It is January 22, and the moon is still pretty full. The moonlight has been bold and bright enough to light the path for a midnight walking of the dog. It cast bright shadows through closed drapes that beckoned me to leave them open. And the sea has had the most extreme tides. I have seen bits of shore and white waves that have been hidden until now.
The grass appears to be turning green. With the daylight lasting longer, it feels like spring is around the corner, yet I have heard folks say that the winter could still be upon us in March. But the farmers had said that in December they would go out and turn over the fields. That meant to me, that the ground would be soft enough, not frozen for months like I am used to knowing in New York. And now I hear that there is a deep freeze in US. I remember not too long ago, when a winter came and went and I never had to look out my warm winter jacket. It was warm the entire winter. Now it seems I have escaped to a Florida of sorts, for by comparison, my temperatures have been balmy. They say it is the island way. The currents surrounded by the sea make things mild.
Last week I went to two events hosted by the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute. Just looking them up, it seems the idea came from Canada where it was successfully underway for about 20 years before the idea was brought to Scotland. Its intent was to provide a way for women in isolated areas to come together for the sharing of social and creative activities and that would also preserve some of the local crafts. Seems it got its hold in Scotland around 1917, the same time that the Provincetown Print, or watercolor white-line woodcut came into vogue in Massachusetts. The Provincetown printmakers did get together in 1915 and women were the majority of the participants.
I mention the watercolor white-line woodcut because that is the technique that I have brought to Orkney through the Art Adventures I set up in 2005. It is also a technique that has interested many folks on Orkney. The other event I attended involving the SWRI, was a meeting with me and my white-line prints as a topic of interest. And folks were interested yet again. They seemed interested in setting up a workshop time in their community center and I am happy to oblige. Now that I have collected all my supplies, it would be great to put them to some good use!
You might be interested in the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute, so here is the link www.swri.org.uk.