Saturday, March 14, 2009

We are back....

with news and pictures from London.

I have so much to post I don't know where to start.
Maybe I should start with visiting with Ms. Linda in London and in her hometown Wellingborough.
We were so excited to meet Linda. I think we have been blog friends for at least a year probably a lot more. We have blogged, emailed, and skyped, having a great time sharing art and clay. So, you can imagine how thrilled we were to actually see her in person. (Check out her blog for another account of our visit.)

When we met in Trafalger Square we went in the National Gallery to see the Picasso exhibit. Linda brought her niece Mariah with her to London and she was the sweetest teenager( yes, I realize this is a conundrum usually). She was so polite and just super nice to have with us!

Well, needless to say the Picasso exhibit was amazing.
It was a great exhibition representing the differences and vastness of Picasso's work.
I especially loved the portraits of Olga and the images of what I call the Giantesses (here is one example though this one was not in the exhibition).....
The show displayed some images there (which is normal with Picasso, the most prolific artist in history) that I had never seen before. I was in love. If Linda had not been there I would have swooned....really....

After we pulled ourselves away from the glory of Mr. P, we met Will in the square next to the fountain. By this time the weather sprites had decided that we had been lucky enough with good weather and decided to rain down in sheets upon our heads. We quickly ducked into an Italian restaurant near the square and settled down for some pizza. After a filling lunch we were ready to explore.
Will had work to do so he took off back to S. Kensington.

The three of us decided to do some sightseeing starting with Big Ben, then the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and finally the Natural History museum....WHEW! We were tired after all that running around so Ms. Linda bought us some cappuccinos and we sat at a little cafe resting before the two of them took off for the day.

Here is Linda and Mariah in front of a sculpture across from Buckingham Palace.

The very next day I took the subway (the tube in English speak) to St. Pancras/ King's Cross Station and caught a train to Wellingborough.

Linda and her sister and nephew picked me up at the station. We all got in Linda's cute purplish blue car and drove to her sister's house where she made us toasties (grilled cheesy sandwiches) yum!

After lunch we went to feed the swans. Oh my! there we a bunch of them! They saw us coming and swarmed us or should I say swaned us....Okay, okay, I know that was a bad one...
Here are some pictures of the swarm of swans. You wouldn't believe how big these guys were. Loved IT!!!!

we visited the local park where there were many beautiful paths and woods. Linda asked me if there was a difference between our parks here in NC and there in Wellingborough. There really were mostly similarities though I noticed a green moss, a thin filmy moss that covered almost every surface of the bottom area of the trees and some branches. It lent the air this surreal quality reminding me of fairy tales and fairies, sprites and green men.

After the park we went to Linda's house to play with clay. First she showed me her polar bear that she has been working on. He is amazing and so well made. And he is quite big, very much a polar bear from top to bottom.... ( hey Linda, don't forget to measure the kiln for Mr. Bear...) I made a bunny and Linda's nephew made the cutest snowman.
Here is Linda and her sweet nephew.

After stopping to get real English chips (really potatoey french fries) and eating them greedily in the car, we went to Linda's class. We had the most fun! Everyone was so welcoming and nice and they were making some really wonderful work. I got to see Linda's swan named appropriately...Swany. He was beautiful and so light. Can't wait to see him glazed.

Her tutor (teacher) was incredibly generous with his class time and his supplies. He made me feel completely at ease and I did a short demonstration and talk on scraffito. I was nervous at first but everyone made me feel very welcome. I think it went well and I hope that I passed a little scraffito on to more clay artists.

At the end of the day we rushed back to the train station and said goodbyes. It was sad to go but I think I will be able to go back next year....hopefully with Miss Queeny and her mom.

Whew! more news from London tomorrow.

One sketch book drawing from the Picasso exhibit:
This was a drawing from a portrait of Olga from 1923.


Undaunted said...

(Argh! I just typed out my comment and lost it!)

I was such a lousy hostess, wasn't I? (Which is why we ended up eating chips in the car!) I remembered the other day that I offered you a banana and then didn't give you one!

You'll be pleased to know that I have cleaned my car out now! But it is still being held together by brown tape! It will probably still be held together by tape next time you come as well!

Oh, I can't wait until your next visit! It will be great to see Queeny and your sister!

I wonder what that man in the Natural History Museum thought of us? I think we spent more time admiring the brick work than anything else!

What I really want to know is - did you buy a Milky Way?!

Musings of a Mom said...

Wow, I can't wait to really delve (sp?) into your post! Your time with Linda came alive. Chips in the car sounds fun to me!:)

Your swan pictures are just beautiful! Really hope we can join you and Will next year! Love abounds here for you!

Sister T

lynne h said...

thank you, leanne! what a lot of nice pics, and what a great trip! your bunny is wonderful, and also your drawing of olga. we want to see more drawings from your sketchbook. ; ) xo

Leanne Pizio said...

Hey Linda!
You were a wonderful hostess and I loved eating those wonderful chips in the car.

Yes...those tiles. I have many pictures of them but they didn't turn out as well as I wanted.

I did get a milky way. Quite a difference. I have new and unusual chocolate bars for you. I am sending them on Monday. Hope you enjoy.

Hey Sister T,
Thank you so much!
Love bounding back at you!

Hey Lynne,
More drawings for you above. thanks for the encouragement.

jafabrit said...

I am having so much fun reading about your visit, seeing the pics. I do miss english parks and the swans. Aren't the swans just beautiful. did you put gravy, malt vinegar or chip shop curry sauce on your chips, that is what I want to know LOL!

ps. your drawing of olga is fabulous.

Undaunted said...

Uh-oh, I'm supposed to be on a diet! But send away! I can't wait to receive them! Thank you!

queencraftygirl said...

Beautiful photos, yummy food, looks like y'all had a great time! Hope mom and I can join y'all next year :) I'd love to meet her nieces and nephews too.

I can not get over the swans. They are so gorgeous! Can't wait to see the finished Swany!


Leanne Pizio said...

Hey Jafa,
We had just salt on the chips but man! They were good. They cooked them right in front of us. I can still taste the potatoey goodness.
I have to say Hyde park is truly my favorite place in London and we spent many hours there. I can see why you miss them.

Oh! Sorry Linda,
Don't mean to tempt you but every since I came home I have been on the look out for weird and different chocolate bars for you.
I can stop for a while....

Thanks Queeny!
Let's start saving now for you and your mom to come to England next year.
The swans were so gorgeous...almost unreal in their beauty.

Gwen Buchanan said...

hey what a great time.. I have never been there.. how did you squeeze so many things into such a short time..??? clay classes.. swans. bloggy friends. touring.. picasso.. wow Thanks...

Undaunted said...

Hey Leanne, you know what? I went to class tonight and one of the girls was coiling a pot - ready to try some sgraffito! :)

ArtPropelled said...

London, a Picasso exhibition with a blogger friend and slap chips...mmmmm.....what more could one ask for? What about the shopping???