Where have I been? Why do I know nothing of this? I first heard the expression on Friday when I friend described the rather expensive piece of furniture she had seen in the Conran shop was going in her ‘bucket.’ I bemused wondered ‘if I have bucket let a lone a Smoked Oak Sideboard put in it?’
Then I Saturday I heard someone say her long planned trip to Australia was in the ‘bucket’ and a cruise into Southampton docks from New York not no longer ‘on the cards’ but definitely in the bucket.
It seems even the complicated ways in which these grand desires are financed are in the bucket ; a dark dream … I note ‘with a desultory smile’.
Needless to say I was unable to add to this wonder-list but have considered since and pretty much decided, first I need a bucket … a watering can won’t do.
Today I leave my post for a while and I am stuck for an explanation. It seems important to share but the words don’t come …
The bottom line is, I am going with my siblings to the place where I was born to scatter my mother’s ashes. It is 10 months since she died and still the wounds are tender.
I want to say it will be a happy release, or a ad goodbye or even it will be good to be with my family for while ; but my grief has been complicated.
I am told it is happening and it needs to be done ; she would have wanted it.
so I remain bereft of words
maybe that is best.
I surprised myself this week when I discovered I had not featured the work of Gwendolen Raverat (1885 – 1957). So I will amend that today.
Gwen Raverat; the wife of Jacques Raverat, a French artist, is the daughter of Sir George Darwin (Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge University), and a grand-daughter of Charles Darwin.
Working for 3 years at the Slade School under Henry Tonks, she became interested in wood cuts and according to Herbert Furst writing in 1923 ‘ Raverat began to practice this craft with extraordinary … inborn dexterity. Mrs Raverat’s work is distinguished by that rare quality, creative imagination combined with a craftsmanship of originality and unusual skill. Whether she works with knife or graver, on a soft or on hard wood, her technique is always in deep and instinctive sympathy with the material. Her cuts are never drawings transferred to wood but seem to have been produced, as Rodin said he produced his sculpture, by merely removing irrelevant matter from the block and so revealing what was already in it. Her imagination ranges from the representation of the beauty of light in nature to the realisation of profound emotion and soaring fantasy’.
Praise indeed …
Oh dear I am getting near the end of the alphabet and clutching at straws.
Hannah Bantry, in the pantry,
Gnawing at a mutton bone:
How she gnawed it,
How she clawed it,
When she found herself alone.
Frederick in Maria Edgeworth’s story the Mimic (1796) sings ‘Violante in the pantry’ and then in Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera we have Iolanthe!
I know … not the greatest post but ‘V’ is a difficult one!
I haven’t yet spoken about Gwen Raverat (1885 – 1957) and her work; but I will soon. Just to say, she was not taught to engrave at art school she was it seems self taught. Raverat began wood engraving after being at the Slade School for a year where she studied painting. She was inspired by Bewick; at the time there was no one at the Slade who had any interest in the craft. However she had the luck to obtain instruction from her cousin, Eleanor Monsell (Mrs Bernard Darwin) who had begun to cut and engrave wood blocks as early as 1898 but had to give up due to pressure of other work. I know nothing more about Eleanor Monsell except that she did illustrate her husband’s books for children. I am looking out for more of her work.
But I love this little engraving called the Bath …
I think that is unnecessary for me to say that ‘you should not expect an arty farty dreamy composition from me this week’. Instead I say ‘I have a dream’ or rather I am now in a position to attempt to fulfill dream.
As a girl I wanted to paint and become an artist ; no more no less. I was encouraged until I left school and was considered ‘able’ but not good enough to make a living pursuing a creative career and Art School was not an option.
I did go to Southampton Art College on Saturday mornings for many years in the early 60s. This I believe set a tiny seed to lay dormant for 50 years.
So now I am in a position to allow the seed to germinate. Allow the dream to come true.
This little scene represents my dream and the project this week.