Monday, 24 May 2010

Wagons and Weirds and Wonderfuls



SUMMER GREETINGS, Friends! Here in the left foot of England there is gold dust on the warm air, and the verges hum in the delight of sunshine and Good Things. Since last weekend's tremendous fair, I have been in my burrow painting like billio for today's deadline, and my fingertips are still golden from the gold wax I have been applying over the oil paint. I shall show you these works in good time, but for now, the Weird and Wonderful Weekend...


I made it in good fettle to Suffolk after that penniless episode, a fair bit of chaotic sign making at my parents' house en route, and an early morning clock-collection in Long Melford.
And there followed a wild weekend of non-stop talking and meetings of lovely people left, right and centre! My till was ker-chinging non-stop too, I am happy to report! And so I came away bulging-pocketed and grinning!


I was delighted to meet some lovely readers of this here web-log in the flesh, though I probably appeared rather manic and spinning-of-eye, if so - I apologise! My lovely friend Poppy and her whole Snippetygiblet family came all the way up from Colchester on the train to the fair. Anna who came to say a hello, bought a print of my The Bells, and has since written a delightful little tale inspired by it. Aaron Main presented me with a wonderful hand forged iron candle holder as a thank you gift for my ramblings, which was a very lovely thing indeed; and I was touched to hear from a man who came to tell me he'd been moved to tears by my work, and was so choked as to have to leave the barn! - These are things far more valuable than all the pennies made! I saw many other friends too, old and new. The sun shone outside, but I barely had a glimpse of it during the days for all the selling and chatting!


This year I made my display in the medieval barn, a beautiful building where many talented crafts people set up their stalls. There were basket makers, pole-lathes, musical instrument makers, furniture, sculpture ... and outside in the grounds yet more wonders, far too numerous to list here!


Here you can see my wares adorning the little stage at one end of the barn. My display was a hotch-potch of bits of old furniture - wooden window frames, old book cases, bed ends, picked up at a local recycling centre here; and slices of logs (clocks-to-be), oil lamps and twig trellis, ivy and linen. I even brought my home made lamp and rocking chair, in which I sat grandmother-like and thought up tales...

(click to enlarge - photo by my neighbouring stall-holder Dennis Hales, woodturner extraordinaire!)

From my perch I had a wonderful view of proceedings, and grinned at passing musicians .. these two Weird & Wonderful regulars playing foot-stomping heart-twisting gypsy music all around the fair:


And I sold an original painting too! Martin and Michelle had had a postcard of my Picking Up Sticks on their wall for several years, found apparently in Cambridge (but heaven knows how it got there!) .. and so they were delighted to find the actual painting, and bought it there and then! I always feel a pang when originals sell, and I leapt to take a last photo before it went on to live on a new wall.


And they took a photo of me with it too, with my name above my head and the grin that I have been wearing a lot lately!!


Weird & Wonderful Wood, I have decided, is my favourite of all the festivals and fairs yet! It is organised by the tremendous Tarby Davenport, who somehow manages to conjure the right sort of magic. This fair is a perfect mix of wonderful crafts, wood in all its guises, without exception lovely people, just the right amount of vagabonds, and realness, peaceful and good :)

(do click to enlarge - there's Sarah cooking dinner by the wheel!)

On the Saturday evening I was invited to share fire, food and friendship with a lovely family of wagon-painters, Ash & Sarah and their two young'uns Tilly and Lewis. They were there with one of their beautifully restored gypsy vardos. Ash is a signwriter and restores and repaints these wonderful wagons, whilst Sarah is the gilder, gold-leafing all the scrollwork and flourishes. They plan to make a museum of these wheeled wonders in East Anglia, the seeds of which can be glimpsed here at Wagon Time. Young Tilly even has a wagon of her own (of which I am decidedly jealous, actually), made by her father, and from it she sells Matilda Bishop's Scrumyumptious Sweets - in jars, of course, with her name on.


We had the most delightful evening of food and wine and accordion-playing by the fire, with tales shared through the woodsmoke. It was, in fact, almost too romantic a scene... look... you couldn't make it up, could you?!

(this excellent photograph - do click to enlarge - is by Richard Ieian Jones
who camped with his family in that lovely smoking scout tent above)


Firelight on gold and wheels! What could be more perfect than that?! I am in silhouette, playing one of three squeezeboxes we had between us!
And so I returned eventually to the West, heart-full and pocket-heavy, delighting in the open road, finally relaxing into driving again after so long, and singing within at the sight of the little green lanes winding over hills towards my village, and at the yellow yellow fields beside...

