Thursday, 31 July 2014

Mr Bullfinch has a bath then says 'good morning'.

Outside my kitchen window this morning. It is quite rare to see a bullfinch on his own- usually the male is with his female mate.

Providing a bath for birds to frolic in and drink from costs little to nothing. This is an old hanging basket with  saucer in it. Every morning someone comes to say hello as I eat my porridge by the window.

Photos copyright SvD.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Master Class Events at Art Soufflé The Meridian FM Art Festival Sep 24- Oct 02

Master Class - Drawing:
Gill Bustamante will be conducting a One Day Drawing Master Class of Horses (with live horses) at the festival. Gill is an accomplished artist with years of experience drawing horses- one of her favourite animals. To book your place for this four hour master class, please call Samantha van Dalen on 01 883 341 646. Registration fee: £75. Payable in advance. Participants will be required to bring their own packed lunch/refreshments, folding chair and drawing tools: putty rubber, A3 paper, set of pencils HB-6B. The class will take place in a stable with live horses present so it may be worth noting that the class may not be suitable for very young children. 
Places are limited so please do not delay.

Master Class – Sculpture:
Alexandra Beale will be conducting a One Day Sculpture Master Class concentrating on Busts at the festival. Alexandra is a world-renowned sculptor who was recently commissioned to design and create a bust of Bruce McLaren, the founder of the Formula 1 team. To book your place for this four hour master class, please call Samantha van Dalen on 01 883 341 646. Registration fee: £75. Payable in advance. Participants will be required to bring their own packed lunch/refreshments. Clay only will be provided. 
Places are limited so please do not delay.

Photos and creations as above, painting and sculpture, copyright Gill Bustamante and Alexandra Beale.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Things I saw in the woods today, part 88

The pale lilac of the Scabious flower:
What's wrong with this photo?

Yet another PC dimwit who walks around clutching dog mess in a plastic bag and feels incredibly self righteous. I am forced to leave signs all over the woods that go something like this: To this dimwit who left a bag of dog mess in a plastic bag in our otherwise pristine woods. Plastic will take thousands of years to degrade and in the meantime, small animals and birds will choke on it. Use your brain which clearly is the size of a newt's backside."

Some things are perfect however (not of the human variety):

A perfectly formed maple seed:

And on seeds:

Thousands of immature acorns are falling to the ground, blown by the winds or simply never meant to be and will never reach maturity. Just like us- not everyone will live to a ripe old age.

Photos copyright SvD.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Renowned artist Charles Willmott joins Art Soufflé

I received confirmation today that Charles Willmott will be participating at Art Soufflé The Meridian FM Art Festival. I am delighted! Charles is ranked as one of the Top 30 British artists and boasts a huge repertoire of art in a style that is timeless in its elegance.

Paintings and photos copyright Charles Willmott.

The artist

Art Agent & Art Soufflé

Here's my new website as an art agent:

And as an organiser of art events you can keep up with the latest festival news:

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Make hay while the sun shines

All gone the beautiful herbs, butterflies and orchids. Until next year. Take your chance now as time waits for no one.

Photo copyright SvD.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Summer in all its glory

This 'weed' is actually quite pretty growing wild as it does in the woods. We're not used to the sun in the UK but we have been enjoying the hottest temperatures for several weeks now. The woods are filled with flowers but far fewer butterflies than previous years. That seems very strange given that we have had much less rain. This photo was taken in a spot in the woods where thousands of butterflies can usually be found in the summer. There were hardly any as I wandered around with the hound late this evening.  (The sun sets around 9.45pm).

Photo copyright SvD.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Art Agent

Gill Bustamante has appointed me as her art agent. Thrilling and I am honoured. Gill is a best-selling artist and her work a very good investment! Gill will be exhibiting at Art Soufflé The Meridian FM Art Festival in September.

