Thursday, 13 April 2017

Back to Websters

A while ago,  I was drawing in a book called A Pictorial Websters - a book which takes a single image from the original Websters book per page and encourages you to write or draw to fill in the rest of the page. 

I'd put the book down somewhere in the house and buried it but, having found it, have had another go at some of the remaining pages...

Here's the starter

And here's the finish...

Stupid I know but I enjoyed it.

For previous Websters blogs, see

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Mary Watts

Sorry its been so long.
Here, as promised, is a sample of some of the work of Mary Watts and the people she worked with.

One of the most fascinating and admirable things about Mary Watts (in my opinion), is the fact that she didn't just support her husband's talent and career or pursue her own art (even though he was immensely proud and encouraging of her), but set about many collaborative projects that involved most of the local community in making and creating things, the most famous of which is the chapel in Compton.

They were given training and the chance to leave their mark, whatever their station in life - the couple were very keen on social change and on treating all peoples with dignity and respect.

Entry to the chapel is free, although there is a charge to go into all the other places on the site.

Mary was very influenced by ancient Egyptian art and Celtic patterns and this is reflected throughout her work and into the graveyard.

Much more information on her on the internet if this has whetted your appetite. I'm about to start reading her diary.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

The Watts Gallery at Compton

I had never heard of George and Mary Watts but, as they were an artistic couple who had lived nearby (during Victorian times) and established a craft village, I thought I ought to find out a little about them and what they did.

Image result for george and mary watts

Anyway, husband and I became 'friends of the gallery' for a year to check out the exhibitions and have paid a couple of visits there now. This is a taster of what we found...

A building which, on the outside looks quite colourless and unprepossessing and low but on the inside...

is a riot of colour and archway, quality and grandeur

It houses permanent and temporary exhibitions and these are part of the permanent ones. As he was an eminent Victorian painter, many of his works are heavy and full of symbolism and death...

but some are have such a detail and lightness that its fascinating to think paint can be made to do that!

It was certainly an unexpected place (quality gift shop and VERY enthusiastic and kind staff - all volunteers too!) .

The sculpture gallery contains some absolutely HUGE pieces...

and the people they knew sounds like a who's who of the Victorian era.

For a sense of scale on this one, the picture on the wall beside the sculpture is eye height (Tennyson contemplating a flower in his hand as his dog waits).

So far that's mostly his work, next time some of hers.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Henry Moore's Elephant Skull!

I had no idea Henry Moore owned an Elephant skull and had never thought about how truly massive one would have to be... but it was in the exhibition at the Lightbox in Woking, along with Moore's own drawings of it.

So here it is, front, back, sides and close up

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Henry Moore- I didn't know that's how he did it!

All I really knew about Henry Moore is that his sculptures are huge, flowing, made of various materials and often have holes.

Woking's Lightbox has a Henry Moore exhibition on at the moment so I went with my husband, who was very keen to see it.

I discovered that some of his statues are tiny - like this one at only about 6 inches long,

That some are based on found objects like this bird's skull that reminded him of the torso of a figure

and that sometimes he collected interesting bits of stone and combined them together, like these, to make the inspiration for his flowing figures.

He also drew a lot to study form and proportion

So, although I wasn't particularly interested before I went, I found it fascinating when I was there.

And have you seen the elephant skull he owned? It'll be in the next blog.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Job Advice

Here's a little snippet of advice if you are looking for a job, gleaned from a year 4 child...

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Visiting an Ice Bar

We'd seen them on TV, but didn't know they did an ice bar in London! 

This was another feature of the Chinese Lantern Festival in Chiswick (see the last weeks' blogs on the lanterns). If you book tickets online, you can book a visit to the ice bar at the same time.

It was in a refrigerated unit, with metal floor and walls lined with ice bricks...

There was a throne with a furry seat cover, so that warm bottoms didn't cement themselves on or melt a dent...

And ice sculptures of a bear looking up at the sky and a New Year Cockerel

There was also a bar made from ice and strong warming drinks served in hollow ice cubes

A very welcoming place (once you have donned a thermal coat and gloves from the rack outside and been sealed in).