Sowing Seeds

In January I went to live and work in a small tribal village called Badanga in Rajasthan, India, along with international and national artists for two weeks. We were all selected to participate in the annual Sowing Seeds residency program, which has been hosted in different towns of Rajasthan for the past seven years. This was the first to be run at the farmhouse of Chiman Dangi, artist and founder of Sowing Seeds.  The whole village, especially the children, were very excited. Continue reading “Sowing Seeds”

Frames of reference

What Is Paintable?

Through The Trees

My primary interest in painting for the last 40 years has been how to depict and respond to a range of landscapes. Before I can begin to think about painting a place, there has to be a specific reason to do so, and the place must have a particular resonance with me. My recent work can be divided up into three groups: paintings of Tuscany and Umbria, paintings of Andalucía and paintings of the Thames Estuary around the RSPB reserve at Rainham Marsh, not too far from my home. Continue reading “What Is Paintable?”

Frames of reference

Chasing Shadows

We’d been told to stay indoors and not go out, except for exercise and if so to stay two metres apart, breathe fresh air, think separate thoughts and cast our own shadows. Stay safe, take care and not go viral. It was the sunniest Sunday I’d seen in ages, the car parks of Epping Forest were overflowing, all of us fleeing the city to escape the epidemic. That’s how it felt, as if there was protection here. Continue reading “Chasing Shadows”

Frames of reference

Curious Customs

Look what I found down at the Post Office. It seems like Jonny Hannah got a call from the Royal Mail. I bought the full set of eight stamps in their delightfully designed presentation pack. The lady behind the counter must have taken me for a philatelist, and gave me a calendar of Special Stamps for 2019. She piqued my curiosity by saying the next stamps to be issued will be on Forests. Continue reading “Curious Customs”

Frames of reference

Delicious Solitude

This little booklet is no bigger than a postcard. It’s a pocket book. It was published in 1989 for a joint exhibition of drawings by John Hubbard and photographs by Paul Joyce at the Royal Festival Hall. The exhibition toured to other venues, including Warwick Arts Centre. I didn’t see the exhibition but fortunately I found this book, another discovery in the treasure house that was Notting Hill Books. For many years its tiny reproductions were my only knowledge of John Hubbard’s charcoal drawings, until I saw his exhibition at Kew Gardens in 2006, Spirit of Trees, which included some of the drawings reproduced here. I found this book again today and felt moved to share its pages. Continue reading “Delicious Solitude”

Frames of reference

Fast Cars & Ukuleles

A is for Apple. B is for Bike. C is for Cat. All three of these are in my new ABC book, ‘Fast Cars & Ukuleles’, but not where you’d expect them. The apple is under F. For the bike, look at V. And the cat is on an endpaper. I’ve always loved alphabet books. Continue reading “Fast Cars & Ukuleles”

Frames of reference

Cyclops

This is the third book of poems by David Attwooll with pictures by Andrew Walton. The previous two books resulted from shared walks around Oxford. This last book circles around David’s final illness. He died in August 2016 from Erdheim Chester disease. One of it’s symptoms was a gradual loss of sight in one eye, and the poet’s increasing identification with Polyphemus, the giant cyclops from Homer’s Odyssey. There is a dark humour in these poems; David’s sense of fun is evident throughout. I met him only once, but I agree with his daughter, Kate AttwoollHe was… the most modest of men, instantly filling those who knew him with a welcoming sense of human possibility and kindness. So without further ado, here is the whole book, hand-scanned cover to cover by yours truly. Take it slow, and click on each image to get a better view. Continue reading “Cyclops”

Frames of reference

The Poetry Of Forms

To get the new year off to a good start we went down to Margate for a rare chance to see work by Hans/Jean Arp. He was born in Strasbourg, the son of a French mother and a German father. When he spoke in German he referred to himself as “Hans”, and when he spoke in French he referred to himself as “Jean”. It was a dual exhibition, but first we had to get past the crowds outside. Continue reading “The Poetry Of Forms”

Frames of reference

Ouvrez Les Fenêtres De Votre Coeur

The Rowley Gallery has a new, hand-painted February window. It’s a vibrant cornucopia of visual delights. The notice reads Ouvrez Les Fenêtres De Votre Coeur: A Darktown Valentine’s Window by Jonny Hannah, and wherever you look you’ll find lovehearts on parade. Along the front lower edge of the window there’s a collection of found records, their sleeves lovingly repainted and still containing a vinyl disc, though not necessarily the one illustrated on the cover. Continue reading “Ouvrez Les Fenêtres De Votre Coeur”

Frames of reference