We actually went for a day out...
The Watts Gallery and Studio in Compton, Surrey, has been on my list for years. It is famously the home of George and Mary Watts; eminent Victorian artists. He was The Great Portrait Painter, and she was The Great Arts and Crafts Designer and also started the Arts and Crafts Pottery in the village.
Oh, rather than me going on, look it up; google 'Watts Studio' or, 'Watts' Gallery' or 'Watts' Chapel' and you'll be able to find out all about it.
We had mixed feelings; it is All So Very Arts And Crafts, especially the Memorial Chapel, that we were a bit overwhelmed. Everything seemed to be in Capital Letters, if you know what I mean. Odd to think that this was exactly the era that my Grandmother grew up in - that transition between Victorian Art and Edwardian Socialism. I have an Arts and Crafts bedroom candlestick which used to belong to her.
On the whole I prefer the National Trust's Standen house, also Arts and Crafts but not so Conscious.
Anyway, I took my paintingy things along. We are going on holday later this year, and I'd love to be able to create a travel journal/sketchbook, but that's not going to happen unless I start getting my eye in now.
Lunch took forever to arrive - a combination of kitchen technology failure and a coach party of Dutch tourists was proabably the fatal combination. I amused myself copying part of the site map into my diary;
After we had walked round The Studio and The Chapel we had tea and cake. They serve it on mis-matched vintage china cups, saucers and plates; most attractive. The jugs tend to be less delicate, and as for the teapot - well, I couldn't bring myself to include it. A plain round white teapot with 'TEA' printed round the belly. 'TEA'. What else would one expect to find in a teapot? Apart from maybe a gold watch or a dormouse. But there wasn't much room for frivolity here.
I had a go at copying a painting that caught my eye in the gallery;
It was in shades of a pearly greenish bluish grey, and depicted a moment when they were sailing around near Venice in the fog. Maybe I liked it so much because there was no deep symbolism, wracking emotion, moral message...
Today is actually Sunday 14th April; I said the posts might be out of date order. I've finished the first crochet square, and also sewn a bag to keep the ball of wool and crochet hook and next-square-in-progress. I'm ridiculously proud of setting in the zip - as I sewed it all by hand it was much easier than roaring along with the sewing machine and then unpicking at all afterwards.