Thursday, 21 June 2012

A Visit to Margate and The Turner Contemporary, with some thoughts on erotic influences in art, a ramble with pictures.

With the inclement forecast and a day off giving the desire to go somewhere and do something, I decided that that any good weather would probably be in Thanet and if it rained hard The Turner Contemporary would provide shelter and some pictures to look at.

I started with tea at Puffins Café and did the sketch above while drinking it, don’t count the windows this was a quick sketch and I didn’t, in fact I missed at least one building completely.
The sketch was done by using a fine Pit pen, type S, black India ink, for the sky line and then mixing up some likely watercolours and splodging things in.
Puffins Café  on Margate harbour arm comes highly recommended the civilised pot of tea for the three of us cost £2.50.

We then meandered off into Margate capturing a supermarket sarni en passant but with a storm brewing it was too hot and oppressive for shopping so headed back to the harbour arm, on reaching The turner Contemporary two things happened. The first was it started to rain and the second was I received the press release saying the gallery has won an architectural prize, see

Shedding any thoughts of sheds and feeling somewhat inconvenient after all that tea I made for the vicinity of the Charles Webb, where I relived myself and then started refilling my paintbox’s waterbottle which someone took as a possibly subversive act and I had to assure them that I was a watercolourist and not a terrorist.

Now of course we come to the rude bit, which I will add later when less people are reading this post.

     I wandered around looking at blue sketches of a blue woman who was evidently having some difficulty inserting a blue tampon the artist had eventually resorted to scrawling messages along the lines of “life sucks” and so I wound up looking at the Rodin and Turner sketches which put one in mind of erotic art.

By this time I wanted to sketch something and sought a seat, the only one facing an art work, is a very hard one facing Rodin’s “The Kiss”

I don’t suppose anyone considering drawing this sculpture can do so without thinking of the Marcel Duchamp etching pictured above where the hand has been moved into a more suggestive position. 
My seat viewed Rodin’s The Kiss from a different angle (behind) and as you see I managed after the second attempt to very nearly get the other hand into a suggestive position, perhaps I will return and have another go. 
I forgot to take a photo from where I was sitting when I sketched The Kiss but this is one I took recently from about there, for anyone who isn’t familiar with the sculpture in situ. As you see the hands really are big. 

I managed to change my webhosting firm and can now publish batches of photos again, here are today’s
I acquired two painting implements today, pictured above, I wonder if any readers can identify them, the picture will enlarge if you click on it compulsively. 


  1. Michael, About the Pot of Tea for three at £2.50: how many tea bags did they use?

    1. John while I could tell you what the paints were and even where the paper came from, the tea was pretty much perfect and it didn’t occur to me to count the teabags, there were three jugs of milk if that helps.

      Perhaps you are thinking about production costs and forgetting that what I was paying for was the tea, the view, the washing up, the seat, the courtesy of the proprietor and so on.

      The constituent parts of both sketches, paint and paper would have cost less than 10p, several people I talked to today appear to have enjoyed them, the cost of everything is not the same as its value.

    2. Michael, This is precisely my point, value is paramount. Having said that, in my view, being ripped off overrides any benefit that I might receive from say having the tea made for me. I grew up in Margate and Ramsgate. My family earned a living in the tourist and licensed trade. I came to realise that the visitors were fair game. One consequence of which was that prices were raised in the summer. Still, value always lies in the eye of the beholder.

      I suppose it's just me. For the past few months I have been fortunate enough to in a place where the SEA is 24C, the sun shines in a clear blue sky; and where at a beach restaurant I can enjoy a 2 course meal, a beer and excellent cheerful service for £5. Now that is value. It would be unfair of me to expect anyting similar in Margate.

  2. John I see where you are coming from, I think a major problem in the UK is any sort of retail premise’s overheads, the cost of shop rents and associated rates has caused everything to default to high margin service related businesses.

    Running a bookshop I am very much aware that it would be highly beneficial to have a large bookshop right in the middle of the busiest part of one of the Thanet towns, i.e. something to do between expensive cups of tea and coffee.

    That said I think Puffins Café is about the best in terms of value for money in Margate.

  3. I will try Puffins Cafe next time I am on the harbour arm. John shame on you taking your money out of the country and spending it abroad when our poor public sector need you to spend money here to enable them get gold plated pensions.

  4. Don, You are of course correct in what you say and I stand rebuked. The next time I am on the Margate Harbour arm I shall jump off.
    In truth while I was away I felt the occasional twinge of guilt, especially when I was drinking an excellent Czech recipe Lager at an amazing £1.50 for two litres. [I think that surpasses the Puffins Cafe of a pot of tea for £2.50].

  5. LOL John AND THAT STAND FOR LAUGHING OUT LOUD not the Cameron Brooks version of LOTS OF LOVE cann you tell me how long te twingess of guilt lasted? I can recomend a good cure but it involves lots more larger.


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