Jan Bowman

Just returned from another great Battle Of Ideas at the…

Sovereignty Rescued by the Angel of Democracy (with thanks to Hobbes’ Leviathan)

Just returned from another great Battle Of Ideas at the...
Yoxford Kitchen (the back)

Just returned from another great Battle Of Ideas at the...
Yoxford Window (the front)

Just returned from another great Battle Of Ideas at the...
Europa and the Octopus

Just returned from another great Battle Of Ideas at the...
Britannia’s Divorce

Just returned from another great Battle Of Ideas at the...
Freedom and Democracy Reject the EU’s Migrant Policy

Just returned from another great Battle Of Ideas at the beautiful Barbican. Here’s a fine 5-goal plan for Britain by 2030: Halve the cost of
energy. Halve travel time. Provide quality home care for
the elderly. Find a cure for dementia. Build 5 million
new homes
– from Phil Mullan discussing his new book Creative Destruction: How to Start an Economic Renaissance, which I highly recommend.

A Britain with this sort of moral compass is the one I want to live in.

Also sold prints there, such as democracy allegory pictures above, and these from the oasis of peace and tranquillity, AKA wonderful Suffolk cottage, where I drew the back window to go with the front last month, and read Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Another excellent book. Should be on every English curriculum for its hilarious, shocking satire against elitism and monarchy. I’d have infinitely preferred it at school to the gloomily pessimistic Lord of the Flies which we had to read instead.

And here’s an entirely random charming poem.

Bought a bashed copy of the 1958 Shell Guide to Trees and Shrubs…

Bought a bashed copy of the 1958 Shell Guide to Trees and Shrubs...

Bought a bashed copy of the 1958 Shell Guide to Trees and Shrubs...
draft for

Bought a bashed copy of the 1958 Shell Guide to Trees and Shrubs...

Bought a bashed copy of the 1958 Shell Guide to Trees and Shrubs...

Bought a bashed copy of the 1958 Shell Guide to Trees and Shrubs...

Bought a bashed copy of the 1958 Shell Guide to Trees and Shrubs...
Mam Tor, near Castleton, Derbyshire, 1976

Bought a bashed copy of the 1958 Shell Guide to Trees and Shrubs...
March, from The Shell Guide to Trees and Shrubs

Bought a bashed copy of the 1958 Shell Guide to Trees and Shrubs in the goldmine market at end of street last week and discovered I’d been brought up on Stanley Roy Badmin. His advertising posters and hoardings for rail and industry once covered the country, and helped define Britain’s postwar image of itself. School walls all sported Shell Classroom Guide posters, and his prints were ubiquitous at Christmas as greetings cards and calendars.

His work’s characteristically full of minute detail. Such careful realism is now terribly unfashionable but they’re still brilliant drawings. He was famous for his trees. Apparently it’s very important to get the angle of the branches right.

I’ve been reading about old images of London, and discovered…

Algernon Newton: Birmingham with the Hall of Memory (1929)

I’ve been reading about old images of London, and discovered...
Algernon Newton: The House by the Canal (1945)

I’ve been reading about old images of London, and discovered...
Algernon Newton: The Regents Canal, Twilight (1925)

I’ve been reading about old images of London, and discovered...
Algernon Newton: Sunshine in Hampstead, 1960-68

I’ve been reading about old images of London, and discovered...
Algernon Newton: In Kensington (1920-3)

I’ve been reading about old images of London, and discovered...
Algernon Newton: The Backs of Houses, Harley Street, (1925)

I’ve been reading about old images of London, and discovered...
John O’Connor (1830-1889): From Pentonville Road looking west: evening: 1884

I’ve been reading about old images of London, and discovered...
John O’Connor: Ludgate, Evening (1887)

I’ve been reading about old images of London, and discovered that the painting (top) of Birmingham’s War Memorial (which I’ve always liked as a rare view of that city in calm serenity) turns out to be by Algernon Newton (1880-1968), who did these lovely London ones too. Like an English Edward Hopper, his pictures make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a story where something’s about to happen. Even though commissioned mundanely as house portraits, they look magical.

