Monday, August 24, 2009

Building Work

Work has been going on at our home now for over a week to remodel the downstairs and put the numerous steels in place for when we eventually add a first floor extension (once we can afford it).

As part of this first stage of works we will be getting our integral garage converted into a studio with pitched roof & velux windows to capture that Northern Light that we artists so insist upon : )
That part of the build is a few weeks away yet - in the meantime there is just lots of drilling, demolition, rubble & dust to contend with.

Also the roof of our kitchen & dining room will soon be taken off so a scaffold with a tin roof is being put together to protect it from the elements. The weather has been fantastic of late but it's destined to unleash a tropical downpour as soon as that roof's removed : )

I am also trying to work on some designs for a swimming pool wall amongst the debris -I have designed a nice peaceful classical English landscape which is the perfect antidote for the present upheaval.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Community Mural

I recently got myself involved with some community artwork when our local library was adorned with a mural depicting aspects of Wickford Towns life & history.
The library itself is of the New Town Modernist architectural style which was all the rage in the 50's & 60's so a dash of art to the outside wall panels went down very favorable with all the passers by.

Lisa Temple-Cox from Colchester designed and organised the painting of the artwork and got quite a few schoolchildren involved including my own son & daughter. My son even got his picture in the local newspaper of which he is immensely proud and is now insisting that he wants it framed for prosperity.

I helped out in a small capacity for a few days - it was actually nice to be able to work on a mural with somebody else calling the shots : )

Please have a look at Lisa's website at to see more details of her work including pictures of her numerous community murals.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The National Gallery & Tate Modern

My wife & I took our two children up to London this week to soak up a bit of culture at the National Gallery & the Tate Modern.

They had been studying various works of art at school so to actually see them in the flesh was quite an experience for them.
Their favourite painting was 'The Ambassadors' by Hans Holbein the Younger. My son immediately laid on the floor to the bottom left of the painting so that he could look up to admire the anamorphic skull. It is reckoned that the painting was originally displayed over a staircase so that those climbing the stairs would be able to view the skull from the correct angle.

After climbing the lions on Trafalgar Square we took the tube to St. Pauls and from there made our way to the Tate Modern via the Millennium Bridge that my son fondly recognised from the recent Harry Potter film.

The Tate was a completely different experience for them - we got hold of some of the family activity worksheets and tried our hands sketching some sculptures and making our own with bits of cardboard and string. We also spent what time we had left in the day browsing round the galleries although my son's reaction to some of the pieces probably ruffled a few feathers : )

As for myself I feel that the greatest piece of art at the Tate Modern is the building itself - it is a fantastic example of Art Deco industrial architecture, almost cathedral like as if built to worship the power it would create in its original use.
I also have a soft spot for Battersea Power Station (also one of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's creations) and whilst I was at art college I photographed the building and produced a series of screen prints.