Archive for the 'Cornish Artists' Category



When a farmer’s daughter from Godrevy met an artist…

I have been in touch with some artists in Cornwall asking them about their life in Cornwall and how they are inspired by the Cornish landscape.

First up is Alan Furneaux, an artist who has moved to the county of Cornwall from the South of England and although nearly 300 miles from London is making a great success of his career. Here is a little bit of Alan’s Story…

Lorraine and I and the children moved to Cornwall from Brighton 7 yrs ago. I had resisted the move for many years but finally succumbed. Lorraine was a farmers daughter being brought up on the farm at Godrevy. So my first introduction to Cornwall was Godrevy Lighthouse and that stunning vista over to St Ives. I absolutely loved Cornwall but my business as a professional painter supplying the markets in London just made me feel nervous about moving when the art business is so precarious anyway.

Penzance Saturday

We made the move however and now live in Penzance. We have a nice house near the town centre ,swimming pool and beaches so we are in heaven. My studio is in the garage next door and my business has not suffered. In fact I am constantly asked for paintings of Cornwall,  and the funny thing is that image of Godrevy Lighthouse is still a current theme in my work.

Tabby Cat, Godrevy

Lorraine works as a CPN and I joined the Association of British Naive Artists.  My work is published by many publishers including Marks and Spencers, Unicef and Art Cards Cornwall.

Soon after we moved here and with the children settled at School I became seriously ill with a rare condition called Devics which is similar to MS, I was paralyzed and spent 4 months in hospital learning how to walk. I came out in a wheelchair but now am pretty much ok having had only one serious relapse. I live with the prospect of more relapses so my energy goes in creating the very best paintings I can while I am able. I exhibit in some great Galleries including Thompsons in London, David Curzon in Wimbledon and Blackheath Gallery. I have only one outlet here in Marazion at the Market House Gallery a great little gallery which hosts the very best Cornish Artists so I am very proud to be there.

Porthminster Beach, St Ives

The boys are back

St Michaels mount with palms

Check out more of Alan’s work on his website www.alanfurneaux.com and follow his blog here. Ive been humming the song he wrote for his wife for the past five minutes but I will let you find that for yourself!

ALL IMAGES © ALAN FURNEAUX

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Cornish cafe open 364 days of the year!

If someone asked me a year ago if there was a cafe 1/2 mile from Lands End where they could get a great full English breakfast or some homemade bread during the winter, on Boxing day I would tell them ‘dont be silly, what do you think?’

But I would be proved (no pun intended) wrong. There is, just 1/2 mile from the end of the Great British Isles, a cafe that not only serves great food but is open every day except Christmas Day.

The Apple Tree Cafe in the small village of Trevescan, near Sennen is a community cafe and artists studios. We found it after one of my bright ideas of getting up early and going to Newlyn to photograph the fisherman bringing their catch in. However on arrival at Newlyn there were no fishermen, nowhere to have breakfast and not a great deal to see as it was so foggy. So we headed off to Mousehole where there was still nowhere to eat. Heading towards Lands End we thought our luck was sure to run out as we were running out of road and the hope of finding something suitable for breakfast. We stopped at Sennen beach cafe which was closed, and due to open at around 10 (it was approx 9am now – which is late if you’ve been up since 6!) and all it was  serving was drinks and pastries. Not ideal for my gluten-free lovely onboard!

So we headed back towards the main road where I thought I had spotted somewhere out the corner of my eye. To our delight we came upon The Apple Tree Cafe, it was like an oasis in the desert to us!

We each had a delicious full-English and shared a pot of tea. They had a wonderful menu on blackboards so much so we were tempted to stay for lunch. They actively cater for special diets, vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options abound but don’t worry if you are meat-eater the bangers were fab! There is fresh artisan bread everyday and the burgers are legendary.

They also support local artists and craftspeople. With a lovely range of art on display and two artists are resident in the adjoining buildings. They host regular art and craft courses, drop-in sewing “surgeries” so you can learn how to mend, alter and recycle your favourite clothes and furnishings.

They also do ‘theme’ evenings – a few weeks after we were there they were doing a Bollywood night; we were rather jealous we couldn’t be there!

It is such a wonderful idea, a community cafe in a little village – surely those are just the kind of community that can really do with a ‘hub’. So many rural communities are losing their pubs, local shops and post offices. Villages really suffer when there isn’t somewhere where people can meet up and gossip! Well done to all of those involved in The Apple Tree Cafe – its great!

To find out more about the Apple Tree Cafe click here.

Keep an eye out for the deaf cat of Trevescan!

Lakes of Truro Pottery Pasty

Like most holiday makers we will generally bring something back from our holiday as a memento of our good time away. Last year when I eventually popped the question to Becky ( see previous post) we had already bought our souvenir a day or two before the big event.

When I called Becky’s father for his daughter’s hand in marriage I was staring at the wall of the Truro railway station which had no bearing on our souvenir at the time, it wasn’t until we were browsing in a vintage curious shop in Fowey that we saw this old dusty terracotta pasty in the corner. As I picked it up the lady in the shop said ‘ that’s an old-fashioned souvenir Victorians would buy, made by Lakes of Truro, they used to be by the railway station you know’ ‘Huh’ I thought that could be a nice little memento of our trip to Cornwall this year, so after a little negotiation Cornish Lad Styli we left the shop with the most expensive pasty I have ever bought and probably the worst tasting one. So armed with our relic from the Victorian era we headed off, now all I had to do was ask the question which as you all know I did and the rest is history.

So about the maker of this wonderful little pasty. Lakes Pottery were based in Truro and set up their pottery business in 1872. Pottery businesses have been on the same site dating back to medieval times. Notably they were renowned for their large bowls made for times when households had out-door toilets and kitchen range fireplaces and homemade bread was a necessity to the household. Output of pottery was staggering with production serving the whole Cornish community.

Bernard Leach, the infamous potter of St Ives, drew reference to the work of the Lakes Pottery as the type of work he wished to carry out in new pottery. The pottery had a great influence to the work carried out at Leach’s Pottery and Bernard, his sons, their students and apprentices would visit Lakes on a regular basis to watch production tecniques of pots being thrown and handles being attached.

The pasty has been used as a mascot for the Cornish Rugby team for years and in 1908 Lakes Pottery made 3 terracotta pasties for the first appearance of a Cornish side in a final. Cornwall beat Durham 17-3 in front of 17,000 people in Redruth.

Lakes Pottery sadly closed down in the early 1990s when it was destroyed by fire.

Although I’m sure it’s not worth a trip to the Antiques Roadshow with our pasty I have never seen another one so keep an eye out when browsing antique shops and you may find yourself one too!

stamp on base of pottery reads LAKES CORNISH POTTERY TRURO

A simple Cow Parsley head

I love the colours in this photograph of a cow parsley (taken in Cadgwith), the light on the seed heads and the simplicity of the image – it’s almost slightly festive!

The cow parsley has been the inspiration for many an artist including one Cornish artist, Ruby Pickhaver. Have a look at her fabulous work here, you never know you may find something for someone this Christmas. Buy online at her ETSY store here


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