“Anyone wanting to be Prime Minister should be automatically discounted”

Paradise

The joys of walking are many and various, walking with a chum is recommended, though walking alone can sometimes have it’s moments too.

Today I set out early with my chum Robin. We were expecting hot weather so the early start was a must, and it was perfect. A walk in Paradise, as it really is called, just outside Painswick. Cotswold landscape at its very best. There used to be a bus stop there but it seems to have been dispensed with. Take a look here for a previous visit:  Jesus drives a Porsche in Paradise.

Walking and talking we got into things political and I expressed some doubts about our rulers, whereupon Robin came up with the quote of the day: “Anyone wanting that job should not be allowed to do it” he said and I tend to agree. Thrusting ambition and naked greed for power seem to most of us to be unsuitable attributes to be a leader of the nation. But what do we know?

The subject was quickly dispensed with as we got on with worthier ones. We came across these horses. Now I’m not a big fan of horses as they can step on you and bite, but these chaps were not in the mood for anything but a curious bit of tail waving and strolling. At “3 o’clock” ( fighter pilot parlance I believe ) in the image you might glance another demon, looks like it might be a flying insect ready for breakfast. Scamble! Scramble!

Paradise tree

Down in the valley where we kept cool, we took a break for a stare and a minor rendition from Robin, who’s a fine folk singer. Here he is backed by various birds whilst we take in a quick drying hay field. He and his fellow singers, known collectively as the Gloucester Diamonds have recently put together a cd of some lovely songs. Find out more right here: The Gloucester Diamonds

The walk ended in Painswick where we found a super little coffee shop after passing this chap mowing the bowling green for no apparent reason. I suspect that he would not gather more than a handful of clippings from the entire area. He had markers to guide where he’s been! It was like giving a completely bald bloke a haircut with a pair of electric clippers. We expected him to come out afterward and get the steam iron out on it. Now here’s a bloke who might make a good prime minister.

painswickmower

 

 

 

Random phrases of a mad person, or someone trying to sell you a gold chain in a bus station.

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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cutting remarks…

If you thought this was going to be spiteful then think again. I’m talking about lino cutting and before you reach for the mouse to click off take a look at this. It’s result of lino cutting.

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It’s a print by my chum Rosalind Forster who is not only a talented printmaker but a talented artist all round. It’s beyond me how she gets results like these from cutting out bits of lino. Illustrated here are the bare necessities before you even add ink and colour.

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It’s the merging of the skills with the cutter and the printing and still getting it right that is so bloody clever. Added to that is composition and drawing.

Great stuff. See more here: Rosalind Forster

She’s having an exhibition in November in Derbyshire, go and get one of these wonderful prints.

Rosalind Forster & Josie Walter


 30th. ANNUAL EXHIBITION

Paintings, Prints & Pots
Greetings Cards
Sea Findings Jewellery

Saturday Dec. 3rd10am to 6pm.
Sunday Dec. 4th.  11am to 5pm.
SOUTH DARLEY VILLAGE HALL
Oposite St. Mary’s Church on the B 5057
Darley Dale to Winster Road

Rocky Topp, what he did at the coast.

There we are in sunny Pembrokeshire taking in the beauty of the area and there in the distance is a rock, as you’d expect.

“What’s that on the top there?” says someone. ” It’s a bloke in a chair!”

As he gets home from his holiday this chap will tell his chums on a Monday morning that he went down to the coast and took in the view, as well as did a bit of climbing, with the most important but of equipment of course, the fold-up beach chair. A knotted handkerchief on the head might have completed the picture.

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How on earth do you do that with a pencil?

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Off to West Wales to see my old chum Graham Brace. Graham was the person responsible for my early career by persuading me to go into business with him. We’d both lost our jobs in advertising in similar circumstances and redundancy at such an early age was I suppose, one of the best things to happen to us. We struck out on our own.

The partnership lasted four years before Graham, a native of West Wales, went back home. The friendship has lasted since.

He became one of the four-most exponents of colour pencil drawing and his eye for detail and light are just incredible. It’s not what we did when in partnership, we were ‘visualisers’ supplying the advertising and design world with a good pair of drawing hands for them to present their ideas to clients. It worked, the partnership was successful, and we made a strong reputation for ourselves in the London design and advertising world. Both of us went our own ways when Graham went back to Wales. Myself into more cartoon and illustration work and Graham into graphic design with an illustration extra. If you go down to a beauty spot almost anywhere in Pembrokeshire and there’s a guide map on an information board, it’s likely the drawing was done by Graham.

Graham’s more recent work over the past several years if of a different order. Atmospheric and stunningly realistic. I find it difficult to comprehend how anyone can do that with a coloured pencil. I’m particularly fond myself of the more abstract works which to me show Graham’s great eye for composition and challenge the viewer to look more closely at what they might be missing.

Take a look for yourself right here: Graham Brace

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Breath deeply and relax…

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I detect that a lot of us are still taking a breather after the political shenanigans of the last few weeks, so I’m going to continue the theme of taking a breath.

