Showing posts with label beaches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beaches. Show all posts

Monday, 14 December 2009

Winter blues

The north Atlantic in winter is a formidable place that has taken its toll on many ships and many lives. In winter, the ocean takes on a wilder, freer form in terms of strength, form and colour.

A visit to a local beach gave me inspiration for a sketch which then turned into a painting.  The sketch was started on a piece of gessoed terraskin paper that I hadn't meant to use, but was at hand at the moment.  I hadn't sanded the surface so the resulting lines almost make it look like it was raining.  However, as a sketch it worked to keep the scene fresh in my head.

The watercolour is a crop of this same wave.  The light was fading that day, nearing twilight and increasing the depth of colour in the water, turning it inky in the shadows.  The foam sprayed upward with the force of the wave hitting the shore and being carried by the wind.  It made me think of those lost at sea and how cold and impossible it would have seemed to be caught in that, making me glad I was standing on the shore.

There is a tangible reminder of the reality of such a situation on the province's north coast at Martin's Cove, where the skeleton of the SS Ethie still remains washed up on the beach and the legend of Hero, the phantom dog.
In 1919, the Reid Company steamer, Ethie, was transporting cargo and passengers up and down the West Coast of Newfoundland between Bonne Bay and Battle Harbour, Labrador. She left Cow Head fully laden at 8:00 p.m. on December 10, heading for Bonne Bay. Shortly afterwards, she ran into one of the worst blizzards ever recorded in that area. The crew slaved all night to keep the engines stoked, heading northwest away from rocky coastline, but at daybreak they had made no progress at all and fuel was low. The decks were swept clean of cargo, the life boats damaged or lost, and a thick rind of ice covered everything from deck to mast top, including livestock lashed to the deck. All seemed doomed. But Walter Young, the purser, knew of one spot where they might manage to beach. Captain Edward English made the courageous decision to steer for the sandy cove tucked behind Martin’s Point. Around noon, he thrust the ship on to the sharp-ridged reef, known as The Whaleback, at its entrance. A surging wave carried the ship up and over the reef and jammed it on the rocks; but a hundred yards of raging sea still boiled between ship and shore.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Brittany sketches

I spent more than three glorious weeks in Brittany and became completely enamored of its tranquil beauty and its intimate scale. It is less dramatic than I'd imagined, less rugged than coastal Scotland and Ireland, less vertiginous than some of the places in Cornwall I remember, more temperate (there are palm trees and camellias and fig trees in the Golfe du Morbihan!), more feminine somehow, more French than I'd expected. May I please have another lifetime? I'd live in Quimper or on the Morbihan coast, I'd rear my children, I'd dine on the freshest oysters imaginable, and I'd paint every spare moment I could steal or borrow.
I'd originally planned to take acrylic paints and gessoboards to make rock and water studies on location. Due to my mother's precarious health, I had to travel as lightly as possible, knowing I might have to return home at any moment. Thus, these sketches, from which later paintings will ensue:Presqu'ile de Rhuys, beach with rocksRocky shore, Golfe du Morbihan, BrittanyPort Coton, Belle Ile en MerEbb tide, Brittany beachGolfe du Morbihan, tide's outBreton beach, rocks and water
I have more of these sketches and will post them here soon. I am in the process of sharing all my sketches from Brittany on my blog Laurelines, so please drop by and have a look!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Beach patterns

... and while I'm hunting for individual treasures I stumble across these... patterns: all over the beach, shoreline and in shallow waters. The marks nature makes... lines left by waves, by sand worms, snails, and other assorted life that crosses the water line.

So many possibilities. Or will I just stand and watch a little longer.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Mood and colour: Painting the changing colours of different times of day

Sennen Cove, Dawn, oil in Canson sketchbook, approx 9ins, Vivien Blackburn

There were some really lovely dawns when we were in Cornwall, the sky was often amber as the sun rose behind the cliffs, with lowering clouds above. Colours are soft and muted.

Sunset, Pentire, oil sketch, approx 9 ins, Vivien Blackburn

And a rather loud sunset seen driving home one evening.

I just love changing light and the moods created by it through different weather and seasons.

You can see some of the other sketches here

I find I really do strongly prefer sketching plein air in oils. The only trouble is it isn't so convenient when you are with non-painters as I was and they can be heavy-ish.

