Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Cornwall Day 4: 365 Doodles Day 277

Wednesday - The powercut turned out to be the fact that I hadn't put any coins in the electricity meter. The fact I didn't know there was an electricity meter didn't help. It was a problem soon rectified, however, and I decided to spend the day - or a goodly chunk of it - in my favourite town in Cornwall: St Ives. The sun was shining once again - I've been so lucky with the weather - as I drove to Lelant Saltings railway station to take the park and ride. It's one of the prettiest train routes in the UK; it's just four miles long but it wends its way along the cliffs above the Hayle estuary and Carbis Bay with the most beautiful views across St Ives Bay towards Gwithian and the Godrevy light.

Arriving in St Ives itself, I started meandering up and down the main streets, visiting all of the art galleries. There are hundreds of them ranging from places like The Craftsman Gallery selling huge, expensive pieces by artists like Matthew Lanyon to tiny little built-in-your-front-room galleries such as the one where Alexandra Dickens exhibits her richly colourful abstracts. A new find for me this trip was the work of Sean Taylor whose clever, happy graphic paintings of Cornish places were refreshing and put a big smile on my face. Here's his St Michael's Mount:

Apart from the seafront and a couple of streets just about navigable by car, most of St Ives consists of 'downalongs'; tiny winding alleyways and cut-throughs that are great fun to explore. And you can't go more than a couple of minutes before finding yet another gallery or artist's studio. I met a lot of new people this time and bought prints by Gerry Plumb and St Ives Art Club painter Keith Bennett (see cow painting below). I stopped off at the Beach Restaurant for a delicious Newlyn crab salad and then, because the sun was so glorious, the only thing to do was head for the harbour and a Uren's Cornish ice cream. Nom.

I took a walk out onto Smeaton's Pier to wave to the fishermen as they came back with their hauls and to watch the very tame turnstones and sparrows weaving their way in among the drying crab and lobster pots looking for tubeworms, sea lice and leftover bait.

It's always a wrench to leave St Ives but I had an evening dinner date with my brother and family. Little did I realise, however, that I'd end up being roped into running an art class for my sister in law's Brownie pack. It was great fun though and I had them creating all manner of monsters with which to decorate their hut for their Halloween party. And it led to today's new doodle:

'What great monsters! Where do you get your ideas from?'

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