Saturday, 8 March 2014

Snowdrops

 
Last Thursday I had the pleasure of working in two lovely homes in the Cotswolds....both set in fabulous gardens and landscape. The perk of my job was being able to have a walk looking at snowdrops break between each painting job. Above is Sudeley Castle, outside relative calm....inside buzzing with the preparations of opening for the new season..March 17th. This year I've been painting life sized figures both for signs and display. The next photos are from Salperton Manor where I was doing some decorative interior painting.

On one of my regular stops between the two places I saw the strangest deer...at least that must have been...large as a deer, very rusty red coat, pricked up ears but with the longest white bushy tail up in the air...probably about two foot long!...very odd. I've looked through the internet and the only pictures that look like it was 'the white tail deer' native in America!

 
In the grounds is All Saint's Church, still used by parishioners...rather chilly inside but is worth visiting to see the rediscovered 'Doom'. A lengthy restoration taking off layers of whitewash..there must be hundreds of old churches around the country hiding amazing wall paintings.
 
 
Anyway, back to snowdrops...Galanthus...meaning snowflower.They are also known as 'Fair maids of February, Candlemass bells and Mary's tapers.
This flower is associated with Imbolic and is the celtic flower of St Brigid. In the bible God put the flower on earth to comfort Eve when she spent her first winter out of the Garden of Eden. An angel comforting Eve caught a snowflake, breathed on it and it fell to the ground as the first snowdrop. It is the flower of consolation, just by looking heals the hearts wounds.
In Germany there is a legend where God sent the snow to the flowers to get colour, All the flowers refused except for the snowdrop. In thanks the snowdrop was allowed to be the first bloom of the year.

Did you know that Snow White was originally called Snow Drop but it wasn't catchy enough!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Artists block

This year I seem to be finding it hard to come out of hibernation....I'm getting on with painting jobs but I've really wanted to paint some pictures, just not sure what subject!....so I've decided to use the bits of spare time to have a clear out. Today the scrap man came to pick up my Diahatsu.
 I've been trying to sell it to someone for spares for months and months, but not a soul was interested, so it had to go. I'm sure everyone will be pleased to see that my car has gone but it's already been replaced by someone elses!

While waiting for the Scrapman I had a chilly walk taking a few photos of the surroundings of my workshop....all looking rather tired but the snowdrops are popping through and as soon as spring arrives everywhere will look beautiful again...and I'll be feeling inspired again!
Rob Langley was busy making some great rustic furniture in his workshop....lots of creativity...and a lovely woodburning stove!
 
 
I found the following quote on the internet...made me feel better, I'm obviously on the right track...
 
 "One reason that people have artist’s block is that they do not respect the law of dormancy in nature. Trees don’t produce fruit all year long, constantly. They have a point where they go dormant. And when you are in a dormant period creatively, if you can arrange your life to do the technical tasks that don’t take creativity, you are essentially preparing for the spring when it will all blossom again."
- Marshall Vandruff
 

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Lost painting

I'm restoring a 1930's fairground waltzer at the moment for a lovely chap called David Littleboy. Today he sent me an interesting email about a lost painting by Sir Edward John Poynter that had been sold this year. The surprise was that it was the same as the Waltzer front!
The painting called The Ionian Dance, was bought by Robert English and was in his private collection until 1915 when it was sold. It has always been in private hands until it was auctioned by Bonhams on the 10th July 2013 ,selling for £301,250.


The chances are that Edwin Hall only saw the etching, but it shows his love of art and paintings to have been influenced by it. His lady isn't quite so revealing,and there are some extras but it's fascinating to see. To think that no one had seen the original colours since 1914 but there it was bold as brass in a field in a fairground. I also only had scraps of colour and a black and white photo to work from. I might have to alter the ladies face on the far right now!


 Ionian Dance Detail



Marble
 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

And all because the lady loves....

I've just watched a great programme called Life is Sweets...Nigel Slater....not only was it fascinating but it was very funny too, especially when he said about his Dad buying his step mother a Flake...and liked watching her eat it....oooh er!....and that his Father bought his Mother Milk Tray but his stepmother only had Dairy Milk.

It brought back memories of my Granny giving us a Frys chocolate Creme bar on a Saturday night in her caravan....and eating a Babycham chocolate when I was too young to drink alcohol.....and yes ,I wanted to be the flake girl disappearing off up the lane on a gypsy wagon.



The sweet adverts used to be brilliant....everyone of a certain age can remember the Cadbury Fruit and nut song and the Milky Bar kid. I was interested to find that Gary Myers. the dark haired 'Bond' like character did all of his own stunts and appeared in the adds for 20 years....I was too young to fancy him!
 
Unfortunately Milk Tray isn't what it was but there's still lots of lovely chocolate on the shelves...thank goodness it's past 11pm or I'd be very tempted to pop up to the Coop and buy a plain chocolate Bounty, or a mint Aero...or a finger of fudge...or perhaps a Freddo Frog.....

Monday, 23 September 2013

Hall of Mirrors

Today my Mum rang me to tell me that she thought she saw some of my fairground painting on a Littlewoods TV advert. I looked at their site on the internet just to see ...and there it was...'The Hall of Mirrors'.  I haven't seen it for quite a few years, but it looks as though it is wearing well..
I initially painted it for Andrew Harris, who at the time travelled with Carters Steam Fair .  He asked me to paint it with an Art Nouveau theme.... which I did , painting four ladies representing the four seasons. Hidden on the front is a Trompe l'oeil Robin and a ' Painted lady' butterfly.  At the time my workshop was the upstairs of an old barn near Stanway, Glos. The front came apart to get it up the stairs ,so I didn't see it all together until Andrew came to collect it.I remember being very relieved to see that all the pictures did actually fit together !
To see the advert please click on the following link.




Tuesday, 27 August 2013

New Look

Hello, After having a lovely couple of weeks away I decided to revamp my website and blog post...both not quite as easy as I first thought. My blog is almost fine but it doesn't appear to have taken my friends with me....so please make friends again !
My website although redesigned doesn't want to appear at all...so it's either taking a few days to think about it , or I must have to delete previous design to allow the new one!...I might just have to add a Map page onto the old one in the meantime....ho hum....anyway I must now go and load the car up with paint....back to work...always difficult when the sun is shinig and I'm still in holiday mode !
Ps a big thanks to Ann Hyde who helped me with how to alter the look of my blog. http://studiohyde.blogspot.co.uk/

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