“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

 

 

 

I’m not going to tell you where this is…

Miserden

…apart from the fact that it’s not that far away from where we live. I don’t want all of you crowding in there getting in the way of the scenery. It’s like all those holiday magazines with the headlines “Undiscovered Thailand” which is not now going to remain undiscovered for much longer as everyone now knows, thanks to the magazine.

Stunning photograph by my friend Sally Ware, as is the following which she also took. She’s taken lots of photos of these wonderful leaves and this is just a sample of one of them.

Leaf

Both photographs copyright Sally Ware

“My paintings are like your soup”

sallywpurtonh

A day out to visit one of my very favourite people and an artist who should have more recognition of her work. Sally Williams has been an artist all her life and a friend for quite a while. She lives out of Gloucester in the countryside and we decided to visit armed with soup. I explained that the soup that I’d made was a one off, an original. In other words, she’s be unlikely ever to taste it again. ” Why’s that, what’s in it?”. At this time of year the main ingredients are the bottom of the fridge and anything else I can find, I replied. “So  bit like my paintings then?” she responded. Hardly I said, the only real link might be that they are both one-offs, and in the case of your paintings “originals”

She’s a child of the Severn and this river has, with other parts of this area, been her inspiration and it literally glows out of the paintings. The area near Purton where lie the Purton Hulks is a favourite spot.  I’ve written about this before but it bears another look: On the banks of the Severn…

purton-hulks-1209-036

The inspiration for the painting above may well be from
this beached ship here, a photo I took myself in 2013.


Here’s another gem, this time it’s gateposts. I took these pictures of Sally’s work just today and only on an iPhone, and it does the iPhone credit that it can capture some of the feelings of the paintings, but they really need to be seen to be fully appreciated.

sallywgates

I was also really taken by this one below with the verse from an Ivor Gurney poem, incorporated into the painting. The verse sort of sums up what Sally’s passion with the Severn is about, and it’s not just the River, it’s the meadows that surround it and the feeling in the air. It is really a relatively undiscovered area of the country in many ways. Slimbridge, where the famous Wetlands and Wildfowl trust have their patch, is well visited but the surrounds such as Purton and further up river Epney, are quiet little places. No wonder Ivor Gurney loved the area so much.

More about Ivor Gurney

sallywsevernmeadows

sallywivorgurney

Last but not least is what inspired our visit to Sally today, apart from soup. Her Christmas card featured a lovely painting. We were so glad we’d seen the real thing as well as the printed copy. Again this is a one off, a soup that cannot be revisited once cooked. Lovely work, if you want to see more take a look here: Sally’s website

If perchance are thinking of making any resolutions in the New Year then let one of them be “I will go forth and buy an original painting” and forget about the soup.

sallywxmas


A big thanks to all who have bothered to visit my blog over the last year, and I take this opportunity to wish all of you a very happy and peaceful  New Year.

This will take your mind of it…

wilsonblog3

Drawing and painting is therapy and we could all do with some of that at the moment. These are landscapes by a bloke I went to college with way back in the 60’s and who had the somewhat dubious pleasure of sharing the same house with me and others in Rusholme, in Manchester. It was certainly not a place to rush home to and when my father visited to help me with my luggage I detected certain misgivings not just about the area, but about the premises. I would not let him through the front door with all its bell pushes and when he asked me to describe it I merely said “spartan”, quickly followed by, “but better than school”. He went very quiet. If memory serves me right there was a lady who worked nights upstairs.

In the next room lived Joe Wilson and another bloke called Bob, both of them fine art students. My abiding memory of Joe from that time has nothing to do with art but more to do with music. Walking into his room, probably to ask him something inconsequential, I could hear very loud music with Joe on the bed playing what’s known as air guitar these days with a broom handle. I left it for a short while before interrupting him with my request. At least he had his pants on.

Joe’s been doing more than that since and in my recent trip to the North I met him with Dave a mutual friend and former Manchester College of Art lecturer. I haven’t seen Joe since 1967.

He’s now one of Ireland’s foremost landscape painters and looking at his work you can see why. He goes out there to draw these scenes, walking the mountains of Ireland and recording them in all their glory.

wilsonblog2a

wilsonblog5

Hopefully you will find these as therapeutic to view as I did. The energy in them and the feeling for colour and mood are really something to behold. All painted with palette knife from large charcoal drawings.

He’s come a long way from playing air guitar in Rusholme.


To see more of Joe’s work take a look at his website: Joe Wilson

Or take a look at this article with more in depth words about Joe and his painting:
joe-wilson