Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Tree Studio


TUCKED AWAY behind a crumble-down barn, with a logpile, a rusted wheeled farm machine and newly budding trees for neighbours we look out of our back door at rabbit-holed fields and treetops beyond and smile because we are somewhere new. Our long delayed next leg eventually took us winding up from Kent, above the busyness that ebbs out around London and into East Anglia where we are parked in a field on a farm just on the north edge of Essex. It is owned by kind Sarah and her family who offered a spot on their land, after she stumbled here on a blog wander. It is delightful to walk amongst trees again and step between stinging nettles. How lovely of Sarah to invite us to enjoy a corner of this land, and it means we will not be approached by council men while I prepare for my exhibition which is just a few towns and only two weeks away from here!



If you climb down the steps at our back door and hop down the grassy hill and beyond into the woods, at the bottom of a slope there at the edge of a lake stands a tree. Its insides are black and scaly as a devil's armpit, perhaps it was struck by lightning like is striking above us now. As I write the inky sky sends cloud-wolves howling and rain beats down on our little wheeled house.


I have begun a new painting to hang in the exhibition on a slice of wood ferreted out in a charity shop by my mum. I have been working hard, and it is great to be able to wallow in my own ideas for imagery. Normally if you were to ask me at this early stage of a piece of work what I thought of it, the most positive response you'd receive would be a tentative hmmm.., but this time I am really pleased with it! It's rather a Rima-ish sort of thing sporting as it does bent people, earthen greens and reds, a Bulgarian Gaida Bagpipe, and a touch of melancholy...


Today if you had wandered down to the blackened tree by the lake you would have found me there painting up in the tree house that was started a few years ago by Sarah's boy. I scrambled up and sat high and hidden, looking out over the water as a lone swan floated past and back again giving me sideways glances. I sat there until the evening began and goosebumps came and Tui brought me red wine and pickled onions.


These next few weeks will be busy with preparing of the exhibition which will take place at the Imagine Gallery in Long Melford, Suffolk. You can see I have put the advert for A Gathering over there on the right. You might recognise a certain crow of mine. It runs from 26th April until 10th May. The exhibition will include five other artists and I must say what a delightfully enthusiastic gallery curator John Foley is. Galleries have never brought me much success in the past; instead I think the more hand made immediate way of selling work has so far served me well, and perhaps I went to the wrong sorts of galleries. But this time I will be exhibiting amongst some other wonderful earth-flavoured work and the whole thing is being put together by someone who is genuinely delighted by what I do, which is both humbling and encouraging. I have the endlessly talented illustrator and tale-teller Jackie Morris to thank for connecting us.
So.. on with frantic framing and painting of pictures, and in between, explorations of this greening corner of England which is our home for these next few weeks...


PS - do click on that last photo to enlarge.. I am in the tree!!

58 comments:

PurestGreen said...

Finally, a place of beauty where you can relax and enjoy the spring. The tree house looks magical. Wishing you best of luck on the new exhibition.

sarah said...

It's great to have you both here...

tlc illustration said...

Congrats on the gallery show! I'm glad more people will be able to see your work in that venue.

The place you are staying looks beautiful (and I think you are actually a tree nymph - painting up in that tree. :-)

Happy spring to you.

Mollamari said...

Oh mighty goodness! That tree house is the most exciting, beautiful and magical place I have ever seen, I envy you for being able to climb there amd enjoy that view with swan and all!

I am so happy for you that you have found that beautiful place to stay among friendly people. Let's hope the troubles are in the past.

tracy said...

I'm so glad you have made it safely. Will try and make it up one weekend before the exhibition finishes. Troy would love to see all the different art works I know, as would I. You have found a beautiful spot. Enjoy the peace it brings.
Love as always my friends.
Tracy x

Spirit of Old said...

What a beautiful place to stop for a while ... a what a fantastic tree! Enjoy the peace and the beauty and drink in the greenness before you move on again ... :)

ArtSnark said...

Such a lovely spot to create & recharge. Thanks for sharing

jumbleberryjam said...

{catching my breath} The photos of you in the tree are so incredibly beautiful! And, to have a glass of red wine up there while you paint. I should think it's Nirvana! Wish I could be at your show.

