OUTSIDE it was gloomy and grey. The glorious autumn colours cloaked in those wisps of cold air that you know are about to wrap themselves around you and seep into your bones.
I’d remembered the scarf and dug out the duvet-style coat but fancy forgetting the gloves. And my companion was already asking why was it hat weather when we were barely into November. Why indeed?
But that early big freeze made the choice of a sunny Sunday autumn walk admiring the mists and mellow fruitfulness a no-brainer since I couldn’t see the trees across the valley let alone admire their current colour spectacular.
Oh and what was that? A late requirement of no fog and preferably somewhere warm! Some people are so demanding. But we’ll see what we can do.
Still, if it was an outing with a bit of fizz and colour that was required I had the very thing. Holmfirth Art Market is now in its 10th year and it never disappoints.
As we wandered into the lower area of the town’s Indoor Market, we spotted the work of textile artist Clare Lane. You couldn’t miss it.
Call it urban fabric, call it what you will it. It’s striking, beguiling, oh that industrial sites sang with colour like this.
Clare uses her earlier background in architecture and surveying to give a feel of space and structure to her pictures but then she adds colour and texture to create something even more striking.
I for one don’t remember industrialised urban spaces bristling with cranes, bridges and buildings looking so fresh, rich and alive. Brown, brown and brown is how I see them.
Still that’s probably why I turned a corner still musing and found myself nose to beak with a quizzical and rather ghostly face. It looked comical and wonderfully familiar.
And then I realised. On late summer evenings I often indulge myself with the longer route home.
It shakes the dust of the ring road (no offence) off my tyres and if I’m lucky I spot badger, stoat, fox or any one of those nocturnal country types on his evening stroll. And now and then, there’s the chap I call the nightwatchman perched on a gate-post seemingly waiting for me to go by.
He usually pauses until I’m almost alongside him before soaring off down the lane as if to say, “And about time too.”
First time he did it of course, he scared me half to death. And if you’ve ever seen a barn owl flying low in the dusk, you’ll know what I mean.
But whoever makes Kaper paper sculptures had those summer nights winging back in a flash.
Across the aisle from those wise owl faces, my eye was caught by the perfect autumn scene that I’d hoped to be strolling through outside. Though this was in miniature.
Suet Yi left Hong Kong to study in Nottingham. She now makes ceramics whose lovely simple lines and tranquil colours create a world of utter peace and beauty.
Hers is a world of wild flowers, falling leaves, seed heads, autumn trees and resting birds.
There was a crowd around her stall drawn by the charm of pieces which spoke volumes about the power of simplicity and delicacy.
Fifty artists vied for our attention. Brendan Hesmondalgh’s super snooty Mr Fox was impossible to ignore as were the stunning ceramics of David Roberts.
I, of course, made a beeline for Kate Bowles who in my book must have one of the best jobs around. She makes hand-bound notebooks and journals out of recycled papers and fabrics.
Was that a book made from an old dress pattern with part of a tape measure for a clasp. And just a minute, is that a journal fastened with a suspender? What secrets would you pen in that?
Within seconds we were chatting about the times in history when the materials used for the inside of a book were more valuable than those on the outside and vice versa.
And then I realised that the gloom outside was lifting. There was just a patch of blue sky, there was still time for a cup of tea and only 42 stalls still to visit.
And tomorrow it all starts again with a totally different 50 artists proving that they can add zing to the greyest of days. See you there.