” There is no dazzle on custard”

That’s a quote from a book I was given at Christmas and it’s a good one. I do write from time to time about ‘art bollocks’: that way of talking about art where you do not have a single clue what half of the words used mean. The word juxtaposition usually joins these words together in some way. It’s a way of explaining art that leaves me clueless. Well, the custard phrase, as we shall call it, was used in the book: Unquiet Landscape by Christopher Neve whilst talking about an artists called Mary Potter. It’s a simple way to get across a thought about her paintings and not only made me laugh but made me think, though probably not at the same time.

I’m interested in landscape and have several ‘on the go’ as I write, so the book was a generous idea for me. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a book more or that’s given back more to me for quite a while. Each chapter talks about a specific landscape artist, and after a read it’s just great to find out more about them. The images in the book are far too small and badly printed to do justice to some of the mazing landscapes that it speaks about, but you can soon find them on Wikipedia, or Google. The Tate Gallery is also a useful resource.

The book is remarkable short on ‘art bollocks’ apart from the chapter on Ben Nicholson, which at the time of writing may well need another read through accompanied by a dictionary. If you do get the book, and I thoroughly recommend it, then you, like me will discover some great writing about some superb painters. It’s fascinating.

Apropos of that I was yesterday wandering through Cheltenham and I always pop into the Gardens Gallery to see what’s on. I was lucky enough to find their first exhibition of the year there. Landscapes by Frances Clark-Stone. I liked them a lot. Not quite in the league of those artists in the book, but well worth a look. Custard did not feature.

I liked this on from the exhibition, has a slight air of menace to me.
This is a large piece of work and I loved it, probably the best in the exhibition. There were more conventional works in the Gallery but I really hope that people will test themselves with this more abstract landscape style.Will they buy it? I doubt it sadly, they ‘know what they like’

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