Sunday, 12 September 2010

A Storytelling of Crows

I was just walking the dog around a big field nearby, where more crows were about than I've ever seen before. On the yellow stubble agains a sky where a storm might be brewing, I was reminded of Van Gogh's painting 'Wheatfield with crows', which has an ominous atmosphere. I've always been fond of crows, and their big brothers of the corvus familiy, the ravens, some of which I saw at the Tower of London yesterday. I was brought up with a superstition about magpies too, which was hardwired into me. It is supposedly bad luck to see a solitary magpie and not say 'Good morning Mr. Magpie, how's your wife today?' This was mainly something I got from my dad. It seems a magpie on its own could be the devil in disguize, or else that these birds are unlucky becaise they are the only crows that did not wear all black to Jesus' funeral! I tried to break out of this superstition lately and have been saying 'It's just a bird, whatever you've heard.' This was turning into an alternative superstition, however, and I managed to ignore the single magpie that I also saw on my travels just now.

I like the idea that the collective noun of crows is a 'murder' or a 'storytelling'. That adds to their gothic appeal. You also get a storytelling or an 'unkindness' of Ravens. I've experienced that. Magpies come in tidings, if you're lucky.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Tower and BP Portrait Awards

A messaged out of the blue this morning led to my going in to London to meet up with soneone I knew through deviantART who is on holiday over here from the US. Think it went well, met at the Tower of London where saw the Crown Jewels, armour and swords (swords make her happy). The punch bowl that is part of the crown jewels is no trifle either.

Prior to meeting up with them, went to the BP Portrait Awards 2010 at the National Portrait Gallery. A lot of stunning paintings, as there was last year. Many a 'wow' escaped my lips.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Brum and Coventry

Out and about today. I went to the Autumn (trade) fair in Birmingham with the usual incredible array of stands full of stuff. Hopefully made a few more useful contacts, and didn't break anything. Stopped at Coventry on the way back, where I have never been before. Had a look at the Cathedral- the gutted old one with its surviving magnificent tower, and the new edifice adjacent designed after WWII by Basil Spence- a concrete tunnel leading to the Graham Sutherland tapestry of Christ with his waspish abdomen and pharaonic feet.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Update + Autumn Fair

It's been a while since I've updated on here. Been busy with an Egypt-related illustration project which was well up my street. Also had to fetch my father from hospital the other week after his hip op. Have sold a couple of paintings lately and bought one which I've yet to collect. Will probably go to the Autumn Trade Fair at the NEC in Birmingham tomorrow, so see you there if you are going.