By way of a slightly unusual post, have put this family line up together.
For those of you interested, on the left is my 3 x great grandfather, Captain Edward Taylor Weale, a captain in the Royal Navy a little after the time of Nelson. Next is his son, my great great grandfather, George Dupleix Weale, a marine engineer who spent some of his early years in Australia before returning to the UK where he designed a number of early lighthouses. Next is his son, my great grandfather, Edward George Weale, a solicitor in Liverpool, and a Liberal member of the Wallasey Council in the 1920s. Finally, that’s me on the right.
Strictly speaking I need to insert shots of my grandmother and father to complete the line up. Maybe soon.
The Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle can take your breath away when you first see it. Modelled on Versailles in France, its striking grandeur is incongruous in the north of England. The museum was conceived and built by the Bowes family – that’s the same lot that Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (mother of Queen Elizabeth II) was related to.
The Bowes Museum currently have an exhibition featuring art inspired by Rokeby - an epic poem by Sir Walter Scott – including work by JMW Turner.
Rokeby, of course, is an idyllic place located in the same region where I’ve just spent a long weekend in a rented cottage. The drama of the wide open skies catches something of the rugged splendour of the area.
The cottage was fabulous with views across empty fields and just the noise of the chickens to rouse you in the morning – here it is -
Restful and restorative – not least to be able to walk and sketch just a short stroll from your front door.
Plenty of sheep with their new born lambs dotted the fields too – take a look to the right on this picture. After a very hectic schedule followed by a sudden illness, a weekend in these beautiful surroundings is to be recommended.
Kind of disconcerting to find yourself in the Middle East and to experience deja vu. Been a few years since I was in Los Angeles, but waking up and taking a look out from my balcony in Dubai, I could have sworn I was looking out at the L.A. skyline. What do you think? That sonic screwdriver of a skyscraper on the left is the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa – by the way.
Not often I post shots of myself but here’s one of yours truly taken on a sultry evening in Dubai’s Karama Market. Nice to be on the other end of the lens for a change.
I only found out recently that the first movie my parents saw together many years ago was Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly.
They told me this not long after I’d been to see the new biopic, Hitchcock, starring Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins, at FACT in Liverpool.
So, who knows, perhaps these several shots of seagulls taken weeks later, might have been influenced in a subliminal way by the master’s classic movie. The Birds? There was certainly something menacing about them.
I was actually sitting in my car eating fish and chips when I spotted them all just a few feet ahead of me. That view is the North Sea at a brilliant seaside town called Saltburn. Weather was reasonably promising here. That wasn’t always to be the case as the shot below shows. More seagulls, you’ll notice.
Here’s one more shot of them – just for luck – this time, from down on the beach.
Colour might just be the perfect antidote to all the snow we’re having at the moment.
And nothing serves up a splash of colour more than graffiti.
These two examples of graffiti are in a skateboard park on Jamaica Street in Liverpool.
Hot on the heels of the previous post, here’s a photograph of the same spot in Saltburn. This time with snow. See what you think.
I’ve been working up on the North East coast of England recently and renting a cottage high on the cliffs above Saltburn. The weather has been bitterly cold but that’s not stopped me from walking on the clifftops outside the cottage. Amazing views across the North Sea. Plenty of material for sketching. Here’s one I made of the fields high up on the cliffs. Comments welcome.
Inspired by ‘A Bigger Picture’ - the astonishing exhibition of David Hockney’s paintings at the Royal Academy in London last year, here’s an early attempt at iPad art using the Brushes app.
So there was an exhibition of sculpture at the Ruthin Crafts Centre. My favourite was somebody called Guy Taplin who carves and sculpts birds.
The white seagulls on weathered blue planks were fabulous. They’ll look great in that house by the ocean I’m going to have one day.
And then there were these birds rooted to terra firma, each with their own distinctive personality.
Nice attention to detail, too, with some of the birds complete with fish in their bills.
Great use of colour and texture …
Finally, here’s that flock of seagulls again.