Love your books

The mid Victorian passion for the improvement of the public led to the public libraries act of 1850. This followed on from the mechanics Institute of the 1820s that were used as libraries for the adult working classes and provided them with an alternative pastime to gambling and drinking in pubs.

I’m sure many individuals like myself almost 200 years later must’ve hit on that eureka moment of then taking your library books to the pub.

Interesting stuff and being involved with adult education myself, reassuringly heartwarming to reflect on past human endeavour.

Forthcoming Architectural Watercolour workshop 14.03.20

Create a portrait of your home in watercolour. Working from your own reference photographs (a square-on front view of your house or flat)

In this one day workshop you will create a full colour watercolour line and wash study (front elevation) of your home. Professional artists watercolours and all other art materials required will be provided.

Techniques to capture the various architectural styles and textures will be explored along with the appropriate drawing tuition to produce a beautiful study for your home.

This event takes place at the splendid Creative Space, 56-58 North Street, Southville BS3 1HJ.

purchase tickets here


Andy Gray image_2


quietly_quiet web

This sketch got me thinking. About quietness. Why is there an uncanny hush sometimes? A buildup of ear wax? Rather more the beguiling mysteries of the cosmos I reckon. It seems that when there is a low level of ambient noise people may respect it and adopt a whispered tone rather than allowing things to build to a cacophony. Perhaps it could be chaos theory, that connectivity of all things across the planet. The principle that means blowing a French horn in Bedminster can knock someone off a deckchair in Puerto Rico.

This brings me yet again to question the legality of brass bands, tooting off at will without so much as a thought for the impact overseas. In a word, selfish.

So please bear a thought in mind for relative noise levels. Sometimes me and my good lady wife for instance might be watching a favourite episode from our Allo Allo boxed set which invariably leads to raucousness. This being the case we press pause and might have a little glass of cordial whilst we settle down. Back in control we can then peacefully resume with our viewing. British comedy meets mindfulness if you like. Please feel free to improve your life and the quality of the environment with our well proven methods. Thank you.

What I did on my holidays..

Jane and Jules from the Bristol Urban sketchers encouraged me to post some work on the Facebook page whilst I was away on my holidays. I’ve been encouraging my students to develop the sketching habit too – so I’ve no excuse have I?

So when my wife and children were visiting friends in Wales there was suddenly a window of opportunity to pack a tent and a sketchbook and head for Bristol Temple Meads and the Cropredy Folk Festival. What a wonderful event and setting. Magical it was. Heartwarming.

It’s a great way to meet people, sitting on your own, in the rain, sketching. Pity is a great motivator. It’s a lovely moment when people break into random conversation on the basis that you probably don’t have any friends.

Beryl at St Mary’s Church Cropredy even kindly let me dry the sopping wet study of the Red Lion alongside the tea urn and supplied kitchen roll for additional absorption. Such warmth and kindness all added to an unforgettable experience and a sense of a minor miracle that the work return from my tent in one piece and relatively flat.

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