Last summer, on the 10th of August, we made our first visit to Florence. We drove there without satnav and without a hitch, the roads were clear, no hold-ups and we left the car with a parking attendant in a super-efficient underground car park. It was all going surprisingly smoothly, until we hit the streets and joined the procession of pilgrims to the birthplace of the Renaissance. Continue reading “Florence At First Sight”
Grey, white and blue on grey and pink
Drawing and painting is something I do in response to what I am seeing. This practice of working from direct observation was established in my youth. It was probably inherited from my mother, a flower painter and my grandmother, a figurative artist, and fuelled by visits to the National Gallery and subsequent juvenile attempts to replicate the realism of the Old Masters. It was the Dutch 17th century painters that had particularly caught my attention and I began using oil paint and developing an art practice by setting up still lives and going out into the landscape. Continue reading “A Patch Of Order”
Portrait of my Father, John Douglas Piper – Photogravure prints, each from an edition of 12
Sheet size 20″ x 16″ Plate size 10.5″ x 8″
Top row: G-clamp, outside calipers, child’s trowel circa. 1969, scratch awl
Bottom row: lacquer brush, wrench, spring dividers, tailors shears
The Tower of Babel was an art installation by Barnaby Barford at the Victoria & Albert Museum from September to November 2015. The tower was built of 3000 miniature ceramic London shops, and ours was number 844. When the exhibition ended the tower was dismantled and the shops were delivered to their new homes. Continue reading “No.0844”
Heaven’s Gate is a Capability Brown designed viewpoint overlooking Longleat House in Wiltshire. It’s a wonderful spot, a place to relax and drift away as the clouds unfold before your eyes.
The ground rises sharply to the east as far as Park Hill and Prospect Hill, on the top of which a viewpoint known as Heaven’s Gate looks out over the park. The slopes are planted with hanging beech woods, proposed by Brown but planted towards the end of the C18. Continue reading “Heaven’s Rope Swing”
A few weeks ago we went back to Epping Forest, before the leaves all disappeared, to soak up the seasonal colours and recharge our batteries. We’d been away far too long. It was the day we put the clocks back an hour, when darkness suddenly comes too soon. It was a beautiful autumn day but it felt like the sunlight was rationed and we hurried to catch the last of it. Continue reading “Chasing Golden Light”
There seems to be a lot of pink in the garden at the moment. Not a colour you normally associate with autumn but welcome nonetheless. Grouped together are Schizostylis (easy to say when you’ve had too much grape juice), antirrhinums and geraniums. Continue reading “An October Garden”
The Tedeschi Trucks Band at the Lockn’ Festival in Arrington, Virginia two months ago performing a tribute to Joe Cocker, featuring songs from his classic live album Mad Dogs & Englishmen, with a little help from their friends, original Mad Dogs: Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge and Claudia Lennear.
Surprisingly, for all the Irish blood coursing through my veins I have never visited before, so this year I set out with my hardy friend Tom, an Irishman himself, to put that right. Our ten days split into two big chunks: Kerry, Dingle and the Skelligs and then Connemara. Continue reading “Chasing Rainbows And Missing Islands In West Ireland”