Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bath: July by the River and Canal 2

This second post also shows flowers by the River Avon and by the Canal, but this time there are actually some TREES too......

Bath: July by the River and Canal 1

I have written before about walking Rosie- my brother's Jack Russell- by the River Avon and by the Canal. Now that it is the end of July it is entrancing to see the many flowers on the banks- the nostalgic, overpowering smelling meadowsweet, ragwort, balsam and many others- forming picture after picture. Rosie can be seen cooling herself with a lady-like dip in this unusually (for this non-Summer year) hot weather.

I will divide the images into two posts- the first, mainly flowers against the water:

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Proclaimers at Edinburgh Castle

Trees? Yes, because I flew up to Edinburgh on Saturday to see Zac Ware, my “Roving Reporter” (posts 30/31 March), who plays guitar and pedal steel for The Proclaimers, a very popular Scottish band who were given their own concert at Edinburgh Castle. Zac has been a bit of a failure lately as a roving reporter because, although he has dutifully taken lots of great tree photos for me, he has been too hectic “roving” the World with the band to email them to me- but this will be rectified shortly.

Having been born in Edinburgh, I regard it as my hometown so am always happy to go there. I was given a fantastic seat in a box, high up in the grandstand on the castle esplanade, immediately facing the stage.

Coincidentally, adjacent to me and on my level was the top floor flat in Ramsey Gardens where my parents had lived until shortly before my birth- the prospect of manoeuvring two small children up 100 odd steps to the flat daunting my mother, in spite of the unbeatable views across Edinburgh. And there was the balcony where- as I got very tired (jealous?) of hearing- my brother Charles used to sleep in his Moses basket, only to be woken by the 1 o’clock firing of Mons Meg, the cannon on the castle ramparts.

This being prior to the Second World War when my parents had become staunch pacifists, my mother used to say how she was ashamed when she secretly felt her Scottish blood being stirred as the Highland regiments paraded on the Esplanade, to the emotional sound of their bagpipes.

The second image below shows Zac, before the concert started, pointing to this historic balcony where his father used to lie.

The other images are of the concert- Zac, the Rover, wearing a red cowboy style shirt bought in Los Angeles.

The Proclaimers performed magnificently and their fans were ecstatic, their rocking of the grandstand making photography difficult.

The Proclaimers

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Philip and Heather Sutton: weekend in Manorbier 2

You might describe Philip Sutton as a Renaissance painter in that he is endlessly curious, endlessly excited by everything around him from science and the natural world to Shakespeare and Russian writers.

I first met him, and then his family, when he was my inspirational tutor at Chelsea Art School, nearly fifty years ago. Born a Londoner, he and his wife Heather now live contently in the peace of South West Wales, surrounded by an idyllic garden, full of flowers and trees and birds. There is even an adjacent field and the sea is close by. What else could a painter like him want? It is not far off from Paradise….

Recently, Phil has been obsessed with painting the many birds feeding on exotic, curvaceous bird feeders outside the kitchen window, resulting in many fluid water colours covering the studio walls. His latest obsession is insects- small cards filled with entrancing jewel-like specimens, drawn with coloured pencils.

Phil has always worked non-stop. Last weekend, when I stayed with him and Heather, apart from continuing with his insects at any spare moments, and when he was not swimming or running on Tenby beach, he was in their magic garden checking the proofs of a large art book about his work, being produced by the Royal Academy in conjunction with Thames and Hudson. He is shown correcting the proofs in the photo at the top of the first post. Concurrent with the publication of this book, in November he will be holding two exhibitions in Cork Street.

Starting with the door into Phil's studio:

Philip and Heather Sutton: weekend in Manorbier 1

Last weekend I spent in Manorbier- in Wales- with artist Philip Sutton and his wife Heather.

I will divide my weekend between two posts: first my own impressions and secondly some images connected with Phil’s studio and paintings.

To start with the garden, under a blue sky: