Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Old Town Christmas Lights Switched on Thursday 28th November

Thursday night promises to be a great night out in Old Town with the Big Switch On, there are activities from 6pm onwards, with switching happening around 7pm.
Activities centred around Wood Street, with a good evening out after the lights are turned
Here's the poster with the running order listed:
What a treat the switch on was, Wood Street was packed with people, the mood was exuberant and everyone, especially the children seemed to be making the most of the festive atmosphere and warmth of the evening, gloves were not needed.
 A couple of photos waiting for the lights to be turned on at 7pm.
 And Father Christmas made an appearance:

There was also fake snow issuing freely from the top of the Kings, unfortunately I haven't got a photo of that or the lights because I took masses of my grandson.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Handmade Swindon Launch on Saturday

Handmade Swindon was launched in the Number Nine Gallery last Saturday with a tea party, it will be open Wednesdays to Saturdays 11-6 until just before Christmas. It offers a chance as the name suggests to buy individual handmade items. Here's an idea of what's on display:
 Below a close up of one of Paula Sullivan's flower mosaics:

 Above some cushions, and below embroidered badges and Tim Carroll's ceramic birds in a bower and angels:

People drinking tea on Saturday:
And a close up of the cakes:
There will be another social and a chance to meet the makers on Friday 13th of December 7-9pm:
More information at:

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Billy Beaumont at the Post Modern Gallery, Artsite in Theatre Square

Billy Beaumont has an exhibition at the Artsite Gallery for 3 more days, Friday 22nd, Saturday and Sunday. It's well worth going to have a look at his paintings, including Billy's Mona Lisa we used to advertise SOS in the Literature Festival brochure several years ago which is not for sale. Plenty are for sale, this is what is on the four walls:

And more of a taster, a few close ups:
Guess who?.
 'Madame Flutterby Queen Bee Ladybird' NFS

 'You Bring out the Gypsy in me' Oil and acrylic on canvas

 'Punk Girl' mixed media on raw canvas NFS

 'Mermaid'  oil and acrylic on canvas
I bought 7 fabulous postcard views of 'Swindon's Character' , views of Swindon which are really well thought out as regards composition. Do ask about them when you go and see the exhibition.
For more on Billy Beaumont, have a look at his website: and I am hoping he will be taking part in Open Studios next year so you will be able to visit his studio.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Library Celebration Day 14th of November

It was not only 5 years of the new Central Library being open that was being celebrated on Thursday, but also 70 years of libraries in Swindon.
Many events had been organised and there was an air of celebration with a couple of musicians playing in the background entertaining people in the cafe:

At 1.15pm, Colin Curtis, events manager in the library thanked people for coming along:
And then introduced the person on his left in the photo who explained what a wonderful influence Roger Trayhurn, who had worked in Swindon Libraries for 46 years before his recent retirement, had been on his and many others library careers.
He then explained that Roger was going to be presented with a print of a portrait painted by Tim Carroll of him outside the library. Here are a few photos of Roger and Tim together with the print. Roger Wintle is also busy taking photos and has some of Roger outside the library with his picture in the position where the picture was painted.

Roger Wintle's photos of the event can be viewed here :
The Opening Night of Tim Carroll's exhibition in the library Gallery went really well, was well attended and thoroughly enjoyable. I was so busy pouring drinks and supplying nibbles, I forgot to take any photos.

A Walk to Avebury on the Morning of the first Frost of the Winter

On Wednesday 13th of November, we had the first frost of the winter, it has been an amazingly mild autumn with many plants like Fuchsias and Rudbeckias still flowering freely.
In fact the frost was so light, it has not affected many plants.
These frosty photos were taken just before Ladder Lane on the edge of the Burderop Estate:

It was sad to see that the veteran beech featured in Natural England's walks has just been felled because it was damaged in the recent storms.
Further along there were still some roses flowering profusely:
 And a Fuchsia close by:
Once onto the Ridgeway, the cow parsley skeletons were very dramatic:

After just over 3 hours striding out in the sun, it was disappointing to see the road resurfacing going on in Avebury, not the usual views or smells:

On a more fragrant note, the quince jelly not only looks good, but tastes wonderful:

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Posters to Advertise Handmade Swindon in the Number Nine Gallery, Theatre Square

The two new posters are to advertise the socials at the Number Nine Gallery, please forward them to advertise the events as widely as possible.
The first one is a tea party on the first day of opening, the 23rd of November:
And the next one to advertise the Christmas social on Friday 13th of December from 7-9pm:
And the third one advertising the Handmade Swindon shop:

Monday, 11 November 2013

Changing the Swindon Open Studios Exhibition in the top bar of the Beehive

Andy Mercer, landlord of the Beehive has been kind enough to allow Swindon Open Studios artists to exhibit their work in the top bar for the last couple of months.
It has worked very well with a few sales being made, but now it's time for a bit of a change round, so the 'corporate image' provided by having similar frames of the same dimensions has gone. We are now having smaller pieces and more of them.
Tim Carroll has replaced his water colour with  some of his ever popular transfer prints featuring the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe in Swindon.
and Jane Milner-Barry has four of her gorgeous local scenes painted in oil on board:
 You can't really see them very well because of reflections
 Above is a close up of Christ Church in the snow, and below all 4 paintings on the wall besdie Gordon Dickinson's David Bowie picture.
Also in the Beehive, Pat Mather is exhibiting in the bottom bar:
 This is her work on the left of the window:

 And on the right, she has a selection of life drawings:
Also completely unrelated, I cut some quinces up to make quince jelly and discovered these lovely structures inside:
The top one is cut vertically and the one below horizontally.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Winter Wonders a New Group Exhibition at the Landing Arts Gallery at the Arts Centre

Jaime Bullock has organised a very varied and interesting exhibition at the Arts Centre on Devizes Road; the opening was last night, here's the poster:
Molly Baker-Stewart was exhibiting her miniatures in bottles, I hadn't seen them before, they are really nicely done. I liked the bee which vibrated above a flower in a convincing way when the jar was moved. It now resides with my other art pieces. The jars are £10 each and the other small objects 30p each. Here they are on a plinth:
 And here's the bee on the flower:

I was also very impressed by Frederico Alves' jewellery
Clicking on the link takes you to his Facebook page, I also have details of his jewellery making parties which I think sounds like a great idea.
This is what was on display:
 Aren't they gorgeous?
This is one of the earrings I bought:
  Below Fred talking to Jaime.
And a couple of general photos:

The exhibition can be viewed during Arts Centre opening hours, it's well worth a look.