A cup of tea with Brian and Wendy Froud...
The book of each of us

Mud and the muse

Over the leat 1

When you follow your dog...


...into a wildflower bog...

Diving in

...there's no help for it, you're going to get wet, muddy, and stinky.


But you learn to be agile in the mud and muck...

Over the leat 3b

...and to find new ways to get where you want to go...

Over the leat 3

...and you discover things that you would have otherwise missed...

Over the leat 4

...like this lovely water garden at the end of the leat.

On the other side of the damn

Following the Muse is like that too. Sometimes, in the middle of a story or a painting, you find yourself wallowing through the sticky, boggy bits and you just have to keep on going, no matter where it leads.

But I'm ready for the journey. I'm wearing sturdy boots, and I'm prepared to get muddy. So let's go.


Yep! That's it exactly. xxxx

LOL! I know those 'boggy bits' of a project all too well. Love the pic of the pup diving in, with nothin' but tail visible. That's an image I'll carry as I dive in to the mucky passages of my own work.

I followed our new dog through the increasingly flooded water meadows a couple of days ago, I was already soaking before I realised how bad it was getting - but I also realised that I'd gone so far, it was pointless to turn back, I might as well see it though to the end - a useful lesson for me.

Great metaphor! I wonder if that dam was built by beavers (or other animals?) or people. Probably a stupid question that someone living on the moor would already know!

*straps on her boots and rushes along*

Isn't getting your hands (and feet) dirty just one of the very best bits of life. It is how we know we have really experienced it.

Not to mention art, I don't feel like I have worked hard enough if I haven't got paint, glue or whatever on my hands.

On my way home after going to my city's Palace Of The Legion Of Honor to see The Cult Of Beauty, all Pre-Raphealite wonders, my mind in a trance, I got off the bus and ran into Tillie. Well, some-one very
much like Tillie, big brown eyes, kind "Well, hello, there" look, thumpety thump wagging tail. We shared
a delightful moment. Beautiful day of art and magical dogs.

Thank you for this~ It's lovely and exactly what I needed today. ^^

I love love love this and will likely have to do a whole blog post about it and link back to you-- just wonderful! thank you-- oxoxo, e

I look forward to reading it, Elizabeth! As you know, I love your blog. Your photographs take my breath away.

This willow damn was built by humans, but it's not a dumb question at all, because beavers *are* coming back to Dartmoor, partly through the progeny of beavers who escaped from a Devon farm:


And partly because beavers are being re-introduced to the British countryside:


Our daughter Victoria saw The Cult of Beauty when it was in London and said it was fabulous. I very much hope I get the chance to see it somewhere.

And that does indeed sound like a Tilly-dog, right down to the thumpety thumpety tail!

Thank you, everyone!

Thank you. Sorry I misspelled Tilly. I will remember, Tilly in meadows and magical woods.
and Tillie Olsen, who graced us with her beautiful stories and great generosity.

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