Some old friends here: the John Maltby pelican, the oval box decorated with a clipper (‘Rex’s Box’) and a couple of our Gwili Pottery mugs hand-painted with marine life. These paintings date from about ten years ago. Not a single one from the series left in the studio now, though I made many of them at our cottage one Summer. They struck a chord with collectors and vanished from the gallery walls. I should have kept one for myself, but at the time it was just important not to disappoint anyone who wanted one of them, so they all went. I see now that they are suffused with affection for objects and place. At the time I seem to remember I painted what was in front of me, one eye on the clock because the exhibition was looming. But of course it’s never quite that simple, or at least for me it isn’t.
A French dairy jug jauntily decorated with spots was the gift of Peter’s sister Sally. The juggling balls are Peter’s.
I love this elegant rat’s-tail candle-holder. A lever inside the spiral cage swivels up through the holder to push the candle higher as it burns down. Beautiful and practical. The dried cardoon seed-head was from the garden, and sits in an old Welsh wooden bowl worn thin with spoon-scraping by many generations of users getting up every last morsel of food.
Mermaid’s Purses, the egg-cases of dogfish, are legion along the sea-shore not a stone’s-throw from the cottage. When you live by the sea your window-sills become cluttered with the beach-combings of everyone who comes to stay. Every now and again we have a clean-out, keeping only the best of the treasures!