Friday, February 15, 2008

Twilight - Stratford Upon Avon

It was an all day rain when we visited the home of William Shakespeare in Stratford Upon Avon. After lunch at a pub and a look about the streets of Stratford which had a number of interesting shops, we took the tour of Shakespeare's home and grounds. We walked about a mile to the other side of the town to see his burial place in the church. We arrived at 5 pm, unfortunately just after closing. It was quite dark around the grounds of the church; ducks floating on the Avon river in the darkness behind the church. Leaving the grounds and just turning back down the street was this scene with lights on the building shining on the rainy street. There was a remarkable interplay of warms and cools to the delight of the artist. Speaking of cool -- it was a bit too cool and wet and I was very happy to board the train; I remember having to wait about half an hour for it. It was November after all and England is cool and rainy. This piece is about 7 X 10 inches, a pastel on Wallis sanded paper. (Feel free to leave a comment --- I only just put in comment moderation because of a spammer. Friends welcome!!)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Beefeater

Taking the Tower Of London tour, our guide was this army man who was dressed as a Beefeater. He was very funny, knowledgeable and looked the part. The pastel is approximately an 8" X 10", done on Wallis sanded paper. I was there in November, which is a great time to go; not crowded and the weather is nice and cool which makes those hot cups of tea that much more enjoyable.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Back again after computer crash

We have had a problem with the computer so I haven't posted in several weeks. Thanks to my wife who has the patience to persevere through these computer problems we are on again. After 4+ hours talking with the computer gurus in India she was able to get this computer going again. This is way too difficult for me: I'm still trying to master pencil and paper. In addition, I slipped on snow covered ice, landed on my back and was not feeling well for a week. (Remember the Three Stooges joke? "I've had a weak back." "How long?" "Oh, about a week back.") I did that about 6 in the morning walking my two dogs. It wasn't their fault this time; usually they pull me along in their enthusiasm or tangle me in their leashes and I'm lucky to stay on my feet. Despite all that, I have had productive time in the studio doing new work, matting, framing, etc. I took an older pastel which I had done on regular pastel paper and reworked it, which served to show me how much better Wallis sanded paper is. I've made a few jokes in the past about sanded paper, but by my reckoning, it is really the best. The painting shown here is a small (about 5" X 7") pastel from southern Wisconsin.