Saturday, 19 January 2013

Painting a Gypsy Wagon -Part One

There is a traditional way of painting a waggon with scrolls, lining, fruit, horses, horse shoes and lots of gold leaf...but in the past not all waggons were decorated by artists...they often painted their own. A bit like today when we choose what colour front door we want or what type of curtains or bedspreads....its all a matter of personal choice....and of course what materials and money is to hand.
I remember a lovely friend of mine telling me that her Mothers waggon had large daisies painted on the front....years before the hippy 1960's.
Different painters had different styles, painters such as Jimmy Berry...regarded as The master was painterly, you could see the flow of the brush. He was even known to have used grass dipped in paint to line with. He lived in a waggon and often painted on the side of the road. There are many wonderful waggon painters I could mention but I'll write about them in their own individual blog.
Looking through Google images I came across a couple of great pictures, really displaying the hand painted originality of past waggons. The Museum of English Life.
The first picture is from 1920, it has very simple scrolls in one colour but fitting each panel.

The second is a close up of the canvas on two waggons from a photograph in their collection. It is great to see the canvas decorated too, something that I haven't seen done on any modern waggons.....

I rather like it and I think I will do something similar on my waggon.
Here are a few blogs by artists who stray from the traditional decoration and add their own flair and imagination to the decoration....I have to admit that my own style is very traditional but that doesn't stop me enjoying other artists work.
DebHunt Very bright and patterned horses..and she is out there living in her waggon.
Brad and Dave Builders of waggons in America...also have a clip of our English painter John Pockett painting.
Gypsy trailors usa
Ps...I'm not sure if wagon is written with one or two g's...I prefer one but spell check says two...Do you know ?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

New Year New Blog

...Happy New Year....and well I've been trying to update the look of my page but I've Gremlins ! Its getting slow to won't let me add pictures from my computer....I can't work out how to answer comments on the same page.....oh dear my lack of computer knowledge is finally catching up with me !
After looking at the 'help with uploading images' I know realise that I don't have a clue where the 'pop up blocker' is....and as to plugins, cache and cookies....absolutely no idea!
Well its Saturday morning, in bed with a cup of tea and I should try and learn about it...but hey I'd rather go and check out Pinterest !
Fingers crossed I'll work it all out by February.....note I didn't say which year !
One trick I do know is defragment and clean disc...good for a spring computer clean. Press on left all programmes, look up accessories, click system tools, then click defragment or disc clean up....then let it work while you have another cuppa ! ..that's what I'm going to do.
If I find anything out I'll add it on to this post.
1. Web history....apparently your whole web history is kept, mine went back to 2011 so I've deleted it all, It does say that it helps with searching but it's gone now...not sure if it makes anything quicker but I went to go to settings then delete all...that's if you want to ..decluttering with a couple of button presses..if only everything in life was so simple !
2. Click on bottom left look up Control on uninstall programmes...its amazing how many are idle and not will especially find this if you have children in the house.
3. Uninstall daft toolbars....I had one called webfetti, I thought I had uninstalled it but no...found it still through my control panel....annoyingly when you try to uninstall it it gives you a blooming survey to do. Daftly I fill it in thinking I had to to complete uninstalling, only find it offering a free page to create your own surveys !
Another day and its still not letting me upload pictures from my computer....any ideas ? This is a new thing and I've not had any problems before....Thank you.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Old London street carvings.

My sister bought a fab book from TK Max, looking through it I found three fantastic old places in London that no longer exist, but all had one thing in common, ...beautiful carving.
The first was the Dog and Bowl sign, 196 Blackfriars Road in Shoreditch.It was originally an ironmongers sign (1793), but stayed in place until the building that it was attached to was bombed. It is now in Cumings Museum. Charles Dickens used to walk by the shop when he was a boy and mentioned it in his autobiography...
'My usual way home was over Blackfriars Bridge, and down that turning in the Blackfriars Road which has Rowlands Hill's chapel on one side, and the likeness of a golden dog licking a golden pot over a shop door on the other'.
The second is a wonderful cockerel, very similar to the fairground roundabout  cockerels. 
Archive photo
The gilded cockerel was once above The Cock pub in Fleet Street. This pub, once visited by Thackeray, Dickens, Pepys and Tennyson was demolished in 1887. The cockerel was moved to an alcove above Edward Maunds joinery shop at 336 Old Street, Shoreditch.....I wonder where it is now ?
Tennyson wrote:
The cock was of a larger egg
Than modern poultry drop,
Stept forward on a firmer legg,
And cramm'd a plumper crop.

Image from Watford Observer
View out of yard to a ships timber wagon
 The last but not least is the wonderful yard of Henry Castle & Son,      Ship breakers....I would have loved to see this ! I suppose years ago when I stayed at Brillscote Farm for the Relic Antique auction was the closest I got to a similar atmosphere.. Grierson Gower and Malcolm Gliksten had barns full of old shops and contents, fairground rides, waggon's...signs...even one of  the cockpits of Concorde! Henry Castle had a big business dismantling old wooden ships and had an eye for the beautiful ships figureheads that had great affection from the crews of the old wooden ships.Legend has it that Turner's 'Fighting Temeraire being towed to Castle yard in his famous painting. Henry Castle also recycled the ships timbers into garden furniture that could be designed and produced for the customer on the same day. 
The fighting Temeraire


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