Saturday, 30 December 2017

An urban sketcher in Goa and St Francis of Assisi

Love this urban sketcher @doodlenomics in Goa and the painting of the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Seems a lifetime ago that I went there (guess it is most of an adult lifetime) on my honeymoon and saw the uncorrupted body of St Francis of Assisi. We gave a beggar far too much money outside (not knowing).

Strange suddenly to see a place forgotten for decades and then half remember the facade. Wonder if I will ever go back.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Pastel on brown paper

Woman in a Blue Dress (1890 - 1909) (Pastel on brown paper)
Thomas Wilmer Dewing.
Love it.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

The days pass: taking control of time

Ever since I took this out of focus picture of a handwritten diary, I've wanted to draw one myself.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Bonnard and St Agnes

Strong similarities in the composition of these two paintings: Bonnard's The River Seine in Paris: the Pont du Carrousel (at the Courtauld Institute in London), and the view of St Agnes bay, in Cornwall (by an unknown artist, bought by me in a charity shop).
One by an acknowledged master; the other by a keen amateur.

Both have long rigid blocks in the foreground: the steel bridge (with flat panels of colour) in  Bonnard's painting; the long concrete wall and hedge in St Agnes. I like both.
Both highly coloured and confident.
Both striking (in very different ways)

Friday, 1 December 2017

Hidden meanings and Rachel Whiteread

Tubes from toilet rolls
Hot water bottle (or enema bag) cast in resin

So many hidden meanings at the Rachel Whiteread exhibition at Tate Britain.  Have to confess that I opened the door to the room then walked out again as the first sight of so many (mainly) grey casts was so daunting. Went in again, after having read the introductory panel outside - and then everything made sense. This is about what the objects are not - rather than what they are. And there is a bit of colour. My own captions - not the official ones.


Hot water bottle (or enema bag) cast in
dental plaster

Friday, 10 November 2017

Bows and frills

The new Tate exhibition Impressionists in London isn't all that interesting... a bit too much about quite an obscure subject (French artists in exile between 1870 to 1904). But the final room of Monet's Thames series is wonderful. AndJames Tissot's paintings have some fabulous fabrics. Apparently he was the son of a fabric merchant so had a very sharp eye.
The ribbons, bows and frills of his high society paintings are breathtaking - to think that women really dressed like this. The fabric in portraits of men, too, is pretty stunning - whether framing the languid - or jaded - partygoer or the dazed wounded soldier.
Hush! James Tissot/1875
Captain Frederick Burnaby: Late at the Ball

The Wounded Soldier/James Tisson c. 1870

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

A bedroom and (un) comfort zone

A fabulous bedroom on display in a shop window in Mayfair. It's so very 50s - and the brilliant use of fabric creates an atmosphere. I used to have a dressing table like this in my bedroom as a child. In fact still have one sans the drapes. But this bedroom isn't a peaceful haven - it's deliberately created to disconcert (more on the designers' website) - the cigarette, the pills, the underwear, the kicked off shoes and overturned chair.... I still love the dressing table, though.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Sea sculpture and a colour chart

A haunting sea sculpture at Praa Sands ....

And @maryfrancesness on Twitter posts an inspired colour chart....

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

St Michael's Way: Lelant to Marazion across country

An odd overcast and damp walk - the first part very crowded with dog walkers (and dog fouled paths!)
 .... and some sections are poorly signposted as you head to Trencom Hill and beyond.
The first glimpse of the Mount (once thought by ancient pilgrims to house the Holy Grail) is a highlight - and it's exhilarating to see it getting closer as you walk
Starting at St Uny Church, Lelant, down the coast to Carbis Bay - then up to Knill's Monument and directly across the peninsular to Marazion. One of the pictures of the Mount in the distance is out of sequence, but I can't work out how to change it.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Watercolours: Andalucia 2017

At Stansted

Man on mobile phone

Monday, 12 June 2017

Painting at St Hilary

A visit last Saturday in drenching rain to St Hilary Church.
Stunning art - commissioned by maverick vicar Bernard Walke. He was married to Annie Walke, a distinguished painter, and the couple were friends with leading Newlyn School artists of the day - who contributed work to the church.  Love the Madonna's red shoes in Annie Walke's painting. And Proctor's huge crucifix with a white-robed figure open-armed is also impressive (though I can't find a picture - below it's tiny, overhanging the choir).  It's repeated on two smaller crucifixes in the chancel.
Altarpiece by Ernest Proctor
Joan of Arc by Annie Walke

Virgin with red shoes by Annie Walke

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Wasting time changes the nature of time - that's the point

'Wasting time changes the nature of time - that's the point. And the heart is still."
A character in Rose Tremain's novel The Gustav Sonata - an old military man who plays gin rummy with his wife every evening for years then is lost after she dies and has no one to play with.
Such an interesting thought.
That time and the heart can be stilled. The widower's heart was never still thereafter.
The novel is set in Switzerland.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

More urban sketching from Madrid

Enough photos to make a gallery of Urban Sketching in Madrid earlier this month: a great weekend and learned loads, thanks to tutor Richard Carrasco.

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy