Until I read Anna Koska’s book this week, I didn’t realise that I clearly yearn to relive my childhood; from field and forest (or in my case, my Grandpop’s allotment, and the bit at the end of my parent’s rambling garden we grandly referred to as ‘the orchard’). (breaking all of the SEO rules RIGHT here with the longest opening sentence a blogger could ever write, followed by another one right here too).
I chatted to Anna about her life as an illustrator, a smallholder, and now published author of From Field and Forest.
We discussed how our very different living environments have delightful overlaps – her ‘harvesting’ her bees’ honey, me foraging in the back alley of my mid terrace London house for my neighbours’ overhanging mulberries, and occasional fig-treasures.
Artists we admire
We talked about our mutual love of Rothko, and Anna’s morning chilly sea swims and the visual relationship with the vista of the stillness of the sea.
The delights of discovering Georgia O’Keeffe (one of my first ‘Art Posters’ as a teenager), and I mentioned an article I’d read a few years ago about what a ‘difficult’ person they were to interview. I dug it out, have a read: “For art-history student Alex Sutherland, finally tracking down the great American artist was only the start of the challenge” And how Georgia O’Keeffe’s work has been perhaps much misunderstood and represented as cliched celebrations of the female vulva by male art critics.
We chatted about bees and bikinis, knickers and bras, (delightfully illustrated by chef Tom Hunt with emojis 🐝👙🍓 in case you missed that).
Please do watch the interview over in instagram, and if you have any further questions do drop me a line in the comments below.
For those of you who asked, the books Anna mentioned were by Richard Jefferies The Story of My Heart with woodcut illustrations by Gertrude Hermes.
Anna also mentioned the book written by Charles Bayne called Exploring England. Another charity shop beauty – which was illustrated by another wood engraver (Anna says: “actually an even better one for my style of pen and ink”) C F Tunnicliffe.
And Anna’s go-to book for identifying flowers. Given to Anna by her mother. Used to belong to her grandfather (one of the story’s ‘for the love of flowers’) The Concise British Flora in Colour – W Keble Martin 1965. “Grandpa’s old book.“
We also discussed So Good In Every Way – my ‘side project’
This week’s photo challenge prompt is #sgiew_folk – tag us with your own photos, show us what you are up to for spring, your traditions, and fun – you could win a copy of Anna’s book From Field and Forest, or a hand tied bouquet of British flaars from @commonfarmflowers, a vase and vintage bottles from @amandarusselldesign plus @vesta_living are giving away some gorgeous eco goodies – reusable kitchen roll, what’s not to like!
Order your copy of Anna Koska’s book here From Field and Forest*
Follow her on insta @gremkoska.
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