Saturday, 25 February 2017

Some old Ramsgate pictures, a St Peter’s one and my dubious attempts at painting inside Canterbury Cathedral today.

First the old local pictures, I hope there aren’t too many repeats of ones I have put up before




















I skived off from work in my bookshop today and spent some of it sitting on a blow-up cushion on a stone seat in Canterbury Cathedral trying to paint the inside using the wrong type of paper – which like the wrong type of snow is white, looks the same but behaves differently to the right type.


The thing that really gets me is that this is very expensive paper and is supposed to be the right type, I think the problem is the amount of seize they put on it which stops the paint from soaking in, this means that it takes ages to dry, so it spreads out in a smudgy sort of way and the find detail goes. I can’t use the pad I usually use as it isn’t big enough, anyway the rest of the day was spent destruction testing some very expensive sheets of paper.



The good thing about this spot is that you can’t really photograph what you can see from it. Obviously the pillars are vertical which is what your eyes see, the camera however can’t cope with this or the spot lights on the pillars.   

Funny business painting the inside of Canterbury Cathedral, for one thing you periodically get asked to go because another part is being used for god bothering on the one hand and on the other hand it feels like painting it is the right thing to be doing. Despite the tourists, the noise, the flash photography… the building retains some sort of mystical atmosphere, which seems to me to be related to this.

On well “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”


So the question is, do I carry on with this watercolour of Canterbury cathedral or do I start another one on different paper? I only hope the building doesn’t attempt to communicate its wishes in a cadence of draughty cloisters, I certainly won’t be doing any pillar hugging.

Just checked my bookshop’s blog, see http://michaelsbookshop.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/shannara-in-bookshop.html to see what went out on the shelves in my absence and there were a lot of books I have read and can recommend in the post including Noddy, Garth Nix, Inkspell, the usual scattering  of Kentish local history, there was also a Le Carre which I am not going to admit to not being able to understand.


Friday, 24 February 2017

Would you recognise Ramsgate when you got there and a Friday ramble.

This recognising caper is something that isn’t as easy as you would expect
This is looking up Ramsgate High Street in 1917 from the middle of the town centre where Harbour, Queen King and High Streets meet.




 Knowing what’s supposed to be there isn’t much help either, we publish a street directory for 1915 http://michaelsbookshop.com/catalogue/id329.htm you could of course come into my bookshop and try to work it all out, however I have just taken one of the shelf and taken photos of the High Street pages.


even much later this is York Street in 1994, it isn't easy.


 the seafront is easier
 even when the picture was taken over 100 years ago
 and of course it helps when it says what it is on the front

 This is one of the boating lake on Ramsgate's Westcliff if you wondered

 I do wonder how many get away because they don't say Ramsgate on them.


Thursday, 23 February 2017

Entangled – Threads in the Making at Turner Contemporary Margate another review attempt and some old Thanet Pictures

Another go at this exhibition and while I find some of the individual exhibits interesting, for me it still doesn’t seem to work as a cohesive whole exhibition.


I did what I usually do, which is to have a quick wander around the exhibition then go into the gallery café, have a cuppa and a bite to eat while sketching the view out of the window, then go round the exhibition again trying to produce some reasonable pictures of the exhibition and think about what I am going to say about the exhibition. Here are the pictures which should expand if you click on them.


















I think perhaps the biggest problem for me is so many different artists which left me confused.

A big plus with this exhibition is that now photography is allowed throughout the whole gallery. With a lot of this type of art the explanation – which in practice is mostly given by the gallery attendants – is fairly involved, so whereas when the exhibition first opened with photography, most of the attendant’s time was spent asking people to stop taking photos, now it is mostly spent talking to the visitors.   

Anyway I finished off my painting in the cafe 
I had a notion that I could perhaps develop a sort of inside and outside view, to try and express how I felt. 

I guess an issue with verbal or written explanations for visual art is that one decoding becomes another encoding and I honestly felt that an explanation of how over fifty artists had produced all of the exhibits would only leave me confused at a higher level. 


On to the old local pictures