caralockhartsmith

stories and illustration

YSP (Yorkshire Sculpture Park) 1

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One of the good places, Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fly-By-Night

Fly-by-Night

“JUMP!” said the Midnight Hare.

February 5, 2016 Posted by | Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 9 Comments

Happy Christmas

Happy ChristmasAs we come to the Winter Solstice, Greetings to everyone, and may you have a wonderful 2015.

 

Illustration from “Twenty-Six Rabbits Go Crackers”, published by Orchard Books.

December 20, 2014 Posted by | Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 11 Comments

3 Stages and a Lighting Effect

3 stages and a lighting effectI started off painting this very roughly, and then took a photograph in the afternoon, when (by chance, not design) the light from the window lay over the canvas.  When I looked at the photograph I liked the effect of the window and its shadow, so decided to incorporate this effect in the final picture. I am used to painting illustrations flat on the table, but with this larger painting I propped up the canvas on a chair with two sturdy arms.  I am going to get a piece of wood and balance it on the chair to use as an easel.  The studio is small, and though I have an ornate, gold painted metal easel, this is used to hold many sheets of watercolour paper and big books of expensive artistico fabriano paper which I use for illustration. I also have a table easel which I think I bought in Lidl, or Aldi maybe: but for larger bits of canvas, the chair and the bit of wood will do very well.  It is fun to do something larger and freer after the small pages of illustration: though in a sense this is still an illustration, as it is a painting based on a poem which I wrote many years ago. I have incorporated the words of the poem in the painting.  I admire very much the use that some artists make of words, I haven’t explored this enough, and need to widen the range of my lettering. However, it is fun to realise that there are ways of expanding one’s range. I went to an exhibition of illustration at the Granary Gallery in Berwick upon Tweed (where some of my illustrations were on show among those of other people) and was very interested in one or two paintings which had incorporated words beautifully in their work. Rather a delightful exhibition, connected with Berwick’s first Book Festival, which takes place next weekend, and which it is hoped will be a yearly fixture. The picture above (final version) I delivered today to the Berwick Watchtower Gallery, for their Open Exhibition, which also opens next weekend.

 

October 11, 2014 Posted by | Painting, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Studio III

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October 11, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Four Stages of a Painting: Fly-By-Night

fly-by-night 2Fly-By-Night, painting in acrylic, neocolor II and conte, to be shown at The Coldstream Gallery in an exhibition entitled “Imagine”.

October 3, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Chinatown, Newcastle upon Tyne

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Went on a jaunt to Newcastle upon Tyne to see a friend of long-standing, who knows every nook and cranny, highway and byway and waterway and alleyway of this richly fascinating city.  During this visit we went to Chinatown, which has one of the largest Chinese communities in the country. The Chinese arch, a detail of which is above, was made by craftsmen in Shangai, then bought over to Newcastle and erected by Chinese workers as recently as 2005. As well as Chinese symbols of good fortune, it includes scenes from Newcastle itself.

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The arch frames the Tyneside Irish Centre, with good luck Chinese lions guarding the entrance to Chinatown:

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The main street is Stowell Street, on which a Chinese store opened in 1972, and which has since grown into the main thoroughfare of Chinatown:

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In the middle of the street is this rather incongruous very old-fashioned pillar box, in a nice Chinese red:

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A Thai Cafe has got in on the act, and looks well at home:

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Set in the heart of the renowned area of the city called  Grainger Town, a community has grown from small beginnings,  and has become a part of the fabric of Newcastle itself, with a spectacular and famed Chinese New Year’s celebration  that brings colour and festivity to this part of the city every year.

July 16, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Pastel and a Photograph Propped up on a Windowsill

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This is a pastel of my grandmother done when she was young, by her aunt. My grandmother Eva Macpherson came from Newfoundland to Europe, and her aunt was Margaret Campbell Macpherson, “Aunt Madge”, who also came from St Johns, and lived in France from 1899 till she died in Verseilles in 1931. Her companion, Josephine Hoxie Bartlett, had to abandon the studio when the Germans invaded France,  so there are probably painting and pastels that have disappered. I have carted this pastel of my grandmother through many vicissitudes. It has inhabited a house in Liddesdale, rackety student flats in Sunderland, a house in Berwick upon Tweed. The photograph  in the decorative frame, which I have also had with me for many years, is of myself as a baby, with my grandmother.  The reflections come  from the sun of the solstice shining through the glass.

