The Art of the shed

I’m a fan of this artist’s work. Guided here by my other half who discovered him for herself some years ago, and is herself inspired by it, take a look at Antoni Tapies

In a homage to his paintings here are my own images, gleaned straight from the plot. A heady mixture of art and “sheddism”. A sunny day helps both the art of the shed and the growing of the plot.

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This one is called “Untitled 1”

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This one is “Unititled 2”

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and this one is “Rusty nail”

and finally this one:

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which is called” Self portrait with shed door juxtaposed”.

All are available as fine art prints, of course. Get in touch with your bank details.

 

Yes, but is it art?

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?”

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This will tell you more about “Pont”  Pont: Graham Laidler, and the British Character

“My paintings are like your soup”

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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…

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

Ooooer what a kerfuffle…

 

Seems like the Turner Prize has manufactured a bit of a ‘kerfuffle’ yet again. I think that if no one took any notice of them they would consider it a failure. Politicians sticking their comments in are only good for the news about it. The public, we the great uninformed, get to show our outrage, contempt, shock, horror,  curiosity, admiration, and in my case envy, at what they have been allowed to do. Strewth, I wish someone would give me a few thousand quid, a large warehouse and ‘people to help me bring my vision alive’ that I’ve drawn on the back of an envelope. I’d love it. I’d talk all the ‘art bollocks speak’ using the word juxtaposition juxtaposed with just about everything, and leave the public gasping at my daring and skill.

But that’s the point is it not. The fact that they have the freedom to do this stuff is the essential thing. The fact that a lot of it is just ‘art bollocks’ is the price of freedom.

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I’ve called this one “Drawing a blank”


It’s one of the drawings that will be in my exhibition in August of next year,
I’ll post details nearer the time.
Thanks for looking in.

This will take your mind of it…

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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.

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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

 

Summer exhibition…that was fun.

Here are some of the exhibits from the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition which I enjoyed and if you’ll excuse the pun, from my perspective.

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I rather like the way people lean when looking at pictures as if to look around them, or perhaps  as in this case as he did not lean, the image was talking to him into those lovely big ears.

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This is two pieces, a sculpture and a painting behind. Someone being clever here with the curating. Clever curator!

And then last of the series I took is this one, it must have been done pre Brexit and speaks volumes.

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I suspect that this exhibition is over now, but yesterday I took in the Picasso Portraits one at the National Portrait Gallery, not allowed to photograph anything there which was a shame. For my money I enjoyed the Summer Exhibition much more and thought the National Portrait people had put on a poor show, dull rooms and home movies of the man himself did nothing for me. Not all the drawings were that good either. Picasso has so much outstanding work, some in here but not all.You should be told, it’s expensive to visit.


 

Cheltenham Open Studios, get out there and see them.

Here in leafy Cheltenham it’s Open Studios time. Artists have opened their doors to the public for them to see how they work. There are dozens of them around the town where you can either wander in and see an exhibition or see where the artists work. They’ve published a great little guide so you can plan your route around the town and drop in here and there. It’s a brilliant opportunity for people to talk to the artist and buy directly from them.

I declare an interest here, my wife Elisabeth Le Vierge ( yes, she keeps her own name as it’s considerably more interesting and rare than mine ) is exhibiting at one of the venues: St Luke’s Church. She’s there with four other artists and the work is cleverly displayed around the church.There are greetings cards to buy too if you don’t feel in the mood for an original piece.

Lo Cole, one of the country’s leading illustrators is exhibiting too, he’s got a little gallery up in Lansdowne Place Lane and he has some wonderfully vibrant prints for sale there.Look at the guide for opening times.

You might ask why I don’t exhibit at Open Studios….perhaps I should but these days my work is increasingly digitally adjusted ( some might say enhanced ) and the originals are , to my mind, not as good as the final digital versions. Sounds like a good excuse to me.

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Both the images here are Elisabeth’s paintings, the riverscape is available as a greeting card, the Cretean Rocks painting above is a large painting best seen in the exhibition, and is also available as a greeting card. You can see more of her work on her website: http://www.elisabethlevierge.co.uk

Ye Olde Sunne Dryed Tomatoe

Visitors to this remote and historic ex-hostelry, far up in the hills where rivers rise, always used to enjoy looking at the old photographs on the wall. These reflected a bygone age when the local produce show was held here, customers formed football and darts teams and turned up in Toyota pick-ups.

Those were the days, my friends, when the pub was the social sine qua non of a scattered rural community. The community is still scattered but if anybody wants a pint now it has to be a widget tin from the supermarket down the valley; no pints have been sold at Ye Tomatoe for a twelvemonth.

Yes, in that short time Signor Pomodoro Lambretta, front of house, and Darren ‘Sharon’ Maclaren, chef, transformed the place. Before, you could only get bitter, lager, Guinness and two sorts of sandwich: cheese and pickle, or cheese. Under Pommy and Sharon, you could have Saltimbocca Siciliano, Fegato alla Milanese, Pavarotti alla Mariolanza and various fusion dishes, including Szechuan Ostrich Stroganoff and Thai Broken Harbour Soup with Wild Orkney Octopus. You washed these down with 35 different sorts of Bardolino and 27 of Frascati. If you got too merry you could have bed and full Italian breakfast for the price of a farm labourer’s week’s wages.

It was not long before the two proprietors discovered that Upper Weirdale was no place for a gastropub. Their loan was called in and they had to sell the place as a private house, so that was that.

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Another of the drawings featured in the book. Words by Mr Thorburn of course.

It’s that time of year when all the stats come out for the blogs and I note with some disappointment tinged with hope that the most popular blog was the one about my holidays in Crete

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and the next best was one announcing an exhibition of my wife’s paintings.

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Cartoons came a poor third! That aside I intend to persist. This site and the other one: unexpecteditems.com will hopefully develop over the coming year.

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I have a number of followers in Brazil, they seem to drop in every time I post so for them I have put this next paragraph through a translation sausage machine and hope that it works. Many thanks to our followers there.

Olá Brasil
parece que tenho seguidores no seu país e estou tendo esta oportunidade para agradecer-lhe para largar no site.Sinta-se livre para me acompanhar e passar no meu endereço do site aos seus compatriotas e mulheres. Saúdo-te para o seu senso de humor!
Que se refere ao
Paul Davies

Hanging pictures and a great day out.

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All the effort of the past months that my wife, Elisabeth Le Vierge has put into creating some really super paintings has come to fruition in an exhibition with other talented artists at the Garron Centre in beautiful Herefordshire.

http://www.llangarron.info

The centre is taking part in h-Art and Elisabeth is one of the guest artists.She’s been working on these for quite a while and it was great to travel to such a lovely part of the country to hang them in this brilliant venue.She’s exhibiting with quite a number of other artists at the centre and it’s on until this coming Sunday. It’s a great mix of talents and the work is varied and ( unlike my cartoons! ) colourful.

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I’ve had visits to this site in the past few weeks from Canada, the USA and a number of South American countries. Now some of you people out there might never ever have heard of Herefordshire, but believe me it is, when the sun shines and at this time of the year, one of the most beautiful places in the UK.

The exhibition on at the Garron Centre is actually attached to a small church in the middle of this rural hamlet which is spread out over quite a few miles. One would be forgiven for thinking that no-one would come to see art in an area like this, but the reverse is true.The people of Herefordshire seem to like their art and flock into the centre.

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http://www.elisabethlevierge.co.uk

Take a look at her website for more info on her work.