Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Those Dark Satanic Mills


These "Satanic Mills" that Blake made famous in his anthem "Jerusalem" are rapidly disappearing from the Northern English landscape. They keep being pulled down to make way for so-called development. Our own premises at Luneside Studios is a classic example. That building too is schedueled to be demolished to make way for executive flats.
This one illustrated is the remaining shell of a long abandoned mill behind where Luneside Studios were. In its skeletal form it takes on the same look as a medieval ruin like Rievaulx or Fountains. I rather think though, that unlike our medieval ruins, these monuments to the Industrial Revolution will have all disappeared ere long.
However, all is not lost, a living example of this type of architecture can be found in Japan. Visit Iain's Blog and look up his entry for today.
Luneside Studios, although temporarily homeless apart from a temporary office in the Storey Building in Lancaster, is expected to move into new premises in the City centre fairly soon. I'll keep you all posted.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Time is Running Out


At the end of February I have an exhibition at the Foyer Gallery in the Ludus Dance Centre in Lancaster. This last couple of days has been very cold but with clear skies. Being bereft of studio premises for the moment I have had to do some work outside. I need to get work mounted on panels and a few gesso boards prepared to make up a suitable body of work. But at least a great leap forward has been made in the more suitable i.e. dry and windless, weather. I hope to mount some twelve works similar to the one above. Each square is 10 x 10 cms. Some are of four squares and others five. They are all seascapes. Each group make up a composite whole being on a board 60x 20 cms. This piece shown here was painted in Cyprus. It shows the Mediterranean shoreline. Other works in the show will feature the Atlantic and Morecambe Bay as well as this.
But with only twenty -eight days to go I shall have to get my finger out as the saying goes.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Still Life

My son Daniel will be tickled by this one. It's his (or was it his duaghter's) half eaten breakfast which I photographed while we were staying at St. Ives to celebrate his birthday. There it was, this lovely interplay of tone and [brown] colours looking quite aesthetic. I had to take the picture. A breakfast remembered.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

"The Sunset o'er the City....

..... is like a technicolor fillum." So runs a folks song from my wild youth sung by Alex Glasgow. It is indeed a sunset over the terraced roofs of the street where I live. The spire is the Roman catholic cathedral at the bottom of the street and the dome at the left side end is of the town hall of Lancaster. This dome is not to be confused with the Ashton Memorial, the huge Victorian Dome seen from the M6 as you bypass the city.
This just goes to show that even drab city buildings can have their moments of glory.
If you look down this street on a clear day you can see right across the Bay to Barrow in Furness and if its really clear, make out the cranes of the Barrow shipyard.

"for all the grey buildings are lookin' kinda glum,
the sunset o'er the city's like a technicolor fillum."

Monday, January 22, 2007

Namu Kwan-she-Yin...........


Last week I decided to tidy up my home altar. It had become festooned with too many bits and pieces picked up over the years; bits of pine trees, sea shells, stones and other brick-a-brac. Poor Kwan-Yin was looking a bit crowded out. What you see here is the end result. There are still a couple of pine cones and a [very] small cairn of pebbles from various sea shores. It is enough.
What struck me this morning as I made an incense offering was the way the light shone through the glass containing the water and onto the wall. It added an unexpected beautifull dimension to the whole thing. Here is a close up of the play of light from the candle, through the glass and ont the driftwood plinth then onto the wall.
The light of the Dharma surely does shine in all places.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ancient Steps

A visit to Lancaster is hardly complete without a visit to its [in]famous castle. It is an imposing structure whose history has been as a fortress and a prison, a role it serves at the present. The castle stands on a hill appropriately named "Castle Hill" and shares this site with the Priory Church that stands where once there was a mediaeval monastery. The steps illustrated here ascend the gap twixt castle and church. It is a very old part of the city.
I tend to focus my camera on things like this rather than the famous landmarks. After all, isn't it where we are going that we tend to look at more? The ground is sometimes barely noticed and yet we need to respond to it.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

He's Back!!!

Winter at St. George's Quay in Lancaster. The River Lune not infrequently bursts its banks in winter. A combination of the spring tides that come in with every new and full Moon and heavy rain that sends large volumes of water down from the Yorkshire dales plus the recent high winds means the river rising something more than the ten metre depth the tide tables predict.
Wind and rain and cold; quite a change from sunny Cyprus.

Leastways I am back on the blogosphere. A new PC and I'm sorted. My old one was in terminal decline. A new hard drive helped a little but I think there were other systems/hardware problems. Upgading the software was probably too much for it.

So I'm back and will continue postings on this site of artwork and comment with a little bit of Zen thrown in for good measure plus a little local Lancaster news. The Draughtsman will be updated too with drawings by me and others.