Bath is more full of people than it has been for many a long day, the sun is out, the air is clear though chilly. What a gorgeous town this is at this time of year.

We have 8 days of our wonderful Nathan show left, so if you do get a chance, please do come and visit!

La Scena, Oil on Birch Wood 122 x 200 cm. £12,000








The short film we did on Nathan has now attracted some sixteen thousand views (and counting) on Youtube. Please have a look on the ‘Films’ tab here if you haven’t already.

Nathan and family visited yesterday, and I can report that Joachim and Reuben were happy with how their contribution looked on the walls.

Joachim 7.20, Oil on Canvas 20 x 28 cm. £1,900











Reuben 7.20, Oil on Canvas 20 x 28 cm. £1,900











There are also the gorgeous pots by Matt Horne to look at.
The dark blue glazed pots look particularly good after their bathing in hydrochloric acid solution, the last stage of the glazing process.
The acid ‘etches’ the shimmering flower patterns that the crystals make into the deep blue, giving them a silvery look in the sunshine streaming through the gallery windows.

Sunshine and people in the gallery is a great combination after a long winter!

H11. Tall Dark Blue Vase, Porcelain with Crystalline Glaze 51 x 21 cm. £1850











Every evening now while I walk the dog amid these glorious sunsets, the blackbirds are out chirping to let all and sundry know whose patch they are on.

And as it was his 82nd birthday earlier in the week, and because my friend Pauline in Dorset reminded me of this lovely poem….

On the grass when I arrive,
Filling the stillness with life,
But ready to scare off
At the very first wrong move.
In the ivy when I leave.

It’s you, blackbird, I love.

I park, pause, take heed.
Breathe. Just breathe and sit
And lines I once translated
Come back: “I want away
To the house of death, to my father

Under the low clay roof.”

And I think of one gone to him,
A little stillness dancer—
Haunter-son, lost brother –
Cavorting through the yard,
So glad to see me home,

My homesick first term over.

And think of a neighbour’s words
Long after the accident:
“Yon bird on the shed roof,
Up on the ridge for weeks—
I said nothing at the time

But I never liked yon bird.”

The automatic lock
Clunks shut, the blackbird’s panic
Is shortlived, for a second
I’ve a bird’s eye view of myself,
A shadow on raked gravel

In front of my house of life.

Hedge-hop, I am absolute
For you, your ready talkback,
Your each stand-offish comeback,
Your picky, nervy goldbeak—
On the grass when I arrive,

In the ivy when I leave.

‘The Blackbird of Glanmore’ by Seamus Heaney

And finally…Nathan talks about observation, about looking in his short film.
He especially emphasised to me in looking round his own work, the slowing down to look, the attempt to cancel out the background noise.
About how the drawings of weeds and flowers would take on the emotions of the prevailing day’s events, within his family and encroaching from the world outside lockdown.

Apropos of this I came across this lovely letter (written in 1927) by the American writer Sherwood Anderson, in writing to his son John, studying art in Paris at the time.
I thought it lovely, and so very Nathanesque:

In relation to painting:
Don’t be carried off your feet by anything because it is modern — the latest thing.
Go to the Louvre often and spend a good deal of time before the Rembrandts, the Delacroixs.
Learn to draw. Try to make your hand so unconsciously adept that it will put down what you feel without your having to think of your hands.
Then you can think of the thing before you.
Draw things that have some meaning to you. An apple, what does it mean? The object drawn doesn’t matter so much.
It’s what you feel about it, what it means to you.
A masterpiece could be made of a dish of turnips.
Draw, draw, hundreds of drawings.
Try to remain humble. Smartness kills everything.
The object of art is not to make saleable pictures. It is to save yourself.

Nathan Ford, 36/90, Oil on Canvas 20 x 14 cm. £700








Thanks as always for reading.