Friday, 29 June 2012

The Air Tattoo is Next Weekend - the 8th and 9th of July - look out for the Fabulous poster.

David Bent's spectacular image is appearing all over the place, but only for one more week.
How many can you find? There is now one opposite Earle's newsagents in Newport Street and one was spotted at Paddington Station, one at Transfer Bridges and another at the County Road end of Manchester Road.

I have started looking at hoardings in a different light. I wonder if more posters will be put up advertising the Air Tattoo before next weekend?
This is the poster which was at the end of Broad Street:
 Here's one taken from the train when leaving Paddington Station, not a good photo but included because it was the best I could do at the time:
Here's the one on Station Approach, opposite Earle's newsagents:
And the Transfer Bridges one, peeling off a bit:
And the one on the hoardings on the corner of Manchester Road and County Road:
and to find out more about the Air Tattoo
and the Swindon Evening Advertiser coverage of the very successful event:

Update on the Campaign to Make Front Gardens Greener

I wrote a piece earlier in the year about helping remove gravel from Jane's front garden, and replacing some of it with a flower border.
This is an update, not only is Jane's front garden now very eye catching and interesting, but Jane's next door neighbour, Raquel, has also removed some of the gravel, and found the original edging to the border under the gravel.
The neighbour on the other side has said she will do the same when she's had some building work done.
Here are 2 photos of Jane's front garden.
And below here is Raquel's front garden with the original edging she discovered beneath the gravel.
You can see what a difference a head start of a couple of months has made, but this garden will of course grow.
Interestingly, approximately 4 hours after I posted this piece, there was a question on Gardener's Question time about greening front gardens.
I have included a photograph of an unkempt front garden beside a very busy main road because I have seen a sparrow happily pecking on some weed seeds in there. It may be paved over, but it has been left long enough to become a bird friendly space:
Walking along Oakley Road, just off the King's Road in London on Saturday, I noticed this lovely front garden in a street without any front gardens, it appears to have been superimposed onto the exiting pavement:

Monday, 25 June 2012

A Day out in Bath, the Widcombe Art Trail, The Bath Skyline Walk and Prior Park Landscape Garden

Last weekend, on the 23rd and 24th of June, Widcombe held their  sixth Art Trail; the folded programme looked very inviting, and Widcombe is just across the road from the station, so it seemed like a good opportunity to get a few good ideas from another group putting on an open studios type event. There are amazingly 5 different art trails in Bath, the programme for the Widcombe one can be found at:
We started by walking to Violet Bank Farm, the furthest venue from the station, up Widcombe Hill and right down Prospect Road, as the name suggests, the views from the farm were spectacular. I particularly liked Sue Wales' landscapes and would have been very happy to own the second one on the left as I went in to her studio. The garden was splendid, with many interesting compartments to it, and open for the day raising money for Dorothy House. Not for the first time, I thought how well garden and art trails go together.
Here's a photograph of a stunning fountain in the garden:
From there we could see the Palladian Bridge in Prior Park Landscape Gardens and thought we needed a closer look, it can be reached via the Bath Skyline walk which was just up the hill, past Macaulay Buildings and turn right up a steep footpath through the wood. The Bath Skyline Walk is well worth  attempting, it's a 6 mile circular walk through stunning countryside.
We didn't walk the whole walk on this occasion, but dropped down the Prior Park by the back way, walked across the fine Palladian Bridge and stopped for lunch at the cafe. I'm putting in 2 photos of the bridge because I like them so much.

I loved the reflection in this one. There were huge carp in the lake and ancient grafitti carved in the bridge stonework.
On the way back to the Art Trail, we passed Widcombe Manor, a rather lovely place with lions on the gateposts:

Just round the corner in the grounds of St. Thomas a Becket church was this fascinating room with a light on inside:
So back to the Art Trail, and Bewdley House where Janet Coles had some magnificent vibrant paintings. I bought some place mats from her, they are delightful, have a look at her website:
Sara Pearch's pottery was stunning, I bought a card from her.
Next we visited 29, Prior Park Road where Andy Kelly's stained glass was put to good effect in the bathroom window.
The White Hart was a bit cramped, I'm not sure how diners coped with people leaning over their food to look at the art on the walls.
The Print Room was very popular:
The Ring O Bells pub where I have had an excellent welcome and food in the past did not disappoint:

 On the ground floor Penny Richards had some Giclee prints of her allotment paintings, I love them.

