Saturday 28 April 2018

Pick Your Own

I am very grateful to my cousin Wendy for sending me a link to Mark Avery’s website and a piece he did on wild flowers we can pick. (I’d mentioned to her, on our recent walk, that I might try my hand at pressing some flowers this spring.

Anyway Mark’s excellent article carries with it a very useful table on what is in bloom when 

And this inspires a series of drawings - I thought I’d start with common dog violets, which have been lovely this Spring!

Copyright of this useful table rests with Mark Avery - thank you.

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Devices and Desires

Devices and Desires is a 1989 detective novel in the Adam Dalgliesh series by P. D. James. 

A splendid television version of the novel was produced for Britain's ITV network in 1991. It starred the heroic and taciturn Roy Marsden as Adam Dalgliesh.

These words, ‘devices’ and ‘desires’ sprang to mind as I looked at these two compulsive drawings on the commute home.

Our devices never cease to fulfil our desires.

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Delivering The Books By Bus

It is the time of year to deliver 'the books' to one’s accountant in High Wycombe. 

And so I made the journey by bus from Beaconsfield. 
This thirty-minute journey is a great way to really appreciate the A40 as it follows the path of the River Wye, and the outskirts of the town. 

By the Police Station the Municipal Gardens are already in glorious spring bloom.

And there are interesting people to study on the bus. 

Bus travel means that somebody else is doing the driving. And bus drivers are, to a man or a woman, professional and courteous. 
There is always a seat on the bus 
In my experience the bus is always one time, unlike my flight out of Toronto last Thursday. 
What is more, there is no extra charge for Upper Deck. 

My heart beat faster whenever I see the 336 or 740.

Tuesday 17 April 2018

Returning to the Aga Khan Museum

 Last week I was l lucky enough again to be working in the Aga Khan Museum. 

This is a great white cape of marble and stone that someone has placed gracefully in just north of Toronto city centre. Each angle, edge and plant is a delight.

Inside is a collection of over 1000 objects includes rare masterpieces that reflect a broad range of artistic styles and materials in Islamic art, Iranian art and Muslim culture.

If you are ever in Toronto this house of treasures is absolutely worth a visit! 

This is a job I'd like  - raking the stones everyday


Steps to heaven

Everywhere plants and trees

One person makes all the difference

My impression last year

Treasures inside

Sunday 15 April 2018

Studio Tour

I was so pleased to welcome Alison and Tom from Bespoke Framing into my ‘studio’ the other day.
The result was a lovely two-minute film from Alison
She commented 

Tim Baynes opens his studio in Beaconsfield to us – what a treat! My son has just taken art as a GCSE option in school and we thought a visit to an artists’ studio would be a perfect inspiration.  We asked Tim if he wouldn’t mind us visiting him – his response was “We can do a studio tour and pour through sketchbooks, drawings and prints – turn the world upside down and be better for it”which is exactly what we did!

Here is the film :

Discover Bespoke Framing

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Monster Wood

All  sorts of exciting things being discovered in the garage/studio with the builders gone!
A remarkable piece of wood which we must have collected from a beach combing walk, this has and almost primordial feel to it. 

Sunday 8 April 2018

Wet Whittenham

Whittenham Clumps Rain makes useful marks
A wet Wednesday, as evidenced by the rain's contribution to this drawing. Again Rosie and I met up with cousin Wendy for a walk round the clumps.

To the left on the drawing is Castle Hill. Once up there we found the big uprooted tree on the south side of the woods. Its roots show sandy gravels that 'arrived there' during one of the earlier Ice Ages when these hills were under water. Since then erosion has since cut down through the landscape on either side of Castle Hill.

Castle Hill, I have also discovered  is Late Iron Age settlement and saved from Victorian destruction by General Pitt Rivers (1870). This set in play a national system to protect Ancient Monuments in Britain!  Good old Pitt Rivers.

Wednesday 4 April 2018

The Common Whelk

I am counting our haul of treasures from a visit to Pendine Beach a week or so ago ! A cache of whelk shells sparked my curiosity into the cooking of a whelk.

Buyer's guide

They are usually sold already cooked and shelled and can be eaten with a sprinkling of vinegar or with slices of bread and butter. The chewy flesh is quite juicy and salty. They’re available year-round but are at their best from September to February.


If you do cook them from fresh then make sure you wash them thoroughly in several changes of water then leave them to soak for a couple of hours. They only need minimal cooking of about 10 to 15 minutes in boiling salted water, otherwise the flesh will be rubbery.

Thank you to

Pendine Beach near Carmathen