…that is the question!
I hear from so many friends and clients that I need to reach more people with my art work, and the suggestion of a blog always presents its questionable head. I ask my self, “What do I have to say or share”? Then, I realize that one of the questions most asked by those viewing my paintings is; “Is that a real place?”. “Why, yes indeed” I answer, and the stories start to unfold. Or I hear – I think that’s England, Italy, Austria, Germany… or where in the States is that?
I wrote poems reflecting some of my paintings and our journeys through-out England, Europe and the U.S . and compiled them with 36 paintings, sought a publisher and now am published. “Come Walk With Me”~ A poetic Journal –is available on my website, in your local bookstores and through Tate Publishing. It was nationally distributed this past August.
A few years ago, my husband, Michael, and I spent eight months in the magical land of the British Isles. While he worked, I painted with new friends in the Lytham Art Society. Week after wonderful week I was introduced to hidden places rich in culture and amusing travels weaving through the velvet countryside. On weekends, we would direct our ambling gait to the far corners of the Island; returning home to the U.S. with paintings, sketches, photos and many memories. If you choose to follow me, I would love the company!
When viewing my website www.beverlyhooks.com you will find my ‘Art Gallery’ ~ that is our jumping off place, in retrospect let’s leap from the Home page!
Ripley Castle Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
It was a day of sunshine and shadows. A day for touring the gardens and the Castle with its ancient history complete with a ‘Priest Hiding Hole’ used during the Elizabethan period. The priest hiding hole was ample for one man to stand alone in the secretive darkness!
The family still occupies the upper floors of the Castle, while enamored guests stroll the ornamental halls.www.ripleycastle.co.uk/
Approaching the Garden Conservatory, the shadows danced and Michael and I stopped to take in the welcoming view. The Conservatory stretched in width far beyond my painting. We entered a living conservatory weeping with humid nourishment filled with exotic plants. Upon exiting the rear of the building we walked lush forested ‘toe paths’ leading to a tranquil lake. As we stepped out upon the lake’s stepping stones which proceeded into the water itself, a herd of stag caught our attention grazing the lake’s island. It was unbelievably placid.
Then out of no-where, a dark shadow sped across the hills capturing and turning the clear water to dark intensity. Suddenly thunder ripped the quiet as we stumbled, finding our way to solid ground. Michael grabbed my hand and with heads down we ran through the cold driving rain drops. I remember murmuring, “Oh, my gosh we got caught in an English thunder storm!” At that point, drenched and cold, and identifying with a particular character, ‘Marianne’ in Jane Austin’s Sense & Sensibility; somewhere in a time warp, we raced out of the trees, scampered the pebbled drive and into shelter at the Boars’ Head Inn, (www.boarsheadripley.co.uk ) an old Coaching Inn and part of the Ripley Estate.
Soaked to the bone, we were greeted by an open door and white fluffy towels, then lead to a cozy seating room. The staff had seen our mad dash for the Inn and greeted us with smiles and comfort! We were served hot tea and, of course, scones and we lingered contentedly watching the rain soaking and renewing the lush rolling hills.