With oils I can work so much faster, catching changing light and altering things in an instant, working dark over light, scratching through wet paint to reveal colours beneath, wiping off ..... the possibilities are endless - and FAST.

I can't manage to limit my palette - I just can't! I want a variety of blues and yellows and reds and earth colours and ...... but I have honed it down to a box file, which holds paints, brushes, knives, baby oil, rags and medium. It's an ideal shape to scrabble through when looking for a tube or brush. Then there is just the canvas or paper to paint on and a palette and of course as sketchbook. I sometimes use disposable palettes and sometimes simply a page in a sketchbook! It can always be painted over later :>D

I very rarely draw in pencil or charcoal before painting in oils plein air but just go in with patches of colour that gradually knit together to make the whole. I keep meaning to do a WIP but have zoomed along with work before I remember - and by then I've usually got paint on my hands and don't want to touch my camera!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Sennen Cove, waves, changing weather and light

Sennen Cove in changing light last week. The last 3 are from last September when we had a wild stormy day with heavy rain. The lifeboat launch ramp, that shows in one of the last, is currently demolished and being rebuilt, so it doesn't show in recent photos. It wasn't an easy job for the builders, having to consider the tides :>)

This is why I love Cornwall so much - it's beautiful even in lousy weather :>) Though as you can see from the gorgeous blue skies and seas at the beginning, we were very lucky with the weather generally as most of the country had heavy rain.

The camera never picks up all the colours the eye can see and it can't cope with the same range of tonal values at once - so that's why it's so good to work plein air. You also have the scents and sound that somehow infiltrate your work. I never enjoy working from a photograph as much as working from the 'real thing'.

Take a look at these images of a storm there last year - they are WELL worth looking at.

Storm pictures

now with global warming making the seas rise and giving us more storms would I really want to live there? probably yes :>)

Friday, 10 April 2009

Cornwall to Norfolk in Tiny canvasses

I've been doing some tiny canvasses for my Etsy shop - and coincidentally, so has Sarah! (hers are gorgeous check out her blog ) We both posted at the same time and had both chosen 4 inch squares, though hers are on wood panels and mine are on canvas.

These are 4 inches square, on deep 1.5 inch sided, gallery wrapped canvas.

They work well in a group and even look nice standing up on a shelf as they are so deep.

I really enjoyed doing them and for a change used acrylics, not my usual choice of medium but it worked well for me.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

collage experiments

High Tide. Vivien Blackburn. Collage/mixed media in a little moleskine

Sometimes it's nice to 'play' as Jeanette is doing with her lovely fish - trying out something different, experimenting, getting away from what you normally do and discovering new ways of working, new marks to make, new visual language that can feed into more finished work.

These are some of the collages that I've been playing with in sketchbooks - the idea for first one was triggered by some lovely marbled wrapping paper that Lindsay had sent with something - it just needed to be used :>) It wouldn't be light fast enough to use in a 'finished' work but it's great for experimenting in sketchbooks. I also used fragments of brown paper and the brown tape you seal the backs of frames with, for the rocks. Then a mix of media for the rest including cp's and oil pastel.

I cut up and pieced the marbled paper to give the swirl and perspective of the waves and then scribbled and altered, covered or enhanced areas to try to get that swirl of waves crashing on sand and rocks.

Waves on smooth rocks. Vivien Blackburn. Collage, hand marbled paper and mixed media

The second one, Waves on Smooth Rocks, has been shown on my blog but I've reworked it so that it now looks rather different and I think reads much better. The paper in this one IS lightfast because it's some I made myself - yet another thing I want to try again when I can. I'm going to have a go at the shaving foam method that I've been told about.

Lino print on tracing paper (right hand page) worked into and continued onto opposite page, Vivien Blackburn, linoprint/mixed media

In the last one, the right hand page is one of the series of linoprints I've been working on. It was printed onto tracing paper - I was experimenting with various papers. Then it was worked into with coloured pencils, mainly Polychromos and Lyra, and the image extended onto the facing page,
This one makes me think of the mood in a Samuel Palmer painting, I don't know about you?
All of these have given me ideas for larger works and make me consider incorporating collage into finished work.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Kurt Jackson, mark making and influences

This is a follow up to Lindsay's really interesting post on Kurt Jackson.