I had my own sharp intake of the stuff the other day when I made one of those purchases that is likely to embarrass you. No ,it was nothing medical. Just one of those things that you buy on the spur of the moment. It was in fact a gizmo for cutting the grass on my allotment. Not a strimmer, a clipper. Not expensive, and without those annoying stringy things that are forever breaking on a strimmer. It had a number of good reviews on-line.

It arrived and it was a flimsy and plastic as I only had the right to expect. As a result of years of never reading instruction before assembling anything I have learnt my lesson, and I carefully read the ones included with my new purchase. I assembled it easily and it works, but it looks like a pair of hair clippers on the end of a pole, and sounds like it too. Down at the plot where one’s manhood is judged on the power of one’s strimmer I made sure I was there with no one else around and tried it out. Keeping it well hidden from any other allotmenteers. The fear of anyone coming along and saying: “What the hell is that thing?” was just too much for me to contemplate. I shall have to cut my grass at dawn or dusk.

Re-reading the instructions it appears that I should really not be using them outdoors at all. Perhaps they are hair trimmers after allnotforuse152?

Where’s the joke?

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I got into this by accident. I always wanted to be an advertising art director as it sounded glamorous and there might be lots of travel. Photo shoots in glamorous places with glamorous people go with. I had a brief period in the business before I got the order of the golden boot, not fired, just not wanted.I never went anywhere glamorous, but met some lovely people.

The agency that I then worked for: S.H. Bensons was one of those grand old men of advertising where famous novelists started as copywriters and Mr Benson himself was famous for being the original ‘marketing man’ when they had not existed before. He was responsible for marketing Bovril ( that’s a meat extract drink for those not familiar, yes they drank meat extract, had to be better than coca cola ) and made a great success of it in the First World War. He’d long departed this life by the time I was there in the early seventies.

Located in Holborn right across the road from the tube station, the agency boasted a large artwork studio in addition to the many offices with art directors and copywriters. There must have been at least 15 people working in that artwork studio. They also had 2 or 3 full time illustrators working there who had their own room! It was said they could work in any style you required, a Van Gogh type drawing would probably be turned around in a day or so. Full colour Vermeer would take a couple of weeks. One of the illustrators there was responsible for a large imitation of the Bayeux Tapestry for a poster campaign for Guinness, he didn’t weave it, he drew it!

So when I went freelance after they ‘let me go’ I considered myself to be a ‘commercial artist’ and would attempt, like the guys at Bensons, to do almost any style required and was happy to have a go at anything. Apart from airbrush stuff which was beyond me. All that spraying and masking gave you coloured teeth, no matter how careful you were.

When I came into my own, so to speak, doing cartoons, and developing my own cartoon work, much of the other stuff got left behind.

So recently I’ve turned back to experiment with some drawing like I used to. I’m working on a series of ‘silkscreen’ type prints taken from places I know. I’m not a printmaker in the traditional sense, and these are drawn in line first then scanned. Colour added digitally. Actually anyone can add the colour and might be able to do it better than me.

So there’s no punchline here, no joke. Nevertheless I hope it lifts your day.

The image above is one of the valleys coming out of Stroud in Gloucestershire towards Frampton Mansell from Chalford. It’s a magical place. The one below is the simple line work before ‘faffing’ of a view towards Sheffield.Shutsheffiledblog

 

 

 

 

Amberley

Amberley

The way an old gardener walks with head facing downwards looking for weeds. An orginal garden gait.glossaryamberley329


 

Amberley is in actual fact a small village between Stroud and Nailsworth and is on the side of the hill, the sunny side at that. It’s very ‘sought-after’ these days in estate agent speak, which to you and me is expensive. There may well be gardeners in the area.

Pitchcombe, what nonsense is this?

Pitchcombe

Combe is from the latin for dung and in this instance pitchcombe is the word used for the hurling of dung. In particular cow dung that has dried enough for it to be successfully lifted as a complete circle and then thrown. It is thought that Pitchombe preceded Frisbee as a marketing name, but has since fallen out of common parlance.

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Another of my nonsensical meaning for Gloucestershire place names which I’m hoping to publish quite soon in a book entitled “Glossary”, its going to be quite a small book!

Pitchcombe is in actual fact on a hill overlooking Stroud and a very pretty place too. Worth a visit but look out for frisbees, especially the low flying ones.

Maisemore

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Maisemore

A daisy chain worn and made by small girls that they make on bright blue summer days for each other. Boys are naturally excluded from this activity. Mothers marvel at their offspring’s dexterity to make them when normally at home they can barely get food into their mouths or tie a shoelace. They forgive them everything as they exclaim: “ Oh look, she’s made a maismore”


Maisemore is actually on the edge of the City of Gloucester and is a relatively small village close to the River Severn. It’s prone to flooding, but I’m sure there are a fine supply of daisies in the area.