Yesterday we drove down to Great Rollwright for the opening day of my sister’s Christmas Exhibition. Held in her studio it’s an annual event. We always try to get there, not always easy in December, but this year we simply had to go as it was a real family occasion.
Not only were there paintings and stained glass plaques by Anuk, but also it was the first time our niece Ailsa had exhibited her photographs. And to add another family dimension Sarah Grindsted was showing her pots, hand-made cards and Christmas decorations. Peter’s books of poetry were also on sale.
Logs burned in the stove, mulled wine and mince-pies were served, people came and went. Some stayed only for a short time, others for longer joining us for lunch in the kitchen by the Aga.
I lingered over paintings of landscape that fed the imagination sparking off ideas for another story, or possibly even a novella and was also drawn in by the vibrant colours of the stained glass, the owl swooping down against an orange sunset, the bright green of fields against a blue sky.
Ailsa’s photographs were equally satisfying. A lace of branches against a pale sky, a splash of light on a dark background, tree roots, or were they dragon’s claws breaking through the earth.
Sarah’s crackle pots made me want to reach out and stroke them, the warm colours sensual and appealing, making me smile even as I type this.
One of the visitors to the exhibition remarked what an artistic family we are and I suppose that’s true. Where exactly this comes from, I’m not sure, though I would guess there is a genetic component. There is also a family ethos of encouraging and nurturing all kinds of creativity.
What will be interesting to see is whether this will continue through the next generation remains to be seen, but both my grandchildren love stories, both listening and adding to them and so taking the first steps to making up their own.