I discovered his work some years back and it really resonated for me - the way he catches the light, the drama, the deep sense of place, the particular colours of a region. I go to see his shows in person whenever possible - there is one coming up in the Spring at the John Davies gallery, about 70 miles from me - if anyone can get to it they are guaranteed an interesting day. It's in a very nice part of the country with lots of small galleries so it makes a great day out.

There is also a show at the end of this month at Messums gallery in London, the theme of this is Forest Gardens. What may be of particular interest to readers of this blog is the interview with him on his Thames Project. Look under videos.

It was interesting reading on Tina's blog how she doesn't like brush marks in her work - and it works utterly beautifully for her. But I love marks - brush marks, drawn marks, scratches, glazes, splatters and splotches and scumbles that all suggest the textures and elements in the scene. Though this is what I want in my own work I can thoroughly appreciate the subtle glazes of Tina's or the quietness of a Gwen John or Morandi and want to own one :>) I do in fact have small painting of Tina's and Lindsay's :>) (and Lindsay, Ronell and Gesa's from the FPP exchange :>) )

That first painting is a watercolour of mine, done plein air, on the east coast, on a very wild day with brushmarks, scribbles of oil pastel, scratches through wet watercolour and glazes and wet-in-wet paint. It's only about 6 inches square.

This second painting, about 11 inches square on the right, is an oil done plein air on a breezy day as the tide was high. No stretches of wet sand shining. There are splatters and scratches of paint, some sand deliberately integrated with the wet oil paint and lots of marks, suggesting the shells, pebbles and fragments along a previous higher tide line - the majority of it was done with a knife - it's so easy to clean in the sand! but the paint isn't applied thickly - I rarely apply paint in thick layers.

Generally I love to arrive when the tide is fully in, allowing me close ups of the waves and then views of the shimmering wet sand and pools as it recedes . On this part of the east coast the tide goes out for over a mile - so at low tide the sea is just a thin blue line on the horizon. Because the land is almost flat, the tide moves very fast so it's essential to paint equally fast! Take 2 hours over this painting and what started as a scene of waves only feet in front of you is now a view of half a mile of drying sand with the sea in the distance. My natural painting speed is to work fast plein air, so that doesn't worry me.

These are all quite old pieces, done as I was getting to grips with the ways I could get down, on paper or canvas, the weather, the light, the particular colours. the bones of the land beneath the sand (or grass/whatever), the way is sweeps and swirls and the kind of marks I could make to suggest it.

On my degree we were encouraged to build a rich diversity of mark making so that we could draw on this at need. We had to take in a variety of items like rollers and combs and sticks and twigs, rags, sponges, knives of course, cotton reels, jugs and much much more - anything went!

KJ didn't go to art college but did a degree in zoology at Oxford University. His parents were both artists though, so from a young age he learned at first hand about art and artists and would have had a deeper than average knowledge and understanding of the arts and of course he studied it at school.

I studied art at school, went to art college and did my foundation year and then 'dropped out', married and had a family and completed my degree some years later when I really really wanted to paint again.

The third piece on the left here is a large long thin canvas - about 4 feet high I think it was. A studio piece with paint poured onto the canvas with a jug, splashed on, then powdered pigment dropped into the wet paint. Glazes were added and final small areas of thicker paint to edit out areas and simplify where it was overcomplicated.

It was painted in thinned acrylics on raw, unprimed, stretched canvas. The acrylic sealed it and some of the final more opaque layers are in oil paint.

This was from memory of sketching in the winter, abstracted and simplified.

Lindsay pointed out KJ owes some of his techniques to the likes of Jackson Pollock - but close inspection of Rembrandt too, shows gloops and trickles of paint and a wonderful freedom of mark making, that as you step back resolves into intricate lace. So I wonder, where did Pollock get his inspiration? elements of work can deeply influence other artists and it may be only a small element. KJ lists the artists he admires as Anselm Kiefer, Miguel Barcelo, Tapies and Andy Goldsworthy. also th poetry of Ted Hughes.

For instance, using unprimed canvas was an idea I tried out after seeing Hannemuhle's work - the paintings themselves, process-led, didn't interest me particularly - but the fact that she was pouring paint onto raw canvas and the effects it could produce certainly did. It enabled me to get watercolour like effects, with colours bleeding into each other in subtle transitions. It was easy to pour and splash - my lawn was often multicoloured at this time!