And here also are two paintings by John O’Connor, of filthily glorious London landmarks 100 years ago through a haze of smog.

A few gems from recent bike excursion: mosaic soffit with ship…

Mosaic by Carter & Co.: side entrance to former Greenwich Town Hall, 1938-9

A few gems from recent bike excursion: mosaic soffit with ship...
Queenhithe Mural: impossible to do it justice in a photograph

A few gems from recent bike excursion: mosaic soffit with ship...
Queenhithe mural: packed with info and beautifully designed

A few gems from recent bike excursion: mosaic soffit with ship...
Here’s some more of it…

A few gems from recent bike excursion: mosaic soffit with ship...
Jeff Donaldson: Wives of Sango, 1969

A few gems from recent bike excursion: mosaic soffit with ship...

A few gems from recent bike excursion: mosaic soffit with ship and telescope by Carter & Co.); Queenhithe timeline mural on Thames Walk; and exuberantly powerful Kool-Aid-color pictures from Tate Modern’s Soul of Black Power exhibition

Besides enjoying summer in the garden I’ve been enjoying…

Raoof Haghighi: Sarah (acrylic on aluminium)

Besides enjoying summer in the garden I’ve been enjoying...
Iñigo Sesma: John John (oil on wooden panel)

Besides enjoying summer in the garden I’ve been enjoying...
Madeleine Fenton: Cecilia (egg tempera and oil on gesso panel)

Besides enjoying summer in the garden I’ve been enjoying...
Ross McAuley: Self-Portrait with Pear (oil on canvas)

Besides enjoying summer in the garden I’ve been enjoying...
Benjamin sullivan: Breech! (oil on canvas)

Besides enjoying summer in the garden I’ve been enjoying...
Hero Johnson: Tabitha Moses with Gilda, Liverpool (oil on canvas)

Besides enjoying summer in the garden I’ve been enjoying...
Pont (Graham Laidler,1908-1940) 1936 cartoon for Punch

Besides enjoying summer in the garden I’ve been enjoying...
https://youtu.be/FSoJUMnLc1o‘>https://youtu.be/FSoJUMnLc1o

Besides enjoying summer in the garden I’ve been enjoying London. Here are paintings I liked from this year’s BP Portrait Awards, and my favorite Pont drawing from rediscovering the Cartoon Museum – a minute’s walk from the British Museum and well worth a visit to make you smile, plus fascinating shop.

And after reading Penrose’s notebooks on Picasso I found this fab video (possibly best watched with sound on mute) of the great man’s painting technique. As Penrose says, he wasn’t scared to change anything in a picture, even when you’d think it was finished…

I disagree with Roger Scruton about a lot of things, but his WHY…

I disagree with Roger Scruton about a lot of things, but his WHY BEAUTY MATTERS is an inspiring video about art and what artists need to be doing today. As is his BEAUTY: A Very Short Introduction. He’s also full of pithy aphorisms, such as â€The first effect of modernism was to make high culture difficult: to surround beauty with a wall of erudition†and “A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.â€

I’ve been posting on Instagram instead of this blog lately. But…

Yellow mullein, pink phlox, purple giant thistles, evening primrose, teazel, etc etc

I’ve been posting on Instagram instead of this blog lately. But...
Lilium regale, anthemis, verbena? and red nicotiana

I’ve been posting on Instagram instead of this blog lately. But...
I THINK these are hollyhocks

I’ve been posting on Instagram instead of this blog lately. But...
A sink of sedums

I’ve been posting on Instagram instead of this blog lately. But...
Not sure what any of this is

I’ve been posting on Instagram instead of this blog lately. But...
Japanese anemone, annual cornflower, phlox

I’ve been posting on Instagram instead of this blog lately. But...
Oenothera, daisies, something red – dahlias?

