“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.

Walking for talk’s sake…

There’s more too it than you think and less than you might sometimes expect. That’s the sort of nonsense I talk after a good walk, that’s ended at a pub. Anyhow, my chum Robin, chose to chauffeur me out to a place I’ve never been before, the Cheltenham Canal. Apart from the pleasure of the drive in his spectacular vehicle with buttons for everything, we had a brilliant sunny day and a good walk to look forward to.

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Robinus Burtonicus in it’s natural habitat.


 

It’s a fact that if one earns one’s living in a career where most of the time you sit behind a desk and listen to nothing much more than Radio 4 and your own record collection for company then there is a tendency when let out to talk too much. I was once described as ‘garrulous’ in a school report and asked the teacher what it meant, he simply said ” You talk too much Davies”. He was a religious education teacher and I’d have thought he could have been a tad more Christian about it. I was not particularly wounded by his comment, as it was plainly true. The Games master’s report for PE was something that did hurt when describing my athletic prowess in gymnastics: “Tries hard, fails miserably”. Anyway, as someone who talks too much I’m typically going off the point.

Suffice to say that Robin and I had chosen a golden day to visit the area. In the distance the Malvern Hills were as clear as crystal, May Hill in the other direction looked closer than it was from us, and the light on the fields and water was simply golden.

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There be yonder Malvern Hills


Sodden underfoot from a lot of rain that we’ve had recently, it was a great day to get out and chatter. I was able to recycle stories of hearing a sedge warbler on a similar visit further down the Severn Estuary and mistaking it for an HP Deskjet Printer re-charging with expensive ink, whilst Robin patiently listened to me like a kindly doctor.
Is that a Sedge Warbler or what?

There was much dancing from clump to clump of slightly dryer grasses to reach bird hides to view loads of ducks and other such birds peacefully going about their business.Trouser leg bottoms were beginning to act like a fairly sodden wick and rising damp was likely to become and issue.

The Fulcrum of the walk was the pub at Wainlodes, which Robin, who’s something of an expert on local folk history, gave me the true meaning of the name, whilst I just thought that Wayne Loades was a fork lift truck driver. I’ve had a bit of a thing about unusual names recently.

It was the Red Lion at Waindlodes that was our target and well worth the walk. The food was excellent and the service great too. If you feel like a good walk and some great food and beer, I’d certainly recommend this place The Red Lion

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Wayne?


 

Striding across fields we came across this fine set of potential cricket bats. How do they make willow into such things? Who thought that might be a good idea in the first place.

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Perhaps being cricketers they were expecting rain and knew that willow was a good plant for damp areas. I’m sure if there’s a folk song about it Robin will either find out about it or already know it and belt it out right there and then. He is, after all, a quarter of the Gloucester Diamonds folk ensemble and is naturally good at belting out a song. He sang a couple on the way back in the motor and it was quite unlike a computer printer charging up, or even a Sedge Warbler. Good day, good talk, good food, try it yourself when we next get a sunny day.

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