I`m an artist living and working in Shanklin on The Isle of Wight where I run a guest house with my partner.

I volunteer at the local community library, run a craft group and am a town councillor.

Book Bingo!

People have been asking me about the book bingo that I wrote about a couple of month’s ago! (they have …..really)

Well, it’s still going strong…though I’ve let things slip !

I’ve had my mind on other things lately and haven’t been doing so much reading however with book bingo ending in August I thought I’d better pull my socks up and at least attempt to get my bingo card filled, especially as it was my partner’s idea in the first place!

I don’t think we’d imagined that anyone would actually finish a card but every time I go into the library there seem to be more finished cards displayed on the wall, one lady is just one book away from finishing her second card!

Last time I wrote about it I was about to start reading a graphic novel……let’s just say It wasn’t my cup of tea and leave it at that!IMG_20160720_2150393_rewind_kindlephoto-924639932

As you can see I’ve got a lot of squares filled in but have a long way to go…well actually not that far now as I’ve been reading madly!

For a ‘book published before 1966’ I have just finished Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s one of her Hercule Poirot stories and good read. M Poirot has to discover who killed a famous artist sixteen years after the murder….if in fact it was a murder?

For the ‘By an American author’ I read Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell. I’ve read some of her books before and enjoyed them but I’m afraid I just couldn’t connect with this one. I couldn’t empathise with the characters and in the end really didn’t care why or who did what they did…sorry Patricia.

For a ‘From the Chck-lit rack’ I was recommended to read A Seaside Affair by the lovely Fern Britton. Frankly, although I’d heard the term Chick-lit I’d really no idea what it meant although I rather thought that I wouldn’t like it, whatever it was. Well, actually I did like it, I liked it a lot. I’ll probably not be rushing back to the rack to grab piles of Chick-lit books any time soon but I’d certainly think of reading something else by Fern. It advertised itself as having “fun and friendly charm on every page” …………I’m not quite sure about that but it was certainly enjoyable and if only real life was as interesting and fun as in the little Cornish town of Trevay.

For a ‘Shorter than 200 pages’ I went for the children’s book The Cuckoo Clock of Doom from the Goosebumps collection of books by R L Stine.       I used to read these books to my class when I was teaching and they always went down well. Any book that states on the cover ‘Reader beware you’re in for a scare’ is always going to be a winner, and it was.

For ‘A book with 5 or more words in the title’ I chose another children’s book The Giraffe And The Pelly And Me by Roald Dahl. I’ll come clean, I don’t like Roald Dahl, I wasn’t brought up reading his books and somewhere along the line I’ve got it into my head that he wasn’t a very nice man. I’m not sure where this idea has come from and it may be completely wrong, certainly everyone else I know loves his work and loves him so I’ll probably have to change my opinion. I picked this book mainly because I needed to read a book with five words or more in the title and this book has more than five words in the title. I loved it and loved the drawings by the magnificent Quentin Blake. Yes I loved it so look ……already my opinion of Roald Dahl is changing!

I needed a book with a child on the cover and grabbed Demon Dentist by David Walliams. Friends have read it and enjoyed it and I guess I did too….to a point. It was quite funny but maybe I’m a bit out of touch with what children these days find funny.

That just leaves ‘A book which has already been made into a film’ ‘Set in another country’ and ‘A book not originally written in English’ and I’ll have a completed bingo card…….surely I can manage that!!!!IMG_20160720_2146210_rewind_kindlephoto-924559702

 

 

Anatomy!

When Dad went to art college one of the books he was required to purchase was one of anatomy. The idea was that you couldn’t be expected to be able to draw the human body properly without an understanding of the skeleton and muscles………..how things have changed!

The recommended anatomy book was expensive so he started college with one he copied from one on the library! 

I’ve always been fascinated by these drawings and have had a couple framed. I came across these old engravings in another anatomy book and couldn’t help reproducing them myself though obviously I had to add a bit of colour. Not to everyone’s taste and I’m fairly sure I’ll never be allowed to hang them on a wall in our house…….