With studio work it's possible to take more time. I work fast but can build layers over weeks, glazes and scratching through to show underlying colours, change elements totally as the painting evolves and there is a lot of thinking time. In plein air work it's a case of responding instinctively to what is there and catching it before it changes.

KJ visits and revisits places through changing light and weather and explores themes in depth, following a valley to the sea or a river from source to sea, a mining route, Cornish hedges or woods or simply a field looked at in many ways over time (The Long Field). Many of these have books/catalogues associated with them that you can see on his website or often on ebay.

I like to do the same sort of thing and tend to work in long series - it's the changing light and weather that I find so interesting.

I would love to do some huge canvasses like KJ's - they are amazing when seen in real life, texture and marks and drama and light. I don't have the space :>( 5 foot is my limit really for ease of transport.

We are all influenced, consciously or unconsciously by work we see. David Prentice quotes Rupert Bear (childrens books) as an influence with their aerial viewpoint in the illustrations.

I think KJ is certainly an influence on my work, along with Monet, Turner, Gwen John, Joan Eardley, Egon Schiele (love his use of line), Cezanne, Ross Loveday, David Tress, Rembrandt, Aubrey Beardsley, Rothko, Pollock, Toulouse Lautrec ...... and so many more, elements of lots of people have influenced me - some seemingly incompatible - the incisive lines of Schiele and the colour fields of Rothko - but hopefully that's what makes me, ME.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

artists books

I fell for this leather bound sketchbook with hand made paper inside, and scruffy deckle edges - it just looked so appealing - I was hunting for Christmas presents for others at the time but who could resist it? :>D

I love it and rather than use it as a sketchbook I plan to make it an artists book - with finished pieces rather than a my normal sketchbook mix of anything and everything. It's 7x5 inches and I found it on ebay uk if anyone fancies one.

That little leather thong winds round and effortlessly catches against the stitching, holding the book closed and protecting the pages with that wrap around flap :>)

The first page in a book is always slightly daunting and I decided to experment with a lino I'd cut.

I hadn't got the proper inks handy to try it out. I suspect they will be dried out anyway, it's so long since I used them.

So, I painted some luscious pearlescent lavender acrylic ink over the lino printing block and printed quickly - it was fairly successful. The larger areas didn't have a consistent coverage but it printed quite a lot of it.

I then worked on it with pastel pencils, biro and gel pens.

The lino was stylised and quite graphic - you can see it on my blog here. Working into it created something different. I love that pearlescent acrylic ink - one of my Christmas presents :>)

This is going to be an ongoing project, adding small paintings to it regularly on a water theme.


UPDATE: As a result of the comments on this post, I've now created two posts on my blog which are about lino printing and how this lino print was produced.

Sunday, 28 December 2008


This post showed you photographs of this beach through various times, tides, weather and lights - here are just a few of the sketches and paintings done in response to this - many plein air, others are large works on canvas 40ins+ and tiny aceo's done from sketches and memories. I like to work in a wide variety of sizes.

There have been several ongoing discussions here that are really relevant to this series - we've been talking about looking at the same place again and again through different light and seasons - and that is something that really interests me and that I often do - though not to the extent of visiting daily, more in bursts of lots of works over a whole day as the light changes by the hour (or minute with our weather!) on multiple occasions.

This series is about precisely that - the fantastic changes in colour, light, mood, what can be seen clearly and what is lost in shadow, vivid or dark, sunny or cold and breezy, the tide ebbing and flowing leaving pools and streams of glistening water, reflections and wet sand, sunsets, rainstorms. rainbows, wind, wild surf, calm days, blue skies and turquoise seas, silver or green or indigo seas - always different. Unfortunately this is 360+ miles away from me so I can't get there as often as I'd like :>( to do more plein air work there through the winter storms - which are spectacular down there and I would love to get down and paint :>) - so often I find 'bad' weather the most interesting to paint.

For anyone interested in colour, a sense of place, or the mood of a place on a given day, plein air sketching, revisiting a well loved spot regularly and observing the changes is essential. You learn so much and notice more and more. You see colours the camera can't catch. You see fleeting effects of light and colour that you try to fix in your visual memory. You feel the wind or the sun and hear the sea and the birds, which all adds to your memories for future paintings.

