Wensley Mill, Yorkshire

My wife and I have decided that a short holiday up north would do us good. There are a number of places which I am tempted to visit on the way. I have a number of pieces of art which have helped to hone my interest. We will look at just one.

I bought a small painting some time ago. It was done on an oak plank so has some age to it and has a couple of small chips which don’t deter too much from the overall effect. It is in need of a good clean and re-sealing though.

I know that there was an etching done from this painting (I believe) by engraver #GeorgeCuitt which was published in 1827. Hence my date of 1825.

Wensley Mill, Yorkshire – artist unknown (George Cuitt?) @ 1825?

The painting shows #WensleyMill in Yorkshire. The painting size is 250 mm by 385mm (the etching size is 240 X 300). There is a bit more to the right side of the painting than the etching. It is possible that that it was painted by George Cuit the Elder (1743-1818) or George Cuitt the Younger (1779-1854) prior to etching it.

The Wensley waterfall is tucked away from the view of passers-by. It tumbles down hidden by the old cottage used by the Wensley candlemakers. One can also visit the mill which at present is home to #WhiteRoseCandles

Of course, the wider Wensleydale area is famous for its crumbly cheese which was first made by a group of French monks who settled in North Yorkshire almost a thousand years ago. Also a favourite of Wallace and Gromit – the animated characters.

I think, you can see why I am tempted to visit. History calls out and beauty abounds. A good place for a visit.

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Joseph Yelverton Dawbarn artist

We visit a local artist for me.

#JosephYelvertonDawbarn (1856-1943) was born in Wisbech in Cambridgeshire (about 25 miles from where I live). Although Dawbarn read mathematics and law at Queen’s College in Cambridge he did not practice long as he did not find it enjoyable as a profession. He went on to study was art in Liverpool under the tutelage of #JohnFinnie. Dawbarn also traveled to Paris to learn under Fleury and Bouguereau.

Dawbarn loved to travel and paint. His works portray places from across Europe and the United Kingdom. Because proficient in both oils and watercolours. Dawbarn painted landscapes/cityscapes and rustic figures although he did venture into portraits and nudes.

Salen, Isle of Mull, Scotland – watercolour by Joseph Yelverton Dawbarn,,

The watercolour shown displays Dawbarn’s wonderful use of colours and skill at combining them . A fine view of the settlement of #Salen on the #IsleofMull in Scotland. I’ve been to Oban on the mainland and gazed at the Isle but not visited yet.

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Art with Inscription

This past week, I added what I thought was a nice ‘Italianate scene’ watercolour to my collection. On the back is an inscription. Now writing on artworks or books does not necessarily make them more valuable (usually less). The writing must be done by the artist themselves or someone famous to possibly increase value. That being said inscriptions can give historical information.

Inscription on verso of painting.

Above is the inscription from the verso of the small watercolour I acquired. It contains three names and a date. Onwards – 1838 is the year and the people are? Mr. Jacobsons remains a mystery but the the other two are known historical figures. #TheophilaGwatkin and #AnneGwatkin. You are likely still wondering who are they. Theophila Gwatkin (nee Palmer) (1757-1848) was an amatuer artist. She is better known as the niece of #SirJoshuaReynolds. She sat for him in a number of his paintings. Theophila Gwatkin had 10 children. Of those were Theophila and Anne -two of her daughter’s.

Lakeside vista

The watercolour has some talent to it. Could this be Robert and Theophila with daughter Anne strolling near their home, Killiow House in Kea, Cornwall? I will settle for knowing who the Gwatkins were and be content with not knowing the full story behind this work.

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William Henry Hunt watercolourist

It’s been a while since my last post, so I thought we would start with a newly acquired piece.

