I am saddened to hear of the death of The Marquess of Bath , taken by the Coronavirus.
Without exception, I found him to be a kind and interesting man. Alexander lived life on his own terms , colourful , creative and a free spirit , and will be greatly missed by all of his friends and family.
Jacqueline Sarsby , social anthropologist and photographer, has guest-curated an exhibition at the Gloucester Museum which opened on 12th October 2019 and closes on 18th April 2020, so there is still time to take a look. It is called ’The Magical World of William Simmonds, Puppets and Paintings’.
A treasured image that I keep in my studio is a beautiful black and white photograph taken by Jacqueline , called’ Catherine White and Kitty’, in it she records a little girl with her black and white cat . It evokes fond memories of childhood and pets. In that photograph, at that moment, Jacqueline Sarsby captured something unspoken, the affection and shared trust between the two.
Considered an English Romantic, Blake was a visionary painter, printmaker and poet. Through life, he explored the powers of the imagination and of creation. He questions the meaning of being, his relationship to the divine and the fundamental tension between the individual life and human condition .
Canon Nigel Marns lovely book, the ‘Cornish Celtic Way’ had a great review in the Guardian .
It highlighted one memorable quote by Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. “Love the animals, love the plants, love everything,” it urges. “If you love everything you will perceive the divine mystery in all things.”
While walking along a Cornish lane near home, I saw a Swift swoop and glide over a tall green hedge ahead of me. The arrival of these beautiful birds who have flown all the way from Africa is a welcome sight, as they bring with them spring and summer days.
In this poem by Keats , he expresses his love of nature , the joy it can bring, and reminds us to enjoy it while we can. The line, ‘when all the birds are faint with the hot sun’, reminds me of childhood and empty summer holidays exploring the countryside. I’d take myself off to watch crickets, and discover other strange and fascinating bugs and beetles in some wild spot.
On the Grasshopper and Cricket. A poem by John Keats.
The Poetry of earth is never dead: When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead; That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead In summer luxury,—he has never done With his delights; for when tired out with fun He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed. The poetry of earth is ceasing never: On a lone winter evening, when the frost Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever, And seems to one in drowsiness half lost, The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.
I would like to join in thanking all of those good people who risk their own wellbeing to help others during the Corona Virus pandemic. Their acts of selflessness are the building blocks for us all when this difficult time has passed.
Artists over the years have naturally been inspired to record their experience of the medical profession.
I have chosen a few favourites to share with you .
Keep busy, take care of those you love and stay safe x.
This week in the studio I spent an hour or two , playing with my little boxes of mixed typefaces, images and quick drying black ink . I used a very simple relief printing method to make a few thank you cards, something I began many years ago when I was unable to find the cards that I liked in the shops.
When “All Hallows’ Eve” or Allhallowtide is celebrated, it is a time to pray for recently departed souls who have yet to reach heaven, and a time to honour the saints. As in many traditions, it follows natures calendar, a time of dying back.
Below are just a few of the 80 etchings and aquatints, made by Goya, entitled ‘Los Caprichos’, they were made in 1797 & 1798 and are just as relevant and awe inspiring now .
In this series he recorded the true horrors of war and life . Not only did he interpret how base human nature could be, but how a persons grotesque fantasies could lead them into an abyse, lost to this world.
So ,don’t forget to light your lantern, to keep those evil spirits at bay.
This wonderful work by Goya is at the Prado Museum, Madrid.
On VE Day the country woke up to the news that the war in Europe was finally over. The crowds in London celebrated, singing Land of hope and glory as Churchill in his boiler suite made the victory sign . A time for us to celebrate , but for some families and friends it was a time to remember their loved ones, who had paid the ultimate sacrifice, and would never be coming home.
Many artists and their families who until the outbreak of war had been living in London decided to leave . Some came to Cornwall and established, what was to become a new artists colony. Artists like Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Christopher Wood, Naum Gabo. They and their group went on to influence the second generation of artists such as Peter Lanyon , Terry Frost , John Wells, and Patrick Heron. Heron was living in Cornwall because his father Tom Heron managed the fabric printing company Crysede . The influential nieve painter Alfred Wallis, lived in a cottage in Back Road West, St Ives . The story of these artists can be found in Denys Val Bakers lovely book ‘Britain’s art colony by the sea’. A copy of which my grandmother gave to me when I first came to live in Cornwall , before Tate St Ives was conceived .
So it was with this in mind, I thought today I would celebrate this special day with two Ben Nicholson paintings, in which at the time, he marked this historic day , adding the Union Jack Flag into his still life paintings .
The Stations of The Cross below, were made for All Saints Chapel in Truro Cathedral . They depict The Passion. The ten paintings were first on view, on site, in 2013.
At this important time in the Christian Calendar , we reflect on human frailty , injustice and corruption. And yet we witness the strength of the human spirit and astonishing kindness in people, as the world struggles to cope with the coronavirus.
I stretched out my hands and approached my Lord: For the stretching of my hands is His sign: My expansion is the outspread tree which was set up on the way of the Righteous One. And I became of no account to those who did not take hold of me; and I shall be with those who love me.
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning. The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry, The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony Of death and birth.
I was reacquainted last week with two paintings I made many years ago, recently acquired by Paul Longthorne, the Director of Market House Gallery, Marazion.
The earlier of the two is this oil painting, ‘ Girl with Ducks’ dated 1984.
In the 1980’s, I made number of painting exploring the theme of relationships between children and animals … cats and ducks in particular. This painting was made when I lived in a rural cottage between Gloucester and Ledbury. There I had a small studio with a window that overlooked a few dwellings and fields towards the town. During those years, I was selling work through, what was then, Rooksmoor Mills Gallery, Nailsworth and the Arts Centre Cirencester.
In 1987, we moved to Cornwall, and for many years I rented an Acme Studio in the Old Net loft at Porthleven. The new studio and location naturally influenced my work in many ways, and it also gave me the opportunity to have people to model for me, like Paula, recorded in this oil painting below, at the time she had begun the male to female transition .
If you wish to contact the gallery about either of these paintings, here is the link – http://www.markethousegallery.co.uk
Lot number 662 is an oil painting I made in 1987, when for many years I rented an Acme Studio in the Cornish fishing village of Porthleven, in what was the old Net Lofts. I used to go there with Ruby, my little dog. I would paint for a bit then we would take a break and walk along the cliffs. The views from the second floor studio window were spectacular as the building is positioned right on the harbour side. The Mens Institute with its clock tower has been the subject matter for many an artist and photographer especially when the storms come in .
When I rediscover work that I made some time ago its like being united with an old friend, and all the memories associated with that time come flooding back . This is coming up for sale at David Lays Auctions, Penzance, Cornwall on Thursday 31st January 2020.
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread.
Today we remember those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for us.
Few families remained untouched by the First World War . My own Grandmother lost her beloved Father, Thomas Henry Hearder Perring , of the Devonshire Regiment . They lived at the time at the Barbican Plymouth, in upstairs lodgings which remain almost unaltered, as it is now the museum.
When I visited the house with my Grandmother before she died she explained how they had lived, where her fathers easle stood, and the yard below where the local boys played football with a makeshift ball . Thomas Perring a scenic and landscape artist studied painting under Opie in Plymouth until one day he left and never returned. A stretcher bearer killed in action on the front .
This is a little painting I made of his son , my Uncle Coyte, a man I knew and loved .He served in the second world war, and did come home. He wrote poetry in quiet moments and this painting includes one of his I discovered in his small note book, long after he too had died.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.