I took a walk along Ramsgate harbour to see the boats that have been decorated for Christmas. The Royal Temple Yacht Club with the Ramsgate Marina Association have been running a completion for the best dressed boat for Christmas.
As the light faded more and more boats switched on their lights and made a lovely display for a lot of people who were also walking along and taking photographs as I was.
Along with flashing lights were the yachts with lights lighting up their sails standing out in the marina.
A very enjoyable way to spend a while and get into the festive spirit. I hope it continues to grow year on year.
I visited the annual Rochester Dickensian Christmas festival this year for the first time. When I lived in Rochester many years ago, the whole Dickensian aspect to the city had yet to appear and I hadn't managed to go back to see the new festivals untill now
There are a lot more buildings that have been smartened up in the town, though also a lot more charity shops. The town was a city when I lived in Kent having the imposing cathedral next to the high street, but has now lost it's city status which is a shame.
There were dozens of people dressed in Victorian costume when we arrived and thousands of people crammed into the narrow streets during the day. We watched as people arrived for the procession of the seven poor travellers headed by the Christmas pudding which paraded from the Victoria and Bull hotel to the Six Poor Travellers House.
This parade celebrates the Dickens short story, The Severn Poor Travellers based on his own experience. I was impressed by the ammount of detail people had put into their costumes and the time it must have taken to make some of them.
The Severn Dials Rapscallions were a great group of Victorian low life characters based around a campsite and fire. I liked the inclusion of the ordinary characters including, policemen, drunken soldiers and pedlars in the festival, which gave the event a more rounded feel.
I walked down to the start of the main parade along the high street and took my place with hundreds of other visitors lining the street. A Fagin Character entertained us while we waited, then the main parade started and we watched as Dickens characters and Victorian figures all strolled past, including a Miss Haversham and dignitaries.
I really enjoyed the day and would recommend it as an entertaining day out. Link to festival website here
I spent the day last Sunday at The Beaney in Canterbury among the Winter Exhibition as an artist in residence. It was good to spend some time looking at the exhibition and there is a lot of good work in the show.
The exhibition runs till January 18th 2015 and The Beaney,s website is here. There's a good cafe in the museum /gallery and other rooms to visit and a programme of events too.
Talking to some of the visitors was interesting, hearing which pieces they liked and pleased that some people mentioned my work too.
It can also be fun to just watch people in a gallery, how long they take to look around, what work draws them etc. Some people just came in for a minute, someone came in and said this is all modern and walked out, other people looked very carefully at every piece. Couples rarely agreed on which pieces they liked best and children were either bored or commenting on lots of work.
There is a good mix of work in a variety of mediums, perhaps because I do not use some mediums like, glass and ceramics, I am drawn to those sorts of work. Jeanette Cook's Wintery Vale, is a glass piece that I really like and Aya Mouri's Canterbury plate with it's painted map and birds is lovely. Kate Baker's mosaic Starry Winter's Eve is also beautiful.
Other work includes prints,mixed media and photographs. Tracie Piesley's Ice Queen is quirky and iconic and Helen Beeken's Summer Sleeping has similar mythological themes as does Ghosts of the Winter Solstice by Cornwall Jones. Jill Holder's Winter's bones is a thought provoking work and a reminder in my mind of the power of winter.
Ruth McDonald's concertina is another work I like very much, the black and white landscape with trees evoking the winter theme and the concertina book form giving different views of the landscape.
I am very pleased to have been accepted to show one of my paintings at The Beaney in Canterbury.
The exhibition titled Winter will be in their Front Room from Saturday 22nd November till Sunday 18th of January.
I will be there on Sunday 7th of December with a selection of cards and prints for sale.
The Beaney is a museum, art gallery and library in the heart of Canterbury, which shows a range of international exhibitions as well as more local shows.
The painting I am showing is called Winter Shelter II and shows an old oak tree trunk frosted with ice and sheltering birds and animals. A fox stands at the foot of the tree looking out at the landscape.
I have also painted another piece Winter Shelter I which shows a similar scene with different birds and animals.
I've been working on some new watercolours of birds. I've used traditional birds, a Robin, Blue Tit and a Wren.
The birds are all sitting within designs using foliage and fruits, inspired by Japanese design, ivy, mistletoe and pine branches.
I wanted to use a lot of colour and also a sparkle with gold and silver touches, so the background is a blend of blues, pinks, purples, yellows and greens and mixed with the snow falling over the scene are some silver flakes.
It was the opening of the new Jeremy Deller exhibition at the Turner Contemporary Gallery on Saturday. link to gallery site here Part of the exhibition called English Magic, has been on tour since it was first seen at the Venice Biennale in 2013.
The British Council has an article about Jeremy Deller and the British Pavillion in Venice here.
On the opening day, the Melodians Steel Orchestra were playing and the gallery was packed. The orchestra played music from Jeremy Deller's film and other works and were joined by The Big Sing, Turner Gallery's resident choir. They also performed a piece arranged by Emily Peasgood part of the SoundsLikeArt project.
I really like the sound of the steel drums, which seem to have a particular energy that is uplifting.
I made my way upstairs during their performance to stand and look down at part of the orchestra from above.
The main galleries had the English Magic exhibition and some small Turner paintings chosen by Jeremy Deller. I only had a brief walk round and will go back several more times before the exhibition ends.
The large wall art pieces are dramatic, the figure of William Morris overturning a luxury yacht in the Venice lagoon, and the Hen Harrier holding a crushed Range Rover in it's claws.
Other exhibits include Neolithic hand axes, photos from the Ziggy Stardust Tour of 1972 and text based banner type works.