Tuesday, 14 May 2019

THE TINWORTH FOUNTAIN: A SAD STORY

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

ART OF DARKNESS

ART OF DARKNESS
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

FOREVER FRIENDS

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

CONE-TASTIQUE



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

OBJECTS OF DESIRE

The  working desk.

OBJECTS OF DESIRE



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.





OH! I SEE HANOVER SQUARE HAS THE BUILDERS IN AGAIN!

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

WONDERFUL PARKS IN LONDON: KENNINGTON

OUT WALKING WITH ROSIE THE PUPPY


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.

MORE INFORMATION PLEASE RUSH TO THE FRIENDS WEBSITE

Thursday, 25 April 2019

FRESHLY PRET-PARED


FRESHLY PRET-PARED 

The good eating and beverages keep coming from Pret. I am convinced it is the best place for a double espresso!

My family are trying to convince me to open a branch in Beaconsfield!

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

THE GLOUCESTER - host to London's uber stylish fashionistas


Cheek by cheek at the Gloucester of a Friday night
The Gloucester,  fab place, fab pint with my friend, hotelier, Richard Campbell

This excellent pub does, according to owners Greene King, 'owes its name to the Gloucester regiment who 
honourably served both in the First and Second World Wars. Records show that there has been a pub on 
this end of Sloane Street since 1795'. 

This famous brewery continues the narrative: 'The Gloucester is a cosy pub whose interior echoes its fascinating history with an old Victorian feel. In more modern times, the Gloucester plays host to the capital’s 
uber stylish fashionistas' ça aussi moi

Monday, 15 April 2019

DAILY NEWS IN THE MILLENNIUM KNIGHTSBRIDGE




The Millennium Hotel London Knightsbridge is 'an award-winning, fashionable abode for the chic traveller'.  Ah! C'est moi

The website breathlessly continues: ‘Perfectly positioned in the heart of one of London's most prestigious districts, the deluxe Millennium Hotel London Knightsbridge combines modern elegance with an exclusive Sloane Street location’.

I’d checked in with hotelier friend Richard Campbell as a base to travel up to the #Scouriehotel’s stand at the London Fly-fishing Fair.

There was a beguiling selection of newspapers near the reception desk - I snaffled copies and made a drawing.

You can book in too by using this link Fab hotel in Sloane Street

Saturday, 13 April 2019

UP ON WINDMILL HILL

WINDMILL HILL BRISTOL

The Windmill pub sits at the bottom of a maze of dejected streets of Victorian terraced houses, marshalled by two tower blocks that rear up to the side of the pub. This is Windmill Hill.
We’d popped in for lunch. The welcome at the Windmill was warm, the beer excellent and food tasty. I enjoyed a vegetarian wrap and the ladies their soup.

Windmill Hill is separated from the rest of Bedminster by a railway that can whisk you away as far as Exeter and beneath this iron road a slither of industrial units and lock ups. The area boasts a city farm and attractive open space, Victoria Park. 

More on this excellent establishment here 

Pub's website is here 

Monday, 8 April 2019

WELL ABOVE PARR








The Exhibition Only Human is a delight! With an undercurrent of darkness.

It runs for some time and is really worth seeing.

A huge show of colour, excitement, playful images with a visual comment on modern Britain by photographer Martin Parr #MARTINPARRNPG. 

The fun runs until May 27

Darkness comes from his roaming across the UK at the the time of the Brexit vote and his ventures into the world of privilege  - a stark counter point defty handled.

Link included to see more including the cheeky trailer

Both pictures here © Martin Parr - photography was allowed within the gallery. Hoorah!


ENJOY THE SHORT ZIPPY TRAILER HERE 

https://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/only-human-martin-parr/exhibition/

Saturday, 6 April 2019

PAINTING THE LIBRARY

Don't you just love it. People book a seat at the table, turn up and half the group are hard at it before I can say "Hello, I am Tim Baynes".

