work of other disciplines and gain inspiration from them. I found some lovely greetings cards from another bookshop, but this time in Thame. They had a fantastic display of more designer-type cards and not just the mass produced ones. I could have bought lots more cards, but when I added up the cost of the books I didn't dare. Oh and I forgot to mention the two new pens and the "long" A5 sketchbook for doing my landscape sketches in. I think that just about covers everything. No clothes shopping - I didn't have time!


Holly Zemak said...

Thank you for the comment on my latest pastel. Last Friday my girl friend & I went to the shore and did some shopping which included cards. I picked up "Cat Nap" by Kay McDonagh. She does etchings of animals.
Looks like you had a great day - recharges the soul.

Sandy Mastroni said...

wow I can't stop saying wow !!!

That cat and the the drawing of the woman are SO good ... WOW

I think YOU are amazing

and thank you so much for commenting on my blog

It really really means so much to me ..... drawing alone all day long ... sometimes I can't see what's in my own work
I appreciate feedback
[ or suggestions too ]
Have a great day !

Cathy said...

Thanks very much for those kind words Sandy. Very much appreciated. I think it is important for people to get feedback on their work otherwise they don't know what the reaction to it is. I think you have an amazing output of artwork. Keep up the good work.

Cathy said...

I love Kay McDonagh's work Holly. She has a lovely simple but very effective style. I particularly like her dog etchings. I first saw her on Ebay but I think she is on Etsy now too.

A day out certainly refreshes you. I was so inspired by all that I saw that I have plans for quite a few new pictures now.

jenscloset said...

Your work is beautiful! Your retail therapy sounds like a wonderful idea!

~ P ~ said...

Your drawing of the woman is fantastic.
Thank you for posting about your trip to Oxford. I loved the picture of the church pews. It was almost like being there.

Cathy said...

Thanks Jen. It was a nice change to have a day to myself now I want another one....LOL

Cathy said...

Thanks Phyllis. That picture took ages and ages to do but I was pleased with it when it was finished. I had a lot more pictures of the churches but some of them are a bit dark. There were people in there praying and I didn't think it right to use the flash. I have used a flash before if I have been on my own in the church.

Laura B said...

Hi, I just found you on blogcatalog and your illustartions and art work are beautiful! I love the "art deco bird" print :)

Cathy said...

Thanks Laura. That is very nice of you to say so. I love the art deco and art nouveau periods.

A bird in the hand said...

My mother lived in Oxford for a while, on Banbury Road, so I was able to see quite a bit of Oxford.

I was married in a church with those pews at the Trinity College Dublin chapel, where I was also a student.

I love your work!

Colette xo

Cathy said...

Thanks Colette. Oxford is certainly a lovely place. I just wish it were closer so that I could visit more often. There is so much to see in the University buildings etc. I love it when I find a church with the old box pews. They are no doubt completely unpractical but much nicer I think.

A bird in the hand said...

Cathy!! I had a look at your website, and I saw more connections! My mother was a nurse and district midwife, and was from Kent (Sidcup and Bexleyheath). Her time in Oxford was temporary.

small world!

~ Phyllis ~ said...

Hi Cathy,
Your header looks great. Love those colorful geese

Cathy said...

Hi Colette. That is really a coincidence. What a small world it is. Your mum sounds as if she moved around quite a lot too.

Cathy said...

Thanks Phyllis. I thought it was about time to put something in instead of the temporary header I used when I started the blog.

Robyn said...

500 Figures is one of my favourite books. Several years ago I spent many hours browsing and buying at Blackwells in Oxford. I had to stop at 4 books because of the weight for our flight home. I used to work in a University Library which had decades of dealings with Blackwells. Your post brings back many happy memories of bookshop browsing in England.

Cathy said...

Yes Robyn. We have some wonderful bookshops over here and a lot of them get a visit from me. I think Amazon has opened up the world of books even more and I have no problems with buying second hand if it is a book I really want.