Welcome to the blog of Melanie McDonald ! I'm a professional artist, my life is divided between my home in Newquay, Cornwall and my renovation project - an 18th Century farm - in North Brittany, France. My inspiration comes from the beautiful beaches, skies and seas of Cornwall, Brittany and Scotland. This is where I share my paintings and photographs, I hope it inspires you.

June 04, 2013

Fritha's Summer

"What's a bender?"
Min paused, twirling the dandelion, then she said, "It's a hut, a round hut made of branches with tarpaulin over them.  We were in Cornwall, but further down, towards Land's End."
I thought about this and remembered that I knew Min had been a flower power person when she was young, before she met Sam, Ric's and my Dad; before we were born.  We had a photograph of her in a group of people all with long hair and some with Indian Brave headbands, and Min was in the middle with a garland of big white daisies round her head.
"We had a tepee too," Min said, "we used it for eating together, and meetings."
"But why - why did you live in huts and a tepee?"
Min lifted her head and glanced around.  "We wanted to live outdoors, like this, in the country; to be free.  Everyone did, it was the thing then.  All living together, in a commune."
"Here in Cornwall?"
"Yes.  Close by the cliff.  As close as those gorse bushes."  She looked across the clearing, "So it was sea, sea, sea all the way round, to the horizon."
"Sea, sea, sea," Tol repeated.

Excerpt from Fritha's Summer, a children's book by Susan Morris

The cover of this book caught my eye, it depicts a dilapidated 1960's Bluebird caravan parked on a remote headland in Cornwall with the sun setting over the Atlantic.  Published when the author was 64, she's a similar age to my mum and lives in a neighbouring Cornish village.  The book is set around the time of the 70's, (my parents arrived in Cornwall in 1961 on a moped they'd driven all the way from London).  I grew up in Cornwall at a similar time and the book brought back nostalgic memories.  It's partly based on the author's experience of bringing up children as a single parent, but mostly it's a tale of adventure with a great sense of place and an appealing retro vibe.  A good read for 9-12 year olds in Cornwall and beyond ....

These paintings are of my daughter and friends when she was a bit younger.

 Summer Evening, Lusty Glaze, Newquay, Cornwall

Sisters, Lusty Glaze, Newquay, Cornwall

Prints of my paintings in my New! Online Shop

Paintings at Melanie McDonald Gallery 

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