Thursday, March 29, 2007

For Chris

Well it varies! My favourite which we bought last year was £15, ($ 28) it had a good number of flowers but was rather “leggy” and so in the “sale” at half price. This year it is doing well but still a bit “leggy”. I think when it has flowered you can prune it so it becomes more bushy like this good one which was priced at £180 ($335) this year. Needless to say it did not end up in our car. I have posted a "detail" picture too for good measure!
PS We do not have shares (stock) in this company by the way!!!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Camellia Sunday, here are the first 8 of the 16 or so I photographed at the annual sale. You may love or hate looking at plants, on the whole I get bored quickly except for Azaleas and Camellias when in abundance.
I recommend Exbury Gardens for Azaleas.
If it is Camellias you like then you will find Trehane nursery a paradise. There are 30,000 named varieties of Camellias, 132 are in their catalogue with origins around the world from the USA, New Zealand, Japan, England to name just a few.
I will save my favourite for another time, they are called Jury's lemon and Midnight.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Amanda Sisk

I am slightly in awe of Amanda’s talent and this little computer can give you only a fleeting glimpse of that talent.

Sculpture has presence and sculpture has depth in every sense which a two dimensional computer screen or a photograph can not begin to communicate.

With this handicap and only these three pictures, “borrowed” from her some months ago, I start the process of exposing Amanda! Like all the best artists she will claim she has not much to show at the moment but she will I am sure release some more soon.
A technical note only. The line of the jaw, the fine line of nose and lips indicate considerable skill and refinement. What particularly captures me is the position of the head very carefully chosen to suit the powerful presence this work must exude. The contrast between flesh and bare medium conveys a shiver combined with the blindfold. Both artist and subject have powerful personality.

With no clues to a story behind this work it becomes intriguing. The two heads are believable and clearly captivated by and leading our eyes to the torso’s breast. Three other ideas come to mind: map, decaying and alluvia mud.


PS Please visit Chris Miller's studio over on my Blog of Sculptors and Artists Studios before you go.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

My Dormitory Ghosts

I wasn’t really interested in ghost stories but I was in demand as a teller of them. This constantly got me into trouble for talking after lights out in a classic English prep school in the late 50s early 60s. The Vicar of Seaford was chosen for his power of story telling too. He preached to a thousand children aged 7 to 13 each Sunday. It was a strange community then, some nine boys’ and two girls’ boarding schools all within a square mile or so. We were all given a penny to put in the collection. A copper penny (two shown with a 1921 dollar) was big and the newer ones heavy, so the collection plate must have weighed a ton. We strutted out in our short trousers and caps in a long crocodile the half mile to Church. There were two services to fit us all in. The Vicar was young and understood how to hold our attention. Some of his sermons I still remember today. On his annual evening visit to us he would tour the dormitories as part of his pastoral duties. He was entertaining, charismatic and radiated goodness.

Now I was running out of ideas to keep my “street cred” with the “after lights out ghost stories” and it was my turn to beg for a ghost story from this genial cleric. He sat on my bed with a dozen or so of my peers and told us our first adult ghost story. The fact that it came from “the horse’s mouth” gave it much credibility. How could we even consider this not to be true? We sat, mouths open and listened to his every word. It was not really a horror story by today’s standards, but it must have been frightening for the people he described. Why is it that ghost stories are always more horrifying when they involve children?

I moved on to a senior school where I eventually studied English Literature. We had two teachers for this subject and as is often the rule, one was good and the other mediocre. Henry James was taught by the good one. Washington Square was perhaps the most difficult book for a 17 year old to get into, but it was preliminary reading for the work we were to be examined on and it was forced down hard upon us. To the “Aspern Papers” I could relate better and indeed enjoyed the finer points of his literary genius.

It was of course James and his tale of Miss Jessel, Quint, Flora and the little gentleman Miles to which I warmed, “The Turn of the Screw” on which we were examined!

