Wednesday, 30 April 2008


Wish list form here

or wish list from here
I can not decide which one to buy as I suspect many images will be duplicated.

I have an old German Elle Decoration supplement from 2005, inside it is a wonderful article that talks about this fabric book Louise Bourgeois had printed, I just love the idea of a fabric book being a huge fan of all things Textiles it appeals to me and the pages look so beautiful. The price in 2005 was $80,000, so I have tracked down two books with illustrations that will have to do instead, I feel a year 9 project coming...


Ki-soo Kwon more here
I have been messing around with iGoogle today and in the end chose

Carrie Chau

Life in the fast lane

Camilla Engman on iGoogle above and the beautiful plates I missed from here , you have to be very quick these days, luckily I have some of her prints, but I would have loved the little sailor bowl.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

The Secret History By Donna Tartt

Truly deserving of the accolade a modern classic, Donna Tartt's novel is a remarkable achievement--both compelling and elegant, dramatic and playful. Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.

I read this over the Easter break and I was engrossed until a Jean Paul Gautier dress was referenced, this completely threw me because the way the book was written implied I felt a university campus set in the late 5o's early 60's. The whole plot/ characters just did not sit well in a contemporary setting, the only other reference to its contemporary setting comes via a BMW. But like the film I saw at the weekend the whole book left a very unsatisfying taste in my mouth like a stale Laudree macaroon.


I watched this at the weekend, I did not think you could go wrong with such a good cast but this review sums it all up really well. What redeemed the film for me apart from the beautiful locations was the wardrobe of Kristin Scott Thomas, her clothes were stunning including the coat you can just see above, which was as beautiful as the Chinese silk jacket Julia Roberts wears in Notting Hill.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Who needs Paris?

When London bakes these!

A lovely day

From Tabio, sublime.

just how 'on trend' can I be?

wearing this one today

and charcoal!

my favourite and all of them tick my Paris boxes well that's my excuse.
Daisy decided to stay at home this weekend, which surprised me as she generally cannot wait to get away from the house. She was half way through her Art/ Textiles exam and needed my advice, she knows I will nag/ push her to do what she needs.
I had seen that there was the Chelsea Art Fair on in the Town hall so we went on Saturday morning with the Au Pair (who managed to loose not one but two travel cards) The Art Fair was very good and I have made copious notes which I have left at home but I will be showing some of my favourite pieces this week.
Walking down the Kings road was very unusual for me, it is not my normal stamping ground, and yet was, when I first moved to London 25+ years ago. Then I would go every week, because the shop were all unique individual boutiques and so really brilliant for finding bits none of the other students had and of course top of my favourites list was the antique market which had some lovely Victorian lace undies which I was fond of wearing at the time.
Now much of the Kings road has become generic the usual Zara, Jigsaw, Lush, John Lewis etc but interspersed with the odd gem. One of my favourite shops is Tabio I love their tights they have fabulous colours and textures you find hard to get anywhere else, even Daisy’s hard to please heart melted at the socks section. 110 navy tights and a wonderful ribbed pair of sludge coloured Capri leggings were mine. Then I made the mistake of looking in Kew of course being in the Kings road they had a full range of XL knitwear as the local girls are so skinny they only wear XS, I was like a half starved child in a candy shop, everything fitted, the stripey tops, the cotton cardies, the total bill made me weep and so my tooth must ache for another month. The worst of it was because Daisy was with me it was then difficult to say no to her list of fripperies and so I ended up blowing a months spending money in one day. After the Art Fair we drifted over to Covent Garden via Satsuma great cheap Japanese Noodle barfor her fix of Cybercandy and Forbidden Planet and then home via the Alison Watt exhibition at the National Gallery. The pictures on the Internet do not do the paintings justice at all, they are far richer and deeper and not as photo real as they look on the web, they are so beautifully painted and richly layered. A lovely end to a rather expensive day.

Friday, 25 April 2008


There's a cheerful surprise in the June 2008 Vogue Nippon—a tiny enamel-and-gold Hello Kitty keepsake. The little charm is part of a collaboration between the cartoon cat, the Japanese glossy, and John Galliano and Dior, and marks the first time the storied French label has had an animated model. The issue features a "photo shoot" of HK modeling the complete Fall 2008 Dior collection, photos of the much-loved feline romping about a Dior boutique, and a collage of famous faces and their Hello Kitty companions and accessories (including fellow Vogue-ers Carine Roitfeld and Grace Coddington). Not being fluent in Japanese, we can't tell you too much more. But we do recommend picking up a copy when the issue hits newsstands on the 26th, if only to see what Dior looks like on a short-legged, curvy model. With whiskers.
—Kat Thomsen
Don't you love the authors name!?
On a scale of 1-10 my desire for a copy of this is a 20+ seriously big fat tears will be shed if I do not find one of these. Sad but true.

