Thursday, February 22, 2018

Wondrous Frink heads ... with one extra

I never tire of photographing Frink sculptures when I can, especially her figures - and most especially her heads.
These were snapped some years ago at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and on Salisbury Cathedral Green ...
where a young man decided that an extra head was necessary!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


In scanning my photographs I have been encountering snaps taken but since forgotten.  Under the heading of gardens I found these, taken in a shed of a National Trust house, I think.  It was one with a splendid vegetable garden and several greenhouses, I believe.  Unfortunately I have not been able to remember which house it was.
And these two perhaps lurid images below were at a garden festival at a Chateau on the Loire which we visited on the way back from a stay in the Languedoc several years ago.  I remember that very well, not only because we enjoyed the holiday, and the visit to the garden festival - but also because of the food poisoning I picked up that evening from what I thought had been a lovely meal at a restaurant in Blois!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Interesting pots

This morning we visited the Crafts Study Centre in Farnham.  One of the two exhibitions on at present is of ceramics by Emilie Taylor.  More links about the work are here, and here, here, and here.
At first glimpse I thought that the work might be derivative, Grayson Perry-a-like; but I quickly realised that this is a wholly superficial view.  The works are similar in so far as they are ceramics which have a social message.  But Taylor's pieces very much have a glow of personal authenticity, and made a powerful impression.  There are dramatic large pots with figurative narrative as well as purely decorative slipware pattern, and striking smaller pieces with an individual figure - in this case called Portrait Pots (Persephone) - both as photographed below by Michael J Davis
The outing provided an uplifting break from the huge pile of photographs which I'm scanning.  The task I have set myself is to digitise all my photos so that I can discard the physical prints - as well as sorting through them at the same time.

Monday, February 12, 2018

In life and online

When we were away on our trip recently we visited the Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries.  There we saw a couple of exhibitions full of delightful works.  I was particularly taken by a small Robin Philipson: Whisper II, and now back home wanted to see if I could find it online.
Robin Philipson: Whisper II (image from here)
The gallery does have an online presence of its own, as well as on ArtUk, and indeed I found the image I wanted to revisit.  I decided to have a stroll through the online gallery, and was pleased to encounter an artist previously unkown to me: Dorothy Black.  In trying to find out more, I stumbled across one picture which appealed to the juggler obsessive in me. It is good to see that I am not alone!
Dorothy Black: Me and the sea (image from here)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Birds at the beach

The crows stride as they seek interesting titbits amongst the seaweed.  The skitter and stop, skitter and stop is the oystercatcher, and those daft herring gulls sitting at the edge of the retreating shore, jumping up to avoid the swell of the breaking waves: bob, leap, take-off, settle, bob, leap, take-off.  Sudden tiny movements draw the eye to a robin picking and mixing, and a sudden mob of perhaps hedge sparrows arrives, twitters, and leaves.  The curlews I could only hear, not see - evocative sound.
Never a dull moment on an afternoon when sun, rain, wind, and threatening snow all pass as I watch the life around me.  The little cove is at Rockcliffe, almost empty in this off season - empty of humans and cars, but teeming with other life.
There are so many shells right up near the land edge of the beach, masses whole and mounds more in tiny bits, not yet ground to fine particles.  And then sand, a sudden line of division, both surfaces strewn with seaweed.
The tide going out reveals delightful stands of grass on plinths of sand and earth among the rocks.  Good hunting grounds all round for those who seek.
Further out of the Urr estuary, in the Solway Firth, there is Hestan Island with its Alan Stevenson lighthouse, and definitely non pc named feature of Daft Ann's Steps.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Mid Winter break

The timing of my cold is somewhat unfortunate as we had decided to take a week off in Scotland.  Luckily I am much improved - only the persistent cough is making sleep difficult.
Today we were in Dumfries which has a mixture of elaborate decoration and decay in many buildings.  I do love the red sandstone which was a favourite with so many Victorian builders.  Robert Burns is a great favourite here, with signs, paintings, and statues, museums, ....
The River Nith runs through Dumfries, and is running high and fast at present, but not flooding.  The additional astonishing sight was the number of ducks paddling like mad to stay still while the water sped past.  There must be rich pickings indeed to expend all that effort.  I was unable to photograph them as first they were across the river from me, and also the sun was in my eyes.
It was a gloriously sunny day today, with only a couple of short showers, bringing rainbows.  There is scant snow on the tops of hills, and the air is so fresh, feeling especially good because I can breathe easy.  We enjoyed the views of the Nith estuary and were delighted in a nature reserve there to catch a couple of brief sights of an eagle being mobbed by rooks.  Far too fleeting a glimpse to photograph.
My current whodunnit reading is Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers, a Lord Peter Wimsey adventure which unaccountably I have not previously read.  I chose it deliberately as it is set in Dumfries and Galloway - at a time when the railways still ran.  Now there are only many beautiful viaducts which decorate the landscape.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Temporary break in transmission

Anne Carrigan: Head Cold
I came away from the workshop last week with food for thought - and a head cold!  So now I am indulging myself on the sofa: whodunnits, hot milk, soups, and lots of tissues.
Normal service will resume as soon as possible, I hope.  At least the image above (from here) makes me feel much better in comparison.