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Our Natural Home - A country-woman's guide to England's nature - creepy crawlies

Camilla Corkerham.

1 March

Spider in a Glass

I thought we might look at something a little different today. Because there is such a lot of nature out there and obviously a lot of it crawls on six legs (or sometimes eight). And I didn't think much about it but I was put in mind of it when I was approached by a young lady at a gallery sale last week in Sale.

I go to some of these gallery sales because you get some younger artists there who produce really impressive pieces but aren't yet known so their work is still affordable for buyers in the village. I've had some success selling watercolours I've got in this way in Nature's Nook's predecessor when I used to live in Croydon.

But in Sale, this young artist (named Quellia Ompou) showed me some wonderful semi-realism pieces which were based on insects and, amazingly, they were beautiful.

Which made me realise that insects are all around us and, once you get over your natural revulsion, they are so clever the way they move. I was watching a spider for ten minutes yesterday. My husband Terry caught it and put it under a glass on the kitchen table for me to sketch.

But anyway, if you want to see the surprising beauty of creepy crawlies - I have some of Miss Ompou's designs in Nature's Nook which aren't really very realistic but are more about capturing the essence of insects. Come have a look and then compare them to the insects which you find all around us. Beetles for instance.

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