Messing about with filters, enjoying the city.
Exploring the work of Constantin Guys…
Yesterday I picked up a book of sketches by Constantin Guys on a second hand shelf at the City of York Art Gallery.
I had never heard of Constantin Guys before, but the drawings and ink washes immediately caught my eye.
‘…born in a Kissinger, Holland, in 1802, the son of a chief commissioner in the French navy. In 1823 he joined Lord Byron’s and expedition to fight the Greek war for independence.’
His artistic career didn’t fully flourish until he was in his 40’s and in 1854 he was sent ‘to the Crimea to cover the movements of the English, French and Turkish troops in their fight against the Russians.’
He was famous for his illustrations of life in Paris, as well as his war drawings. I love the immediacy of the work and the way that simple mark making has created the energy and movement of the soldiers and horsemen on the page.
Although a very random book to find and purchase, I came home inspired, wanting to learn more and to practice capturing movement through simple lines and mark making.
All quotes taken from: Smith K, (1978) Constantin Guys, Crimean War Drawings 1854: The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio.
Mini Adventure: The Sumptuous Dyls Cafe in York
I can not encourage you enough to visit the gorgeous Dyls Cafe in York. Saturated in beautiful colours and a range of art work and graphics it’s a visual feast.
Based in a small tower that held the motor for moving Skeldergate Bridge in York, the cafe now has a fairy tale quality. Plants trail from windows, you follow a tight winding staircase to each floor, the top floor is a tiny round room at the top of the tower, it feels like you have been transported to another time.
I love the quirky style and humour of the decor. It’s a little adventure just spending time soaking up the atmosphere. I don’t get to go that often, but I have to say it’s my favourite cafe in York based on the interior and setting – great coffee and food too!!
Dusk walking in the city…
A late afternoon dog walk in the city turned into a stroll along the River at dusk. I love the reflections on the water and the sparkling lights.
I love the city pigeons but they had all gone off to roost so we found some geese to feed instead. Didn’t manage to get a steady photo – but I quite like these blurry shots.
Reminded me of a beautiful poem we use on the FSC course – Something Told the Wild Geese by Rachel Field. Although these geese are non-migratory – but still lovely all the same.
Home adventures….. Reader Cafes…
Loving York Library reader cafes this summer. We picked up a leaflet in Rowntree Park Reader Cafe encouraging us to get a stamp from all six reader cafes this summer to win a goodie bag.
It worked! We have two left to go. It’s cost me a small fortune in posh lemonade and hot chocolate – but we made it a teddy bears picnic event and the whole family have got back into reading in a major way. (Result!)
I’ve made some great unexpected finds for my PhD. Nothing better than running your (sanitised) hand along a book shelf and seeing and seeing what speaks to you right?
And we have discovered some great new resources under our noses.
For those of you interested in the bears… they are all rescue bears from charity shops ❤️ Mr Snoots (in the leopard print) only likes to be decent and clothed. Tom Traveller (strange green colour) doesn’t really give a damn. Bez the bear (in his lion onesie) is my replacement bear (top pic) after Mr Snoots surprisingly migrated from my room to my daughters.
Today was the second to last creative writing course that I will be running for St Nicks in York.
A bitter sweet day this is where my writing journey began six years ago and where I have worked with such an inspiring and lovely group of people.
I’m leaving to give more time to my independent freelance writing and PhD, but I will certainly miss it. This morning our creative writing tasks reflected the experience of writing at St Nicks. One of my lovely participants wrote that coming every week is his ‘Wednesday Trend’ to be in nature. I love those words.
Going forward I am going to continue the Wednesday Trend of connection with nature – taking a break from studying and writing to connect with the natural world.
The class will continue to run and will be hosted by my amazing colleague / friend Griselda who is also an artist and writer, so York friends please do get in touch with St Nicks if you are interested in joining them.
Here are some beautiful pics from St Nicks this morning… take care! Em 🙂