Bath of inspiration
Bath of inspiration
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David Hockney – John St. Clair Swimming 1972

I spent three days in June at Gregynog Hall a beautiful setting for a conference in Powys.  It was not my first visit, and in addition to all the other lovely things about the place, I relished having a bath! The baths in the main house are such a good size you can stretch out in the water completely; this may seem a strange thing to be highlighting but I had moments of peace, clarity and inspiration whilst floating. The first morning I felt I was a David Hockney pool painting, and the second morning I was Millais’ Ophelia (although in rather more cheerful mode).

From this place of inspiration I conjured up words and moments and phrases.  I reflected on times past, and the echoes they have left, rippling forward to this new time, similarities I had not foreseen.

So, for this page, I am using words as part of the painting, as they express more than I could draw, despite my original claims that this would be a pictorial rather than verbal diary! It was created on 21st June, when I should have been working on my solstice page, however, this one just called to me.  Having painted the mosaic water I realised I was too scared to write my words across it – fearful of bad handwriting, of misspellings, and wonky lines.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted straight lines, or wavy, watery lines.  So for now a compromise – the painting was scanned, and the words added in a layer in photoshop (thanks to KH for technical help!). Originally envisaged as handwritten, I thought the type face would have that style, until I came to add it, and found a clearer font worked better.  At a later point I may have the courage to write across it, or I may redo this image.

For font nerds: The font I originally chose was Gill Sans (designed by Eric Gill) which is one of my favourite fonts, however whilst I had this font on my netbook, the pc with photoshop on it didn’t have it, and as this is not a free font if it doesn’t come included in a package, we couldn’t use it.  Instead I compromised with a London Underground font.

Lessons learnt: I cannot hope to run before I can walk, in fact I am barely taking baby steps. These pages may well turn out to only be advanced sketches, but hopefully the whole will be a greater sum that its parts.

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