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Talking Pictures - a wonderful term a correspondent used in response to comments made in the last entry (Layers).  She didn't want to contribute personally but I found what she had to say so personal, moving and instructive that I asked her if I could share it.  She wrote:

I thought I'd pass on my reactions to an afternoon at Tate Britain earlier this year.

A whole room was given over to the works of John Craxton - his paintings really grabbed me and I spent a long while looking at them. I then wanted to know more about the artist - perhaps because I'm not an artist myself I don't know so much about the technique and skills involved - I just get a gut feeling when I look at a painting - does it touch something inside me?

Fortunately David Attenbrough was a fan and...

Layers of layers

In Stephen Gardiner’s biography of sculptor Elisabeth Frink, a recent article about David Hockney, also in Andrew Graham-Dixon’s film about the spectacularly marginalised English painter Edward Burra, mention is made of layering, and I felt that this is what non-superficial painters do (I can only respond to sculpture as a viewer because I know very little about its methods).

By 'non-superficial' I mean painters who do not rely on slick surface image...  (click Read More)

Port Isaac was the home of Doc Meyer and not Doc Martin this week (although I was once Doc Martin but that's another story). Actually it wasn't because Lynda Powney did the sitting in.  So many thanks to her and everyone who attended our little show looking at the impact of wind turbines on the countryside.  I thought it was a nice success, we had an average of over 100 visitors each day despite weather that veered from the mini heatwave at the start and truly Cornish wild winter weather as we finished.  Lynda, who gallantly sat in throughout, said she got really cold at times (and she is a tough Northern lass).

We were careful not to get involved in the pros and cons of turbines just the aesthetics.  Nevertheless many visitors were moved to express some quite strong views:

To capture, tick, name or what?

In reviews of art shows, especially paintings, you often read that So-and-so has "captured" a likeness or mood or whatever.  It's a word (or cliche) that even celebrated critics use all the time without, it seems, a second thought.  It's quite irritating.  The dictionary defines the verb 'capture' as "imprison, arrest, detain, incarcerate, take into custody, jail, confine" etc.  The antonym is "liberate".  None of these seems applicable.

"Monet, money, money"

"At the end of all our exploring, will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time" (T.S. Eliot).

Things are only 'of worth' if they are seen to be of worth; in other words, recognised as such.  A variation on the tree falling in the abandoned forest - making no sound, because sound requires ears to hear it.

Did anyone see the 'Monet or Money' film?  About authenticating a disputed Monet.  That is, disputed by an archaic family foundation who have the monopoly on such things whatever evidence to the contrary, and no-one else: which in this case is everyone else.

Exhibition at the RedEarth Gallery, Bickleigh

Summer at the RedEarth Gallery begins on June 15th.  It's a beautiful hanging space in a truly gorgeous location near Tiverton.  There are two great pubs, The Trout Inn and the Fisherman's Cot which "nestles on the banks of the River Exe, and is one of the most picturesque traditional inns in the south of England."  This is the bridge which, apparently, inspired Paul Simon to write "Bridge over Troubled Water" when he stayed there.  I have seven paintings: some from my 'Barns in a landscape' series, and a couple of new wind-turbine ones. 

On this, I have decided to include / impose / / insert / introduce (whichever seems most appropriate to you)...