70 comments:

Mrs Yappy Dog said...

What a wonderful part of things you were, Rima, as these special events are only magical and exciting when they are visited by magical creatures like you! Glad you have come away richer but I expect it must be very hard to say goodbye to a work that has a little whisper of you in it. the owners have a rare piece of treasure. Betty

Astral Cat said...

What a wonderful traveller's tale :) So glad you found merry companions and hearty kerchinking down at the fair, even with a touch of sadness at one of your paintings heading off into the world to make its way with new owners. I love the picture of you with your big happy magical grin. xx

Allerleirauh said...

Your work is so beautiful, I like it so much. They bring a smile in my heart. Allerleirauh

Lydia said...

These beautiful images seem to be from another time and a place of dreams, but your lovely descriptive writing proves them to be here and now. Amazing festival. Congrats on selling lots (and on the original in its new journey). I love the photos of you, including the new profile one, and adore your dreds! This was a joyous post. I loved it.

pRiyA said...

I'm happy to see a picture of you. Not just the smiling one in this post but the one on the side. You look like a character out of an Arthur Rackham illustration. Very memorable and lovely.
One day, when I figure out what a credit card is all about and further figure out transactions over the net, I will get myself one of your prints :)

laoi gaul~williams said...

a wonderful tale~i am now planning to travel to this event next year.

it is lovely to see the photo of you and your beautiful smile by the way :)
xoxoxoxoox

mary lena said...

What a wonderful person you are !
I'm very glad to have met you on your delightful blog

Snippety Giblets said...

Ah ! It was a fine old time ! And next year when our boy is bigger I hope we can join you round the fire. It looks wonderful :0)

Jessie said...

Hi Rima, looks like you had a fun time and what a treat to have all those photos of you here! I like the new picture on the side panel of your blog too. When you mentioned the painting was bought in Cambridge, it reminded me that you were there visiting the Fitzwilliam museum last year weren't you? Maybe they bought it when you were on the road?
The little painting is definitely going to a good home! xx

Anthropomorphica said...

What a beautiful tale and happy face!

Gemma Mortlock said...

wow what a beautiful post! and such a lovely stall i can see why so many people bought goodies from you :)
I love the photo's of you they made me smile you have such a cute face :)
I hope you are enjoying this hot hot weather
Big Hugs
Gem
xxxx

Tonia said...

What a wonderful sounding fair - full of singing and happy people! Must get there next year.

A mermaid in the attic said...

Oh what a wonderful weekend, and I'm so glad to hear you came home with your pockets jingling merrily, even artists have to eat sometimes! I love the Vardo, what a wonderful campfirelit scene. I told my beloved that if we ever move to the country, he has to make me a little gypsy wagon that I can pull it around our property and have a different view every dawn!

Valerianna said...

That settles it! My pilgrimage to the UK MUST be scheduled to include the Weird and Wonderful Wood. Looks like a grand time!!

Love seeing the wonderful installation of your world at the fair - and to see such a beaming smile!

Blessings of continued abundance from across the shining sea....

jfidz said...

A wondrous tale! I'm so glad you had such a great time - you deserve to!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

What a wonderful time you must have had! And to make money, too! A bonus!

I love your booth. How I wish Edward and I could have visited!

farmlady said...

In my next life I'm going to be an artist from the beginning and live in a Gypsy Vardo.
This faire seems magical to me. Something from long ago. Even the tents are beautiful. I would love to visit the British Isles someday.
Until them I will dream about the gypsies and the campfires and look at your print of "The Goods and Chattels Man" that I had framed and is hanging in my livingroom reminding me of the gifted young lady in England who is brave enough to live the life that she has choosen and talented enough to sustain her lifestyle.
Take care...

Jericho said...

Love the set up for your portion for your works, Rima! :)

Suz said...

I am glad you are wearing a big grin now. It seems like a while since you have looked or sounded happy.

I wish I could have come to see the fair. It sounded wonderful. Unfortunately, the United States is a little far away to just drop in. Maybe some day.

Lauren said...

I love your stories and artwork! I especially enjoy the wagons. My family name is Wainwright, which means my grandfather's family were wagon makers and I like to imagine that is the type of wagon I would make!

HKatz said...

I'm glad I found your blog - it's delightful.

In this post I especially liked reading about the people who restore wagons (lovely photos), and sharing a fire with them.

Emerald Window said...