The second one had a bright light beside it, so photographed badly, but it gives you an idea of what they're like. Have a look
Julia Trickey was also at the Ring O Bells with her amazing botanical watercolours. I bought a card with a bunch of Violas on the front.
Last but not least, we visited St. Matthew's Church and Hall and got some interesting tips from Simon West who went to Florence to learn a special portrait painting technique used to great effect in the painting of the girl on the easel:

Friday, 22 June 2012

Two of David Bent's unique pieces of aviation art will be auctioned this weekend at the Blades Ball.


This weekend sees the auction of 2 unique pieces of artwork by leading modern aviation artist David Bent, personally signed by the full Red Arrows teams of 2010 & 2011.

Timeless and Lovehearts are being auctioned at the Blades Ball at the stylish Sywell Aerodrome , fundraising for RAFA's Wings Appeal.

Inspired by time spent as artist in residence with the Red Arrows, the originals of these two extraordinary paintings by David Bent take centre stage in " Fresh Air" the year long retrospective of David Bent's work at the RAF Museum, London.

This exhibition is the first of its kind for a living artist.

David Bent is very happy to support the Blades Ball and wishes them every success in raising funds for the Wings Appeal

As part of their long term commitment to supporting aviation related charities, David & Carole Bent have also donated a large scale print of the Royal International Air Tattoo's Artwork 2011, signed by over 250 aircrew and volunteers who flew in to take part in RIAT 2011 - this is to be auctioned at RIAT 2012 .

Featuring" Ace Mandala", the iconic fictional fast jet pilot created by David again as the face of RIAT 2012, Carole will be meeting the aircrews at Fairford to sign the 2012 artwork to help raise funds for RAFCTE .

 riat 2011
 riat 2012

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

TWIGS June Summer Open Day Saturday 24th June 11am-4pm

If at all possible, whatever the weather, do try and visit this Open day. I went along on Monday to check out the gardens, buy some plants and see how the TWIGS SOS registration was progressing.
The individual gardens give one so many ideas for making one's garden more interesting.
Here are a few photos:
Here's one of the gardens with a lovely dome feature.
And another garden to attract wildlife.
And the totally wild meadow where there's even more wildlife!
 A glorious view showing how important arches can be in dividing up spaces.
 The path down the middle of the gardens. The different gardens appear on the right and left of the path.
Don't these stained glass pieces look good here? What a good idea.
Here is the area where you can buy splendid perennial plants. As you can see, they are well grown and very healthy specimens.

And this is what I bought. The pink flowers in the foreground are from a Campanula with double flowers, my favourite plant of the moment, it's been repotted and sits outside the kitchen window.
TWIGS is also open during the week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10.30-3pm
Other Open days are: Sunday 15th of July N.G.S 1-5pm
Sunday 29th July W.W.T. Golden Gardens 1-4pm

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Ken White's Window Gallery Exhibition of Lino cuts, prints and watercolours

This month, Ken has rented  the window gallery opposite Artsite in Theatre Square. The first photograph shows Ken putting up his work without the aid of a spirit level. I'll go and photograph it again today so you can see the changes he made.
 I can see what he means, the second arrangement looks neater.
Here are photos of a couple of the pictures:

 The one above is a watercolour.
This one is a linocut I think.
To find out more about Ken and his work visit:

 After photographing Ken's window exhibition, I went to buy some chillies in Broad Street and  noticed Dave Bent's picture being used to advertise the Air Tattoo at Fairford on a hoarding, it's rather impressive isn't it?
To find out more about Dave Bent and his aviation art,

And on another plane entirely, in our occasional series, 'But is it Art?'
Here's a cake decoration photo.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Carole's Love Tree and a Photo of our Street Party

Is decorating trees for people an art form? Yes I think it is.
On Saturday Tim and I held a party celebrating getting married, being together for 20 years and moving house relatively recently.
I had been told about Carole Bent's skills and experienced them first hand in her delightful house and garden, so asked if she'd come and transform some of the garden for me. She kept decorations to a small area because of the threat of imminent rain which in fact fortunately held off until half way through the party.
Here are some photos of the Love Tree:
 The finished tree is above.
 And here are photos of a rather cold looking Carole decorating the tree.  I think I should have lent her a coat.
And a photo of the St. Margaret's Road Jubilee Street Party:
 What a shame it rained, but the party carried on.