This place is on the walk back from my plot last evening. Cheltenham College playing fields. You’ll need to be earning a fair old wedge to send your kids here! In the distance is the chapel where Malom Mcdowell machine gunned the parents in the film “If” by Lindsay Anderson, a cult film of it’s kind in the 60’s : read about it here “If”
The college don’t like to be reminded of it, so I’ll remind them here.
As you might have gathered I’m having a photo week!
In the event we had a bit of snow, but this is what the evning sky looked like just the other day. Typical Cheltenham house of the smart variety, not mine!
I’m a big fan of art galleries and love to watch the watchers. In my quest to get together my exhibition about the British inspired by cartoonist “Pont” I’m working at present on the one featured below. The people looking at the art are at times as entertaining as what they are looking at. There’s usually a bloke of a certain age dressed with the cravat and matching floppy kerchief in the top pocket, a large woman who can be guaranteed to block out most of what’s on view as well as one who dresses in the same colours as the paintings, so has a tendency to look like a piece of artwork. “Certain Age Gentleman” is able to lean forward from a fixed spot as if his shiny brogues are nailed to the floor inspecting the detail of what he’s not understanding at all. Small boy is more interested in what’s up his nose than the valuable piece in front of him, the painting only serving to remind him what’s up there. There’s likely to be the odd Japanese person if this is in London, it’s on the itinerary of the group trip.
This is the first rough, the final artwork will be at my exhibition in August here in Cheltenham, I’ll be putting details on here as well as featuring a lot of the drawings, which might be described as art, “but not as we know it Jim?”
This will tell you more about “Pont” Pont: Graham Laidler, and the British Character
I’m not one for going to Museums that much but this one seemed like a good idea. I’ve always liked the work of Charles Dickens and grew up on his storytelling, sometimes for my own pleasure or more often as set text for us to read at school.
I like the sort of places where the star of the show might have just left to get a bottle of milk. Dickens would of course have had servants to do this, but whatever. The Dickens Museum ( Take a look here ) is a house where he lived for only two years or so and when really starting out on his career. Read all about it in the link, but take my word for it it really is worth a visit and if you do, then get the headphones, which guide you through the rooms. Plus they have an extra bit of drama that can be read to you, to put you in the picture of the time, all really well done. What’s more they let you take photos, some of the more stuffy museums won’t let you, but they do here as long as you don’t use flash. As a bonus the staff are friendly and the little coffee shop serves great coffee and snacks. Could not fault it.
This is a lock of Charles Dicken’s hair, photographed at the Museum by me!
There’s loads more to see like the desk where he wrote David Copperfield.
“More? You want more?
Here’s a photo I took of his signature, with all that underlining he seems like a positive type of bloke, or is he drawing a whirlwind under his name?
I walked back to the East End of London after my trip, where I was staying, so had the bonus of imagining what it all must have been like in those Dickensian days.
It’s enough to turn anybody crazy. The things they eat over there get more and more extreme. I follow this site where the delightful Betty reviews food that she seems to buy from someone called Trader Joe.
I have this vision of Joe in a large shed somewhere ( I’m keen on sheds as a place to be creative ) thinking “What can I put out there that will tickle their taste buds and send me laughing all the way to the bank?”.
Here are some recent gems from Joe:
Turkey Bacon. Great idea, lets get all the grim bits of that old turkey and press it until it looks like bacon and then get the road roller to flatten it so it resembles strips of bacon. No Joe! Bacon is bacon.
Organic Roasted Teriyaki Seaweed snack, what’s not to like? Well everything really Joe.
Shredded Cheese Blend. ” What if they think of buying cheese in a block, say three types, and then mixing it together Joe?” They’ll never think of that will they?
Coffee Flour. Made from dried and ground coffee cherry husks and husk skins. I kid you not, this is for real as they say. You know when you go to a coffee shop and the barista person knocks all those old coffee grounds out of the filter thingummy into a bin. Well Joe has been in there and knows how to monetise this stuff. Put it in flour. You’ll be delighted to know that it has limited production.
I was begining to think that we’d reached the nadir of foolishness when Betty posted something about Butter Lettuce. I’m pleased to report that they don’t put butter on the lettuce. It’s tempting to think that they do but it’s a type.
All these things might just be the tip of the iceberg.
Last on my list is Joe’s Beefless Ground Beef. If it’s beefless it’s not beef, so how come thay can call it beef if it’s not. This is not fake news, rumours to the contrary are groundless.
Eating any of this stuff is likely to make you trump. Hopefully they’ll find an antacid that will solve the problem.
Thanks goodness for the filter that weeds out those emails from companies trying to sell you stuff. One this morning from National Express, the UK coach people, who think I might want to go to Glastonbury. No doubt to have a weekend camping in mud whilst listening to very average music.
These emails are like being accosted and interupted in a bus station by someone trying to sell you a genuine gold chain. The seller seems a bit dodgy, if he says the chain is genuine gold it’s not, and it’s likely to be stolen. The guy reeks of alchohol and it’s only 9.30 in the morning. The normal thing to do is not to engage in conversation.
Well, that’s got that off my chest.
Time to go down and do some plotting…
This is the first rough, or the idea stage for one of my drawings for a coming exhibition here in Cheltenham in August, that I published here some months ago. Here are some links to refresh your memory:
A lot of the drawings are about ” The British Character” and are loosley based on the works of a cartoonist from the 1930’s called “Pont” but who’s real name was Graham Laidler. I’ve been helped by the Cartoon Museum to try and contact his descendents so that they can come along to the show sometime, but although they have forwarded my details to some surviving cousins, they have sadly not been in touch.
Anyhow, just to illustrate how these things are coming together, here’s the drawing above in progress, this next image being the next stage from that above, with the tools of the trade: Pentel sign pen, a thicker marker, some of Dr Ph Martin’s Bleedproof white to pick out highlights and correct some of the errors, and some soft grey pastels to get the half tone for the final, plus some erasers to correct the half tone here and there. There is much washing after this stage to get the pastels off where I’ve rubbed the drawing and pastel has transferred to my hands or my face. Fixative makes sure it stays mainly on the paper. The drawings are done on layout paper and glued to card with studio gum before the pastels and amendments are made. No pencils are harmed in the preparation of this artwork! I like pencils but hardly ever use them.
Then below here is the final stage. This is the image after it has been photographed and made into a digital file for any last minute alterations and faffing. This is one of quite a few drawings that will soon be available as prints from my other site: My other site
I’ll keep everyone informed on progress towards the exhibition and will be publishing more in the series as we get closer to the August deadline.
A prediliction for visiting the houses of the gentry
THE BRITISH CHARACTER
I’m not good with these and have recently joined a Facebook Gardener’s group called: Gardeners Question Time and someone has taken issue about the lack of apostrophe. Some wit speculated that the true meaning of the group was ” Gardeners question the meaning of time” , rather than what I think was the real intention which most would have thought was ” Gardeners asking questions of each other”. There have been over a hundred responses on Facebook to the thread so far.
Here’s my own take on it
If you are curious you might be able to find it here: Gardeners getting huffy about punctuation