Sunshine & Burgh Island Day 8


 

water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

February 27th 2013

The sun came out! Hurray! I covered over more or less all I had done on the oil painting last week and softened it with an overlay of the palest creamiest blue I could make and added washes to sketch book studies which examine arts and crafts motif in and around Winterbourne. I created a larger acrylic study of the garden in black and white on a red ground working from a charcoal sketch. Went to lunchtime lecture at Barber Institute on art deco where they mentioned John Nettlefold’s cousin Archie Nettlefold who built Burgh Island Hotel, Bigbury-on-sea, Devon, c. 1929. Began two abstract oils to which I will keep adding. Worked in the garden later in the afternoon, looking, sketching, and thinking. The bird song was noticeably loud and lovely but the chickens had been put to bed by the time I got to them. Primroses, crocae, hellebore are all out and I saw a daffodil and azalea in bud. There are signs of growth everywhere. Drew some of the gardeners working in the garden from the window; they were busy clearing winter debris off the ground.

Structure & Ideals Day 4


 

water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

February 6th 2013

It’s colder in Birmingham than Worcester and the train was delayed by half an hour so shivered as I alighted at the University. I learnt more today about John Nettlefold’s ideals and emphasis on tradition and craft via town planning aka Moor Pool Estate.Went to a lecture at the Barber Institute about the Venice Carnival and decided my picture book might be about “Clara the eighteenth century rhinoceros” in and around Venice with puncinello masked figures in tow. Primed four canvases and chatted to people and braved the cold to do four drawings in and around the garden using black aquarelle strick which is really hard and performs like Conte crayon. At the bottom of Winterbourne gardens I sat on a bench dedicated to Hilde Hunt (1913-2004) who coincidentally taught me German at school next door at KEHS from 1975-82. She looked ancient then; and I can remember her telling us about the horrors of Buchenwald. The inscription about her said simply, “who loved gardens.” At home I googled her and read an obituary and hadn’t realised she was actiually Austrian, not German.The drawings I did today focused on winter structures and edited out 90% of what was there;  working solely in black and white I find it easy to think monchromatically. The colour will come.

Lake & Screws Day 2


 

water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

January 30th 2013

Windy sunny day with blue skies. My train was cancelled so arrived half an hour late. Did a quick self portrait study and worked in single colour collage; two of views form the window and one in the cactus house. Wandered around the garden with my sketch book and drew the chickens, orchids in the orchid house, and a number of landscape views. Had heard visitors talking about the lake and assumed they meant the Japanese sunken lake but when they remarked it was through a gate I twigged it might be different. Pushing open the gate and stepping forth felt like entering a magical secret garden and there indeed past the bog was an enormous lake – Edgbaston pond with moor hens swimming around. John Nettlefold made his money from screws (GKN), ammunition and the instigation of a social housing programme, for example, the Moor Pool Estate. His wife Margaret was a founding member of EHSG. Spoke to an ex KEHS English teacher today who lives next door to my old English teacher, Miss Jones. In the studio experimented with watercolour and chatted to Lee about his lantern collection.