June 22, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Farewell to the Cherry Blossom

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When I was very young we lived in a house which had a cherry tree in the yard. The blossom filled me with delight, and when it was fallen I felt sad. My grandmother had an old book of Arthur Rackham’s illustrations to Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, where the plates were all at the back of the book, separate from the text, hand-mounted on thick dark card, with each painting laid under transparent paper. You had to lift the paper carefully, it wasn’t quite tissue paper, to look at the pictures. The book was sold after a family crisis, but recently I bought a new, less special copy for myself, so I can still look at the illustrations.  The feeling I had for the  that original book, the pictures under the protective film, made me think also of the feeling that I had for the cherry blossom, which I could see from my bedroom window.  I still remember the sadness when the flowers began to fall.

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In Coldstream and the district round about there are many many cherry trees.  When I remarked on this, my husband told me that a farmer had told him that an order for trees  had been made, an order for hundreds of different trees, but that when the trees arrived, they were ALL cherry trees; and that, instead of sending them back, it had been decided to plant them anyway, here, there and everywhere. There is apparently a whole plantation of them up beyond Lennel, which I hope I shall be able to seek out at next year.

 There are older trees, which have obviously been in place since before the Wrong Order:

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And younger trees, which were probably planted after the Wrong Order:

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There are also probably variations on the theme cherry that I have not delved into.  The pink cherry is very pretty, but for me the cherry blossom that makes my heart lift is the white cherry.  So it has been good to live amoung these trees, this cold Spring:

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The cherry blossom starts to fall, just as other flowers are rising up out of the earth:

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And it is poignant to walk home along the path strewn with blossom, when the trees above are no longer shining white along the way:

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May 29, 2013 Posted by | Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Birds in My Room

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Julia’s Bird

I wondered how many images of birds I could discover in my room.  The bird with the crown is a panel by glass artist Julia Davies, who lives in Berwick upon Tweed.  I find her work beautiful. This bird is in the window, together with this jug which was given to me by my cousin Lucy, and which should have dried grasses in it but doesn’t at the moment:

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Lucy’s Jug

This box belonged to a friend of mine, Helen Harris, who died of leukemia:

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Helen’s Box

This peacock scarf was bought by Tony, my husband, from a shop that used to be in Coldstream, selling objets d’art from France.  I don’t know whether it is French or not.  One day I will have a neat black top and will go out with him looking a tad elegant with this scarf draped round my shoulders (elegance is not my usual mode).  In the meantime, because I find it gorgeous to have around, it is hung over the back of a chair upholstered in red velvet, a chair which goes way back in my husband’s life, and which  I suspect has been witness, if chairs can witness, to many interesting events.

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The Peacock Scarf

These birds were a wedding memento from my friend, Jennifer:

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For a Wedding, from Jennifer

The little chinese bird in its circular frame cost me £3.50 in a charity shop.  On the other hand, the original Aboriginal painting I bought for £1.25 is downstairs. That too has a wonderful bird on it.

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Embroidered Bird

This plate, which I think can be counted as representing a kind of bird (well, sort of), has been in the family for as long as I can remember, and somehow I ended up with it, travelling from Cumbria to Sunderland (in many different flats there), and from Sunderland to the West Country, and from the West Country to Berwick upon Tweed, and thence to Coldstream.  I think it is a kind of Portuguese Wyvern, though I am sure that isn’t a recognised description at all:

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Old Portuguese Plate

I start hunting for birds, and find more of them on the big fan:

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The Big Fan

and in the picture I did of the table in the porch (the conservatory manque)outside the kitchen, where objects accumulate week by week.  The cockerel is a largish bird that was bargained for over two years by my husband before a price was agreed. It precedes me in the household. The hat is Tony’s hat, he has more hats than any man I ever met, probably more hats than any man in Berwickshire, with the possible exception of members of the aristocracy, who probably have hats in their back rooms and cupboards that have not seen the light of day for many years:

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Tony’s Table

There are ducks on my make-up bag:

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The Make-up Bag

And peacocks on the brass calendar:

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The (Rather Optimistic) 100 Year Calendar

Finally a few books:

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Birds on Book Bindings

This little robin was so low down I nearly forgot about him.  He was a present from another Robin, a friend, for whom I have painted robins and hares:

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Robin’s Robin

And finally, cheating, a little cushion that was given to me.  If angels aren’t birds, or birds aren’t angels, then… well, whatever.  Peace and Love.

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Goodwill to All

May 3, 2013 Posted by | Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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