Thursday, 23 January 2020

RETIREMENT ACCOMMODATION?

The Charles. Start saving now.

Another piece inspired by my favourite photographer New Yorker, Professor Lehrer.
This is a exciting tower on 1st Avenue that offers some interesting accommodation options.
Single apartments sell for around $6,750,000, and as you might imagine lots of space: full-floor residences that open up to over 3,300 square feet of space.
However you can never have enough room, witness the gross developments here in Beaconsfield. The Charles Building outshines them:

The WALL STREET JOURNAL reported 
'A family that buys together stays together. On New York’s Upper East Side, buyers related to each other have purchased a total of five units that span the top six floors of the Charles condominium, creating two massive units, for a total of $58.635 million.'

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, 20 January 2020

BARNEYS: EVERYTHING MUST GO

Barneys  Everything Must be Sold

COR’ BLIMEY! BARNEYS

The photography of my New York correspondent, Professor P.J. Lehrer, never ceases to impress and inspire. This small study is from her photograph of a Barneys window. 

For those of us planning to do a bit of shopping in NY this year be aware the city’s retail scene is in a state of flux, like London.  Across the US Barneys is planning store closures and their flagship New York store is relocating inside Saks Fifth Avenue, so my correspondent informs me; now that is more bang for your buck.

Enjoy New York without the air travel, follow P.J.Lehrer on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/pjlehrer/?hl=en

Friday, 17 January 2020

ST ANDREWS BEACH

West Sands Beach 40 x 70cm  Gouach on Paper


This is a gouache and ink painting, a commission, of West Sands St Andrews beach in Fife. (Gosh I have been busy). The beach became famous as a training run in the 1981 film, 'Chariots of Fire', about Olympic athletes Eric Liddell and Harald Abrahams.

The ever-handy online guide WALKING HIGHLANDS gives us the full picture! https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/fife-stirling/west-sands.shtml

‘Stretch your legs on the spectacular and vast sandy beach made famous in the film, 'Chariots of Fire'. The route then passes through Eden Estuary nature reserve before a track leads between the famous golf courses with good views over fine buildings of St Andrews.

©2006-2018 walkhighlands.co.uk

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

TOTALLY BRILL



My painting of Brill Church was a pre-Christmas commission, a timorous watercolour, from a sunny photograph, turned out quite well.  I was keen to discover more about this place

All Saints’ Church sits on a hill in the village and apparently this lovely church started life as a royal chapel to an adjacent royal palace in the 11th century. Edward the Confessor* owned the parish at one stage.

The earliest part of the church is the nave, built in the 12th century (Normans were soon at  it) and over time it has been altered. A Mr J. Oldrid Scott rebuilt the entire church in 1888, with the good sense to incorporate some of the older bits. 

THE EXCELLENT CORPUS OF ROMANESQUE SCULPTURE IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND   INCLUDES BRILL IN ITS SURVEY

‘The doorways have been restored in the resetting and more recently, but enough original stone remains to confirm their form. The fat angle roll and cushion capitals are typical of a date in the first two decades of the 12thc.’

© 2020 The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland   Please discover more about Brill on this wonderful website https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/site/946/

*Edward the Confessor was the first Anglo-Saxon and the only king of England to be canonised. He ruled from 1042 to 1066. Edward was the son of Æthelred the Unready.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

A BRIDGE AND A GORGE


The Avon Gorge
Over recent weeks I have spent a fair few days in Bristol.

Rosie the Puppy and I like to drive up to Clifton Downs and particularly fair part of the city and go for a stroll and then take coffee at the excellent café attached to the Clifton Observatory.

Craving Rosie’s indulgence drawings are made and then the inevitable interest is sparked on ‘Brunel’s bridge’ and indeed the gorge of the River Avon that is spans.


A nice bridge


The Avon gorge runs south to north through a limestone ridge 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of Bristol city centre, and runs about 3 miles (5 km) from the mouth of the river at Avonmouth. Throughout the city’s history the gorge has been an important transport route, carrying the River Avon, major roads and two railways.

As importantly the Avon Gorge is the subject of mediaeval mythology. The myth tells a tale of two giant brothers, Goram and Vincent, who constructed the gorge. One variation holds that Vincent and Goram were constructing the gorge together and Goram fell asleep, to be accidentally killed by Vincent's pickaxe.

THE BRIDGE
At the Clifton Suspension Bridge the Gorge is more than 700 feet wide and 300 feet deep. William Henry Barlow and John Hawkshaw build it based on an earlier design by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

BRIDGE BY THE NUMBERS 
Clearance: 245 ft. (75 m) above high water level
Dip of chains: 70 ft. (21.34 m)
Height of towers: 86 ft. (26 m) above deck
Overall length: 1,352 ft. (412 m)
Overall width: 31 ft. (9.45 m)
Span: 702 ft. 3 in (214.05 m)

Fascinating facts from Wikipedia and gleaned with thanks. The writer is a regular contributor the Wikipedia funding, as we all should be. 

Saturday, 4 January 2020

RAZOR'S EDGE

HIGH WINDS or some strange sea conditions had spread razor clam shells over Pendine beach like confetti at an Essex wedding. I collected just a few for onward despatch to an ace a team of shell collectors in Kelvedon in Essex.

A made a drawing


A LITTLE RESEARCH YIELD RICH INSIGHT
Razor clams are strange creatures - technically bivalves like regular clams and mussels, their fine white flesh resembles squid more than some of its closer relatives. They live burrowed in the sand on sheltered beaches, and at low tide you may be able to spot the 'keyhole' openings to their burrows.

AND IMPORTANT ADVICE FOR HARVESTING OR BUYING RAZOR CLAMS

Razor Clams usually move or retract when you touch them. ... To keep the razor clams alive, make sure they are all alive when you buy them that they are packed properly in some paper that they are not sealed in a plastic bag as they can suffocate.

Copyright and many thanks to 

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

ENJOY THE CHILTERNS BY TRAIN

It is good to travel in November through the train-given landscape.  


At last one can appreciate the countryside without the distraction of foliage.

Two quick sketches made from my train carriage.

The opening lines for November in John Clare’s Shepherds Calendar ring true

'THE landscape sleeps in mist from morn till noon;
And, if the sun looks through, tis with a face
Beamless and pale and round, as if the moon,