Some members of the group have only just started painting, others are more than very good at drawing and painting. It is open to everyone, all are welcome.

I mince in with materials and an impressive vase of stocks and everyone makes lovely pictures. 

Some of the team are working on particular pieces of their own choosing, a Venetian largo, a scene in the Lake District. 

Productivity! 

It all happens at Beaconsfield Library. Arguably one of the loveliest places in the town and the most important. 


Sometime back the team at the Library suggested I come in show some work and talk about how I do what I do.

IT SOON BECAME APPARENT, after my first session, that people are more interested in having a go, getting some tips and ideas and some ENCOURAGEMENT (sorry to shout).
Fab! I can do that.

Next Artist is Residence Beaconsfield Library is April 23. 
It is a ticket only event.

Can't wait!

Dead good at drawing!






Thursday, 4 April 2019

MORE LONDON?



LONDON'S GRAND CANYON? 

I am often lucky enough to walk through More London. A gorge of towers SW of Tower Bridge that includes City Hall. The buildings were designed by Foster and Partners architects and include The Scoop, a fountain and planted areas, including real trees. 

In 2007, the development was shortlisted for the Carbuncle Cup architecture prize.

Sadly, last year, ‘The Rill’ a narrow brick water channel that ran along one walkways was filled in. For aside from being an intriguing, witty and thoughtful touch, it was also became a health and safety threat: This narrow niceness was a trip hazard to people walking through canyon and using their mobile phones at the same time.

I have discovered that More London was shortlisted for the Carbuncle Cup an architecture prize, given annually by the magazine Building Design to "the ugliest building in the United Kingdom completed in the last 12 months". It is intended to be a humorous response to RIBA’s prestigious Stirling Prize.

More London here

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/More_London


Tuesday, 2 April 2019

ALL WORK AND NO PRET MAKES JACK A DULL BOY


Pret a Manger is a favourite place for breakfast and lunch in this boy’s busy schedule.
Totally consistent.
Totally friendly.
Totally yummy.

Here the most unfailingly brilliant coffee is served by smiling people who really understand
‘ A double espresso please, with just a little extra hot water’ 

Fav breakfast  - the egg and bacon roll (sort of micro-baguette)
Fav lunch – the salad with the beetroot and greens

Remarkable thing is they are just as good in NYC.

Yeap, I am blessed with Pret.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

ENGAGING WITH EMIN



I was too young to be carrying your Ashes (2017–18)

I watched you disappear. Pink Ghost (2018)


This exhibition ends on April 7 (boo hoo) ‘this’ being A Fortnight of Tears, a major show of Tracy Emin’s work at the White Cube in Bermondsey.

There is lots to love here and get excited about.

And Tracy can’t half draw good.

It is amazing how people want to get so close to her work
The exhibition includes sculpture, paintings, film, photography and drawings. Drawings hung on the walls, sketch books in vitrines (that’s posh for a display case, or cabinet with one or often more transparent glass surfaces). Lots of her thoughts, writings and sketches are here to enjoy.

I came away thrilled and invigorated by this visceral show.  
Get to it if you can. 

Scoop/details here: https://whitecube.com/exhibitions/exhibition/tracey_emin_bermondsey_2019


Saturday, 23 March 2019

A BIT OF BACH DOES US THE POWER OF GOOD


A BIT OF BACH DOES US THE POWER OF GOOD 

The other Sunday I hopped and skipped along to the Royal Academy of Music and enjoyed the most wonderful concert. 

Bonza conductor of the Baroque, Philippe Herreweghe led a spirited group of musicians from the Academy and we enjoyed several cantatas. 

I am so very late coming to this lovely music and have much catching up to do. 

The cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach (Bachkantaten) consist of at least 209 surviving works most of which were written during his time in Leizig.

Search for Bach on the BBC Radio 3 iPlayer and you will find lots of goodies.

