What Spode means to me.

Series of photos taken at Spode today, 13.8.19. I will select one or more image to paint. The idea is to paint industrial archeology and also sky. Some include reflections and sights through to windows on the other side of a building. Many have clouds reflected in them….

I also did close-ups of things like hooks and taps and an old pair of rubber gloves.

Which is your favourite if any?

A recurring theme

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I decided to join three photos together and duplicate them as I see the joined photo as similar to a mandala. The pattern concentrates my mind and I see faces in the resultant image. The green/red and yellow/purple of contrasting colours makes it all the more vibrant.

I’m also doing this because I want to avoid getting my paints out! I’ve got a craft stall in a couple of weekends and I have to admit I’m prevaracating. I know I’ve got to do art but I’m not sure what to do. A bit of an artists block again. I think it’s because I’ve been doing so much lately that my mind needs a rest. I will be ok though, just taking a breather.

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Bluebells at Rode Hall

Rode Hall is a beautiful place and the gardens are blooming with bluebells. The last day of the bluebell walks is today. 8th May 2019.

There are other plants on display including rhododendron, campion, tulips, and even some narcissi that are still flowering.

The hall is open on Wednesdays and Weekends. They have a farmers market which I think is on the first Saturday of the month? They have a good tea room that offers hot food, cake and drinks. They are having a plant collectors fair on 27th May. (Bank Holiday).

Rode hall is off the A34 North of Stoke-on-Trent at Rode Heath. It is along a road on the left hand side and is signposted.

Pinhole camera image?

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This was taken in the 1980s when I was at college I remember. I think it was done with a pin hole camera? Take a sheet of photographic paper and put it in a tin with a tiny pin hole in it in a darkened room. Have a flap of paper or card to cover the hole, then you can take a photo by removing the cover over the pin hole. You will need to experiment with exposures because the paper will react to light. You need to know how quickly the paper will darken. Once the picture is taken you cover the pin hole again and develop the picture. As it’s 40 years since I did this I don’t remember what the chemicals are that you need. I do remember that if you are developing film you have to take it off the reel in complete darkness and you end up with a negative which you then project onto photographic paper. With a pin hole camera you use black and white paper and the image comes out as a positive picture.

There are other forms of pin hole images. You can project a live image on a wall using a tiny hole if there is bright sunlight outside. The image cast will be upside down. This is called a camera obscura and may have been used by painters in the renaissance and onward to project accurate images onto their canvases..

Katkins in the sun

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A warm evening in March, out at Westport lake. One of my favourite places for a walk. Over the last few years the trees have grown and the management of the lake has been taken over by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. The sun reflects off the water and ripples from the swimming birds make it sparkle. The lake was artificially created from the remains of a marl pit (where they dug out the clay for potteries) and old mine workings. It was created for wildlife in the 1980s I think when Shelton Bar Steel works closed ?

Life spreads and grows. Greenery overtakes the tallest buildings, ivy scrambles, buddlea infiltrates. And beauty comes from waste and destruction.