#WilliamHenryHunt (1790-1864) was a key figure in the nineteenth century English watercolour world. His works were readily collected in his lifetime and continue to be popular. He painted genre images of children and still-lifes of fruit, flowers, and bird’s nests. This earned him the nickname ‘Bird’s Nest Hunt’
Hunt was born near Covent Garden suffering with a deformity to his legs. He apprenticed under watercolourist #JohnVarley in 1806. Through Varley he met patron #Dr.ThomasMonro, who encouraged and enabled Hunt to paint and progress artistically. Hunt often traveled to Dr. Monro’s summer house at Bushey in Hertfordshire. Many of Hunt’s drawings were done at the farm where he would be wheeled around in a barrow with a hood attachment.

Ruskin suggested that if one wished to learn how to paint in watercolour there was no safer guide than William Hunt. Very high praise indeed.

Dog Kennel – our Bodger – Streatley, Berkshire – July 25 watercolour by William Hunt (signed, undated for year)

The watercolour shown is signed lower right and the title is on the verso. The paper has darkened greatly over time but the quality of the colours and overall image can still be seen. A nice work by a well respected artist.

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A. Victor Coverley-Price artist

An artist born in Winchester in 1901 is the subject of our chapter today. #ArthurVictorCoverley-Price was an adventurous soul. He loved both painting and climbing things especially those mountains which were a challenge.

Coverley-Price was a talented artist from his early youth. He was mostly self-taught and began his exhibiting prior to his graduation from college. He loved to travel all the while drawing, sketching, and painting. Coverley-Price worked in the Diplomatic Service which meant he traveled the globe. Nepal, South America, Japan, the Middle East, South Africa, North America and many other places were his canvas and inspiration. Painting the people, the streets they populated and the landscapes in which they lived.

Muckish from near Dunfanaghy (Ireland) watercolour by V. Coverley-Price

His adventurous life and search for thrills and challenges to face did not diminish his appreciation for beauty in the more accessible places around him. A use of bold strokes and bright colours in his images infuses them with energy and life. We can feel the artists love of the scenes that sit before him and which he endeavours to capture for us the viewer.

A Glimpse of Lake Garda watercolour by V. Coverley-Price

I have two of Coverley-Price’s watercolours in my collection. ‘#Muckish from near Dunfanaghy’ and ‘A glimpse of #LakeGarda’ both exhibit the exhilaration and joy which the artist must have felt when he visited those places. Both images are fresh and vivid and filled with the spirit the places they depict.

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A Form of Flattery

As a singer, I would listen to a number of artists who had recorded a piece and study their interpretation. Not to copy these performances but to effect my performance. This act of trying to relate to others in your field goes for most of the arts as well as careers we might have. Painting and drawing is no different. What better way to increase your skill than to study those great artists before you.

salutation with artist name and date

We look at a drawing by artist Walter F Corry. I have found no information in regards to this artist. The date on this piece reads as 16.10.05. From the age of the paper, I lean towards 1805 rather than 1905. I cannot say for sure, even, whether Walter Corry was the artist or this was given as a gift to s friend. The salutation is ink while the drawing is graphite.

Head of an old man – study for St Jerome after Albrecht Dürer

The artist here has used pencil/graphite to recreate a study by Albrecht Dürer. A study of a 92 year old man for Dürer’s painting of St Jerome. It is very well done. Not an exact copy but a very fine version. The subtle shading gives credit to the supreme artist which Dürer was. A fine and lovely artwork to look at.

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Alfred R. Blundell and Cavendish Morton

Today, we travel eastward from my home into the shire of Norfolk and experience the unique landscape through an etching by #AlfredRBlundell.

Breckland Pines – etching by Alfred R Blundell

Alfred Blundell (1883-1968) was an all-round artist – dabbling in painting, etching, sculpting, and printmaking. He is known across Europe for his architectural subjects. Blundell was born in Bury St Edmunds and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. A fine etcher he was an artist who was active in the great renaissance of original print-making that took place in Britain in the early 20th century.

