Thursday, 31 May 2012

Chelsea Style

 These are my favourite Chelsea outfits, I have never been so late in the day or gone on a Friday, I thought it would be a wash out and then when the heat racked up I was glad to go latter and not so avoid melting in the sun. In the end it was a perfect night out, and my concerns over the lack of sartorial style were quashed in a nano second when I saw this dress above , It was so beautiful.
I then saw many lovely dresses and tunics and realised all the cool guys go after work on a Friday, as do all the corporate hangers on which made for a really great atmosphere and some good people watching.
The pollen shedding Plane tree's were a nightmare though, and made for some very itchy eyes and noses and a raging sore throat for two days after.

 The lining inside this jacket is divine, I do love men's clothes.

 This dress was lovely, not quite so apparent in the photograph, it was a heavy silk with lovely grey abstract patterns bled into the fabric.

This dress to was lovely too, I do  love a shift dress, despite my ever fattening arms!
So yes, a great crop of style this year, I will most definitely return again, same time same place next year.
This bumper crop of images will be the last for a week or so as I travel across Europe via Amsterdam and Berlin. I will hopefully return replete with photographs, although the weather forecast is grimly wet. I have yet to pack and for the fist time we are each carrying on our own luggage, so some difficult choices are being made.
Before then I have the RA Summer Show and a trip to the Royal Court on Friday. Yes, marking is over but moderation begins after half term as do copious trips with my students. And the circle keeps on turning.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Floral paradise plus some spots @ The Chelsea Flower Show

Brilliant Sunshine + Pimm's + Glorious Sartorial Style + Some Nice Gardens Too = A Hugely Entertaining Evening

Thursday, 24 May 2012

l'été est arrivé

Mmm.. well for now at least, no mohair jumper, woollen scarf and big puffa jacket required, yes, that is what I was wearing to walk the dog last week, yesterday? Shorts and t-shirt. The humidity had me scrabbling around on my hands and knee's trying to find some thinner summer basics, because of course we can't possibly have a smooth transition can we? No, 0 to baking in less than two days that is the beauty of our glorious climate.
And if you think that is impressive then allow me to elucidate on the other English triumph, that of sartorial summer style. We have gone from  spray on leggings avec camel toe straight to the transparent gauziness of cheap white linen. The specimen in front of me today had very thoughtfully worn a thong so she could hypnotise me with her cellulite. Truly we are nations of slatterns & Hip Hip Hooray to that and my sister who is still younger than me today!

And whilst the bunting is out, we are all celebration the results of my appeal to get Leyla into a half way decent school. The magic word 'Upheld' leapt from the letter and now my last 7 years of teaching will run as smooth as silk, as now Leyla will be close to me and I will not have to spend my life ferrying her all over the south east of London.

Monday, 21 May 2012

The view from here

This will cheer you up, how about a wedding where there is no music and no dancing and no alcohol and all the men are separated from the women? I call that a wake not a celebration, sadly this is close family and there is no way out. Emin has threatened to wear a burqa so  he can sit with the women, he's a real girl at these events and hates masculine company, he gets on much better with women and so is  not looking forward to this Sunday's 'do' at all. I myself may relocate to the local pub occasionally and yes, I know it's sad that I need a pint or two, but trust me this is not my family and intellectual conversation will as ever be very lite on the ground.
We were inspected yet again last week so my head was very low down below the parapet marking and planning, and now it's the silly season with umpteen exams to mark and moderate so I'm  mentally exhausted by the end of the day. Inspection maybe a necessary evil but they do cause untold misery.
Plus, I had a very surreal conversation with Daisy who had reverted to type, having asked for help with an essay she emailed some notes on the Monday, the deadline for submission was Thursday and she somehow expected my father and I to muster up a lucid essay from them.  After a tense stand off she admitted leaving it too late and clearly then pulled out all the stops and pretty much cracked it with minutes to spare. I used to be like that and then for some reason I changed and I am now almost pathologically organised.
College is way too relaxed for my liking we have been kicked out of the main building and so we are currently meeting in a nearby pub! I think this is a great precedent and maybe one we should insist on keeping next year. I still think it is money for old rope the lack of tuition is shocking and we all agreed we has already been sucked into the Goldsmith conceptual vortex, as paint seems to be a dirty word around there.
Needless to say no painting for me this week but I do have a couple of hours at the Chelsea Flower show to look forward to on Friday
I have, despite misgivings crept from tights to footless tights by way of a pair of scissors, I went to my tights draw last week only to find none of my black footless tights were there, so decided to cut the feet off some opaque tights, I have to say they are fantastic as they don't dig into my swollen cankles.

Below are two paintings by JULIA BURNETT We visited her house last week and Kitty fell in love with the painting on the right, she decided to buy it and so we sat in lengthy traffic jams on Saturday to collect it, I thought she might have a change of heart but was very much pleased with it and it is already on her bedroom wall, at the expense of a substantial Taylor Swift shrine!

