Saturday, 24 October 2009

Snow Scene

I went to Reading this morning for a final visit to the surgeon who did my operation. All seems fine, and he was very pleased with my progress. He did, however, insert a camera ‘where the sun don’t shine’ for an internal examination. Not something I’d recommend to friends!

I’ve just completed the snow scene for my 2009 Christmas card. The printed card is vignetted in a rounded rectangle shape. For anyone interested this is a watercolour, and to retain the sparkle I haven’t used white paint at all. The white you see on the painting is the paper itself. I find the use of gouache, or body colour white, tends to dull a watercolour painting too much.

Watercolour painting "Snow and Sunshine"

In my advertising days I designed many airline and hotel logos, and produced hundreds of graphic design elements for our clients. So when Louisa, my niece, decided recently to start her own advertising and marketing company, I asked whether I could be of any use on the design front. Apparently unless I understand Quark, and other advanced computer programmes I’d in no way be able to produce designs for this modern age!

I had a silly thought the other day when I was reading an article about the lack of space in graveyards. Why not be buried vertically! I realise the words ‘laid to rest’ are supposed to mean laying down horizontally, but when we are in our coffins we are probably not too worried about which way up we are. These silly thoughts flit through my butterfly mind from time to time!

Had a quick trip around the River and Rowing Museum again this week. Apart from it being the best museum devoted to rowing and the river in England, it also has a very well-stocked shop where they sell a great variety of high quality river-related items. The Henley Section – entered by passing by a full-size replica carving of the face of Thamesis – is easily my favourite part of the museum.

One of the most interesting features is an animated sound and visual large map of Henley though the ages. From the 14th Century to the present day the highly informative display graphically shows how Henley has progressed.

I fail to understand the stupidity of some of our courts. Listen to this – it happened last week. An illegal immigrant was due to be deported to his own country – Bolivia. However when he and his girlfriend pleaded that they would miss their cat too much, the judge – unbelievably – said that to send him back home would - wait for it – “breach his right to a private and family life”. So here he stays – living on benefits, no doubt. Where will all this human rights nonsense end? This same court refused to deport fifty foreign criminals, which included sex offenders and killers. Why? Because it might “infringe their human rights!”
Another minor, but ludicrously stupid, offence was reported the other day. A woman bought a greeting card in a supermarket. When she reached the till the card made a ‘bleep’. “It’s OK you are allowed to buy the card as you are obviously over 25” said the assistant. What was the reason for the bleep? The card had a picture of a wine glass, corkscrew and bottles of wine on the front. ‘Health ‘n Safety’ rules, it seems, prohibit cards of this description to be sold to under 25’s. I despair!

Here I am on my little boat – Marsh Midget – having a last little tootle around on the river the other day – where sanity reigns supreme.

Musn’t forget to put the clocks back tonight. Or is it forward?


RG9 said...

The only cat I'd have given Johnny Foreigner would have been the cat o' nine tails . . . and THEN I'd have slung him out.
There was a marvellous letter in The Daily Telegraph today that reverted back to the Commons' expenses scandal wherein a lady wrote that all MPs deserved a fair hearing . . . before being taken out and shot!
And there was also a letter from my wife . . . complaining that my own letters are published too frequently!
It was great to see you out on the river, Bill. I hope you were gentle on those tummy muscles.
My own launch went into winter storage a couple of weeks ago and this time, rather than entrusting it to a boatyard, I am doing the winter repairs and rebuilding the windscreen myself with help from my sons, one of whom has maintained and repaired skiffs and other rowing craft.

Pootle said...

Love the impressionist style, it's so clearly Rolf even though it's not finished yet.
I always remember the direction to change the clocks by a little rhyme I once heard on Blue Peter... "Spring forward, fall back". An Americanism but it works for me!

Mona said...

Bill, The Christmas card painting is stunning. Since you mentioned avoiding the use of white, have you utilized liquid mask in any way or just painted around the white parts of the snow?

The impressionist portrait in progress is so beautiful in color and interesting to see. Did you prepare an impasto surface in the gesso itself to achieve it's texture?

Joy said...

Bill so good to see your doing well and rowing again :-)
I MUST ask as your Christmas card is fabulous... do you sell copies? Such a breathtaking view... brings you right into winter just gazing at the lovely scene :)

Enjoy following your blog each week and thinking of you often :) My daughter is turning FOUR... time to do another miniature soon perhaps?! :)

Bill's Blog said...

Hi Joy,
Olease contact me by email then I can answer your questions. I can't seem to locate your email address. Bill

RG9 said...

Having had internet speed problems ["You've gorra wet joint, guv! It ain't groundin' like. But I can't go up the pole on me own - elf 'n' safety, y'see! Anuvver bloke'll have ta come aaht." The translation of which is "There's a bad joint in the box up the pole and despite the fact I have a long ladder on the roof of my van, it's nearly 4 o'clock so I am off home now and I will be back tomorrow . . . maybe!"] I've only just been able to properly load your Christmas card.

The detail is nothing short of astonishing even to cycle wheel marks amongst the foot prints in the snow.

I'd quite understand if you wanted to keep these personal to yourself, but I'm sure a local charity would be most grateful if you were to make them available for sale.

Bill's Blog said...

I don't mind anyone using my card. However it takes me so long to print out the nearly 300 cards I send, that maybe next year I could get them printed by Higgs or someone and tout them around the charities or even shops in Henley.