The Lemon Street Gallery

Graffiti Wall, Valencia - Dorothy Searle

Pebble (2005) - Henreitta Dubrey

Graffiti Wall, Valencia - Dorothy Searle

Parade– John McLean

Bird balancing on the Boats, St. Ives - Elaine Pamphilon

Shapes and Surfaces IV – Kerry Harding

Spume Series III - Day Bowman
Time and again I am drawn to this website, and since we are currently planning next Easters sojourn to the coast these are to celebrate coastal living.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Tyler Huntzinger

All images from here

Tyler gives much attention to the materials used to create his works—particularly in using materials that are not often used together and are unconventional in the creation of gallery pieces. For example, he often uses roofing tar because of its unusually strong, appealing, translucent color. He uses oil and water based paints interchangeably, and he sprays or pools different solvents. In using these materials, Tyler is careful to preserve much of the spontaneity of the materials' natural interactions with each other, which show up in the finished pieces as bleeding edges on shapes, dissolved areas, and beaded forms. As he piles many of these meticulously constructed coats, the works become thickly layered with translucent “paints”. He often moves from intensely colored under-paintings toward his more characteristic limited color pallet, leaving veiled reminiscences of the previous vibrancy. The results are stark and raw pieces with intricately textured surfaces.

I think the paintings are very atmospheric and beautiful the web site has a lot more and he even has a blog!

Joan Myers

Janet's Feet--image size 23"x19", platinum-palladium print with watercolor.

As a woman recently turned fifty, I find myself less and less comfortable with the way American culture defines and portrays older women. I reject these cultural limitations for my own aging. I use my camera to explore possibilities, the messages and histories expressed in other women's bodies. I wish less to define than to reveal. --Joan Myers

None of my friends would pose for me. That was my first lesson. "My body is not beautiful," said one. Another delayed a shooting session repeatedly until she "got in shape."

A wonderful website

An artists particular eye

I have had this book for years. It is a very beautiful book full of very intimate pictures.
Linda McCartney has an exhibition opening today at the James Hyman Gallery reviewed by Joanna Pitman in the Times yesterday, it is a really interesting review that rightly highlights McCartney's talent as a photographer. I liked the summarising statement which gives a better voice to what I was trying to say yesterday.

We glimpse her heart as well as her brain in these images, but as a whole we see the consistency of an artist's particular eye.

This is what every photographer needs to make them special.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

De La Warr Pavillions

Age of innocence ... Slagheap Landscape 1953, by William Scott. Photograph: The William Scott Foundation 2008

Euston Steps - Study (1980-81), by Frank Auerbach

In today's Guardian Grayson Perry has written a very interesting piece about a forth coming exhibition he has curated for the De La Warr Pavillions in Bexhill on Sea.

Glad to be grey. When Grayson Perry was asked to pick works for a new show, he found himself strangely drawn to the drab, domestic art of postwar Britain. Why?

I look back to only a quarter of a century ago, when I left art college, and I see contemporary art was a grim, socialist rather than popular, business.

When the arts council collection asked me to select a touring exhibition of works from their holdings, I had the shrill voice of 21st-century contemporary art ringing in my ears. I was also aware of the remnants of hostility to fine art from Daily Mail Britain, who still see art as an elitist con. As I trawled through the Arts Council's catalogues, which illustrate around 7,500 pieces, I found myself drawn to art from the earlier part of the collection; works that could be characterised as subtle, sensitive, lyrical and quiet.

I found the article interesting because he is my age and from a similar art school background, growing up in a village I rarely visited exhibitions I thought the local galleries in Leeds and York very dry with little touring exhibitions to see. Anthony D'Offay has acknowledged this dearth of visual opportunities and has donated much of his collection to tour across Britain. I cannot say I lacked visual nourishment growing up, coming from a family who enjoyed art via books and prints plus the occasional visit to the Tate I think my visual literacy was shaped as much by my environment as any exposure to the 'Arts' and for this I am grateful because although the Internet is a wonderful vehicle for accessing the wider world, in many ways I feel it stops children from getting out there and just looking and feeling.
I am currently really struggling to educate my A' Level photography class, they have become so used to logging on and gazing at a screen it is a real effort to get them outside, they spend most of their time making horrible pastiche copies of other photographers work and seem unable to find their own way. A year in pictures has mentioned this problem too. the way young people feel the need to cling to what they know rather than looking for their own personal response. I feel lucky that I enjoy what I see through the lens, I prefer to snap away for hours rather than surf the web and try as I might to copy/ emulate other photographers personal style, it does not feel right and I make my own viewpoints instead.
So back to the exhibition, I have never been to this gallery but would really like to so hopefully this should spur me on. Other new/want to see galleries include the Shirley Sherwood gallery at Kew Gardens and Pallant House in Chichester.
Finally how lovely to sit and curate an exhibition for 7,500 pieces I think I would be in heaven and best of all you get to slip in a couple of your own pieces!

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Nick Hubbard

I love the whimsy of this jewellery and the web site is wonderful too.
I saw this jewellery in a shop in Narberth Wales, it is a small market town with a high street that is chock full of some really lovely shops, including clothes shops selling a mixture of Saltwater, Whitestuff, Joseph, Great plains. I wish more shops in London would do this kind of mix instead of the same franchises you see in every department store. One shop on Narberth high street had an amazing selection of jewelery, including Marie Walshe, Dower & Hall and Latham & Neve
All this is topped of by a wonderful Deli specialising in Spanish hams and cheese, we sat and had a delicious lunch washed down with a lovely rose... it all seems a long time ago now.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Debbie Urquhart

Paintings from here

and here
Whilst clearing out a bag of paper work I found a page from an old Telegraph Magazine with two views of Debbie Urquhart's house.
I remembered her paintings from a show at the Redfern Gallery and realised that the stillness in them really reminds me of the house in Amroth, as does the way she uses the view through a window as a background, which frequently appears in her work and the house in Amroth too. Where ever you sat you always had magnificent views, a perfect back drop for a still life.

Sunday, 20 April 2008


The house

The books

The knick knacks

My bedroom

The wonderful Ladybird books

The comfy seats.
We came here 4 years ago and it was like stepping back in time, the house appears frozen in the fifties. The feel of the place was like our Grans house very worn and lived in. we went again 2 years ago and it was again perfect. It was like the owners had just popped out. This year the atmosphere had changed I cannot put my finger on what exactly, whether it was because Daisy did not go, or our Niece turned into a 13 year old monster, I cannot say what exactly was missing, but the sparkle had gone. Nevertheless we had a lovely time despite the cutting Easterly wind, lots of pints in the pub and long walks by the beach.
Home and all my daughters are back, so is Emin with a very young nervous Au pair, 19 years old never left home or been on a plane and she is home sick already. Thank God for web cams!

6 necklaces

A productive but relaxing week, the top left I gave to mother the top right to Lucy. I truly believe anyone on the verge of a breakdown should be given a bag of beads to thread, it is the most calming of activities, but my mother disagrees as she tried it and could never make her mind up as to the right mix.

Friday, 11 April 2008

When they grow up

I realise there is a touch of 'Damien' about this photo! but it illustrates Kitty's favourite view, that of Parisian school children. Kitty loves children the younger the better and they were all back at school, here was a group of children peddling furiously round a square. You see them at all times of the day walking in crocodiles, it looks lovely, but I reflected that the french must bind the calves of the girls from an early age just like the Chinese used to bind the feet of their children all those years ago. Because how else do you explain there amazing ability to wear tiny skinny jeans tucked into the narrowest boots I have ever seen. They have legs like drain pipes with no shape at all. I suspect the lack of green space helps as you can't run around like normal children, instead they just potter in a sandpit instead. All female French school girls dress really really badly so again I assume they are all quietly shipped off to a Swiss finishing school where they emerge from their chrysalis mean, lean and ready to strike a pose, for pose they do 24/7. Kitty asked how on earth fat people got through the barriers in the Metro? I explained that there were no fat people in Paris. Fat people are quietly removed. So how does this city support so many bakeries and patisseries and brasseries and cafes and restaurants? it is just so unfair.

Cafe Botak

Ms Rouge after Cafe Flore try Cafe Botak at the bottom of the steps up to the Sacre Cour.

Even little Miss Fusspot was happy...
One of the best things about Paris is you can have so much fun trying out Cafes, no matter where you are there will be at least three within touching distance, the less I understand the menu the more fun I have!