Any trip to St Ives has to be invested with a bit of an artistic moment.
The Tate Modern is not really our cup of tea, well the contents aren't.When in Cornwall I like a good plein-air painting in which I can recognise something familiar and, more importantly, one that I would not be able to knock up myself given a piece of board from the shed and a few pots of paint.
I know, I've caused many a shudder with the suggestion that I could probably come up with a Mondrian if pushed and definitely a Pollock if I was really pushed whilst holding the can of paint.I understand it's all about time, place, context and art form but it still doesn't move me.
However, a gallery full of Lamorna Birch and Dame Laura Knight paintings does.Here's a favourite.
But the Tate building itself, once the old gas works, is a marvel and we
always go inside to experience the light and the perfect view of Porthmeor Beach
from the window and a quick look at the Bernard Leach pottery.
It's not difficult to imagine yourself back in this artist's colony when you see the original studios that back onto the beach and then the cottage that belonged to Alfred Wallis just around the corner.Here it is especially for Em at Snowbooks!
There are so many footsteps to follow in St Ives and amongst the great literary ones must be those of Virginia Woolf.
Talland House, the Stephens family holiday residence for some years is still standing and now let out as holiday apartments.I'll be honest, I'm not sure what V&V would make of the decor now but at least it's not a crumbling ruin.
What is abundantly clear is how much the scenery must have influenced Woolf's writing (though I've quite forgotten all that as I do Woolf for Dummies) and still a subject for debate is how much artistic inspiration Vanessa Bell may have gleaned. I did however acquire the book that will give me all the answers when I'm allowed to look at it.
And how about this for a perfect Cornish beach in September?