Friday, 27 January 2017

Voysey House

This is the Voysey House in Bedford Park, Turnham Green. I am quite obsessed by it. It reminds me of Japanese buildings, Scottish castles and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Voysey was an Arts and Crafts designer who produced a few buildings ( including another very interesting factory in Chiswick which I hope to paint later) but was also a wonderful designer of fabrics and wallpapers. Most of his architecture is countrybhouses so this is a rarity.
Bizarrely this house was criticised at the time as being old fashioned although to be it looks super modern compared to the red brick ones that surround it.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Reading Project

This year's reading project is Africa, following on from America last year. I felt I knew very little about the history of Africa. Also, as I am volunteering at Kenwood House doing education work on black history and slavery I needed to read up. I also feel that the Empire and The slave trade are things that are seldom discussed in history but which were hugely important. If the Empire is mentioned at all it is usually by appalling Brexit types who have no knowledge of what was actually involved.

I found what I am really interested in is called Sub Saharan Africa, that is to say not North Africa or Egypt. Not much is Known of this area prior to arrival of Europeans as most of the inhabitants did not have a written language. However they have fantastic art which I recommend looking up, or seeing in the British Museum. African art can be difficult to get into as it is completely different. I found the textiles and ceramics are the most initially pleasing. 

Due to the lack of written culture among the people You do end up reading about them through the stories of the British Empire and the Slave Trade, sadly. I particularly enjoyed the book Africa Explored: Europeans on the Dark Continent. The explorers had an appalling time, suffering disease, starvation, murder, and were continually amazed, confused and aghast at the places, people and cultures they found. My favourite explorer was Richard Burton, genius, sex maniac and world traveller.

My current read is the chunky but entertainingly sarcastic Decline and Fall of the British Empire.

I have also started a Pinterest board on African art if anyone uses that.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Tube Fashions

On my way back from Acton Town tube station on Saturday I saw these two super glam ladies on their way out for a night on the town.
The lady on the left is sporting bright red hair, black fur coat and green sequin dress, lady on right in very interesting arty coat and big shoes. I really love this coat.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Rainbow Houses

More views from Turnham Green, I love these rainbow painted houses. The green one is on sale for £1.6 M if you are feeling rich.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Wandering Watercolour

This is Christ Church, Turnham Green by Gilbert Scott, 1843. A huge, magnificent church set on a very attractive village green which I pass on Chiswick High Road where the shops are. I am always stunned by it. The green is edged with pastel painted Regency houses which I also plan to paint.
Here I am using my Winsor and Newton travel paint set. I found I love the subtle colours in this set. I am also enjoying the fact that my new pen is not waterproof so you can get nice blurry, smudgy effects by painting over it. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

More new yearing

On a lighter reading note, I borrowed and really enjoyed some classic crime stories from Alistair. I think a bit of Agatha Christie, Marjorie Allingham etc may help me to relax through this year.
I also plan to do lots of vintage style sewing, difficult things in vintage fabrics.
Art wise I have started to enjoy painting landscape which I have not tried before.
There will be no diet or self improvement other than an end to the continual boozing and snacking of Christmas.
As always, I plan to listen to more of the fascinating programmes on radio 4 and to watch more drama.