Thursday, 26 April 2012

Art and Craft Fair at the Prospect Hospice and a Yoga Event in Highworth, both this Saturday 28th April

The Prospect Hospice in Wroughton is hosting an Art and Craft Fair between 11am and 3pm on Saturday the 28th of April there will be things to do like silk painting, needle felting and mosaics and things for sale.
The address is: Prospect Hospice, Moormead Road, Wroughton, Swindon, SN4 9BY

The second event is entitled 'Relax and Refresh', it's being held at the Highworth Community Centre, formerly Northview School, the Dormers, Highworth, SN6 7PQ
There's chair yoga, massage and make up demonstrations.
It's being held from 2pm-4pm, with more details on the poster:

Monday, 23 April 2012

Fred Blunt at the Beehive

In it's last week, Fred's exhibition is definitely a must.
There are framed original watercolours and prints on foam board, all expertly and professionally presented in Fred's original and humorous style.
There are still some unsold, so an excellent opportunity to buy a gem.
Here is a flavour of the exhibition:
A poor shot of some of the pictures in the exhibition.
You can just see the 'More to Love' picture on the bottom left hand side of the photograph.

 'The Age of Innocence'
 'Friday 5pm'
 'One Bad Apple'

'Cat Among the Pigeons'
To find out more about Fred's work, visit:
And to find out more about events at the Beehive:

It's Working! I'm now receiving items for the Blog. Jane's Painting of Madrid coming up.

Jane Milner-Barry went to Madrid in February for 2 weeks while they were experiencing a heatwave; and has asked me to point out that as an environmentally responsible traveller she took the train to Spain.  is a good website for would-be train travellers.
 It's the most marvellous place to go and not the most expensive destination. There were 4 night breaks advertised in Saturday's Guardian supplement for £189per person including flights- 
Not as environmentally friendly as taking the train.
Benoit Philippe suggested Jane try using a pochade box which she did on this trip.

Here is a sample of what she painted:
 Atocha Railway Station
 Botanical gardens in the afternoon
 Botanical Gardens in the morning
 Retiro Lake
 Retiro Lion
 Retiro Urn
Sorolla Museum
They make me want to visit Madrid.
To find out more about Jane and her work, please visit:

Saturday, 21 April 2012

A Trip to Barcelona so much to see and do- Gaudi, Picasso and Catalan Modernism

There is so much to see and discover in Barcelona, it's best to go there and explore, starting with an open topped bus. On arrival, it's also a good idea to buy a pass that permits unlimited  travel on the very efficient underground system, and less speedy buses.
Wandering around the city, there's lots to amaze and astound, here's a photo of a bridge over the road called 'Carrer del Bisbe':
At the turn of the last century, Gaudi was commissioned to build an apartment house in the area of Eixample, it called Casa Mila, or more commonly, La Pedrera which means 'the stone quarry' and is an allusion to the fact the facade resembles an open quarry.
Photos can't be taken inside, but here is one of the outside of the building:
And here are a couple of views of Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's unfinished project:

To say Gaudi was influenced by the living world is putting it mildly, Park Guell combines some amazing architecture with fabulous plants and views. His house where he lived is breathtaking in it's simplicity and then just round a corner, ornateness as well.
 One of the gate houses.
 Clivia growing in abundance.
 The Judas tree in flower, seen all over Barcelona
 A ceiling in the house where Gaudi lived
A mosaic of a beautiful tile situated near the entrance to the park with lots of other tiles.
 Here's a photo of one of the mosaics in the ceiling of the 'Hall of Columns' intended to be a market place apparently.
 Above and below are details of a most amazingly constructed and elaborate stained glass window with a spire in the background.
 Gaudi had a phenomenal influence over the architecture and ways of looking at things, but there were were many others involved in Catalan Modernism, their works are celebrated, along with Gaudi's in the Museum of Catalan Modernism
The museum appears to be a little known gem, unlike other places is very quiet, no queues, with plenty of beautiful pieces to see on 3 floors:
 'La Sardana' Oak and Marquetry c. 1903

A mirror with a swan's tail lit up on top, very hard to photograph so it can be seen. Not mentioned in the guidebook.
Stained glass at the entrance to the museum
An exotic stained glass lampshade.
'Un descans a la terrassa' by Joan Cardona Llados. Much of his work were paintings of women in Paris, dressed up for a night out.
This amazing mosaic is part of the lining of the lift shaft of the building and was completed in 2010.
The grape pickers above and detail below don't appear in the catalogue either, so artist unknown.

 Above is 'La Primera Feina' by Ramon Borrell i Pia c. 1907
 Three stained glass pieces, 'Vita' above c. 1911by Joaquim Mir i Trinxet
 These are just called 'Glass', - Tallers dels germans Maumejean

 These paintings depict spring, summer, autumn and winter, they were painted in 1907 by Gaspar Camps i Junyent
 This last painting from the museum is by Joaquim Mir Trinxet of his garden 1928-30
By contrast, the Picasso Museum was very crowded, and it took about 30 minutes of queuing to get inside. There are many of his earliest drawings and painting as well as many key works from various different periods.

 By way of a contrast, we finished the holiday visiting this bar on the final evening and lunchtime. The bar staff were jolly and much less wooden than the carytid above.

The Botanic Gardens describe themselves as 'All the Mediterraneans in the World', they opened in 1999 and would benefit from a longer visit than we gave them

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

TWIGS Open Day on Sunday 22nd April 2012, 11am-4pm and they're in the Yellow Book for the first time this year

TWIGS are holding an Open Day with lots of activities this Sunday.
It is well worth visiting them, for more than gardens, all sorts of activities will be going on.
I can't save the poster so am unable to include that, but here are some photos I took there last year:

 For more information on opening times:
TWIGS are also in the Yellow Book 2012, under the National Gardens Scheme where the most amazing gardens open for charity each year.
To buy a book,

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Toby Robson is working on Restoring the Tyntesfield Orangery

Tyntesfield is a National Trust property near Bristol, it celebrates 10 years of Trust ownership and is their largest conservation project.
It has a wonderful garden, and a stunning orangery still being restored. It was very exciting to discover that Toby Robson, who took part in Open Studios in the Beehive last year, is helping restore the orangery.
Here it is from a distance and below close up:
Isn't it spectacular? To see more of Toby's work, visit:
While we're looking at the buildings, here's the house itself, described as 'flamboyant' in the NT literature.

 In the walled garden, the tulips were at their best, a day sooner or later and they would not have been so beautifully perfect.
And here are a couple of close ups of my favourite tulips.
 'Lilac Time' and 'Blueberry Ripple'
The espaliered fruit trees were in flower:
And my favourite Pelargonium ardens in the first greenhouse on the left as you enter the garden in front of the orangery was checked for life, and although I got too close to it, you can see the vibrancy of the colours of the flowers:
    Although my P.ardens doesn't look like this, the Streptocarpus below looks good.
 And my 3 Clivia plants are performing well.
To find out more about Tyntesfield, visit: