Oh, I do love to be beside the seaside

Oh, I do love to be beside the seaside

... Cornwall to be precise.   Had a magical 10 days, staying in a converted granary and working with an artist in his studio and at Cornwall Cove.   I'm afraid I've been rather remiss at reading posts, largely due to network limitations.  Mobility and pain wise, I had bad days and not quite so bad days, but the sea air, sunshine, lots of lovely fresh fish, and the creative energy were a terrific compensation.   I'm seriously wondering if I should move down there;  I could probably buy two, or even three, delightful Georgian houses in Penzance for the crazy price I'd get for this house.  But I hate geographical change, most of my friends live around me and I would miss the cultural life of London, if not the pollution, the crowds, the traffic, the litter.  And I'm a coward! 

24 Replies

  • Jora 

    What a beautiful start to the day. A painting of Cornwall. i can just feel the breeze, smell the granite, and see the pureness of the  light of Cornwall. Cornwall is one of my most favourite places on earth. We go there winter or summer or anytime  we can and always it recharges my batteries and clears my mind just by taking in the natural beauty of the landscape. 

    Glad your trip has done you good. Thanks for sharing the painting. 

    I always come back from cornwall with a painting or two ..., but I have to buy them! 


  • Go for it. I would move there in a heart beat. Your only here once enjoy your life. The pain seems more bearable when your happy. 

  • Cornwall is lovely  and we are going there next month to Looe and that is a lovely fishing village.xxxxx

  • Its ok to be a 'coward' - but if you took me with you to live in a  'delightful Georgian house' I could help you to be brave !!! 

  • What an amazing picture ! 

    I live by a wild sea 400 miles north and I can smell it just looking at your painting.

  • What a lovely new thing.....and in time for your next open studio (which yet again is a weekend I'm not in London). Something so distinctively Cornish about it too.

    When your health is dodgy I think it's good to be a bit of a coward about change.  There's an idyll à la Newlyn/St Ives painters of you and your easel on a beach, but when you have to get to a hospital 50 miles away in the middle of winter it's perhaps less idyllic? 

    We made our plans to move to the middle of nowhere before I was diagnosed. So we've carried on with them.  And yes I do love it, waking up to nothing but cow bells and squabbling sparrows in the eves, air that smells of woods and flowers (and the cows,..) not cars and over-perfumed people.  And space!   But big downsides too - lack of culture and friends being the big emotional ones.   And my RA being the big practical one.  In hindsight this was not a good idea!    Sorry to be "Londonist", but the difference is extreme between a NHS trained tip-top central London rheumatology consultant, and the nearest one (25miles) here who is a one man band who I'm not sure has looked at a book since he qualified.   France has a different system to be sure, but I now have an appointment with another one at a hospital nearly 100 miles away in an attempt to find something more equivalent. Except that I have to wait 6 months for an appointment, so I'm on my own until then!   Scary.

    Stay put, and rent cottages a couple of times a year in lovely places instead.   Is there a network of artists house/studio swaps?

  • Thanks Helix.  You are quite right.  Thanks for your wisdom.  Nonetheless, I might check out the quality of rheumatology at the West  Cornwall Hospital.   Even if I only rent down there, it could be good to know.

    One solution would be to trade this home for a Cornish house and a London pied a terre, but it is against my principals! 

  • Complex ethics, but you only have one life so something to be said for having the courage to live it as fully as you can whilst giving & getting the best you can. 

    I would suggest you rent first tho' to see how it takes you.  We did the 2 for 1 approach to start with and I know some people seem to be able to live in 2 homes and love them both but we couldn't, and found the responsibility burdensome as well. 

  • Yes, I am sure I would end up with two of everything in one place or t'other.   And my cat wouldn't enjoy regular to-ing and fro-ing.  But in any case, first things first: Open Studio, Knee replacement!


  • I posted something earlier but it didnt register it would seem. I have a friend who lives in Bude area and she has a terrible time with the health service there. Hers was gynaecology and mental health provision (non existence) and privatised services. Its a lovely place to live, but there is shocking poverty. Renting from time to time or swapping places is a lovely idea - its good to have a change from time to time. And I'm really glad that it was a positive experience to take a break. Good luck with the open studio preparation.

  • What images you create in the mind. I can smell the sea, feel the sand in  my toes and paddle in the rock pools.

    Glad you had a lovely refreshing break.

  • How wonderful and peaceful xx

  • Me too, but when I look harder at the fantasy, I realise that it would create added stress.  And I'd feel rather guilty; young Cornish natives simply can't afford to buy property there.  Its like ke London in that respect.  

  • Hi Jora,

    Lovely place, we are off down there soon, can't wait.  I think I would like a place down there and a place up here.  Best of both worlds. X

  • Fab painting Jura! 

    Cornwall is a bit out on a limb - I'm from Tavistock originally and Penzance seemed miles away just from there! Deriford hospital in Plymouth is good but still a fair old drag to get to. I find the weather in the east so much drier as well and if damp weather makes your joints ache I wouldn't live in the south west! Dorset would be drier and not so far out - I love Lulworth cove!


  • Thank you Ali 

    Yes, I know you are right.   I love the Jurrasic coast too and have made a lot of paintings there, but it doesn't have the charm of Cornwall.  I know Tavistock well; I grew up in a little village near Ivybridge.  

  • Love love love it ...your picture is amazing but don't jump too quick to Cornwall the winters make it very hard & isolated as my aunt has found out. Take pleasure breaks and your love will grow of different areas even seasons.

    Where in Cornwall was your break.I am an at home artist never brave enough to go alone on a break but if amongst like minded artists would help...

    Hugs to all

  • We were staying in Penzance.   I was painting with Paul Wadsworth just outside the village of Newbridge, His studio was pretty isolated and ramshackle which is what I wanted . I worked outside his barn studio and ar Cape Cornwall.  It wasn't a course as such; one could take as much or as little of his experience as one wanted. I don't normally work In acrylics, but did this time and am now busy working oils on top.  Paul provides all materials which reduces the hassle:  paper, canvas, paint ad lib, palettes, charcoal.   His approach wouldn't suit everyone bit it worked for me.    Newlyn Art school is good, but too structured for me. .There is also St Ives School of Painting.   

  • Paul sounds ideal I do not like too organised structured..I am having a go with conte pastels usually in acrylics or oils .Good luck with open studio .I am in Dorset ..Yes beautiful & very fortunate.however lack or limited mobility do sketches & photos from the car 

    I belong to a local art society which is going for pop up exhibitions. ....art for art sake!!

    Hugs to all

  • Whereabouts on Dorset? 

  • Where and when is your open studio exhibition ?

  • 17-19 June.   Fri 6-9 pm.   Sat and Sun.  11am-6pm

    59 Emlyn Road, London W12 9TG

    If you go to www.artistsathome, you will see all the participants , and more of my work is at joannabrendon.com 


  • Do you have other exhibitions planned for this year?

  • No, Matilda, not really.  I'll probably do another open studio in November or December, but I'm not making any commitments to galleries.  I have my knee replacement on 21 June, just after the Summer open studio, and I want to be kind to myself for a few months.  I'm sure the prescribed physio won't include standing for hours at an easel!   If you go to my website, you can join my mailing list.  This will ensure that you hear about any  exhibitions.  You won't get any spam.  Jo 

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