Sunday, 23 April 2017

Turner Contemporary, Now We Are Six

I’m a bit slow on the uptake with this one, I just realised that Turner Contemporary has been open for six years, don’t time fly? Anyway just as a reminder here is the link my post and pictures of the first day it opened 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Out and about with Me in Margate and Ramsgate

worth going to the new elecTic art gallery in Margate, I should have taken a proper camera I sort of got some of the glass with my phone but the cast silver insects were beyond it.


I spent much of the day trying to find a perspective that could work painting a watercolour looking both ways out of Turner Contemporary Cafe.
 the photo panorama gives you some idea of the direction I would like to go in

Friday, 21 April 2017

Chris Long at York Street Gallery in Ramsgate

The current exhibition is by - Chris Long Exhibition - 19 April - 26 April Exhibitions change weekly on Wednesdays.

Page from my diary, Whitstable, Tankerton and Herne Bay and Margate Sands in 1902

This is Margate Sands from Margate and Westgate With Birchington 1903-04, which pretty much nails the date to the season of 1902 or 3, useful when dating other Margate stuff, here is the link to buy it

I am trying to keep a diary, journal, wosisname, something that is new territory for me as when I was 13¾ the right age to start one I had an illness that made my hands shake so it was very difficult to write anything.

Here is the link to the books that went out in my bookshop

All best described as yesterday's post due to ongoing ITC issues

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Some sort of political blog post, perhaps

The elections are heading our way, first the Kent County Council ones on 4th May and now the snap general election on 8th June.

Starting with the county council one, we have either 2 or three councils depending on which bit of Thanet you live in. here in Ramsgate we have 3, county, district and town.

The county council is based in Maidstone and a bit more West Kent focused than many people would like, it is responsible for a lot of things in the county, health, education, roads, libraries, etc.

Obviously statistics are easy to manipulate but Thanet doesn’t seem to get a reasonable share of senior representation 

At the moment there are no Thanet county councillors who are cabinet members or deputy cabinet members. This is out of 10 cabinet members and 9 deputy cabinet members and 84 councillors altogether.

Thanet has 8 councillors altogether, so just under 10% of the total number of councillors I think this goes up to 10 this election. 

The population of Kent is around 1.5 million and Thanet about 0.25 million, so Thanet accounts for about a sixth of the population of Kent.

At the moment the Conservatives have a majority with 46 councillors and there are some moves towards tactical manoeuvres to counter the first past the post system e.g.

Overall an interesting example of how the party political system and the first past the post system work at a local government level in a large county like Kent.

After this we have the snap general election 8th June, in the past Thanet South has been seen as a Labour Conservative marginal. The last election results suggest there is still some potential for an interesting result.  

Party                       Candidate                          Votes
Conservative         Craig Mackinlay             18,838
UKIP                     Nigel Farage            16,026
Labour                  Will Scobie                       11,740
Green                     Ian Driver                          1,076

Before that it was Ladyman Labour 14,426 Sandys Conservative 22,043

And before that Ladyman 16,660 Mark Macgregor 15,996

My understanding is that the boundary changes probably make it a safe Conservative seat.

A factor both in Thanet and in the whole of the UK with this election is the increase in the use of social media, something that adds to the unpredictability. Another factor is that although it is early days, few of the people I have spoken to seem to be very keen on another general election.

As an onlooker there is an irony that this is being seen as the brexit election and although the majority of politicians seem to favour the UK staying in the EU I don’t think any of the parties are running on a no brexit ticket or UKEEP.

Looking for silver linings in this for Thanet, I think the main one is that we will be unlikely to have the next Thanet District Council Elections on the same day as the general election, something that does seem to encourage voters to cross the same party box, somewhat regardless of who the council candidate is.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Watercolour Painting inside Canterbury Cathedral: The Chancel

Here is my watercolour painting of the inside of the chancel at Canterbury Cathedral, so far.

This is a longish task as the view there is complicated, so first my thanks to all of the people who work in the cathedral for letting me paint there.

To do this I have been using my large A4 sketchbook opening to a double page which gives me an A3 sheet.

Something that interests me about this view is that I can’t really take a photo of it properly, I expect an expert photographer could.

For a reference photo which may help any aspiring art critics I have cobbled together some mobile phone photos that I took of different bits of the chancel.

So why this particular view? In the first instance I think this the type of view a visitor to the cathedral is most likely to get on turning up to a service there. For the most part services happen in the chancel with the congregation sitting facing sideways. The second part relates to the north chancel transept (bit on the left of picture with big round window), which is unusual as the stonework isn’t symmetrical in the way that the south transept is, which makes it more satisfying to me in some way I can’t quite define.

There seem to be very few paintings of the inside of Canterbury Cathedral on the internet, I don’t know if this is because there aren’t many or because I can’t find them so if you know of any please let me know.   

Saturday, 15 April 2017

The first picture quiz answer

The answer to this one is Margate photographed from the top of Holy Trinity Church In 1903 it interested me that it was possible to find a photo of such a large area of Margate that was so difficult to identify identify.

 I am afraid my laptop has gone on the blink, so short posts with my phone until I get back to work on Tuesday

Friday, 14 April 2017

Folkestone Creative Quarter Steep Street Coffee House watercolour

I went Folkestone today and was pretty much amazed by the pace of transformation of the old High Street into a creative quarter. This is best expressed by wanting somewhere to sketch part of it from and Steep Street Coffee House being full at about 3.30.

I hung about until I was lucky enough get a widow seat, where I sat for about an hour sketching the buildings opposite, drinking tea eating chocolate cake and wondering about how the creative innovations were panning out in the Thanet towns and if a creative quarter somewhere in Ramsgate would be viable.

Margate Old Town is another example although it hasn’t got the density of galleries, studios and working artists and Ramsgate has got a fair few galleries but they are scattered around the town.

I suppose Harbour Street in Ramsgate would be the prime candidate and I suppose given our councils it is difficult to think that this would happen.
 For the dedicated followers of my bookshop here are the latest book acquisitions