Cat (darklingwoods) said...

Rima I'm just delighted that you have found a wonderful spot, the tree house is an amazing studio!

wishing you all the best on your exhibit dear!

Cat

Erynn said...

What an incredible place, and what delightful photos! I'm so glad you have a safe place for now. Best of luck in your art show in two weeks!

Latreille said...

Wow, I am transported by the beautiful pictures of such a beautiful place. What luck you have. There is magic in that tree!

Good luck on the gallery!

Franky!

wintergreen.3 said...

We are all grateful to Sarah knowing you and Tui are in a safe and beautiful place. You definitely have to do a painting of yourself in that tree. Beautiful. You and the tree.
Gilli

gaffergirls.com said...

overwhelmed with delight at finding your wonderful fun creative blog...
mona & the girls

ElvaUndine said...

How serendipitous is the farm, the treehouse, the swan....you are living a beautiful life, Rima. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Carol Stocker said...

Rima, I love seeing you in the treehouse...I think if you didn't live in the rolling house, you might live there; it suits you. It sounds like your imagination is running wild and your words in this latest post seem magical and whimsical. You sound happy and relaxed! Yay! Have a great week! Hugs, Carol

Moonfairy said...

Oh my, what a wonderful place. You must be in heaven. That tree house is the most fantastic thing ever.

Cheryl said...

Wow, what a dream of a life you have! I've always wanted to try living in a caravan or a tree house and there you are doing both and [preparing for art exhibitions! Awesome...

Jessie Lilac said...

I love the pictures of you in the tree! What an amazing and beautiful place, it's as though it's been especially waiting for you.x

beadbabe49 said...

Glad to see some blessings showering you after the last few difficult weeks!

Shayla said...

That was wonderful, Rima. I have plans to make my studio in a treehouse... That's great that you've found a good match both land and gallery wise. Best of success on the show.

Sonu Kumawat said...

Hi,Rima,we follow your blog from Southern Spain,Andalusia,let us say to you we admire your lifestyle,drawings and fotographs,Sonu Kumawat.

Heather said...

So glad you are in a nice place at last and surrounded by beauty. The blackened tree is splendid and it must be wonderful to be able to draw and paint in a tree house. I wish you every success with the exhibition - perhaps you will be able to return to this new gallery in the future.

Kitty said...

What a fabulous place to work from! I imagine it'd be a bit annoying to accidentally drop a pencil or paintbrush though!

layne (herman) said...

Too cool.

The tree appears to have so much character, and it's location next to the water... what a neat place to be able to work, spend time and eat pickled onions with wine.



http://papaherman.wordpress.com

sarahblank said...

Rima, how lucky you are! The land looks beautiful, and the tree house is the perfect place for you to perch! Best wishes with all your new paintings and the gallery gig.
Beautiful photos too!

Carl V. said...

I am so glad you mentioned that about the last picture, I might not have noticed otherwise. Such beautiful pictures and oh, what an inspiring place to create! Thank you for sharing these, even experiencing it vicariously is magical.

Rowan said...

What a lovely setting for your home and good to be safe from interference too. I love East Anglia, my son lives not that far from Long Melford so next time I go I shall visit the gallery in Long Melford though I shan't be able to get to your exhibition which is a pity.

From This Moment to That said...

A peaceful and lovely place for you both to safely stay...at last! How wonderful! I soooo wish I could travel to see your exhibition Rima.
How brilliant is the tree house overlooking the tranquil lake and the swans. You look like a princess in a fairy story...which in a way, you really are!! :)

Hugs Jane

solsticedreamer~laoi gaul~williams said...

hooray for a new 'garden' and to have a tree-house to sit in is wonderful!

Griffin said...

What a lovely studio... even if that swan is eyeing you suspiciously!

Curators are often enthusiastic about the art. I suspect that when your work fits within an overall theme it will be easier for a gallery to sell. In these times it may be harder to sell anything anyway, but worth trying because you do such fabulous work.

Good to know that you have some peace and stability for working in too. Enjoy the blossoms!

syren said...

What a gorgeous place you've found and the tree studio looks enchanting.
The photos are lovely.
I trust you've recovered from your tumble down the ladder.
Best wishes for the exhibition, I can't imagine anyone not liking your art.

herhimnbryn said...

