Wednesday, 7 June 2023



I arrived in Chicago last night and am just finding my way around. I will write about it once I am home so although I will be reading your posts I probably won't get round to commenting until I'm home.

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Piet Mondrian

 This is an extract from a new exhibition at the Tate modern entitled Forms of Life. It features two artists - Hilma AF Klint (1862-1944)  and Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). They both began as academically trained landscape artists and then developed a more radical approach to painting in the 20th cent. I had come to the exhibition to see Mondrian's work and his development. I have seen versions of his abstract paintings  used many times in design from fabrics to architecture. I have posted some of his work here in chronological order.

Evening landscape with cows. 1906
Lighthouse at Westkapelle.  1910

Dune landscape 1911

Forest (study for the trees) 1912

Composition trees 2 1912-13

Composition trees 1. 1912-3

Composition No IV  1914

For this painting Mondrian turned his attention away from the tree motif to focus on his immediate surroundings, advertisements on the facades of buildings in Paris. He believed that urban environments especially classical architecture followed the eternal laws of nature and this could be expressed through his modern approach to painting. In January 1914 Mondrian wrote ' Nature (or that which I see) inspires me but I want to come as close as possible to the truth, and thus abstract everything until I arrive at.... an outward foundation of things.' 
Composition with Grid3: LozengeComposition with Grey Lines. 1918

Composition with grey lines is a regular grid with horizontals, verticals and diagonals. The thickness of the grey lines vary and contrast with the otherwise white painting creating a flickering effect. Mondrian decided to hang it from a corner so that lines appear to extend beyond the edges of the canvas . This is a characteristic shared by all his abstract work but perhaps most evident in this painting which dominates the space. Mondrian never sold this piece but always hung it in a high position giving it a sense of prominence. he eventually gave it as a gift to a childhood friend.

Composition with Red, Blue, Black, Yellow and Grey 1921

Composition B (No II with Red) 1935

Piety Mondrian. Composition with yellow, blue and red 1937-42.

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Punch and Judy

 In 1662 Samuel Pepys recorded watching a puppet show featuring Mr Punch in Covent Garden. This event is celebrated each year at the Spring Fayre and Puppet Show in St Paul's churchyard in Covent Garden. Punch and Judy professors and puppeteers come from all over the country and some from other countries to perform and to show their hand made puppets.

It was by chance that I happened to be in Covent Garden on Sunday. I had missed much of the celebrations and shows but this is one for the diary next year. 
There were numerous puppet shows set up in the garden and it looked like lots of fun for children and adults alike. 

The character of Punch originates from the Italian Commedia dell’arte theatre tradition and Samuel Pepys recorded seeing ‘an Italian puppet play – a great resort for gallants within the rayles of Covent Garden’. Punch was originally a string puppet but was introduced as a glove puppet by Giovanni Piccini who left Italy in 1779. He came to live in the Coal Yard in Covent Garden and died in the workhouse in 1835 aged 90.

Taken from Alternative arts website

Friday, 12 May 2023

The garden

I love having a garden but I don't  do nearly enough gardening to keep it looking good. This week I was going to clear the weeds around the pond.

I ended up just watching the newts. I saw five within the first few minutes so I assume there are many more in the pond.

These are a couple of oak trees. During lockdown my granddaughter and myself collected some acorns and planted them. A couple germinated and these are the results. Our very own lockdown oaks.
 I only have a small garden so they will be staying in the pots.

Friday, 5 May 2023

The Coronation

 Tomorrow is the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. I always like to get a look at these spectacular events but I realise that it will probably be impossible to get near enough to see anything so I decided to go this evening to walk along the Mall. The atmosphere was amazing. It was friendly and full of fun. Some of the costumes were very creative. People starting camping here on Monday so tonight there wasn't much room left.

This is what the Mall looked like on Monday.

This is what it looked like tonight at about 7pm.

Lots of TV crews from around the world interviewing campers.

There were a couple of artists in amongst the campers trying to capture the scene.

There were a couple of crossing places so you could get from one side of the Mall to the other.
There were also loads of portaloos for visitors to use.

First thing in the morning the tents will have to be cleared away.
I walked back from the Mall and into Trafalgar Square.

I am assuming that's a large screen at the back there in front of the National Gallery. 
I'm pleased I went to have a look but tomorrow I will be watching it all on the TV. At the Queen's Coronation I was only two but I remember my mother telling me I enjoyed the street party.

Thursday, 4 May 2023


 It's that time of the year again when the bluebells are at their best.

I took a few friends on my favourite walk around Kemsing to feast their eyes on the wonderful display.