Sunday 22 December 2013

Curtains for Mousehold and reading with mother an artistic post.

With all four of my children +1 filling the 7 seater and the prospect of no long journey due to two of them travelling backwards and not wishing to tempt mal de vouture or whatever it is. I only achieved 4% in French, so am probably hopelessly wrong here. Where was I yes an hour at the Turner Contemporary, not much day due to yesterdays winter solstice – celebrated this with a quick visit to the mind body and spirit section in my bookshop – rather than hang around a henge.  

Anyway another go at Turner and Constable; Sketches from Nature, I is not allowed to photo this, but the picture Mousehold Heath, Norwich, painted by John Chrome in around 1820 is readily available on the internet, this is the version from The Tate website at I haven’t nicked it, just copied the code telling the blog where it is.

The picture didn’t sell and for some reason it's painted on canvas and the artist cut it in half – you can just see the join a bit left of centre if you click on it compulsively to big it muchly – curtains for his garret? Perhaps.  

What happened is a bit of a mystery, the whole exhibition is an exercise in decipherment, for example the picture on the wall in the gallery is identified with a label as No 66 – clickerty click – you may well think but it is number 55 in the exhibition’s catalogue, which also presumably didn’t sell as the gallery have reduced the price from fifteen quid to a tenner.

Writing up this post from my seat in the living room and from an artistic point of view the view is, reading with mother.

Margate was being moderately festive, here are the pictures.

Back to speculation about “Mousehold Heath, Norwich” the place Mousehold Heath, Norwich had been enclosed, the enclosure thingy in history; I think by, 1820 so this view didn’t exist when it was painted, funny thing history.

After the artist had died it came into the hands of an art dealer, not sure if John chrome had joined it back together by then, but the figures were added by a different artist and I guess it sold.

Here are the pictures of Margate today      

 the next five are from the gallery's exhibition K. Yoland: Then There was Land

I have to admit to still having considerable reservations about the exhibition Turner and Constable; Sketches from Nature, criticism of my reading with mother sketch that I painted here just now was considerable and varied. And I guess the exhibition does pass my main test inasmuch as as soon is I got back home I did paint the picture, but still it doesn’t really do it for me. Can I say the pictures are second rate? Can anyone one say pictures by artists of that much fame and standing are ever second rate? I guess it is the George Stubbs
Newmarket Heath, with a Rubbing-Down House" c.1765 that worries me the most.
 Where is the horse?


  1. Deserted Margate and an expensive empty art gallery.

    1. It does look a bit quite, doesn't it. I jumped on a train to Broadstairs around noon yesterday and then walked around the coast to Cliftonville (normally I would walk home to Westbrook but I have a cold so my energy levels are a bit down). Anyway, Broadstairs looked far busier than this.

  2. The Thanet towns generally seem quieter than ever this Christmas. What's the main reason? Westwood Cross? The internet? Everyone being skint?

  3. Thanet Watch,

    The towns do not appear any quiter to me. Consequently, I suspect that you are merely fishing for controversy in the hope that someone will scream that it's because of the "savage tory cuts". Subtly is not your strong point. Give it a rest

  4. Mousehold heath historically used to cover a very large area, with parts gradually being lost over time to enclosures - along with various battles. There are however still around 200 acres or so left, unenclosed. In many areas, the heath land has give way to trees, because of the lack of grazing - although I believe there have been more recent attempts to conserve the heath land in some parts.

    From my memories of Mousehold Heath as a child [living a couple of minutes from 'the woods'] I can easily imagine that (without the tree growth) a view looking North West across Mousehold could have looked very much like John Chrome's painting.

  5. I did pop out to get batteries from the pound shop today and it was very quiet, which I mentioned to the girl on the checkout who said it was much quieter than expected, although she had been to Asda last night and it so busy that it took her ages to get her shopping. I also did Boots, no queues, Rooks, no queues, Waitrose, no queues. This was around 2.30pm when things had gone quiet in my bookshop, we closed early around 4 which we often do on Christmas Eve.

    It is very difficult to judge the trading conditions from the perspective of a secondhand bookshop, shop and online sales have been fairly average this December. If one goes back to around 1990 when King Street was a busy shopping street and we had a large stock of remainders the shop/shops were much busier.

    Thanks for the info Gerald I shouldn't believe what I read

  6. There were massive queues in Waitrose this morning at about 1130 and the same yesterday. Aldi was also packed yesterday evening. I did not get to WWX.


Comments, since I started writing this blog in 2007 the way the internet works has changed a lot, comments and dialogue here were once viable in an open and anonymous sense. Now if you comment here I will only allow the comment if it seems to make sense and be related to what the post is about. I link the majority of my posts to the main local Facebook groups and to my Facebook account, “Michael Child” I guess the main Ramsgate Facebook group is We Love Ramsgate. For the most part the comments and dialogue related to the posts here goes on there. As for the rest of it, well this blog handles images better than Facebook, which is why I don’t post directly to my Facebook account, although if I take a lot of photos I am so lazy that I paste them directly from my camera card to my bookshop website and put a link on this blog.