Picasso & Modern British Art @ Tate Britain

Art exhibitions have been like buses for me lately: you wait ages for one and then two come along at once. I was lucky enough to be invited to a couple of evening events at art galleries recently, but I'll start with the one that came first - the Tate Britain's new exhibition looking at the influence of Picasso on modern British art of the 20th century.

The exhibition is split into sections, interspersing periods of when Picasso was working and exhibiting his paintings in Britain with the work of artists such as Wyndham Lewis, Francis Bacon and David Hockney. My particular favourite was the Henry Moore section; I am a huge fan of Moore's sculptures and was gutted to miss out on his retrospective at the Tate Modern a couple of years ago, so even getting to see some of his work was a treat for me. I loved seeing how his sculptures tied in with Picasso's depiction of the body in some of his paintings, even though the styles were very different. It was also a great opportunity to see some of the most famous of Picasso's works, such as Child with a Dove (which is apparently going up for sale so could well get pulled out of the exhibition), Guernica and Weeping Woman, as well as discovering some new artists. I'd never heard of Duncan Grant or Ben Nicholson before this exhibition, but wandering through exposed me to some really fantastic gorgeous paintings.

The undoubted highlight though is Picasso's enormous Three Dancers painting. Situated in a room on its own at the end of the exhibition, with only a single spotlight, you do feel slightly overwhelmed by looking at it. It feels like a beautiful way to marry the whole exhibition together, as an example of all that's great about Picasso whilst reflecting the works of the other artists in the exhibition - things like the body shapes of the figures recalling the Moore sculptures. That said, it was run a close second by discovering a side of Picasso that I hadn't been aware of in terms of, which was his work on designing the costumes and scenery for Diaghilev's ballet 'The Three-Cornered Hat'. I'm not much of an art gallery person, but when I am I'm a sucker for sculpture and beautiful costumes, so this room delivered in absolute spades - the work was absolutely exquisite.

If you'd like to check this out it costs £14 for a ticket - possibly a little bit on the expensive side for me to have gone of my own accord, but I'm very glad I did - and is running at Tate Britain until the 15th of July.

What I Did: Fell out of the blogging loop

I tried. I really did. But, you know, sometimes life (read: weekends away and crazy long hours at work) gets in the way, which is why despite my twice a week blog promise I made at the start of the year I fell off the wagon for the whole of February and a large part of March. *embarrassed* However, I am now back to blogging and I will do my best to keep up my two blogs a week rate.

So, here's a brief recap of what's been going on with me in the last month or so...

I got back into Zumba, as part of an effort to get toned up before heading off on holiday to Malta at the end of April, and because my doctor told me that if I don't lose some weight then she might have to take me off the medication I'm on. I've also gone cold turkey on the snack table at work, which seems to be working - I've got no idea if I've lost any weight or not, but I do feel like I've got my shape back and that I'm sleeping a lot better, which is always an advantage.

I've also been working on looking for a new job and have had a couple of interviews, but sadly no success yet. It's getting to a stage where I'm starting to think about what to do with my career; I do like my job, but I'm wondering if I need to start looking for something that's a bit closer to what I actually want to do with myself. But we'll see what happens in the next few months I guess. And at least I've got a bit of security for the next couple of months due to having my contract extended.

The other thing that's been taking up a fair bit of my time is my writing - I was a member of a local writers' group on and off last year but since January I've been making a real effort to go to every meeting, and have been working on my assignments for that as well as the Roman murder mystery novel I've been harbouring for the last nine months or so. It's been a fairly long haul, but I think it's starting to come together, although I don't expect to have the novel finished for at least a year

And finally... one potentially huge plan, which I'm not sure I want to say too much about just yet, as it may well not happen depending on what happens with my employment situation over the next few months. But suffice to say it would be an amazingly epic adventure, and whilst I am a bit scared about taking the plunge and what happens afterwards, if it all comes together then I absolutely cannot wait.

So, that's where I've been for the past few weeks, in case you missed me. Now back to the serious business of regular blogging...