Why call it Pigs to Paintings when it’s about Writing?

pigs through seami st, Pendeenallotments
 Pigs in a sea mist, on the Pendeen Allotments

Today I happened to read a survey for writers. “How much time do you spend outdoors and not sitting down?” It asked. Interesting? Writing has in the past few years sent me back into the outdoors, to walk and observe the natural world. Writing also sent me back to painting a few years ago. Writing, engaging the brain while sitting at a computer, seems to almost demand that human beings return to the practical, the hands on, and use the old skills. The open air calls to be breathed. Many people who work in an office all day are taking up crafts such as knitting, baking, cake decorating as well as painting and drawing in order to satisfy the need to create in three dimensions, and to use their hands rather than simply their “digits” or fingers.

So why those pigs, huh?

We have been away recently to West Cornwall, the inspiration for my novel Baby Baby. Cornwall is a county of contrasts – you wake to sea mist, then in a few hours there is a blue sky and the hot sunny day. See mists wraps the place in the chilly gloom making Midsummer look very much like November, (see photo above, taken 6th July this year!) Contrast the craggy cliffs and deep ” zawns” with the flat of the moors, or the poverty of tumbledown abandoned cottages and Pound Shops on the high Street with the sleek cars bringing surfers to the coast. Or the life of the Newlyn artists’ colony with the lives of their models, the fishing community, vulnerable to whatever the weather threw at them. The villages are dotted with chapels from revival times, a witness perhaps to reliance thrown upon God in an uncertain world.

Ah, the bit about writing … and the paintings …

This year’s holiday in Pendeen village, in far West Cornwall, was a timely reminder, as following on to The Labyrinth Year I am writing the third story in the Mullins family saga series. Part of the story will involve how Jenny and Daze face the possible end of Des and Caro’s marriage and selling of Chapel house, their childhood home. Will Jenny decide that she has grown away from her Cornish roots or will her return to confront her mother and stepfather reactivate the pull of memories and landscape? Meanwhile another more serious question hovers in the background of Jenny and Max’s life, as friends from their past reappear, but will they see what is coming? A tragedy involving Jenny’s workplace engages her mind as she tries to help Shaz through a difficult time. While Daze and her story escape notice.

All this is planned, and now the writer in me must reluctantly be seated at the computer, while the call of the wild remains as memories of time spent walking in the Cornish landscape, or at the beach.

Oh, and Pigs to Paintings was the day when we began by walking up onto the moorland, in the mist, and came upon the allotments and the pigs, and ended it by viewing Stanhope Forbes’s wonderful paintings at the Penlee Gallery, with sunshine, blue sky, and tea outdoors at the gallery cafe. Cornish holidays …

Sennen whitesands beach


6 thoughts on “Why call it Pigs to Paintings when it’s about Writing?

  1. pjlazos July 12, 2017 / 12:45 pm

    A dear friend visited Cornwall every few years for decades until she passed. She even wrote a screenplay set there. It sounds like a luscious place and I hope to visit some day. Maybe I’ll see the pigs! 🐷

    Liked by 1 person

    • MariHoward July 13, 2017 / 8:33 pm

      If you climb up to the allotments from Pendeen village, you may! 🙂 It is a lovely, and verydifferent, part of these islands.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. francisguenette July 24, 2017 / 3:53 pm

    I love the fresh new look for your blog 🙂 So many tasks lately keep me from reading posts but your title this time around caught my interest and I made the time to click through. I like the point you make that writing requires a period of sitting but to get to that moment requires a lot more than sitting. I suppose we are more gatherers than hunters as we wander off here and there gathering up our impressions and experiences and weaving them in. How is that for a bunch of mixed metaphors? Glad I stopped by 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • MariHoward July 24, 2017 / 8:10 pm

      Thanks for coming by! I have a review to put together from my notes, for the latest Crater Lake, and a puff quote if you want to use it. I printed out the text and took it on 2 holiday trips we did in June – and thereby hangs a long tail/tale … it travelled back to me, thankfully, from where I left it in our B and B in Durham! All safely. I love that book!


  3. dunelight July 27, 2017 / 5:17 am

    Cornwall…thanks to PBS and BBC I have fallen in love with a place I’ve never met.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MariHoward July 27, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    Yep, we can do that now – I read books about Western Canada (Vancouver) and would love to visit!


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