In the morning light the far cliff was brightly lit but by afternoon it became almost a silhouette with details hard to make out, backlit by the sun as it went lower in the sky, finally setting over the sea - sometimes in a vivid blaze of colour, other times in subtle silvers and muted colours.

Some people like to work with a limited palette. I find that within a painting I limit my palette but each painting requires different colours in the mixes to catch those fascinating changes. I like to have quite a variety of blues, reds and yellows and then colours like viridian, magenta, permanent rose and a range of colours that only get used occasionally but are perfect when needed, I always mix colours and rarely use them straight from tube or pan but within that mix need a specific blue for instance. So that means I have a wide range of colours to choose from.

Gesa has developed an interest in nocturnes and this is something that fascinates me as well and I've been working on a series, some are in the slide show above, I became really interested in the light on the beach at night and how very bright and light the reflections could be and the beautiful light in the sky just after the sun set as well as sunset itself.

I'm planning to continue this series from the sketches I have but will also think about a local area of water - maybe the local canal - where I can visit regularly at different times, catching the light and reflections and changes with the seasons.

If I think of somewhere local that will interest me enough to constantly revisit, I'll work in a variety of media - it may be that I base it on the canal at Aylestone, here, where there is a medieval packhorse bridge

- so - to stick to the same viewpoint on every visit?

which viewpoint?

or to simply look at a small area around there from whatever viewpoint appeals on the day?

I think it should certainly revisit the same viewpoint frequently, to investigate those fascinating changes in light and colour. Being me, I'm bound to end up loking at other views in the areas as well so I may as well be realistic and weave this mini project into the larger, slow burning (very slow at the moment - as in completely stalled!), waterways project on our local waterways.

I have to think about it. What do you think?

Saturday, 13 December 2008


Mawgan Porth, Cornwall

Light changes a scene dramatically and is one of my key interests - the particular colours that it creates, the way the sea changes from indigo to lavender to turquoise to jade.

In the mornings the far cliff is bright, lit by the morning sun and shining. Below it the small stream that comes down the Vale of Lanherne (or Mawgan) trickles to the sea, shining and reflecting sky and cliffs.

This is the wild Atlantic coast. The tide ebbs and flows leaving deep pools scoured in the sand, in drifts across the wide beach, with intricate patterns of wriggling ripples between. As these dry out a little the wind across the surface creates a series of neat tiny steps leading down to the waters edge. The beach shelves more steeply than the Norfolk coast and so the tide doesn't go out anywhere near as far and therefore moves a bit slower in and out, giving the surf time to carve deeper. In Norfolk the pools and strands of water are very shallow and dry fast on the almost level surface, the sea is calmer and ebbs rapidly for a mile or more, here water remains until the next tide. Down at the waters edge the waves loom high, the horizon isn't straight but a mass of heaving swells and it's noisy with the waves crashing on sand and rocks.

As the day goes on the far cliff becomes a silhouette with little detail, backlit by the afternoon sun and then with evening the sun sets over the sea in a spectacular variety of colours and clouds.

The colours change constantly, the clouds change, the reflections in the pools change - the tide ebbs and flows. Rain approaches across the sea and I watch the approaching edge cross the cliffs, obscure them and a rainbow moving forward with it appears to end on the beach below, in front of the cliffs, then the rain reaches me and the rainbow is gone and there's just a silvery haze. Nothing remains the same. If only I could paint faster ......

In another post I'll show some of the paintings and sketches done there and studio works from them.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Introducing Ronell van Wyk

I feel honoured and priviliged to share this journey with eight very talented artists, Vivien, Lindsay, Katherine, Tina, Jeanette, Laura, Gesa and Sarah, whose experiences with and connections to water are each so unique.

As a little girl, the sun and water were my constant companions and it has been that way ever since. I've always been around and/or close to water.

I did my final year research on sea life in the tidal reefs of Tsitsikamma, SA. With its rugged coastline and protected wild life and abundant marine life, it will always be my most favourite place.

...movement, oil on canvas block, 45x20cm...
I then married a man who was an avid snorkeler and scuba diver. Even our honeymoon was spent in a real cave on the rocky side of the Elandsrivier canyon, swimming in the dark pools and basking in the sun like lizards on rocks.

