Living in the country, and Country Living

When I was first fledged from college I wandered the streets of London with my portfolio, looking for work. Appointments were made from phone boxes on street corners, as mobile phones were uncommon. One of my first clients was a young magazine called Country Living. Mostly black and white, as this was before colour became cheaper to print.

Last year Country Living featured an article on The Lost Words. This year there is a piece in the magazine about my studio. Cold fear washed through me when they asked if they might come and do a photographic essay on my studio. I’ve seen the magazine, and the large country houses and the studios, so elegant. But I braced myself, said yes, but I would need to tidy up. And they were so lovely and said, no, don’t worry, we will work around you. Two van loads of stuff to the dump ( recycling centre) later and it almost looked as if trolls didn’t inhabit my studio. And Nato did the most wonderful job of carefully angling his camera.

It’s so lovely being back in my tatty little house, feeding the fire, walking the dogs, reading, painting. Each day at the beach the light is different. Yesterday I walked, looking at rocks, finding stone bowls and patterns.

I love these drawings, made by limpets grazing on plantlife on rock, and the scoops in stone made by time and tide.

Country living. Living in the country. When I left college I lived in London oh so briefly. Some people aren’t made for cities. I need space around me. When I worked for the magazine, doing these small black and white drawings I lived in Bath, always on the edge of town, in sight and with access to paths. Now I live on the edge of land and a path winds its way through my garden. Beautiful work, it lifts the soul.

And I love that Country Living referenced Tamsin Abbott, whose work shines on my windows and in the garden.

About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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4 Responses to Living in the country, and Country Living

  1. WOL says:

    Don’t be ashamed of your dear little house. It’s molded itself around your life like a well made leather shoe molds itself to the foot that wears it.

    • Jackie says:

      I love my house. I’m not ashamed of anything other than my utter lack of interest and laziness when it comes to housework. I feel sorry for my house, which cares for me and looks after me well, even as I neglect it.

  2. Susie says:

    I love your writing as much as your painting – your work is a joy

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