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.



























Sunday, 14 May 2017

Men in flip flops

Never a good look. On scribbled (pencil) pages from a notebook.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Urban Sketching 2: Hammersmith

So many greens: so hard to capture.  Had been inspired by Pissarro's cabbage field....




Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Angels nudged us together

Katy Trail State Park, Missouri, US
Love this post from Winter Pilgrim (aforementioned) - this time on the magic of chance encounters on pilgrimages.

Winter Pilgrim has been walking in the midwest, and on this particular occasion had followed the Katy Trail along the banks of the Missouri River for some hours before searching for a church where she and the rest of the party could sleep.

Not so easy - guide books failed them - until a chance encounter with Jim and his Methodist Church.
"The encounter was somehow predestined. The hospitality was fantastic, the reception in their community on a Sunday night, so open, so welcoming of strangers. They were enjoying youth night - jam session in the basement, a movie, nachos for dinner...20 middle and high schoolers with a handful of parent's: pilgrims? what's a pilgrim? We three pilgrims sat at different tables telling tales of pilgrimland. An encounter that could not have been scheduled in advance. Angels nudged us together. Everyone benefited from the experience.

I credit my co-pilgrims for their trust. Someone once commented that what I do is like the childhood game - "do you trust me? fall back into my arms and I'll catch you" I do this every day as a pilgrim - fall back into the arms of humanity trusting that humanity will catch me, and they always do. This time, my pilgrim pals released the need to have a plan and locking elbows with me fell back together. Pilgrimland rocks. The Community United Methodist Church was our collective angel last night. Wonderful."
Click here to read the full post.

Some of my  most vivid memories on journeys involve the stories people tell - so openly to complete strangers. 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

David Hockney and the Wolds

Paintings from ten years ago - of the Wolds  - are a highlight of the Hockney exhibition at the Tate. More celebratory and vivid than photos, he says.
"Artists thought the optical projection of nature was verisimilitude, which is what they were aiming for," he said. "But in the 21st century, I know that is not verisimilitude. Once you know that, when you go out to paint, you've got something else to do. I do not think the world looks like photographs. I think it looks a lot more glorious than that."
Remember seeing these landscapes in 2012 at the Royal Academy.

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