I'm a huge fan of period properties and sympathetic restoration. I was so pleased to see that Penpont has been lovingly restored with authentic materials using skilled craftspeople.
As I arrived, I was immediately struck by the intensity of colour on the lime-washed renders.
The place was buzzing with people preparing for a Xmas fair on the weekend.
I was ushered into a large and beautifully restored stable that was a warm dining space with a huge roaring log burner.
As it was a creative workshop, we were sent off to explore the outbuildings and extensive gardens and grounds.
I was inspired by the trees; in particular, a 200 year old larch that was host to a stunning variety of flora and fauna.
We brought in bits and pieces of fallen twigs, leaves and cones and did some drawing. As ever when I'm drawing, I was astounded at how quickly the time passed.
There just wasn't enough time to do more than a few brief sketches, but the reason I went on the workshop was to kick-start the drawing process so I can concentrate on filling my hand-made books for an Book Arts exhibition I'm curating at Cardiff Central Library. It's going to be a satellite exhibition coinciding with International Women's Day in March 2011 and promoted by the Women's Arts Association.
Mission accomplished, we gathered our drawings up and met in the stable for mince pies and mulled wine before we made the return journey.
Those vividly translucent lime-washed oranges, reds and yellows are going to stay with me for a good long while methinks.