Silton Oak, Dorsetshire

Engrav’d by J.Greig for the Antiquarian & Topographical Cabinet
from a Drawing by J.Fenton Esq.

When this engraving was first published in 1810, the Silton Oak was already considered to be an antiquarian and topographical curiosity. Over 200 years later and it still charms us with its stoic endurance, a vigorous but shrinking survivor of a once much larger millennial oak tree. Continue reading “Silton Oak, Dorsetshire”

Frames of reference

A Holloways Walk

We came to Symondsbury for breakfast, the best coffee and bacon roll in months, then down past the church and up the hill to Shute’s Lane. We were staying under Eggardon and we’d already driven down a tunnel of green lanes to get here. This one was closed to traffic so now we were on foot. Continue reading “A Holloways Walk”

Frames of reference

Deep Lanes & Holloways

We were in West Dorset at last and I was elated. I’d long wanted to drive these roads. We were in a maze of high banks and hedgerows, hidden from the wind, burrowing back down to earth, gone to ground. Continue reading “Deep Lanes & Holloways”

Frames of reference

Oil Paintings by Isobel Johnstone

For February we’ve a window of richly coloured paintings by Isobel Johnstone. Unfortunately the gallery is still closed, but we’re back in the workshop again, and socially distanced purchases and collections can easily be arranged by phone. Come and see. It’s a feast for the eyes. Continue reading “Oil Paintings by Isobel Johnstone”

Frames of reference

The Dorset Coast

The Dorset Coast: from Chesil Beach to the Isle of Purbeck.

Living in south west Wiltshire I am frequently drawn to neighbouring Dorset to walk some of the paths along its geologically varied coastline. I like to draw or paint on location, and I subsequently develop a number of my observations into wood engravings or linocuts. Both are methods of making relief prints, the former being a very English art form developed by Thomas Bewick in the 18th Century, where the engraving is made on highly polished end grain boxwood, which on completion is inked with a roller and printed by hand, in my case using an Albion Press made in 1862. Continue reading “The Dorset Coast”

Frames of reference

Open Country

We’ve got a new window display for October – Open Country: Wood Engravings of the Wessex Downs and Coast by Howard Phipps. It’s a display that celebrates Howard’s love of the West Country and Dorset in particular. These are patiently wrought images, slow-grown evocations carved in wood and printed in exquisite detail, they always seem to capture the essential timeless spirit of each particular place depicted. Continue reading “Open Country”

Frames of reference

The Ways

Twelve framed hand-coloured linocuts by Liz Somerville in our window throughout August and September. They’re part of a suite of 48 prints called The Ways, celebrating four ancient paths through England. There’s also a limited edition concertina booklet of all the images in miniature. Continue reading “The Ways”

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

To Win Green

Win Green From Berwick Down

We asked Howard Phipps to fill our window with a display of his wood engravings and linocuts. So it seemed like a good idea to go down and collect them, and take a walk around some of the places that had inspired them. We followed a circuit up to Win Green, a prominent landmark and the highest point in Cranborne Chase, crowned by a clump of beech trees on a Bronze Age bowl barrow. Continue reading “To Win Green”

Frames of reference

Remaking Landscape

We just received a wonderful gift in the post. A message from beyond the grave. Before his death in January last year, John Hubbard had been putting together what he liked to call his self-curated retrospective; a collection of images with commentaries from his diary gathered together in a book celebrating his lifelong devotion to painting. Remaking Landscape is a thing of beauty. Continue reading “Remaking Landscape”

Frames of reference