Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Under an English Heaven

Under an English Heaven 10x20"

Rupert Brooke, one of the WWI poets wrote The Soldier in 1914, the next year he died on a hospital ship on its way to Gallippoli and was buried on Skyros one of the Greek islands. Thus, fulfilling the prophecy set forth in the poem.

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England.
There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

This piece will be a new addition to The Pity of War
when it goes on exhibition at Linnaea's Cafe in San Luis Obispo
during the month of July.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Decoration Day

A House Divided 10x8"

Decoration Day received its name from the laying of flowers on the graves of the fallen soldiers during the Civil War.

In 1868 General John A.Logan issued a proclamation that "Decoration Day" should be observed nationwide It was observed for the first time on May 30 of the same year; the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle.

The northern states quickly adopted the holiday; Michigan made "Decoration Day" an official state holiday in 1871 and by 1890 every northern state followed suit.

The earliest Confederate Memorial Day celebrations were simple, somber occasions for veterans and their families to honor the day and attend to local cemeteries. At its Decoration Day on April 25, 1866, Columbus, Mississippi commemorated both the Union and Confederate casualties buried in its cemetery.

Following WWI, Decoration Day became Memorial Day and has been ever since a day to honour all those who have served in the military.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Life on the Coast

Seagull keeping watch on Cayucos Pier.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Park Art in Paso Robles

Fun up in Paso Robles today -
the annual Festival of the Arts, held at City Park.

Our good friend Debra Jurey will have a booth
featuring her exquisite jewelry designs.

Margot has volunteered to help her watch the tables
and rake in the dough!

I, unfortunately, will be at work,
but will eagerly await to hear all about it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

From the Bookshelf

What a delightful combination - Maira Kalman and Lemony Snicket. The master of juvenile macabre and the world's most delightful illustrator. The 13 Words ends up making a story as non sequitur and charming as Kalman's drawings. Any new volume by either of these luminaries is a cause for celebration, but in partnership -let the party begin!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hands On!

Hands up!

Hands down!

All hands on deck!

A few more of the hands that have had to find a new resting place, since Mouse took over the top of the library cabinet

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cigar Box Wednesday

Hands - praying, Mickey Mousing, metal, ceramic, wood

Until recently these were on display on top of my library cabinet, but our year old kitten Mouse had different ideas. Until he finds something else to mess with, they're in a cigar box!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Baskets of Books

One of the things I love to do, especially when traveling, is to haunt old used bookstores and discover treasures like this.

I've done this in Venice, Paris, London and Edinburgh, among several other locations and I'm never disappointed.

There's always something wonderful to bring home. Now you know why I always take along an empty suitcase!

Sometimes, I just bring home parts!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Visible Pens

After several years of keeping my pens in drawers I decided to get them out in the open so I can not only see what I have, but - gasp! - maybe even remember to use them more!

So I grabbed a few containers and now my Sharpie Paint Pens are in a metal flower can, and my Faber Castil Pitt Artists Pens w/ brush tips in a white flower pot.

My sepia, black and sanguine (I love saying that word - it's fun!) FC Pitts are in a ceramic coffee mug - sans handle.
And my Sakura Moonbeam Gels in this vintage pink lovely. If out of sight is out of mind - I now have no excuse not to be putting all of these to good and immediate use.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Life on the Coast

Just a few sea lions enjoying themselves
on a dock in Morro Bay Harbour.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cemetery Saturday

Poet's Corner in the south transept of Westminster Abbey. The resting place of writers, actors, poets, composers, dancers and several canons and deacons of the church. (And interestingly enough, also the grave of Thomas Parr who, it is said, died at the age of 152 in 1635 after having seen 10 sovereigns on the throne.

Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to be interred here in 1400, followed by Edmund Spenser in 1599.
The memorial to 16 WWI poets was unveiled on Remembrance Day in 1985. It is a stone slab of slate with the names inscribed on it. Wilfred Owen's statement "My subject is War and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity" is engraved across the top of the stone.

A magnificent stained glass window was installed in 1994, when floor and wall space began to run out. The window has twenty diamond panes which are inscribed with names and dates. Ted Hughes was the latest to be honoured in this fashion earlier this year. Twelve spots remain.

Friday, May 20, 2011

From the Bookshelf

I had forgotten about this lovely book, but then saw it in the museum store when we went to the Pulp Fashion exhibit last week. Full of beautiful paintings and sketches, Ms. de Borchgrave's spirit of colour and elan are evident on every page. Commissioned to replace the Fortuny fabric wall coverings in the Hotel Cipriani with painted facsimiles, she spent time in Venice during one winter and that's the basis for this charming volume.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring Fling!

These lovely frocks were on display at "Little Black Dress"
on Main Street in Tiburon.

They all looked so filmy and gauzy and lovely.

Ready for a tea party on the lawn at Blenheim Palace

Or summer cocktails with Jay Gatsby and Daisy
on the North shore of Long Island.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cigar Box Wednesday

The label on this box reads - "Everything that won't categorize - small". Yup, there's a locker basket with the same label only "big".

And it's just what it says, bits and bobs, this and that, stuff that didn't fit elsewhere and there wasn't enough to give it its own box.

Who knows when or where it will turn up - but you know it will!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Due to a mix-up, instead of staying at the Sir Frances Drake on our SF trip last week (renovations, etc) we were moved to the Sheraton at Fisherman's Wharf. It was a bit of culture shock

Having expected vintage traditional, classic San Francisco, we landed in a combination of Jetsons, Beachtime and Retro.

I did love these club chairs though - too bad they were just too big to fit in the back of the car!

And the beds were comfy - albeit adorned with a total of 14 pillows!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Decayed Despair

These are shots that I took from the ferry across San Francisco Bay last week as we passed Alcatraz Island.
I've never had any desire to take the tour and actually visit the island, I would imagine it would be awash in feelings of despair and hopelessness.

That said, I did capture these views of some of the
decaying buildings and rusty metal.

Even from across the water, there seemed an air of
old unhappiness and gloom.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Life on the Coast

Looking back to San Francisco from the deck of the Tiburon Ferry
on a lazy Sunday afternoon

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cemetery Saturday

photo courtesy of QT Luong

Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Francisco overlooking the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.

photo courtesy of parksconservancy.com

Each marker inscribed with the name of a brave man or woman who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Rank & File 10x20"

Gazing out across these graves brought to mind the piece I did for The Pity of War. So many lives lost, so many crosses, so many gravestones.

Friday, May 13, 2011

From the Bookshelf

It's Friday the 13th!! So I thought this would be an appropriate volume for today's post. I have long loved the "little big book" format and have quite a collection of them. I guess my fascination started back in the '50's when we had "big little books" - I amassed a collection of those too, back in the day.
The above book is stuffed full of spooky stories, poems, legends and tales. You'll find out how to cast a spell, learn about superstitions (including Friday the 13th) and be able to master a few magic tricks by the time you've finished. As these chunky tomes always are, it is lavishly illustrated with vintage prints, etchings and paintings. A feast for the eye and a shiver for the spine!!