I preferred the more colourful ones but Kitty loves snow, and so clearly tapped into the atmosphere of this one. The images don't convey the scale, I always assume paintings are quite small when I see them on line but these are well over 4ft square and very nearly did not fit in the car!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Alfred Cohen Lifestyle Envy

 I do love my holiday stripes and now a little bit of sun is poking through I may  just get to see them again. This seems along time ago now, but I am counting down three weeks to a bit of 5* luxury

This gorgeous stove was in the living room of the house we rented, we all fell in love with it, not just stylish but wonderfully warm too. My sister has been trying to track them down with little success apart from somewhere in France! I can but hope that by the time I finally get to create my dream kitchen I may just have one.
 We were in one of the many great pubs when I picked up a leaflet about a small gallery out in one of the villages, we decided it was worth a look and it was indeed a beautiful building, a converted school house that was home to Alfred Cohen who died back in 2001. 
 I had not heard about his work before, judging by the art market value a once sought after artist is no longer fetching much, I did not like most of his paintings, many had dated quite badly, but these landscapes were lovely. Just the merest whiff of Alfred Wallis, they were very small and rather intimate with a rich impasto surface.

 The gallery was run by his widowed wife and sold some very interesting art work, another large dose of lifestyle envy!

Photos from here & here & me

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The view from here

 I realise it has been a whole week since posting, in the same way as the weather has sucked the life out of any sartorial ideas I had for this month maybe it has also dampened my desire to post.

Work goes on and life goes on, but the relentless rain we are having creates a kind of mono existence where my day is made up of a repeating cycle of stultifying dull chores. I include the gym in that as it is never a pleasure and always relentlessly dull. And just in case the world’s smallest violin is tuning I should add a small caveat  that June is shaping up to be an amazing month, rain or shine, leading off with:

  • The Chelsea Flower Show, which for the first time in years I have  been reduced to visiting in the last couple of hours on the Friday as I cannot afford any time off. I will go without an agenda in the hope I can just enjoy looking rather than chasing flowery frocks. I am guessing that they will be safely wrapped up in poly macs as I'm certain it will be a washout.  
  • The R.A Summer Show, again I nearly did not go, the pain of knowing I missed the deadline was nearly too great, but a free ticket is a free ticket so I shall rock the Pimm's stand instead!
  • Amsterdam & Berlin, guaranteed sun and who could not love those cities, even better Cy Twombly is on at The Hamburger Bahnhof, I seriously can't wait.
Finally the month will end with a very small exhibition of my end of term project, my tutorial went well, only the bar has been set higher than anticipated and so I will for my sins be showing a piece of media art...(yeah, a video.) I had a bit of a stressful weekend trying to unravel how I was going to accomplish this and then I remembered Leyla has an Apple Mac, and lo, it has an editing programme, and so via filming on Kitty's iPad I should be able to realise my idea. Strangely I have always wanted to try making a short film ever since seeing the beautiful Sarah Morris film last year in Berlin, so I am fired up and ready to go. So rain will not stop play.

PLUS It is Dulwich Open Studio this weekend if anyone out there fancies walking around some house porn, I know I will, despite my being designated driver ever since Emin's arm op' which I am finding very irritating as Leyla appears to need a chauffeur almost bloody daily.

Finally I have been painting again......


Back to Scotland, sadly only metaphorically, I don't know why really, I just got the urge to revisit some older drawings and work into them a bit. Someone asked me about where we stayed recently so I had a look at the website and positively ached to go back, one day I hope, one day.
All this is even more amazing if you take into account I have yet another really, really stinky cold, dripping tap, loss of taste, ears popping and the rawest sore throat combined with a deep spiky cough. I am soooo tired..

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Lifestyle Envy

Is there anyone out there that would not just LOVE to be standing in this class, looking achingly hip in your striped top watching Hans Hoffman teach you how to construct a composition? Just look at those enraptured faces. I can't honestly say that applies to many of my lessons! They seriously look like they love watching him draw. 
It is the season of research, to be honest it is my very favourite activity and as I click and flick between the Internet and my stack of old auction catalogues I find an image that stops me in my tracks and I just have to share it.

These two stunning rooms are just two that stopped me in my tracks, they are images that give me a pang of lifestyle envy. Imagine kicking back in either of these living rooms?

The rooms above belong to Helen Frankenthaler, I never thought I would ever be interested in anything that remotely smacks of feminism, but having researched my essay on identities and motherhood I have found my self sucked into that vortex and next terms elective is now going to be Masculinities, Femininities and Identities in Education. I did for a while regret not choosing a wholly art based MA, I wrestled with the idea for a while and I was initially disappointed with the course I had chosen, but the more I read about the struggle women had to be recognised as anything other than a wife, the more I started to enjoy finding a voice to add to the debate. Teaching in a girls school is perfect base for research so I am currently very upbeat about what I am doing. Frankenthaler is someone I was reading about last night, the beauty of the Internet is that you can track down images you here described in some older texts. The image below was described and so I was over the moon to find it today with a little light trawling.
I am less upbeat about the behaviour of some colleagues I work with, I am suffering from a bit of corporate bullying, I have long struggled to get other teachers, even my own family in fact, to see teaching art as a difficult profession, the overall consensus seem to be it is just a case of telling students to draw.  I have been judged 'Outstanding' twice recently which for some reason I find quite embarrassing, as if I am some kind of fraud and eventually someone will say no, she really not that good. But despite the fact that I have told no one, it has raised the hackles of others who now seek to belittle my achievements, including amazingly someone in my own department!! Who declared that since I was managing to do an MA my job must be quite easy!! I ranted at Emin yesterday but realised there is little I will ever do to change peoples perceptions, that it in fact takes a LOT of effort to make something look this easy.

images from here, here & here