Mildenhall by Cavendish Morton

If we travel a few miles south we find the market town of Mildenhall. The center of town is the market Square with its’ 16th century hexagonal market cross. The market is held every Friday and holds it’s charter from the 15th century. Mildenhall boasts it’s own radio station and was mentioned in a song (Let There Be Light) by ‘Pink Floyd’. This watercolour was painted by #CavendishMorton and shows the market square with its market cross. Yes. It really is that low to the ground. Morton was a painter, illustrator, teacher and print maker. He was a masterful portrayer of light and colour and loved sunshine and shadow in his works whether marine, beach or landscapes. Wonderful use of colour by to give depth and movement to this view over seen by St Mary’s Church tower.

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Items of Interest

I often find myself adding things to my collection not for any monetary reasons but for glimpses into the past. Today, we look at two watercolours for such a reason.

‘A Distant View’ watercolour on Saint Montgolfier paper

We will begin with a landscape which displays a copse of trees standing alongside a wooden fence with some hills in the background. It is a nice image but not truly anything spectacular. It has interest not for its image but more for the watermark. This paper was made by #SaintMontgolfier. The family Montgolfier (two brothers) began making paper in the 18th century. The brothers are more famous for inventing the hot-air balloon. Over time the company merged to become Canson and Montgolfier – one of the greatest paper-makers in history. Used by artists and all who love supreme quality papers. The company continues to make paper and adapts itself to modern day requirements.

St Peters Church, Cambrifge

The second image is a watercolour of a church in the nearby city of Cambridge. St Peter’s is also known as St Peter by the Castle or St Peter beyond the Bridge. It was originally built in the 12th century. It is a single cell structure with octagonal spire. The present church was rebuilt on a slightly smaller scale in 1781. It retains a 12th century font as well as a 13th century doorway. The watercolour shown here is certainly early 19th century. Tidily tucked away in a quiet corner of Cambridge, St Peter’s is worth a visit.

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The Love of the Pen

When we moved to England, my daughter was 9 years old. I was amazed that children were taught to write using fountain pens. Fountain pens are not a regular site in early educational institutions in North America. Since moving here, I have become a fan of the fountain pen and love to use them and over the years I have collected a few. I don’t use all the pens I have collected, just a few. My daily pens tend to be Parkers and Sheaffers.

The first set is a Swan pen and pencil set in mosaic golden marble from around the 1930’s in their original box. There is just something beautiful about the design and appearance of a beautiful pen.

To real aficionados these pens are ‘writing instruments’ not just fountain pens. They, in and of themselves, are works of art. Each an individual creation when it comes to their appearance depending on what model, of course.

The next pen is made by Onoto de la rue. This pen again comes from the 1930’s. A very lovely pink/red pearl body with gold trim and gold nib. As I said, my usual pens are Parkers and Sheaffers, so to finish a number of Parkers from my collection. To begin – two Centennial Duofolds – one blue marble and the other black both with gold trim. The next is a pen and pencil ‘Premier’ set in lacque black @ 1983 (note the grip) followed by a Parker ‘Victory’ with red pearl body (@1940). And we finish with two Parker ‘Vacumatics’ (@1940), one in emerald green and the other in golden pearl. I am not a pen expert and certainly do not have any truly rare pens but the few I have are good models of their makers expertise. Truly not just pens but writing instruments.

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Jean Dryden Alexander artist

A look at a local artist, today. #JeanDrydenAlexander (1911 – 1994) was born at Priest Cottage, Shenfield, Essex. Her father (RGD Alexander) and mother (Effie Alexander) were well known watercolours. Through her parents circle of artist friends she met people such as HB Brabazon and Sir George Clausen. She and her family spent much of their time painting ‘en plein air’ across Essex and its’ coastline.

Sketch on verso by Jean Dryden Alexander

Jean was not only a painter but also a teacher. Teaching for 30 years at Brentwood County High School. During her lifetime, she travelled extensively and resided for 4 years in New Zealand. In 1974, she moved back to England and settled in Norfolk where she lived until her death.

A Deckchair Snooze by Jean Dryden Alexander

The sketch appearing on the verso appears to be a study for the watercolour which appears on the recto. A very pleasant image to look at. Just enough definition is used and leaves an image which draws you into it to see closer.

Label on matting
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