Friday, July 25, 2008

Childhood Sweethearts

Some years ago now we were invited to dinner at Christmas by a family not too far away. They were about twenty of them and six or seven of us so it was ‘fun’. Their kitchen was enormous with a huge table in the middle covered in paperwork and little room for anything else other than the duck eggs, herbs, grandchildren’s art, dead flowers from July of 5 years past and some other paraphernalia which would be quite interesting if I could remember what it was; you know, important things like fishing rods and bridles, etc.!

Dinning was lavish, the wine flowed, and ‘La Bonne Chere’ was impossible to compete with! Much hilarity and joyous games were played in the festive spirit of a traditional family Christmas in Merry England.

In a quiet moment I retired to the Drawing room, scattered with children’s toys; pride among them an electric train set operated by a grandson less interested in ‘charades’ next door. The hostess and Matriarch, who I had know for some years, responded to my delight at seeing a most exquisite painting above the fire place. It transpired that her sensible father had commissioned a painting of her with her sister in the mid 1920s. The artist had become, not surprisingly, well known and the work was a ‘sensation’. She went on to tell me of her husband, an old soldier now playing ‘forfeits’ next door and her childhood sweetheart dating back to the time of the painting.

A number of things of that evening will never be forgotten, but high on the list was the foresight of a father to commission a portrait of his offspring and the settling feeling of a marriage lasting fifty years with origins dating back to pre-school days.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Reid Dick in Regents Park


Michael Copeland sent me this picture of another work by Reid Dick RA which I was not aware of. Clearly a delightful childhood moment captured (even if no one believes you about the frog)! Note how he has caught the head; children hold their heads differently to the rest of us. Dated 1931.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Purple Basil and 'where are the butterflies this year'?

I would expect to see many more butterflies at this time of year.

That's about all we have today!
Beneath my younger daughter's 'man' she did when she was 15, is a poor example of purple basil in need of water!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Outside but inside the V and A






Some how I managed to avoid the green screens. The chocolate cake is a must too.

George Washington on American soil in England

Charles I in Trafalgar Square, London

The best known sculptures in Trafalgar Square are of course Nelson’s, the lions and the fourth plinth (!), but we also have a few others including some from North America. One from a rebellious colony Virginia, gave us a chap with an English name and some American soil for him to stand on, the other, a more recent ‘work’ is above, ummmmm interesting, from Canada.


In reality, I can’t think of a more English spot for George Washington’s portrait. He stands in front of the National Gallery and looks down towards Whitehall and Charles I (who’s heading that way on horseback at the top of this post). To his right stands the first Scottish English King, James I (Charles' father) but most days George can hear a fellow countryman or woman chatting in the square in front of him or eating a sandwich on the turf before him.

A Prince in the garden

"No, I am not here".
First time I have managed to grow basil from seed.
Wild Geranium outside.

Muddled up with the lawn mower, this little cap was also worried about the lack of butterflies this year.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Practical Sculpture

Ian Cox reminded me how important it is to see these things in the round so I have tried with this one.

E J Clack's drinking fountain in Green Park, London, more here

Constance Fund


But like this one in Poundbury Dorset, drinking (if there is any water) is not recommended. Just in passing it is a pity that the sheep here is not a Dorset Horn which probably grazed on this land for centuries. I would be happy to help amend this error if asked!

Public Sculpture

Commercial Sculpture, Tree would be better Felipe!
Political left, perhaps and for Art's sake on the right?
These two are more practical, drinking fountain, for both two and four legged creatures; subject of a future post for Chris above and a shelter for lunch below?
but is it Sculpture or Architecture?
Rudy Weller's 'The Horses of Helios'

With Felipe’s article still around amongst a pile of other useless paper work I need to think this through.

I am worried about this word ‘Statue’. The Oxford dictionary’s definition is;


“Animal or human figure approaching or exceeding life size, carved or modelled, in the round.”

Sculpture is less specific with little limitations of subject, stype (new word, meaning; subject style and type), size or technique and even includes relief.

Monument is just an aide to remember the past and includes almost any object.

Portrait – in conjunction with one or more of the above becomes more accurate in many cases.

So a Henry Moore is a sculpture. Eros in Piccadilly is a statue not a portrait. Rodin’s Balzac is a statue, portrait and monument. All are sculpture and all are Art.

So where does Political statement come in?

Victory on the Brandenburg Gates/ Peace in her quadriga Hyde Park Corner

White slave

So where does statement of an idea come in?

Eros, Shaftesbury Memorial Piccadilly Circus

So where does ornament fit in? And the practical ones above?

Perhaps' also in Piccadilly Circus, those horses by Rudy Weller picture at the top.

So where does Art for Art’s sake come in?

And does it have to have some sort of message?

Can we get away with?

‘I like this, I hope you do too’.

Something like the Chapman Brothers might do for us! No? Then it is a question of taste?


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Coxsoft Art News for news of Sculpture in London

If you need to know what’s on in London then Coxsoft Art News is a must on your links page for regular visits.

Coxsoft Art News previews London art exhibitions and reports on anything of special interest in the visual arts worldwide. There are also some useful links on his blog.

Ian also has a good selection of classic sculpture and paintings on his website Coxsoftart.

Coxsoft Art News did a feature on me yesterday, thank you Ian.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Charlie and St John's Wort



Here as promised Museworthy is some St John's Wort for you. My American Appaloosa mare aged 32, was attracted by all the attention and had to come and see what I was doing on the ground!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Friday, July 04, 2008

AFAS. Armed Forces Arts Society Exhibition, Mall Galleries

Robert receiving the Sculpture prize from Andrew Festing President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters

This week the servicemen and women of Great Britain serving and retired have an exhibition of paintings and sculpture at the Mall Galleries in London near Admiralty Arch. I recommend a visit. See here for some more pictures taken at the SSAFA reception. Flying Spaniel won the Sculpture prize.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Disturbing Sculpture

You may find the Chapman brothers disturbing but have a look at this if you dare by Patricia Piccinini. I wonder if this is one of Chris Miller's ugly ones?

Blog this here

United Kingdom Blogs