I’ve been posting on Instagram instead of this blog lately. But...
Cranesbill with sea holly ‘Miss Wilmott’s Ghost’

I’ve been posting on Instagram instead of this blog lately. But...
Evening primrose, helenium, sea holly, etc etc

I’ve been posting on Instagram instead of this blog lately. But...
Pink and white phlox, blue sea holly

I’ve been posting on Instagram instead of this blog lately. But here are – for once – some flower photos from a lovely trip to Great Dixter last week. Fabulous, gigantic, exuberantly colourful plant combinations.

Margate’s Turner Gallery may lack work by Turner, but it has the…

Christiane Loehr: Dandelion Cushion, 2009; dandelion seeds

Margate’s Turner Gallery may lack work by Turner, but it has the...
Christiane Loehr: Little Tower, 1999; ivy seeds

Margate’s Turner Gallery may lack work by Turner, but it has the...
Christiane Loehr: Translucent Form 2012; tree blossoms

Margate’s Turner Gallery may lack work by Turner, but it has the...
Christiane Loehr: Big Arch Form, 2013: grass stalks

Margate’s Turner Gallery may lack work by Turner, but it has the...
Christiane Loehr: Hair Column; horsehair, 6 metres high

Margate’s Turner Gallery may lack work by Turner, but it has the...
Christiane Loehr: Small Dome, 2008; plant stalks

Margate’s Turner Gallery may lack work by Turner, but it has the...
Kashif Nadim Chaudry: The Three Graces: Swoopy

Margate’s Turner Gallery may lack work by Turner, but it has the...
Kashif Nadim Chaudry: The Three Graces: Artemis

Margate’s Turner Gallery may lack work by Turner, but it has the...
Kashif Nadim Chaudry: The Three Graces: Word

Margate’s Turner Gallery may lack work by Turner, but it has the...
Kashif Nadim Chaudry: The Three Graces: Word

Margate’s Turner Gallery may lack work by Turner, but it has the best views of Margate. Plus, last week, works by Christiane Loehr – beautiful, tiny, deceptively fragile-looking sculptures of organic ephemera: horsehair, seeds and plant stalks, which
made me think of of Galileo’s “Numbers are the language of natureâ€.

And Kashif Nadim Chaudry has filled the foyer with his gloriously colourful collaboration The Three Graces. Choudry: “for me a good artwork should take you somewhere else. It should fire your imaginationâ€. Yes quite.

Just back from a lovely trip to Bruges looking at old…

Beautiful old Belgian church whose name I’ve forgotten

Just back from a lovely trip to Bruges looking at old...
© Juan Palomino

Just back from a lovely trip to Bruges looking at old...
© Juan Palomino

Just back from a lovely trip to Bruges looking at old...
© Alice Coppini

Just back from a lovely trip to Bruges looking at old...
© Alice Coppini

Just back from a lovely trip to Bruges looking at old...
© Vincent Gravé

Just back from a lovely trip to Bruges looking at old...
Alessandro Cervellati

Just back from a lovely trip to Bruges looking at old...
Alessandro Cervellati

Just back from a lovely trip to Bruges looking at old...
John Aldridge: Builders at Work

Just back from a lovely trip to Bruges looking at old...
John Aldridge: February Afternoon

Just back from a lovely trip to Bruges looking at old churches… and another to Bologna Book Fair for pictorial eye candy.  Monos: Mensajeros del viento by Ana Paula Ojida had a good story too. Drawn by Juan Palomino, it retells a Mexican legend in which the first humans scared the deities by being too smart. In defence they threw magic dust into people’s eyes, so that for ever afterwards we’ve been blinded to how powerful and fabulous we really are. Quite.

..and i really liked Alice Coppini’s illustrations for the least child-like of all the Contest entries – a biography of Billie Holiday. (She’s also done this cute narrative calendar, for those of us who are into narrative calendars)

…and Un Grand Jardin, for its febrile, animated plant life by Vincent Gravé

… and discovered Alessandro Cervellati’s calligraphic horse and circus illustrations from the 1930s

…and have just been unexpectedly to the wonderful Fry Gallery for a fix of Great Bardfield artists. Came home inspired to draw the garden. Distracting me from book mockup!