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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pewter and multimeda

I've been really preoccupied with all sorts of things over the last three weeks. My daughter recently got engaged and we had a huge party here at home for her...around 90 guests....some of whom only left on Sunday. More on that later.

I've been trying to catch up on some of my paintings which I've been working on. But I'm working on a portrait and its turning out to be my most challenging one in a while. It's frustrated me almost beyond endurance.

So, I started this multimedia piece, a twelve division box made with fabric paints, pewter, gesso, small tiles, hand engraved rolled lead.........and a little 'old master' in oils on the inside, just to finish it off. The latter is still in progress but I will post a pic of that once it's complete.

I so badly missed the creativity and doing this was so engaging that barely moved for three days!

This is the picture inside the lid. I took a while trying to decide what picture to paint and I loved this one for the the sense of femininity and peace that it evoked within me. I also saw its pertinence to the life of my friend, the recipient of this box and hoped with all my heart that she would see it too.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Southwark Cathedral

This is Southwark Cathedral...the oldest Gothic church in the whole of London......we took a gazillion photos, but this deserved a mention.

The original Norman church was destroyed in the fire and this one was rebuilt in 1212.....this site has actually been a place of worship for 1400 years!!

Nor and I came across it on one of our 'foot travels'. We decided then, this was the only way to visit a country but given that we had such limited time, perhaps its not always that practical

Wesminster Cathedral

This is Westminster Cathedral where I was invited to exhibit on the 19th of two weeks time. Not to be confused with the Abbey, Westminster Cathedral represents the center of the Roman Catholic faith in the UK. It is not anywhere near as ornate and spectacular as the Abbey...which was built as a Catholic Cathedral then converted by the Churches nemesis...good ol' 'Enery the eighth'.

Noreen and I felt the spirituality the minute we walked into it. An entirely different feel of familiarity, sanctity, veneration, calm and peace. This is no tourist attraction, except perhaps for Catholics...this is truly a house of God, with it's partially completed walls and domes...the starkness was initially a disappointment, but only because we had entered as artists. We attended the 9am mass and silently praised God for leading us home the universal be reminded who we are, who we should be and what this whole thing of 'Faith' is really all about.

We decided to tour we were obviously meant to, because while we were still inside, high mass started and the choir...apparently well known world wide,.. started singing.
I felt asif I had landed up in a small part of Heaven...we had never heard anything like this before and both Noreen and I were rendered immobile, speechless, and eventually, reluctantly, floated out the Cathedral with huge lumps in our throats.

This is the original architectural design which is to be found inside the tower. There's a lift which takes visitors up and down and although there's not a whole lot to be seen, (this is a relatively young cathedral which is still theoretically being 'built'), the views were worth the visit.

This is a view from one side of the tower. Wherever one goes in London...'Old' and 'New' is everywhere. It amazes me how the two eras have merged...this is what creates the interest, the drama, the fun, in visiting cities like London. Seeped in history but fully representative of the present and of course, with ample suggestions of the future visible everywhere too...some of the latter being quite worrying.

I had a bit of a laugh at Gods humor here.....this picture was taken with no intention of suggestion at all!!

This is the Last Supper, an oil on canvas... one of the two paintings that will be part of the one-day exhibition at the Cathedral. I painted it in 2008..It took a few years to complete with the research that I needed to do. It apparently got a lot of interest at the last exhibition in July this year, but when people heard the price, purses slammed shut. :o)

This one is called Peace in poverty and was voted the best painting of the exhibition in July. Nothing surprised me more as it was painted quickly and not in my usual style.
I thought this one had sold, but it was its 'twin', 'Blessed Hope' and I think one or two others.

Looking at these two pictures of 'super-critical' self slaps me on the back of my head and tells me:

"Girl you have a long way to go".

And I have. But the child in me...the dreamer who believes that dreams come true, that has endless hope and faith, has also said:

"Never lose faith. Belive in and visualise your dreams, because by faith and hope, they will become real"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Walking (and running) around London

Ok, so thees ees goeeng to bee fun. The 'eye' key on my lap top ees not workeeng. ( thees ees heestereecal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) As the well known SA sayeeng goes "n boer maak n plan".

We were very fortunate that whaal we where een London, the Thames festeeval was on. There were hoards of foreners around....hardly a seengle Breet to be seen......but eet was so festeev. We watched a laav producton, and lots of ferry's and boats gong up and down the reever. (are you takeeng me sereeously here?)

Nor and took a treep on toureesty boat down the Thames. No great wow except perhaps that the London breedge had to open...apparently not often seen.

This is the 'court-yard' of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, next door to the Brompton Oratory where I had my first exhibition. The wonderful thing about this museum, is that entrance is absolutely free, so whole families get to enjoy the art on display.
Its HUGE and although I have now been to see it twice, there is always something new to see and appreciate....I think more so each time one goes!

I loved this so much! Its a sculpture
of the artists daughter. Perfection!

This is a sculpture done in alabaster. I would suggest you enlarge the picture. You need to appreciate the fine carving of the feathers and lace. This work was remarkable in every way. Its place of exhibition was perfect too, as the sun coming through the window mad this sculpture almost opaque.
What manner of man does such beautiful work. The mind that created this must be a mind indeed!

Horsing around....the Victoria and Albert museum has thousands of sculptures. Trying to absorb it all in a day is impossible. Noreen relayed a story of a friend of hers and her husband who sat in front of an art piece for hours, trying to get into the mind of the artist.

Personally, I'd prefer to read an autobiography.

This pub, called "The Anchor", (no, we didn't go in) on the banks of the Thames, was built in the late 1500's, and is the site of the original Shakespeare theater. Romeo and Juliette was performed on this spot, for the very first time.
The famous diarist, Samuel Pepys, witnessed the burning of London from this very site:
"The great fire swept through the central parts of London, gutting the medieval city and destroying the majority of London's homes".
William Shakespeare was an irritating oddball who couldn't speak English...or so I thought while young. When I went nursing, I spent most of my meager salary on books (and pot plants...I needed a machete to get to my bed)....and William Shakespeare was one author and play-write who I grew to love. Strangely(or not), I didn't enjoy Romeo and Juliette, the ending is not fairy-tale enough. My favorite was Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew and the Merry Wives of Windsor...I loved the subtle, almost -hidden humor.

This is one of the more recent sculptures to be seen in London, done by Paul Day. Its called "The Battle of Britain" and is to be found on the opposite bank of the Thames. It's so beautifully done, you can see the terror, you can feel the panic and you can hear the bombs fall.

The part miniature of this particular sculpture ("Mini Scramble"), is for sale at the "Plus One Gallery", as well as others he's done in resin and terracotta. He is one of the best modern-day sculptors I've seen in a while. Looking at this piece, I felt almost, that I was looking at the work of a re-incarnated Michelangelo or Rafael ...using classical style to produce an emotive and empathetic and timeless visual of one of the greatest tragedies of our modern times.

Looking pensive but was really just thinking of my family here. There was a scotsman at the bottom of St Paul's steps, playing the bagpipes. It reminded of my 16 year old son who plays very well. It was while traveling through Scotland with him, that he was so inspired to start playing.

I suppose this is a rather cliche photo...fortunately just before the 'royal wave' I gave Nor. I took the usual touristy pictured, but if you want those...well then you'll find better ones on 'Google'.