Dad’s Calligraphy

Whilst sorting through my Dad’s studio I’ve come across some of his calligraphy. Dad worked for a very long time as a calligrapher and illuminator mainly for the House of Lords and for the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He produced state documents for many of our countries big occasions from announcing the Queen Mothers passing to the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, of Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and only the other year the wedding of Prince William to Katherine Middleton.

Much of his work is buried in archives. A tube containing documents to be worked on would arrive at the house on a Monday morning and then on Friday it would be sent back to London completed…..well that was the idea anyway, it wasn’t always that easy ! Because of this he retained almost none of his work and in fact apart from a piece I asked him to do for my birthday one year I wasn’t expecting to come across anything much. I’d come across some odd bits of practice text but then opened a draw and found these treasures.

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I think this is The Prince of Wales arms…..well sorry sir but It’s mine now!

I’ve gathered together some of his equipment, a couple of pens, his agate and ivory tools, some seals and a photo and have displayed them in a glass topped box. IMG_20160616_1000220_rewind_kindlephoto-639482225

I’ve got to work out how to display the rest of the documents now!

A happy discovery!

After a long wait in the queue at the post office with people complaining that the weather is too hot! I found myself visiting the local charity shop. This piece of fabric caught my eye and has found its way home with me. No, I’ve no idea what I’m going to do with it or where I’m going to put it but at only £2.45 how on earth could I leave it hanging on the rail?IMG_20160606_1724309_rewind

Mills and Boon illustrations

Some years ago we were looking around the stalls in one of the Brighton antique markets and came across a pile of paintings. It turns out that they were original paintings and illustrations for Mills and Boon romance novels from the seventies and eighties. The artist (L Houghton) had died, his wife had put the pictures in the garage and had now decided to get rid of them altogether! There were loads of them and after a good route through them all we ended up buying five……….for six pounds each!

I’ve been told that if I could find out which books they illustrated they could be worth real money but I’m not going to bother looking as they have (and still do) give us endless enjoyment making up various stories and scenarios for the characters. The colours, locations and outfits really sum up the seventies for me……not that I remember the seventies of course! 

I bought this painting from ebay, I’m not sure if it’s by the same artist, the name might be hidden under the mount but it’s fabulous anyway!

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Drawings!

Some more drawings. I’m going through the fifth portfolio with most of the A2 size drawings recorded now!

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This is Wastwater.

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Southport Parish Chuch with what looks like Woolworths in the background so obviously not a recent drawing!

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The lovely Wigton.

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The chapel of St. Catherine at Lanercost Priory.

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The promenade at Silloth.

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‘ The Folly’, Settle.

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And finally the gateway to Skipton Castle, great fun to draw.

A few more of my drawings

I drew this ages ago of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral on Duke Street which is just off Oxford Street in London.

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Another oldie this time the reception building at The Mariners on the Island of Anguilla.

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I drew this just before it was knocked down for a development of flats. It was the old Palladium Cinema in Kendal. The front part of the building had some lovely 1930 details, now lost forever. The building had already closed down but I was able to get access, I took some photos in the gloom but it wasn’t until the photos were developed that I was able to really see all the furniture and original light fittings that my flash photos had picked up.

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The Esplanade Gardens Cafe on the seafront at Shanklin on The Isle Of Wight has recently been ‘redeveloped’ with a new roof and layout. Unfortunately this has meant the loss of the little cupola and the internal wood panelling that gave it it’s character….that’s progress!

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More!

Brougham Castle, well……..IMG_20160514_1107367_rewind_kindlephoto-701213726what’s left of it!

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The castle gateway at Egremont.

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Holy Trinity Church in Kendal.

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Old House in Askrigg.

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The lovely Coniston, where it doesn’t always rain……though it has done every time I’ve been there and I’ve been there a lot of times!

 

More!

The pile of drawings is getting smaller now, though I do keep coming across ones I’ve forgotten about.IMG_20160514_1104419_rewind_kindlephoto-701090479

Rydal Mount.

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Glenridding Pier, Ullswater.

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Hardrow Scaur falls in Wensleydale.

 

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Christ Church, Silloth.

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Shap Abbey.

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The Tarns!