Find out more about the Bachkantaten here 


Thursday, 21 March 2019

The Brown-lipped snail


Brown-lipped snail

I discovered this wonderful shell on a walk some days back and made a small drawing from different angles. Confidently I think this is a Brown-lipped. 

The Brown-lipped Snail comes in many colour forms, but usually has a brown band around the opening of its shell. 

It prefers damp spots in wide range of habitats, from gardens to grasslands, woods to hedges.

More vital information about the Brown-lipped snail is on the excellent Wild Life Trusts web site… including important guidance on encouraging their presences in our gardens and countryside.


Presumably most of the housing bash-build housing developments round here do little to help these lovely creatures.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

PARSLEY SAGE ROSEMARY AND THYME

February 22 - March 6



During that last-week-of Feb-2019 heatwave we gave the herbs in pots a good trim. Leftover sprigs were to good to waste and put me in mind of the song ‘Parley Sage Rosemary and Thyme’ a hit in the US for Simon & Garfunkel - 1966

The herbs mentioned in the song-represented virtues that were important to the lyrics. Parsleywas comfort, sagewas strength, rosemarywas love, and thymewas courage.

Paul Simon learned about this song when he was on tour in England, where he heard a version by a popular folk singer named Martin Carthy.

When Carthy heard Simon & Garfunkel's rendition, he accused Simon of stealing his arrangement. Carthy and Simon did not speak until 2000, when Simon asked Carthy to perform this with him at a show in London. Carthy put his differences aside and did the show.

THANK YOU AND COPYRIGHT TO SONG FACTS ©

Monday, 11 March 2019

ANDALUSIAN TALES: THE STORY TELLERS OF MARBELLA

Marbella Writers' Workshop

The day after OUR visit to Ronda the literary theme continued.

I sat in on a meeting of the Marbella Writers Workshop and enjoyed their stories, which each person, in turn, shared with the rest of this energetic group of writers. 

A little Wiki-stalking reveals that my dear friend Tony, who chairs the Workshop each week, is not the only person of note to live round here. Sean Connery had a place in Marbella and was he was regularly seen playing. Actor George Clooney is a sometimes resident. Antonio Banderas, was born in the nearby city of Málaga.  Arms dealer Monzer al-Kassar (aka the Prince of Marbella) was a long-time resident until his imprisonment.
Marbella Waterfront

Marbella
 As we walked along the beachfront after the workshop it was warm and sunny and peaceful. During the summer months the population increases by 30% with the arrival of tourists and non-nationals who have their second homes in the area.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

ANDALUCIAN: DRIVING TO RONDA


Towards the end of February I spent four warm sunny days in the south of Spain. I was the guest of my friend of some forty years, Tony Merrington. 

Tony lives in Nueva Andalucía. This is an area just west of Marbella and inland from posh Puerto Banús.  The house looks over a lovely golf course.This area is covered with golf courses and known as ‘Golf Valley’. 

Nueva Andalusia:  The view from the house


All the villas and apartments are based on traditional Andalusian architecture and design. And, perhaps because of the golf, the district is blessed with many exciting looking trees and green spaces. Very different from Blighty's winter landscape. 

Each day Tony and I drove up into the mountains and caught up on old times and recalled too many crazy escapades. 

Mountains and fields in Andalucia


Ronda is situated about 750 m (2,460 feet.) above sea level. The Guadalevín River runs through the city, dividing it in two. The river cuts the steep, 100-plus-meter-deep El Tajo canyon above, which the city perches.  Walking out of the town we looked up to see The Puente Nuevo straddling the canyon.

EL TAJO CANYON

COFFEE OVER LOOKING THE CANYON



Ernest Hemingway spent many summers in Ronda. His novel For Whom the Bell Tolls describes the execution of Nationalist sympathisers early in the Spanish Civil War. The Republicans murder the Nationalists by throwing them from cliffs in an Andalusian village, and Hemingway allegedly based the account on killings that took place in Ronda at the cliffs of El Tajo.