I was surprised to find that the latest book that I have closed also started with a Christmas Eve in a country house and fire side Ghost stories. “The woman in black” by Susan Hill a contemporary writer, has used a similar initial setting and the story is most disturbing. The plot is great, the setting fine, some of the action needs refinement; as it is told some things won’t work in reality, and I do not mean the ghostly bits more on technicalities; these I will forgive her for a captivating ghost story it certainly is. (Her books can be found here

Perhaps my favourite Ghost story is a short one from Saki. “The Open Window”, no more that 3 pages of pure delight.

Leaving ghosts aside for my next attack is “The Awkward Age”. One I have not read. I have hesitated before due to my bad time with Washington Square, but the cover has a copy of “The White Girl” by Whistler upon it which has tipped me over the edge, being so much more the visual type.

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Monday, March 19, 2007


Everyone who comes to visit us for the first time asks, as they arrive, “what is that great arch with the deer on it just up the road”? We call it Stag Gate.
We live in an interesting part of England. The answer is Charlborough Park, The Drax estate. The Wikipedia entry is well worth a “read”.

Lion Gate

and the sculpture up the drive.

Lulworth Castle and of course Corf Castle both were on the King’s side and will be shown in due course.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dorset Port of Lyme Regis

I flew away t’ other day
t’ visit ’nother Regis.

Lyme ’t was; ‘nd here’s time t’was

Pretty place Lyme Regis.

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Something a little less somber

My favoirite Camellia

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Two pictures promised

For Chris as promised!
For Gawain as promised. The reserves in the Louvre.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Some more of the V and A

Coffee House window.

I am so sorry my hand is not steady enough. Here is a further selection of works in the new exhibition. One thing is especially noticable and that is the lighting. Important!


Thursday, March 08, 2007


I have started a new blog. I am inviting Sculptors and Painters living or dead to send me pictures of their studios to upload.

Taft was very helpful, here is a sample above:

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For Marly, Blue Genes and Susangelique

Have a look at the English Sculpture blog.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

More at the V & A

What ever you may think of the subject matter the technical difficulties involved in firing something this size are enormous. Again you must see it in reality to get the real feel of it. My hand is not still enough. The lighting is perfect for the naked eye but flash would distort the image. Next time I will take a better picture with a steadier hand. I am not quite sure if I dare take a tripod in.
As you can see, I have some rather better examples of "parent and child relationships" above this one and, yet to come, (check English sculpture blog later). I have some 30 odd photos yet to up load and will do so a few at a time.

No need to say much about this one it is very dramatic in the "flesh".

The Eric Gill as promised. I have little to say other than he had quite a colourful life! (Gill I mean)


Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Victoria and Albert

My favourite London Museum.

With respect you will be pleased to hear that it caters for the aristocracy, the landed gentry, the professional, the bourgeoisie, and the proletariat and of course the academic, the learned and the clever. In simple words it’s got something for everyone.

It covers nearly every culture in the world in depth. It is different than The British Museum in style and revels in the Arts.

It is not pretentious or high browed and the staff are friendly and professional.

You feel you just might bump into Mr. S. Holmes in the next room. Are you wearing your blue stockings?

The Coffee House (Café in French) is delightful, the ceiling (above) unusual, this picture does not to it justice. The loos are free and clean too. You are allowed to take photos and as it is so big I have not found it crowded. Enough, now the important bit;

Here is a sculpture room with a new exhibition still being put together described and attributed in my English Sculpture Blog where you will find any English or British Sculpture I like enough will be posted there.


Friday, March 02, 2007

A Vet's mark on London

I offer you
“Peace in her Quadriga”
By Adrian Jones (1845 -1938)

Just occasionally ones world is turned up-side-down and here is a good example. I have passed this sculpture so many many times. Of course I knew it and of it, but this is the first time I have really looked at it.

The largest bronze Sculpture in Europe and “done” by a self taught sculptor, a qualified vet in 1912.

These are what I call wings Gawain. Even I can change my opinion.

Now if you would like to see more then visit my English Sculpture Blog in a couple of day’s time. I went to the V&A.