In the Cape winelands, we had a home where our two little girls splashed in the water canals that ran by the garden, losing shoes and hair bands. They ran barefoot off to the Eerste river a few metres further, collecting pebbles and pick nasturtiums.

We lived on a farm with a stream flooding the road to the house every winter, with marshes providing arms full of Arum lilies for our house. A high swing over the stream echoed constant shrieks of mixed fear and delight across the valley on weekends.

We had a family home on the south coast of Natal where endless days were spent on the sun drenched sand beaches; skimboarding in the shallow waters, diving in the clear waters between the reefs, fighting to keep the children from swimming in the warm lagoon and failing, giving medicine at night for upset stomachs and fighting again the next day.

The memories of experiences are vivid: caught by high tides on huge boulders, rescued by helicopters from drifting in to deep at sea, sandboarding down sanddunes, picking mussels from the rocks, diving for abelone and pulling lobster from a dilapidated canoe, watching the play of animals in the bush by the waterholes, swimming under waterfalls, catching fish with handlines...

..castles in the sand, oil on linen, 73x60cm...

We lived a short while in an old watermill in Wickham Market, and then a flight of stairs away from the promenade on the seafront in Felixstowe, Suffolk.
We lived on a lake with magical views and sailboats on sunset cruises.
We had a home high on a cliff, overlooking the Vienne river down below. And now we are living at the foot of a cliff in Montlouis sur Loire, right next to the river Loire. And the cherry on my cake is our small house in the mountains of Corr├ęze, facing south into the sun and looking down on yet another stream.

My connection with water has a very physical element to it and I can see every day here by the Loire continuing this element; animating an activity, telling a story: the birds nesting on the islands in spring, just to suddenly have it all swept away by rains. The violent floods in winter. The melancholy flow in summer, exposing the treacherous sandbanks. Cyclists. Photographers. Kayaks. Gypsies. Determined fishermen early mornings. Strollers. Powerwalkers. Picnickers. Coffeedrinkers(me).

...a corner of the Loire, watercolour, 30x23cm...

I'm not a landscape painter. I enjoy capturing, with exaggeration on certain aspects, a corner of a scene, a colourful detail of a story, a frozen moment of an activity, I'm not interested in a realistic rendering, but rather a reflection of reality, a suggestion of stillness or energy and movement .
With sketching I hope to capture the spontaneity of a water related moment in studies, and then work that into more defined oil paintings. We regularly return to most of these places and experiences and I'm looking forward to capturing some moments.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Welcome to Watermarks!

Welcome to Watermarks!

Watermarks is a small community of artists who create art from water.
We like to sketch, draw and/or paint all forms of water - the sea, the coastline, beaches, rivers, streams, waterfalls, fountains - in all styles, genres and media.

Left to right: Tina, Lindsay and Laura

With this brand new group blog we aim to:
  • display works in progress as well as completed art
  • highlight other artists (past and present) whose art involves water
  • highlight exhibitions of relevant artwork and
  • discuss media matters and tips and techniques for creating art out of water

Left to right: Ronell, Sarah and Vivien

You can find the names of the members of the group and all our blogs in the sidebar. We are (in alphabetical order):
  • Vivien Blackburn - in Leicester, England
  • Laura Frankstone - in North Carolina, USA
  • Gesa Helms - in Glasgow, Scotland
  • Jeanette Jobson - in Newfoundland
  • Tina Mammoser - on the south side of the Thames, in London, England
  • Lindsay Olson - in the Chicago area USA
  • Katherine Tyrrell - on the north side of the Thames, in London, England
  • Sarah Wimperis - in Cornwall, England
  • Ronell van Wyck - in Montlouis sur Loire, France
Each of us will be introducing ourselves and our interest in water and, in some cases, projects we've done or are doing or have planned in posts over the next few days. Vivien is going to start as she had the original idea!

Left to Right: Gesa, Jeanette and Katherine

If you're interested and want to see what we're up to why not subscribe to this blog? You can find the subscription links near the top of the right hand column. Alternatively maybe you'd like to follow us on your Blogger blog?

We'd love to know what you think about the idea underpinning this new group and blog - and you are welcome to leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading about our new blog and we hope to see you again soon.