Rima, opening your blog is like opening a gift. I peel off the paper and there are your words, hugging the heart and stirring the imagination. The Weird and Wonderful sounds just that! We want to come back to England soon. Will try to schedule it around this fair. Hope you will be there then.
Blessings,
Cenya

Mollamari said...

I wish I could describe how much I love reading your words and looking at your photos!

Oh how great was your success at the fair, you deserve it! I wish I could have been there with my carpenter husband, there must have been really interesting things to see.

Leslie said...

So glad of your successful weekend. Thank you for sharing it with me. I think one of your visitors at the Faire was a friend of mine from nearby, who didn't know about the faire until I reposted your blog about it on Facebook. Continue!

Swan Artworks said...

It all sounds and looks wonderful! I wish I lived a bit closer so I could go! I'm glad you did so well and enjoyed it so much - the firelit gypsie wagon is timeless and could be from any age...

Runic Rhyme said...

The photo of you with your painting wins my heart :p Such modesty, strength and genuine real beauty. It drips from your pores, my darlin!

wagontime said...

Aah lovely Rima, we want to be back round that fire, listening to your magical music, laughing and drinking!... Every year the weird & wonderful never fails to deliver many memories for us, and this year is up there with the very best! It was so lovely to finally meet you and we know we will catch up with you again, somehow somewhere... I have my purchases up on the wall already, we had to settle for the neutral ground as the children wanted them for themselves! Although their pockets too were bulging after the weekend, so next time they can buy some of their own. We wish you many more bulging pockets and hope to see you soon, looking forward to reading more of your fantastic tales. Love and best wishes, S,A,L,T xx

Velma said...

rima--this venue looks like the perfect mix. and your smile!! i love the wagons...

Ciara said...

Oh Rima, the happiest, most loveliest post in a long while. And in the midst of these wonderful people and doings and deeds, and all these incredible, romantic, and actually rather moving images, your smile is the most beautiful thing of all.

C x

Ciara said...

Ps. What a GORGEOUS new profile pic!

Sonia ;) said...

Rima looks like a magical time. I am envious without no doubt. I am so glad you had done so well. You are an amazing artist with a real spirit and inspiration to me.

xoxoxoxo

Anita said...

Thank-you for taking us on your magical journey...it was like stepping back to a simpler time. Just gazing at your campfire scene warmed my heart...I loved going there with you. Sigh

Ben Hatke said...

Wow, Rima, I do envy your festival visits. And the new photo of you on the sidebar is really lovely!

the vagabond said...

Rima why did you sell the original paintings? Did you sell all of them?

Shelley Noble said...

What a way with turns of phrases! So happy for your joys, Rima. Those images and words are beyond reality.

Owen said...

Your joy is contagious ! This is all wonderful news...

Graceful Moments said...

How lovely to see you smiling and seeming so very happy! So happy for you that your pockets were full when you left. Your stall was such a perfect backdrop for your beautiful work. What beautiful green scenery for you to enjoy on your way home. Will be looking forward to seeing the works that you have promised us in good time. Blessings!

Zaina Anwar said...

Wow, Rima, congratulations on your success!. And I must say, the arrangement of the paintings and the way they were presented was simply beautiful. Keep on working so we can see more of your wonderful, ethereal paintings. Cheers and lots of good luck for the future :)

doro said...

Fantastic pictures, works, climate, art!
You are amazing!

appletreedream said...

It sounds like a magical fair - exactly as I always imagined a fair should be. Congratulations on selling your work and finding new friends.

Melanie said...

Wonderful Rima I am so pleased that you had a very successful fair. Will email in a sec.

hedgefairy said...

That's wonderful! I wish I could have been there, too. It all looks so dreamy and jolly and good with a glimpse of times past, maybe a Dickens novel in the countyside or a fairy tale...
Lovely to hear that you had a good time!

Sue J said...

What a lovely fair. I would've liked to be there, but I'm half a world away. Love all your work :)

Škorčica said...

What a wonderfull fair. And your fairytale paintings!

Greetings!

jai and Lauren Soloy said...

What a wonderful story! It all looks so delightful - wish we could be there with you!

rossichka said...

Oh, what an exciting and magical journey! For you and for us - the readers. Dear Rima,there's nothing more wonderful than to feel satisfied when you have had a success, when you have felt that people like your art and love you.You look really happy in that precious moment of saying "bye" to your lovely picture! I like your photos on the rocking-chair and on the sidebar, too... You have come back not only with "heavy" pockets, but obviously with a soul, full of emotions, warmth and inspiration! Good luck in everything you do!

Pat said...

