The last two days have been taken up with travelling, or driving to be more precise.
Yesterday was a long day of sitting in motorway traffic jams, and was a journey made from necessity, but Sundays drive was of a different nature or at least a nicer destination.
I went to visit the sculptor Nichola Theakston.
It seemed so strange as I became closer to my destination, I felt as I have sometimes in the past,
I wasn't visiting an artist I was visiting a friend.
It felt a little like when I was a child and as a family we would go to visit the relatives, the excitement and anticipation as you got nearer the destination.
In a way I suppose that is exactly what it is, it is visiting someone who is of importance in your life.
Nichola is an incredible sculptor who happens to be married to a man who is equally as clever
and who is also a very successful artist. They make a great team and are also two of the most genuinely nice people that I get to see from time to time.
It was lovely to arrive at their door with a feeling of excitement about meeting the person, not
just seeing and collecting the art.
Tony was unfortunately away showing his work in London, but Nichola made me feel welcome.
I don't really know what to say about her, she is just so talented but is only just starting to
realise that her work is so very special.
Her animal sculptures have always been very beautiful but over the last couple of years have started to take on a life of their own, now not only are they lifelike but also portray the
character and vibrancy of the living creatures. They have become just slightly more abstract and the result is wonderful, you really feel that as you touch them the will come alive, or might even turn to bite you, and somehow with her colouring has managed to create the illusion of fur, or skin.
But, still she is such a totally modest person who is only recently starting to recognise that what she does is very different.
How someone who has long been acknowledged as being one of the countries finest wild life sculptors can have any self doubt is beyond me, but I suppose that is what drives her,
the desire to get better, until SHE is totally satisfied.
Of course, that day will never come because like all true artists she knows that the
"next piece will be a bit better".
A day that will never come because she will never recognise when she is perhaps the best, and has achieved great art, she will always be striving to get better, and this is what sets her apart.
She let me leave with lots of beautiful pieces, all of which I will most likely never get around to photographing so I have borrowed a couple of her own pictures to show you.
I would have liked to have shown the dramatic landscape in which she lives, but for some unknown reason just as I set off to visit her I put aside my camera.
Why? What an idiot I was, and I have lived to regret it.
Still, there is always the next visit to look forward to when I visit to see Tony and this time I will have a camera.
Until then, here is Nichola at work and just a few of her creations.
There was only one disappointment from the visit.
As a little boy when I visited relatives they gave me money, not this time.
Still I suppose I will have to make do with the sculpture.