Painting & Shopping In The South Of France

I like to travel and paint in France. It’s a big country full of surprises and contrasts. There are beautiful places to see in the north, east and west but I feel most alive in the south. It’s the light and the colours and the scent of the herbs in the hills. I even like it in the dark and cold of winter. Read more

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A Studio With A View

A few weeks ago a friend came to see me here in Southern Spain. She told me on her last evening that one of the highlights of her stay had been making her way up the dangerously windy, steep and bumpy track to my house, which sits on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean, and seeing the view. It surprised me, although it shouldn’t have done, she’s an artist after all, and it’s true, the view from here is spectacular. Driving back down, what you see, although it’s a bit of a risk looking too much if you’re the one driving, is a huge uninterrupted expanse of blue sea and sky. And driving up it’s fields and mountains and on arrival the snow-capped Sierra Nevada. Read more

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The Littlest Birds

For a couple of years now we have had Fanny Shorter‘s suite of exquisite screenprints featuring some of the world’s smallest birds, all of them depicted life size. They are beautiful and popular and fast becoming an endangered species. I sold two more today, which prompted this post, before they disappear altogether. Shown here is the Crimson-Hooded Manakin, a native of the northern coastal regions of South America, where its habitat is mangroves and riverside forests. It measures just 9 cms. Read more

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History

The Rowley Gallery has been the kind provider of much of the discarded wood needed for a series of little buildings I have made this year. Read more

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Folly Hill

Today I visited Faringdon, Oxfordshire. A bright sunny day but with a sharp north wind. I climbed Folly Hill. A steep path rises from the edge of town between old stone walls and a tangled broken hedge of blackthorn and ivy. Read more

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For Lord Glenconner

We were recently shown this double page from a Bonhams catalogue for the sale of the contents of the St Lucian property of Lord Glenconner. It marks the passing of a longstanding customer, who whenever he was in London it seemed, would bring us items for framing, sometimes beautiful, always exotic and unusual. He will be sadly missed. This drawing on glass of the Great House, Mustique was a gift from Princess Margaret in 1986. He has written this on the label. But that label, designed for us by Iain Bain in 1995 and used for the next ten years, shows that we must have framed it later. In fact, according to our records, we framed it in 2004 using a gessoed black frame with a gilded edge. After 18 years he had decided to reframe it. It is inscribed to the bottom left corner: To Colin with my best wishes for your 60th birthday with love from Margaret, December 1st 1986.

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Christmas Lights

Our neighbours next door at the Churchill are suddenly all lit up. They must think it’s Christmas. Gerry likes a spectacle. Most of the year the outside of the pub is a waterfall of hanging baskets. And he likes his illuminations. Maybe he’s one of the Illuminati. He certainly knows how to create a warm glow and run a popular pub. They were the first in London serving Thai food, their floral displays win prizes and they pull a good pint of Fuller’s. Behind this glamorous facade beats the heart of a proper old-school London boozer.

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Christmas Shopping

Christmas is a coming, and it’s coming quicker than you think. Before you know it all the lights are coming on and all those trees are decorated and you remember all those presents you should have bought and all the cards you should have sent. Read more

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Pop-Up London

This is one of our favourite books of cut out paper constructions. Folded away within its pages are many of London’s landmark buildings just waiting to pop-up wherever you choose to erect them. Here is Tower Bridge transported to the top of Primrose Hill. Other pages feature the Royal Albert Hall, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral, all illustrated by Jenny Maizels and engineered by Richard Ferguson. But due to an unfortunate oversight they neglected a pop-up Rowley Gallery! Demand answers from Walker Books.

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The Dunmore Pineapple

This is one of eight recently arrived pieces from Ed Kluz, made of painted paper, cut out and collaged scenes from Scotland. The Dunmore Pineapple is a summerhouse in the grounds of Dunmore Park, 30 miles north west of Edinburgh. It is available to let from The Landmark Trust, and this dramatic moonlit dream’s-eye view may well be the result of an overnight stay. Read more

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