Wall at Harper St

On Saturday 24th September 2022, Art and Minds, a new gallery at unit 3 Harper Street, Middleport, will be opening to the public. It is also going to offer support to service men and women.

I was pleased to be offered some wall space there and have five small paintings that will be on display there including paintings of poppies (for remembrance) and two relating to industrial archaeology.

The gallery is in amongst a group of shop units and the Harper Street entrance is directly opposite the entrance of the Middleport pottery in Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. If you are visiting there why not pop across the road and come and look at the new shops there. X

Pleasant day

One of the fairy sculptures at Trentham Gardens today. She seems to be throwing leaves into the air in a wild gesture of freedom. She is standing on to of a world or perhaps a seed pod. The creator of the sculptures shows a great deal of variety and not only humour but great expressiveness.

Chapel window

In Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent is a place called Bethesda Methodist Chapel. It has been being restored over several years now. I have visited to sing there in performances with our choir. The building has gone from a crumbling shell to a much more robust structure. It is currently still being restored. One thing I have noticed are the spectacular stained glass windows. Methodist chapels are usually plain and simple. The wooden pews are unadorned. But the glass windows make me smile. It’s just beautiful art.

Cupcakes

Opposite the new art venue in Middleport is a small unit called Nickiebees Cupcakes. I popped in to see what they had. I asked about cakes without frosting (too much sugar in it) and we had a chat about whether it’s possible to use a sugar substitute to make the butter cream icing. Afterwards I went back and bought a couple of freshly baked cupcakes. They looked like perfect Victoria sponges. When I got home I went and got some clotted cream and blueberries. I cut the tops off the cakes, cut the tops in half, spread the cream over the cut surface. Then I put the tops back on like butterfly wings. I spooned a little more cream on top and studdied the cream with fresh blueberries. What a tasty treat! Had with a cup of decaff coffee. Tasty and not as sugary as fully frosted!

For sale, Heron

I just took my Heron painting to the cafe at Etruria Industrial Museum to swap it for the one of the waterfall that I have sold. I will try and deliver that to my friend soon who bought it from me. I need to do some more work because I have the opportunity of showing some small paintings at a new venue that is opening up in Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent, near the Middleport pottery. I’m trying to grab opportunity where I can.

Green peppers?

These were green when I put them in the fridge a week ago. Most of the pack still are, but these look like they have caught fire! I hope they won’t be too hot, I’ve incorporated them into a curry. The plate is Burleigh ware from Middleport pottery in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire. The photo cheered me up because of the bright colours.

2019 lake

I found this photo from 2019 and was amazed at the deep blue reflected in Rudyard Lake, which lies between Stoke-on-Trent and Leek. You get to it down winding roads. There is (was)? A small lake cruiser and a minature railway up one side of the lake that runs from the car park on the road between Rudyard and the road towards Macclesfield. Then it follows the lake side up towards the top end of the lake (the path finally goes to Rushton Spencer I think). The lake has something to do with Rudyard Kipling, not sure he was named after it? Its another lovely place near Stoke-on-Trent.

Afternoon music

Just back from an afternoon in the sunshine drinking (alcohol free) gin and diet tonic. The Boat Band were playing a mixture of cajun and sea shanty and folk music. People joined in. I found my kazoo and had a go but had completely forgotten how to play. I was embarrassed because they introduced me and I couldn’t get it to work…. Then as the orchestra of interesting instruments kicked back in again I could play it! Weirdly I think it was nerves. After two years of not joining in with open mic situations (with no mic) I just wasn’t quite ready. Glad to chat with people and think about strategies for coping with anxiety. I will try and get help for that. X

Clouds over carpark

Look up, see the blue, but then see the clouds. Mottled grey and white. When I was a child I was obsessed with clouds. In sewing class I embroidered white and grey clouds on a blue background. When I did art foundation I painted a cloudscape in quink ink. The colour of it, a darkish grey blue, split into browns and blue when you added water. I’ve painted clouds reflected in the windows at Spode in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

Knowledge of clouds. I wish I could recognise them and their types. I know some names, cumulus, cumulonimbus, stratus, etc, etc,…

Another memory.

The Leopardess at the Leopard Hotel in Burslem. She was supposed to be a mixed race woman that married the owner of the hotel and came to England to run it. I was told several tales by the landlords of the Leopard while I was painting murals there and I really wish I had written them down. But you know what it’s like. You are standing on top of a set of stepladders and chatting while you paint. You have ideas for each mural and have to fit in with what the owners want you to paint. Sometimes I was in the Arnold Bennett suite on my own for hours (I’d go up after work), listening to old creaking timbers and odd noises. It could be spooky in there. My memory isn’t what it was.