Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Autumn Leaves

And here are more images from Bath's Botanical Gardens- this time concentrating more upon the leaves themselves:

Autumn Foliage: Botanical Gardens, Bath

Suddenly the leaves on the trees are really becoming Autumnal, so I treated myself to a wander through Bath's Botanical Gardens. The first shock I got was seeing the Taxodium Ascendens Nutans, or Swamp Cyprus. This amazing Orangutan-like tree is actually deciduous, so has turned from a green tree into this extraordinary tangle of orange:

The Proclaimers/ Roving Reporter

Last week The Proclaimers were playing in Colston Hall in Bristol, so I went there to support Zac, my "Roving Reporter".

I was delighted to see that they had used one of my photos in their Tour program- of their emotional show at Edinburgh Castle last year. So I will start with that followed by some images from Bristol- including, of course, the Roving Reporter:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Autumn beginning in Bath...

As I have already said, the trees here in Bath are gradually turning colour, so every walk is exhilarating in its discoveries. Here are a few images taken on a beautiful blue skied afternoon:

Monday, October 19, 2009


There are certain so-called "British Birds" that always shock me because they seem too exotic for this country. Only a few days ago I was reminded of this when I saw the brilliant, iridescent blue and orange of a Kingfisher, streaking down the River Avon.

Then yesterday when I was walking the Jack Russell, Rosie, on the Meadow adjacent to the river, there was a bright green/yellow/red shape- a Green Woodpecker poking about in the grass. Yet another of my favourite birds, I have always liked its country name "yaffle", given to it because of the laughing call it gives in flight- an evocative sound that always makes me think of Spring woods. It's flight too is remarkable- a lyrical, dipping, undulating flight, caused by it taking 3-4 wingbeats followed by a short glide, when the wings are held up by the body.

I took the photo shown below from some distance away and then stalked the bird to get a better close-up. Just when I was in a good position, I heard Rosie barking: in true Jack-Russell-style, she was running after a poor innocent girl taking a stroll, barking and wagging her tale ... so that was yet another shot that got away...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Tree Reflections...

The leaves on the trees are beginning to turn and here are some reflected in the River Avon. First, a Birch tree on a bank followed by its reflection.

One of the hazards of taking photos when I have Rosie- my brother's Jack Russell- with me is that when I stop she will take advantage of my preoccupation to climb down one of the treacherous, slippery, muddy gullies that lead down to the river. Should she fall in she would not be able to get out as there is an overhang of the bank and she is very small- and I have no intention of being one of those people drowned saving their dogs...That is why- in the third image- Rosie is looking crossly at me: I have just said NO!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Manorbier Studio...

Yet another of the assets of staying with Philip and Heather Sutton in Manorbier- apart from the sea, the animals, the birds, the garden and not least their company- is the wonderful stimulation of Phil's studio. When I say studio, this is actually a large house, the semi-detached other half of the one they live in. Every space is full of paintings and drawings and other artworks, Phil being a prolific artist. The house glows with colour and excitement and you are constantly surprized by unexpected subject matter- such as a wall covered in beautiful, intimate drawings of Teddy Bears and delicate, meticulous drawings of insects . Phil is constantly alive to new experiences and ideas- he has an insatiable curiosity about the world, both visually and mentally.

Visiting the studio is an inspiration, inspiring you to get to grips with your own work and reassuring you that being an artist is an essential occupation.

Check out this website for some of Phil's Posters: philipsuttonra.co.uk
And this for a new book: Philip Sutton "An Artist's View"

And here is the Studio Door:

A Manorbier Garden...

I have spoken in the last posts of staying in Manorbier with Philip and Heather Sutton and in a previous one have written about their idyllic garden. Not only are they surrounded by trees and shrubs and flowers and a vegetable patch but they also look out on their own meadow...and from the top of the garden you can even see the sea...

Here are a few images of the garden on a sunny September day- starting off with Phil sitting in it:

Manorbier Animals

I spoke of staying with very special friends in Manorbier, well these were the artist Philip Sutton and his wife Heather and their dog Toby. I will now show you some Manorbier animals: Toby, the Yorkshire Terrier- including a gallery of his portraits painted by Phil on the studio staircase; Dylan, a visiting Welsh Collie with his fascinating Wall Eyes- one blue and one brown. Apparently there is a superstition that this is a "lucky" trait in Sheepdogs- if one eye goes blind the other one will retain its sight; and finally, a Grey Squirrel busily eating the birds nuts: