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Baa was the leader among a herd of beautiful goats.  He was brave, kind and well-loved by everyone.  He was fair and had no favorites, other than the kids who followed him everywhere, begging for stories.  “Just one story,” he would say, but he always ended up telling them two or three.

One day he told the kids to sit down because the story they…

via Baa… | Rethinking Life



Long before there was Paddington Bear, Shaun the Sheep and Peppa Pig, there was Winnie the Pooh. For over 90 years, the bear with very little brain and his friends Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Tigger, Kanga, Roo and Christopher Robin have entertained and enchanted both…

via Exhibition Review: Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic (V&A) | Enough of this Tomfoolery!

St Pancras & Kings Cross, 1956

St Pancras & Kings Cross, 1956

Today I can reveal the three lost murals by East End artist Cecil Osborne (1909-96) which once hung in St Pancras Town Hall in Euston Rd and have recently been rediscovered. Now the owner is seeking a permanent new home for these paintings where they can be seen publicly and I hope…

via Cecil Osborne’s Lost Murals Rediscovered | Spitalfields Life

Goose and Frog’s Easter Journey
The original vintage image advertising Palmer’s Cologne (The Graphics Fairy) is very appealing, but I was compelled to alter it. Of course.

I created a textured background by blending several flower photographs and one ready-made texture from  2 Lil’ Owls.

The egg is taken from a photograph at the…

via First Night Design | Goose and Frog’s Easter Journey | First Night Design


61tX0YkrlbL._SL500_On the 14th of February 1890, Welsh artist, writer and bohemian party girl Nina Hamnett was born in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales. Her emerging artistic skill helped her escape an unhappy childhood. She moved to London where she studied at Pelham Art School, then the London School of Art and in 1914 she went to Montparnasse, Paris, to study at Marie Wassilieff’s Academy. Her social life and artistic career rapidly took off.

“A natural rebel, with her tall, boyish figure, short hair, unconventional clothes, and flamboyant behaviour, Hamnett rapidly became a well-known bohemian personality. A self-appointed artistic ambassador between London and Paris, friends and mentors included Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Amedeo Modigliani, Walter Sickert, Roger Fry, and Augustus John. She benefited from her first-hand knowledge of the avant-garde in both cities to develop her own individual style and she made a significant contribution to the modern movement in London from about…

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Just add pictures

The Arnolfini Portrait (1434) by Jan Van Eyck (d.1441)Whilst it is the major, blockbuster exhibitions like the current Charles I, King and Collector at the Royal Academy which receive most of the public’s attention, there remains an important role for smaller, focused exhibitions like Reflections, now showing at the National Gallery.

Reflections focuses on the influence of one painting, the Arnolfini Portrait by Jan Van Eyck. Painted in 1434, the picture was acquired by the National Gallery in 1842. It was the first example in the gallery’s collection of early C15 low country painting. And as such it represented a marked contrast from the Southern European Renaissance and Mannerist painting which dominated the collection and were typically seen as the high point of the art of painting.

The Arnolfini Portrait is a very sophisticated painting, highly naturalistic in execution, And with a quality of the detailing, such as the two figures greeting the pair who can only be…

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ruby-3tbagsSome of us may give our used tea bags a second life by squeezing an extra steep out of them, but Ruby Silvious takes things a step further by using the thin paper as a canvas for miniature paintings. Silvious mirrors the simple ritual of tea drinking in quiet paintings that show slices of everyday life, like laundry drying and cats looking out the window.

The artist began her initial…

via Miniature Paintings on Tea Bags by Ruby Silvious | Colossal

Demolition Workers, Oxford Street, London W1

Demolition Workers, Oxford Street, London W1

When I was researching my post of a couple of week’s ago on the Temple church, I found some paintings of the damaged church in the Imperial War Museum online archive. I was aware of the work of a number of war artists, but what I did not know about was the organisation that these paintings referenced, and that was the driving force behind…

via London And The War Artists Advisory Committee – A London Inheritance

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR DAY, 15th January 2018, United States

Never was this truer than it is today.

“We live in a world of guided missiles and misguided men.”
Martin Luther King, Jr., minister, religious figure, activist, author, speaker

via “We live in a world of guided missiles and misguided men.” – Art of Quotation

Take care and keep laughing!


I’m considering my version of ‘Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell’, as printed in The Spectator when the late journalist had been rather too drunk or hung over to write his Low Life column. Mine will have to be shorthand for truly being unwell rather than drunk (I say this while slurping a Bailey’s at ten past midnight)! In the meantime, nothing new has been diagnosed and no new art created to display. This is one from the past that I’m very fond of.

First Night Design

Garlic is for Heroes © First Night DesignGarlic is for Heroes © First Night Design

‘What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art.’
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, American sculptor [1848-1907]

It was seeing this quote in an iPhone app that inspired Garlic is for Heroes, which I created with a photograph from Wikimedia and a texture overlay from, yes, 2 Lil’ Owls. It was an interesting reversal of my usual method where a visual idea comes first. I was so taken with the quote, I had to do something with garlic!

Augustus Saint-Gaudens.jpg
Augustus Saint-Gaudens by De Witt C. Ward via Wikimedia Commons.

Saint-Gaudens, of whom I had not previously heard, was a sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation who is said to have embodied the ideals of the ‘American Renaissance’. Wikipedia

I have taken my title from another quote, this time one by our old friend Anonymous who once said, “Shallots are for babies; onions are for men; garlic is for heroes.”

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With nearly 600,000 visitors every year, Moulin Rouge is in the top ten must-see items on the tourist’s list. Located at the bottom of a hill in the Montmartre neighborhood—then a sem…

Source: Louise and Jeanne: The Antipodes of Moulin Rouge | Victorian Paris

Today is the 111st birthday of the first African American nationally syndicated illustrator E. Simms Campbell. I am drawn to all the expressions of the subject’s faces.  The world is a better place because…

via Happy 111th Birthday E. Simms Campbell – Waldina

Alice in Wonderland: Alice and the Flamingo Postcard |

To illustrate my Alice card, the following is a very satisfying interpretation, written by Gigi at Rethinking Life, of what Alice in Wonderland is really about.

Alice didn’t fall down the Rabbit Hole, she bloody well jumped.  She was tired of her pre-planned life and wasn’t looking forward to marriage and the rigid rules that went with it.  She ran after the rabbit, curious and terrified that she would lose sight of him and be forced to stay where she was.  She saw him jump and she dove in head first after him.  Because she was willing to risk everything, she drank, shrunk, grew, found a new world, went to a fabulous tea party, met a crazed hat maker, a door mouse and enjoyed herself immensely.

She got to see an amazing cat, one who could disappear but leave his smile behind, a drug-addicted caterpillar and twin boys named Tweedle who were strange, to say the least.  She got to hold a flamingo. She saw huge, brightly colored,  flora, fauna and she learned that everything she saw could not be trusted to be real.  She saw the Queen of Hearts and ate a tart.  She saw that life didn’t have to be dull and boring, it could be so much more. She didn’t have to to get married, live in a house and do as she was told.  She realized that she could be free to explore everything. Even the Jabberwocky was interesting.   The biggest thing she learned was that she had the courage to take whatever risks came her way.  She was brave and wild.  She wasn’t cut out for a ‘normal’ life, she was meant for something different…she wasn’t going to settle, she was going to fly.  And that is the true meaning of the Rabbit Hole. Source: Alice.. | Rethinking Life

Take care and keep laughing!


The Pool of London, 1949

Continuing his series of profiles of photographers who pictured the East End in the twentieth century, Contributing Writer Mark Richards explores the photography of Bert Hardy

Source: Bert Hardy, Photographer | Spitalfields Life

I’m still not up to writing about my unexpected stay in hospital, the beginning of which coincided with a hotly anticipated visit from dear Janet Weight-Reed but here are Janet’s Isle of Wight impressions for you to enjoy and a description of her stay in Dorset with a friend from art school.

Part of the beautiful Isle of Wight coastline.

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony”   Thomas Merton. Stair Hole, Lulworth, Dorset – part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Sit…
Source: When life is manageable | My Life as an Artist (2)


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