Tuesday, 14 May 2019


I was again in one of my favourite London places, Kennington Park over Easter with B. 

We sat and drank our coffees looking at the Tinworth Fountain. Well what is left of it?

The fountain is just a stump now, but it was originally a large ornamental fountain made with unglazed, buff coloured terracotta by the local firm, Royal Doulton, for making garden ornaments. 

It was donated by Henry Doulton, the sculptor George Tinworth.
Tinworth was born in Walworth in 1843, the son of a Wheelwright. Aged 18 he started evening classes at Lambeth School of Art, 3 years later he entered the Royal Academy and, in 1866, he exhibited his first piece at the RA. He then became resident sculptor at Royal Doulton’s Lambeth factory.​

This piece now stands by one of the park entrances on the Kennington Road. The story is that it was bomb damaged in WW2. The bowl was removed and used elsewhere as a jardinière, so it ceased to be a fountain, the sculpture was lost to vandalism in 1981. It was used as air rifle target practice from the Kennington Park Estate! 

There are some rather botched concrete repairs and specialists have advised that cleaning might do more harm than good. Let’s hope so.

All this information is gathered from https://www.kenningtonpark.org
This is the wonderful website of The Friends of Kennington Park.

Sunday, 12 May 2019


Well, the Tate Britain show DON McCULLIN enabled many people to get close to the work of one of the most compelling photographers of modern times. Many was the operative word, all ten rooms were packed with people. 

Each piece was printed to give a feel of despair and hopelessness. From his early work in London in the early ‘60’s, right through to the pictures taken in Vietnam, Biafra, Congo, Cyprus, Beirut and Iraq there was this blackness.  And it’s shadow was cast over more recent work, landscapes and still life.

An important exhibition and at the end of it ones feelings might be characterised with one comment I over heard.
A man to his wife:

“Come along dear, I think we’ve had enough”

Friday, 10 May 2019


A small study of butternut squash, complete in oil pastel. 
Oil pastels are a delightfully creamy medium in which to work, easy to blend with rich colours.
Add caption

Wednesday, 8 May 2019


Although the woods hereabouts are bursting into new leaf the woodland floor is strewn with conifer cones. 

Walking in the GreenAcres Chiltern park, seventy two acres of lovely trees, deciduous and conifers they are easy to collect

So I chose some fir cones, these 'fruit' of conifers, attempted to identify them using my copy of  Know Your Conifers   Forestry Commission Booklet No. 15 published in 1970.

A have handed in a copy of my identification drawing to Craig, one of the GreenAcres rangers, to mark my 'homework'.  I await the results.  

Monday, 29 April 2019


The  working desk.


In some circles Still life painting occupy the lowest place in the artistic food chain but is extremely popular with art buyers. 

Indeed, in recent times 1998 the Hayward Gallery carried the MOMA’s show Objects Of Desire The Modern Still Life.

On page 12 of the catalogue there is a useful definition:
The still life is a system of objects, and it is in the word system that its secret lies. A system is ‘a set or arrangement of things so related or connected as to form a unity or organic whole.

My studies in this area of art took off only a month or so back when on of my Art in the Library group suggested that I make the drawing or painting of a Still Life a project in a future session.

Giorgio Morandi the Italian artist (1890 – 1964) took still life painting his own and off he went! Creating exquisite work in oils, printmaking and drawings. More on Morandi in the world’s favourite encyclopaedia… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giorgio_Morandi

My tutors at The Slade raved about Morandi, his compositions and colour usage was praised to the heights. And there are some good pieces to discover more.

I have been made a start in this area and will continue.  The process is playful and calming.


Ok, there's a bit of a mess at the moment

Sitting in one of my fav Pret a Manger’s (Hanover Square)  I spied, close by, all this construction activity. Another bit of London that confirms the city is one big building site. 

When its all over the landlords Great Portland Estates promise 
“Hanover Square will include high quality offices, international standard retail space on New Bond Street and six residential apartments on Brook Street. The scheme will also create a new public square”. (And) The development will be carried out around the Eastern Ticket Hall of the Bond Street Crossrail station on the north-west corner of Hanover Square.

More on Great Portland Estates https://www.gpe.co.uk/about-us/

Recently the green light was given for the Hanover Square masterplan. Gerald Eve’s senior partner Hugh Bullock who advised on planning said:“This decision is a major one in the West End. The scheme is highly complex due to the Crossrail interface and due to working beyond the Crossrail Act Powers. This positive result has come from intense collaborative working with all concerned.”

Like the much-anticipated Crossrail, we wait for the promised outcome. 
If you are impatient to see more of this new tomorrow visit the web site https://hanoverlondon.com

But won't it be lovely when they're done.

Saturday, 27 April 2019



What a springtime delight!

Close to the Oval cricket ground this lovely piece of ground lies between Kennington Park Road and St. Agnes Place. It was opened in 1854 on the site of what had been Kennington Common. It was here where the Chartists gathered for their biggest ‘monster rally’ on 10 April 1848. Soon after this demonstration the common was enclosed and, sponsored by the royal family, made into a public park.

When it was common it was site of public executions until 1800, as well as being an area for public speaking. Among the most illustrious orators to speak here were Methodist founders George Whitefield and John Wesley. The latter was reputed to have attracted a crowd of 30,000.

In the springtime, even on a dull day, the park is full of walkers, workers-out, joggers and people like my daughter Bron and I who are accompanied by their dogs, we are in the company always of Rosie the Puppy.