Archives for posts with tag: Somerset

DetailChippingAs I sit in our next beautiful cottage, listening to the river just outside our door and the rain, I am thinking back to the wonderful seven days we spent in Chipping Campden. There were so many lovely details within the architecture in this picturesque town – I could post at least 50 pictures of door knockers alone!

Chipping Campden has existed since the late 12th century, but the current look of the village dates from the late 17th century when many of the wood-frame buildings were re-fronted in the honey-coloured limestone found in this part of the Cotswolds. Here are a few of the details I found most charming:

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My second full week in England will be spent in the perfectly lovely village of Mells, to which we will bus from the train hub of Frome.

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The internet would have me believe Mells is idyllic, and I don’t doubt it. “One of the finest villages in England” is a quote from their website. It seems to me exactly the sort of place that will steal my heart and hold it captive forever. Mells certainly checks many of my boxes for a livable place: pretty, quaint, well organized, with a rich history, and a 25-mile walk and cycle trail – Colliers Way – right on it’s doorstep. And it’s less than four miles from the market town of Frome which has a thriving arts scene and regular market days. Other villages nearby include Coleford, Nunney (with it’s castle ruins), Whatley and Chantry. We also should try to get to Glastonbury.

During this week I will also be heading back to London for two nights to meet up with my sister, who will be in the UK at the same time. On the way back to Mells, a day in Bath is also on my agenda. Seems like a lot for a week!

For as long as I can remember – since I was a tiny child – I have been obsessed with the United Kingdom. I have planned and wished and dreamed to be there. When I was very small I would draw and paint scenes from my imagination of rolling fields, hedgerows, sheep and ponies. I have felt forlorn. I have felt hopeful. I am a citizen, yet I have not set foot on her verdant land… until now. September 26 is the day I will arrive. A dear friend has done all the planning, found all the accommodations, and she and I will spend a month traveling in the south of England.

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As well as being a time for self-reflection and adventure, I plan to use this month to work on my art practice, and gather material for future projects. I recently began using a simple technique with a pasta machine to do small etchings, embellishing the finished pieces with watercolour and gouache. A recent series of scenes from Victoria’s Chinatown was quite successful. I will work on a new series later in the autumn which will be based on sketches and photos from the towns we visit on the journey.

With encouragement from friends, I have set up an Indiegogo Campaign, giving people the opportunity to support this next phase of my artistic development. Thanks to lovely patrons, within a couple of weeks I had reached 29% of my goal:

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I am happy to report I am now at 37% and plan to the extend the campaign for a few more weeks.

I have been spending a bit of time preparing for fulfilling the perks I have included in my campaign – sketching and painting at various spots around Victoria in the warm spring sunshine. It will be so amazing to have a month dedicated to my art. The historic villages, friendly people and spectacular countryside of England will provide inspiration for years to come.

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My travel companion asked me, “Won’t you be homesick traveling for a month?” I know I will miss my beloved, and our little cats, but I replied “How can one be homesick when one is finally home.”