Monthly Archives: January 2018

Piece: The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up
Artist: JMW Turner
About: Here, Turner explores striking contrasts. Light and dark, detailed and atmospheric, old guard and new, each are played to great effect – in fact, it was voted the UK’s favourite painting in 2005. The HMS Temeraire was a warship famous for its fight in the Battle of Trafalgar. It is pictured being towed by a steam-powered tug to the shipbreakers, on what would be its final voyage.


Piece: Ophelia
Artist: Sir John Everett Millais
About: An iconic example of the pre-raphaelite movement, which opposed the Royal Academy ideals typified by artist Raphael. The pre-raphaelites believed the landscape of a painting was just as important as the subject (in comparison to Raphael and his counterparts) and so Millais chose to paint the background first. Up close, you see that even the tiniest detail of plant life is accurately cast.


Piece: Pelagos
Artist: Barbara Hepworth
About: Hepworth’s work explores, for the most part at least, relationships and the interplay between people and environments. She worked from a studio in St Ives and the coast is often a focus. In Pelagos, one of her most famous sculptures, she draws on the ‘tension between herself and the sea, the wind, or the hills’, using taut strings to bridge the gap between two peaks of a wooden spiral.


Piece: Bathers at Asnières
Artist: Georges Seurat
About: A step-change in the art world: gone are the impressionist sweeps and swirls, and instead we have carefully considered pointillism. This was the painting with which Seurat developed his pointillistic technique, using dots created with a conte crayon to slowly build up subtle tonal changes.


Piece: Sunflowers
Artist: Vincent Van Gogh
About: One of Van Gogh’s most loved paintings, it is in fact one of four sunflower paintings he created for Paul Gauguin. Both the vibrancy of colour, and the layering of yellow on yellow, were groundbreaking at the time, and its influence can be seen in the work of many artists today including David Hockney. The sunflower seeds were created with a technique known as impasto.


Piece: Bacchus and Ariadne
Artist: Titian
About: A famous 16th century painting, commissioned to decorate one of the rooms at the Ducal palace in Ferrara (near Bologna.) Pictured we see Ariadne near the shoreline, recently spurned by her lover Theseus, caught unawares by Bacchus, god of wine. What’s most striking here is the richness of colour – deep blues, mossy greens and warm reds – a quality Titian was obsessed with getting right.


Thoughts on 2017:
The Big Stuff:
A big year for us. We met Laurel Wilding Harris. We left Shepherdess Walk for Whitechapel. And then left Whitechapel for Stepney Green. Longish trip to Italy (Rome, Florence, Bologna, Venice.) Shortish trip to New York. I worked on some big pitches at work, and helped win a few of them. Launched Possibilitea. Launched APG gold for CRUK. I was invited to become a trustee of Depaul UK. And with my parents moving house, I waved goodbye to my childhood home in Gotherington.
The Small Stuff:
Adhered to 
’Weekly squash’ better in the first half of the year than the second. Finally achieved “The Usual?” at Workshop Coffee before it closed down. Ordered far too much from Tayyabs and Chicken Shop. I managed a full year of journalling, and Monday morning week-planning. Didn’t go to enough gigs. We had some nice weekends away seeing friends and family. Dry January. Wet November and December. And a white Christmas (well, Boxing Day). Amazing what can happen in a year.

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Quote for the year:
“Get some sleep before the baby arrives.”

Books read: 33
Best three books:
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Number of photos taken: 9858
Number of songs starred on Spotify: 110
Most listened to track: White noise – BP 228 hz
Series watched: Yes Minister, Yes Prime Minister, Inside No 9, Episodes, Better Call Saul, Brass Eye, Line of Duty, Flea Bag, The Crown, Parks and Recreation
Album of the Year: Laura Marling – Semper Femina
Film of the Year: The Lego Batman Movie

Pub Quizzes Partaken: 0
Pub Quizzes Won: 0
Trips to the doctor: 1
Trips to the dentist: 3
Trips to the vet: 1

Museums visited: 21
Museums by month:
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New Year’s Resolutions:
Dry January. More writing. More dinners with friends and family. Master Adobe Illustrator. Redo the kitchen and the bathroom.