Congrats. on the show Lady Rima!
Your words and images continue to enchant. How wonderful to have such a beautiful safe haven.

Rusted Wings said...

Your life is such an inspiration....
many blessing of success on your upcoming show, and pulling all the final details together!
xoabigail

dowhatyoulove said...

What a wonderful place to be able to relax and immerse yourself in your work. How much fun to be doing a exhibition. Enjoy the experience!

That treehouse looks like a fun and magical place to spend time, and be creative!

Keep enjoying your spectacular lifestyle!

Alice said...

Hi Rima, I'm back on line for a week so I'm doing a bit of blog catch up and how lovely to drop in to yours ... calming and serene :-) You look truly at home! and I hope that you enjoy your time there. Aren't people just so wonderful and kind :-)

Pam said...

Oh yes! I see you now in that tree! How wonderful!

Nao said...

Love the tree house. I can understand how the inspiration would flow, being held in the arms of a tree. Beautiful post Rima. Best of luck at your show, if I were in England I would come.

marie said...

The picture of the swan and you in the treehouse is magical! Your work is "stunning" and magical. I can totally relate to your present lifestyle. When I was younger biked(bicycle)across the U.S. and lived on the bike and tent. I have lived in a mobile trailer for months and once again I am in transition. I really enjoy your work and admire your adventure spirit. :)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

How wonderful to have a lovely place to light. Have a glorious time painting!!

Melanie said...

What a wonderful perch for painting. I hope you continue to feel inspired by Spring and are all set for the show. I am so glad you have found somewhere where you can do all that.

pRiyA said...

mmmmm....this is like living in a dream! the right place to finish up work for an exhibition i think.
:-)


ps: how pretty you are.

Maj said...

Hi Rima, what a lovely tree studio! The photo of you in that tree makes me think that maybe you belong in one of your own illustrations?! A lovely motif!

Lori said...

Rima, i just popped over from Flatwoods Folk Art where Lesley did a lovely write up about you and your work...your paintings are utterly enchanting...and no wonder when you are working in such a magical location:)

Sarah said...

So glad you found honest mechanics at last and that you have a beautiful place to stay. That tree is just magical! Good luck with the exhibition too.

AnnaVallance said...

Thank goodness for the Sarahs of the world.
Good luck with your gallery showing.

Ciara said...

Sweet greetings to you dear one, it seems an age. I am so heartened to see you in such a perfect Rima-place. Wonderful news! And an exhibition! I dearly wish I could hop over the sea and take a peek.


Best of luck! And I know you'll thoroughly enjoy the greening up of your surroundings over the next few weeks. :-)
Love C x

al hayball said...

COOL!
What a great Hobbit hole.
Good luck with your exhibition.
al

Danielle Barlow said...

How wonderful to have found a place of peace for a short time. Good luck with the show - I'm sure it will be a resounding success!

Laetitia said...

Always such a pleasure to read your adventures Rima :))especially after all your troubles with your wandering house , love the last photo with the swan and you in the tree, no doubt the best place to prepare an exhibition !

Verhext said...

best treehouse ever!! so much magic!!

Night Owl said...

What a great place to stay a while, that tree house is wonderful :-)

krisztina maros said...

it's a wonderful place and really becomes your art!

Penny said...

I love popping in to see how you are going, I am so glad you have found somewhere for a while and it all looks magical. White swans never cease to amaze me as here they are black.
I would love to see your exhibition but we are just a bit far away, or I would also offer you a farm to stay at!

Barry said...

Glad I clicked on the last photo because, yes, there you are!

Good luck with the exhibit!!

JTM said...

het rima! thank you for your blog! it is my inspiration in making my own blog...and I also love Arthur Rackam!

JTM said...

I wish you could also see my own blog and have your comments thank you very much! wish you luck!

lori said...

Oh Rima, I do love your life. I revel in my road trips and weekend adventures...and that's just every day for you. Lucky lucky lady.
xx

BT said...

You are so so beautiful Rima. Wow, no wonder you paint such wonderful things. That picture of you in the tree is amazing. Red wine, too. How idyllic. I know you have moved on now but how lovely of Sarah to let you stay on her land. Wonderful.