How happy I am at the contentment you have found. Thank you for sharing, the campfire photograph is like a Caravaggio.

Auguste said...

After months of job hunting I've finally hunted a job down... It gets me tremendously nervous and anxious and bugged to clean dishes at this hotel. Actually, my first day was today and I do my best to stay optimistic. What a marvelous way to find myself again, to remember to breath when coming home to such wonderful tales an imageries.

What a beautiful fair might I say. Congratulations on the fruititious gathering!

mama p said...

it is SO good to see you SMILING!! and tales of the fair completely inspiring :) i go off to my dreamtime happier, thank you!

oq said...

Hello, Rima! Congratulations for making such a beautiful appearance at that fair, with all your hadcrafted wonders! Your photos always bring a fresh breath and I wanted to thak you for that. Especially the one in the dark, at the camp fire- it reminds me of my grandfather who has gone recently. He used to play the armonica for me when I was little, and I used to hide inside the harmonica box.
I cannot wait to see more of your summer forest photographs:) Have a wonderful time and many sunny days!

ke-n said...

I am reading your blog from a few days ago. It is really good pics, your expression of sentences. I love it. I am looking forward to looking at your world from now too. Take care.

Ke-n from Japan

Karen said...

What a wonderful fair Rima!
I would have loved to have come.
And a wonderful smile you have too :)
xx

www.WestCeltGypsy.com said...

Rima, I am so happy to have found your blog. I love seeing the picture of the gorgeous Vardo. My horses are Gypsy Horses, and I can only imagine how they would look, pulling a happy wagon down a green country lane...
Keep sharing your wonderful artwork, words, and your warm heart. I hope to be able to commission a piece someday.
Until then may the spirits be kind.

mariel said...

That looks and sounds wonderful! I didn't know anything about it, but am only in Norfolk so hope to make it there next time. Glad it went so well :)

Griffin said...

Lovely to see you - especially with a big grin on your face. Clearly you had a case of pronoia (they're all out to help me)!

Well, despite the coolness, summer is definitely coming. Stay safe and well o wondrous one.

The Earl of Grey said...

It is so good to see you so happy!

jodi said...

It's lovely indeed to see a post so filled with joy and contentment! I really enjoyed the photos of the festival... it was an inspiration to see how your stand was set up (I've been a bit preoccupied with matters of setting up booths this past little while)... and then to see the gorgeous waggons... how amazing, what masterpieces! It seems to have been a the most magical of festivals, I'm so glad!

Kat_RN said...

I am so glad it all worked well. You are high on my list of inspirational beings. I hope that grin stays put!
I don't comment often, but thank you for sharing pieces of your life with us.
Kat

dancingbeastie said...

How delicious that you have found some weird and wonderful wood - all my favourite things! - and have shared such stories with us. The campfire picture really is like opening a book of fairy tales. Indeed, that's what visiting your blog feels like every time. Your writing is wonderfully evocative.

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

How wonderful I wish I could have been there too! But now I can feel I have with your beautiful photographs..so evocative and I so enjoy reading of your adventures Rima. It sounded like a magical experience.

Heather said...

The Fair sounds a wonderful event and in such a beautiful venue. I am pleased it was such a success for you - very well deserved after so much skillful hard work.

Sandy said...

Wow, what an interesting blog! Will come back when I have more time to look around.

Julianna said...

This all sounds absolutely magical!

joana soares said...

Thanks for sharing those lovely moments at the fair.
Your "place" at the fair looks very very beautiful, I can imagine and feel the magical atmosphere you have created.

Lisa said...

Even though I’ve permanently abandoned ‘The Triple Echo’ for idiosyncratic reasons, I’m still quite content to be a capricious respondent on varying blogs, and shall look forward to visiting yours from time to time.

Oh, Rima, such a glorious roundup of Virgo-esque subtleties, that it’s hard for me to scramble and quantify all these stacked words and there unfolding imagery. This all must be a prelude to a predestined book you have in the works? If so, I look forward to reading pure magic, from pure talent.

3ster.......... said...

Rima, congrats about this exhibition of your work, it´s really beautiful! I love it, it´s so inspiring and full of magic.
I wish I could be there to enjoy your pictures in person...

Best wishes, Rima!

Ester *

mummybear said...

Your corner of the barn was wonderful and I love my painting!

Christiane said...

Lovely pictures! I like how you frame your art! Do you make the frames yourself with reclaimed wood??

Nishant said...

Your work is so beautiful,
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R. Adams said...

Thanks for this lovely blog!