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St.Ives & Saving Up For Art Worth Hanging


This won't be the first time that I've prattled on about my love for St.Ives and it also won't be the last. Having holidayed there with family every year since day dot, bar the years when you don't won't to be seen dead with your parents, St.Ives has become one of my favourite places to be. Once a year my parents, very kindly, rent a house and we all descend for a week of sea views, sandy feet and if I'm being completely honest, baked goods. 
(We all being myself and Oliver, my parents, my sister and her crew)

A wander round the coastal paths will give you no end of bloody lovely viewing points to stop and take in the colour of that sea. When the sun shines in St.Ives it is quite literally heaven. 

Whenever I'm there it isn't just the salty waters of the pretty beaches that wash over me, doing those corns and calluses a world of good, it's also the childhood memories of holidays past that wash over me too. From the time I spent an age choosing a butterfly shaped ring from The Shell Shop, only to fall asleep on it and woke to find a wing had snapped off. To the time that I ditched my wetsuit and forgot to put any suncream on for an entire bikini clad day on the beach. It took two days for the room to stop spinning, then, the itching started. Ah sun stroke, a quintessential part of any British sea side holiday.


These days though I'm a lot savvier with the old UVA protection. I cover up good and proper with a nice Factor 50, except for the one oddly shaped patch that it's customary to miss and in turn be tormented by for the rest of the summer months. 

It's also customary during a visit to St.Ives to have a delightful browse round the many art galleries that are dotted about, and mull over which pieces we'd take home should we happen to strike it lucky on the pools. Incidentally, while browsing the Penwith Gallery earlier this year, there was quite a turn up for the books when Oliver told me he'd just seen Terry Frost. A turn up for the books indeed considering the artist had passed away in 2003. 
I can write that with confidence aided by t'internet, but at the time I was only 'fairly sure' that Terry Frost was dead. Art aficionados we are not but we're learning as we go. We learned that day that a bloke named Terry, not of the Frost dynasty, was browsing in the Penwith Gallery too.

(Sorry Oliver)

We'd decided in advance of our last trip, that this time we'd put money aside for both cornets and a painting and buy our first piece of 'proper art.' You know an actual painting as opposed to those generic IKEA prints that end up adorning so many of our walls.

We wanted something that aired on the side of abstract because, well we're dead modern aren't we, but also something that would remind us of sunnier days when we're back amongst the drizzle of the North.
We found and fell in love with a piece from a resident artist called Susan Thomas. Our reasons for loving it were threefold.

1. Susan was born and raised in Blackpool.
A fellow Northerner who had made it to St.Ives to set up home and lead a creative life by the sea. Dreamy!

2. Susan had opened up none other than her very own living room to allow passers by the chance to view her work.
We'd stumbled across her home by chance and on returning for a second time to make our final choice, had found a handwritten note 'might be open later' stuck to the front door. I started to love the artist as much as I did her art and took great care not to be too obvious side eyeing her Ercol sofa when we did in fact make it back inside.

3. The piece we settled on "Porthmeor Beach and The Island" was painted in April 2018.
Now April 2018, for Oliver and I, was our 'the shits hit the fan' month, for reasons that you'll already know about. During one lengthy waiting room stint in the April of that year, we'd chatted about how this would soon be all over, and how we'd soon be back in St.Ives. We'd agreed that we'd save a bottle of our engagement fizz to share as the sun set over Porthmeor Beach. A happy thought to keep our peckers up.
*the first two photos at the top of this post taken were taken when we'd made it to the beach

How funny then to think that at the very time we'd sat hatching our beach side plans, Susan Thomas had sat working on that very same beach, perhaps not realising how much meaning her painting  of it would have to us. How it would symbolise to us that there are better times ahead. With Veuve Clicquot please, lots of Veuve Clicquot.


I love it. Now all we need are a couple of others to join her.

As always, thanks so much for reading.

Love,

Elaine x

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