As we looked out to the west the afternoon sun was high, warming olive groves fields and fir trees.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

ANDALUCIAN TALES: UP TO CASARES

CASARES 

Another journey into the mountains, about 40km from Nueva Andalucía, took us to Casares. We climbed through its vertiginous small streets. At the top, the view from the 12th century castle is precious. You look down an incalculable number of white houses. 

Casares


The occupying Moors established this town who surrendered to the Catholic forces after the fall of Ronda in 1485.

A story has it that when Julius Caesar visited the area surrounding this small town, he ordered the construction of the village due to the curative properties of the sulphurous and alkaline waters on a skin infection, which had plagued him since childhood. 

The Bar Nuevo   Casares


Casares hugs the edge of a cliff and is considered to one of the most stunning ‘pueblos blancos’– white villages of Andalucía. These charming towns are very popular amongst tourists anxious to escape the multitudes of multitudes.

Friday, 8 March 2019

TENBY - A CLIFF HANGER


 
Tenby South Beach - a gusty wind and light rain

In a strong wind and an impressive downpour we arrived in Tenby.

This delightful town looks like a giant stretched Neapolitan ice cream. Georgian and Victorian houses remind us that Tenby was renowned as a health resort. 

Seen from the sea or looking up from the beach at low water, the houses decorated in pinks, lemons, sea green, white and shades of blue, rest perilously on the cliff tops.

Tenby from the harbour looking up to the cliff tops


Much of the place was built for healthy seaside walks, due to the walkways being built to accommodate Victorian nannies pushing prams; many of the beaches today still retain good disabled access. 

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

BLESSINGS AT BETHESDA



Side and Front view of Bethesda Chapel


FEBRUARY 2019

We stopped by Bethesda Chapel on our visit to Tenby. This church is part of the Presbyterian Church of Wales (Calvinistic Methodist). This was, for me, another enchanting Welsh chapel discovery

Here there is Sunday Worship at 11am and 6pm and the Pastor, Reverend Martin Williams, leads most of the meetings, occasionally visiting preachers attend this lovely chapel. Important to note there is Bible Study every Tuesday at 6pm. 

More information is at  www.bethesdatenbyroad.vpweb.co.uk

FOOTNOTE 
Protestant Dissent in Wales was in the 17th century dominated by the twin movements of the Independents or Congregationalists and the Baptists, although there were Presbyterian congregations often led by clergy ejected from their Anglican livings after defying the 1662 Act of Uniformity. 

In the 18th century Wales was transformed by the coming of Methodism. This was part of a much wider international religious movement, which can be traced to the growth of evangelical Pietism in continental Europe from the later 17th century onwards. Its emphasis on intense personal devotion nurtured by preaching which spoke directly to the individual heart formed the basis for movements which spread to Britain and also to the American colonies. 

In Wales it resulted in two major denominations, Calvinistic Methodism, later also known as Presbyterianism, and Wesleyan Methodism, or simply Methodism. More information is here: http://www.welshchapels.org/nonconformity/calvinistic-methodists-presbyterians/

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

HEYBRIDGE NEAR MALDON


Further along is Heybridge Basin our final stop on this windy wet tour. 


Life before the mast  Heybridge Basin

A fine view and a fine pint at The Old Ship 


Heybridge Basin where the 12-mile navigation from Chelmsford pours out into the River Blackwater through and ancient lock now modernised. Next to its quay two pubs eye each other up, The Old Ship Inn and The Jolly Sailor. 

Again, there is the constant song of rigging on mast. There are few people about; we imagine the area is overflowing in the summer; with people sailing and a regular tide of visitors ebbing and flowing from the nearby caravan parks.

We toss a coin and enter The Old Ship, two pints and a portion of chips (make that two please).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heybridge,_Maldon

Another jaunt under the banner of Travels with my Architect. Trevor brings his implacable architectural eye has created some great photo’s. We hope Curious Coast makes you inquisitive to visit these places. More drawings and photographs here 
http://www.curiouscoast.co.uk