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I've been following Sarah Keast​'s month long residency on the Isle of Iona way up in the Inner Hebredes. I have to say I am very envious as I'd love to do something like this myself, spend a month with no distractions to submerce myself totally into artistic response to enviromental surroundings. The Island looks like just the place for me. Wild and windy; desolate and remote. Sea and sky and plenty of weather.

Another, more local, artist who I really admire is Frances Hatch who travelled down to Antarctica in 2005. Travelling as a tourist for a very brief spell in the land of ice and penguins, a kind of self imposed residency resulted in some wonderful work. You can see some of her work on her website and her book about it Drawn to Antactica which you can buy. I've always been fascinated by the Arctic regions myself; the light, the atmosphere; the remoteness and the stories of struggle and hardship of explorers past and present that undertake the journey. One of my favourite pictures in Frances' book is of a few notes taken from her sketchbook and at the top reads in faint pencil the words 'National Coach 5.15am Branksome' reminding me of that old adage that the toughest of journeys always starts with the first step. I love the way Frances works, in a very immediate and responsive way dictated almost entirely by the enviroment. This is something I have been exploring more and more in my own way and in the much more sedate surrounding of Poole Bay. But as I say...The longest journeys......

I'm not sure about the ettiquette of reproducing other peoples work in blogs so here is a sea sketch from my sketchbook to keep us going while I dream about heading off on some residency of my own someday.


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