“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony” Thomas Merton.
Stair Hole, Lulworth, Dorset – part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site, which spans 185 million years of geological history. – reminding me that we are but a blip in time and that ultimately Mother Nature rules! watercolour Given that I hadn’t been on the Isle of Wight since 1965, I decided to take a taxi from the Ryde ferry terminal to Bembridge where I was staying. The taxi driver was lovely…a man who had moved to the Island from London thirty years ago. As he pointed out, the Island works best for young families, people over sixty, and of course those who love to sail – Cowes being a world class sailing arena. His grown children have returned to London, a story I heard several times. As he pointed out that despite a good internet connection, until the day a bridge or tunnel is built, connecting the Island with the mainland, life as it is will probably continue. (let’s hope they never build a tunnel or bridge…..)
After checking into my B & B I had planned on seeing my friend, artist and blogger, Sarah Vernon (First Night Design), however Sarah was taken into hospital on the day I arrived! I am relieved and pleased to say that Sarah is now home, and will tell you all about her ordeal in her own words when she is more rested. Get well soon Sarah.
Proving that there is a silver lining in most circumstances, I did get to visit Sarah in Newport Hospital, which gave me the opportunity to take the beautiful and relaxing one and a half hour bus ride from Bembridge to Newport.
One of the photographs I took of Sandown from the top of the number 8 bus from Bembridge to Newport….it was a beautiful day. My overall first impressions were of a much slower pace of life, of almost going back to how the UK was when I was growing up. Everyone I encountered was extremely helpful, including the bus drivers. People still queue.…and of course being a Brit I do like queues :). There was no litter or graffiti….a sense of order prevailed. In short it all felt very manageable.
It felt as if the Island has not outgrown its infrastructure. Life appeared to be integrated rather than fragmented. The opposite to feeling overwhelmed and isolated – which I believe is a huge problem for many in today’s society.
Newport, the principal town of the Island, is often referred to as its capital. Again very manageable, very easy to walk around…..I had a wonderful fish and chip lunch for £4! Newport Hospital was just a short bust ride away from the town centre – everything felt easy.
Outside the Art Centre in Newport. This visit was about getting a feel of the place. Would I want to spend time there painting? These are always my prime questions. The answer is yes. I would choose a village location with a bus route. This would allow me to walk to shops/pubs etc, and with my London bus pass – free bus travel. So it will definitely go on my list of places to explore and paint.
Part of the beautiful Isle of Wight coastline. I returned to the mainland via the Cowes ferry to Southampton where I had the sudden realisation that the last time I was on Southampton dock was January 28th 1966 when I took the United States Liner to New York! Talk about deja vu. My friend Suzy, whose office sits right on the dock then drove me to Dorset.
I stayed with art college friend Maureen….always very enjoyable. Although I don’t do very well with cars (anyone who knows me will be smiling at this:) Maureen took me to Lulworth Cove – part of the Jurassic Coast- and I am so pleased she did. The weather could not have been more perfect and most importantly it was visual feast.
Three different views of Stair Hole, Lulworth Cove, Jurrasic Coast Dorset….watercolours.
This image of Lulworth Cove is taken a half a mile away from where I painted Stair Hole….I began this post with Thomas Merton’s quote about balance, order rhythm and harmony.…elements I believe we all need in our lives.
Along with Crickhowell Wales, Saorge and other locations in France, the isle of Wight goes on my list of places where these elements are still to be found.
I am constantly reminded as I paint the magical hummingbird of how we can learn from Mother Nature – be it on the minute scale of the hummingbird or the rugged and grand scale of the Jurrasic Coast. It is at our peril that we lose sight of this.
A magical hummingbird drinking from the sweet nectar of life. – watercolour/gouacheA Bientôt