Your face is a map

Ink bleeds through paper. Draw around those patches, lines and dots, and you get a patchwork ‘map’ that looks like roads and boulevards, streets and squares. A change of colour for city blocks. Villages line up on roads between fields. Some streets are tree lined, others are concrete. Does it show your age? Are you industrial or agrarian? Modern or ancient? Fortified? Or do you see veins, arteries and capillaries?

Alien world?

Close up photo of a metal ring holder and a copper coloured stapler. It’s interesting what you can do with duplicated photos. I didn’t know it was going to look like this. It looks like architecture or a space ship with a distant galaxy reflected on the shining floor of the ship. I will play with some more images, juxtaposing different shapes, textures, and colours.

#urbansketchersstoke

After over a year I finally went out today with my local urban sketchers group to a place called Keele Hall, part of Keele University. Its near Newcastle-Under-Lyme in Staffordshire. The hall was originally the home of Ralph Sneyd and his son a couple of centuries ago. It was then taken over as Stoke-on-Trent University but then was taken over as Keele University, one of the first campus universities in the UK.

Too complicated! I should have been there at 11, but by the time I got there and started it must have been 11.45, then time flew by. The sun was so bright I decided to lurk in a shadow, but even then it was hard to see details.

horse on its side

OK, I dont know why I like this

but this horse

on its side

could be stone

waiting to be carved

hewn out of rock

pumice from a volcano

found in an ancient town

or modern art

tipped sideways to shock

graffitti painted in white

on a famous building?

or slapped onto shutters

before they open

to the next day’s sun.

Beautiful brickwork

I don’t know much about bricks, except that they are fired clay. But I do like to see them when they are used decoratively. The way they are laid is called the ‘bond’ where it depends whether they are laid horizontally across the surface of the wall, or with the short end showing on the face of the wall and the length turned 90° so that the brick is across into the layer behind or allows the wall to turn the corner at the edge of the building.

As you can see from this photo, different coloured bricks are often used to make patterns and shapes in the brickwork or are used to frame tiled areas of text stating when the building was built.

I also know that brick sizes changed over time. That they were smaller in the past and hand made. Then molds were made and the brick sizes became standardised. I don’t know all the history of that sorry.

Gargoyle

Or some sort of stone carving. Whatever he is, he’s a bit frightening!

Seen in Cherished Chimneys in Longport he was staring out from among the chimney pots and pottery. I had to take a photo as he was so cute (for an angry dog!). I was impressed by the carving of the chain round his neck and his huge canine teeth. I guess he is a piece of architectural salvage, though I’m not sure which building he would have come from. Or maybe he was on a gatepost at a large country house? I suppose Britain’s heritage means we have a lot of things like this from when buildings are torn down. A lot of old houses have been demolished, fallen into ruin, or just been abandoned over the centuries. Their loss is our gain.

Idea

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How to depict art cuts?

Hear no, see no, speak no art?

Art is the senses.

Art is creativity.

Art is music, words, poetry.

Art IS life.

Take it away

Stultifying, crippling.

Education should educate

Should help create.

Where will our designers be?

Our musicians,

Architects?

Hairdressers?

Anything that adds something.

To bland and boring

Hard working

Reality.

Art…

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The Sunday Times newspaper has run an article which compares essential and non essential workers.

Their survey had a list of images, essential has doctors I think at the top, and artists at the top of non essential jobs. So it says artists are the least essential workers?

I feel this argument should be challenged.

So no one ever designs things using their artistic skills, or paints scenery, or designs art for their walls, or cars, or wallpaper, or covers for books, or diagrams for science books, or medical textbooks. Or designs for online gaming art, or creating beautiful jewellery, or clothes or shoes. Or patterns on China and pottery. No art is used in news papers to show images of essential or non essential workers, how could anyone be employed to illustrate anything? No one ever read a cartoon or a children’s book! Obviously……! No one ever drew rainbows for the NHS. Children don’t need art to learn how to understand biology or architecture or any other complex concept. Richard Feynmann and Steven Hawking never used pictures to explain their theories of quantum mechanics. What about technical drawing? But… statues are now grey boxes, Leonardo is a turtle…. And he was never drawn!

Old architecture.

I didn’t take many photos at Stoke Sings because I wasn’t sure people would approve, but I did take some photos of the inside of the hall. It’s surprising because externally it’s all modern glass and metal and neat brickwork. But inside the old fittings and fixtures remain. BUT… That’s good because the acoustics are fantastic. The composer Edward Elgar even said it had  some of the best acoustics in the country. Clearly the people of Stoke-on-Trent loved their music very much.

Collapsing hotel

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This poor wrecked old hotel sits forlorn opposite the Burslem school of art. There is also the wedgewood institute built directly opposite the school, but that’s had work done on it to restore it.

It’s good that a few buildings are being preserved, but the old hotel is interesting with its turrets and bay windows. Is it too far gone? Possibly, the roof partly collapsed last week and the road was cordoned off by the police and fire brigade last week. Now wooden boards form a wall round it and it’s ground floor windows, which had been shops, look sad and run down.

Burslem is the mother town, the oldest of the six pottery towns. Its sad to see its magnificent architecture in such decline.

Burslem is all on a slant, I think it’s suffering a lot if subsidence due to either a fault line or mining. A lot of buildings seem to be affected by this. I wonder if anything will be done about it?