Photos and paintings copyright Gill Bustamante


In the woods this morning as a spider dangled from my hair and refused to go away and the horse flies were biting, the hound and I ambled along in the woods. The hound usually walks on ahead nose to the ground and every few feet will turn around to see the source of his food (me), just to reassure himself. I walk in my cathedral of nature either with my head turned upwards to gaze at the sky through the trees or downwards looking for mushrooms today as it is quite warm and they are out.

For the second time in my life I found a fossil and in the strangest of places: high up on a hill deep in the woods. There it was just as I turned my gaze from the heavens to my feet. I gasped in delight and the hound rushed over despite knowing his mama can be very dramatic about nothing in particular.  (I was so transfixed I ignored the spider abseiling down my face.) I held the fossil in my hand and marveled at such an ancient thing as it quite simply took my breath away. Perfectly preserved in every detail you would see in a living oyster. I could even make out where the oyster itself had been preserved, as if soon after death, the minerals of the seas had simply enrobed it and so began the process of preservation in layers of silt, which over millennia had turned to stone. The youngest fossils are 10,000 years old, the oldest, billions. Not one of us was around when this perfect thing was being made.

The mystery wrapped in the riddle hidden in the enigma that is life. Temporary, ephemeral and yet so much of it is spent in anxious abeyance. Grasping at things that don't matter, spending time in anticipation with people who don't count for anything and are incapable of helping us become better human beings. From the heavens we must appear as ants, scurrying frenetically to nowhere in particular and not recognising the true purpose of living.

Then a fossilised oyster comes along, driven out of its hiding place by thunder and lighting two days in a row.

A long dead oyster. You, me and infinity.

Photo copyright SvD.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

A drone goes walkabout

I was transfixed by this drone (a male bee) walking in the middle of a white line on the road. I know, I probably need a therapist but he could have got squashed by a car (and why wasn't he flying?).

Photos copyright SvD.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Things I saw in the woods today, part 87

The colour blue- this being the height of summer, blue is everywhere:
All the flowers are wild:

Photos copyright SvD.

A great place to stay during your visit to Art Soufflé

The very elegant, historic, award-winning 4 star hotel, Gravetye Manor, situated just next to Kingscote Vineyard, the venue of the festival, has agreed to offer a substantial discount to all guests booking their stay during the festival dates and who quote "Art Soufflé". Another reason to come to Art Soufflé and if you're travelling down from London, you can include your visit to the festival with a wonderful place to stay.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Art Soufflé: Latest update on Meridian FM website

Here's the latest on the station website: Art Soufflé The Meridian FM Art Festival

They have omitted to mention that Dennis Locorriere will be exhibiting his cartoons at the festival (as well as performing) but that should be rectified on the website by tomorrow.

Things I saw in the woods today, part 86

A baby birdie sat next to a snail who had dozed off in the summer heat.

The first yew berry- months earlier than normal.

Photos copyright SvD.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Art Soufflé featured on EastGrinsteadOnline

Many thanks to EastGrinsteadOnline for featuring Art Soufflé today on their website.

EastGrinsteadOnline/July 16 2014

A third artist joins Art Soufflé The Meridian FM Art Festival

I am very pleased to announce that Alexandra Beale, whose exquisite bronzes sell for up to £60,000., has joined Art Soufflé The Meridian FM Art festival.

Artist statement: Sculptor Alexandra Beale's work ranges from full size statuary and garden water features to portrait heads and composition pieces for interiors. Her sculptures portray a unique sensitivity to the energy for life whether in representative, figurative or abstract formation, fulfilling a desire to create decorative, elegant works of art. A large number of the sculptures are in bronze or bronze resin limited editions.

Alexandra has exhibited at:
  • Holy Trinity Art and Crafts Guild,
  • Sloane Square
  • Atrium Gallery, Bournemouth University
  • The Wimbledon Fine Arts Gallery
  • The Old Bakehouse , Fishbourne, West Sussex
  • Langham Fine Arts, Suffolk
  • Pashley Manor
As well as many of the country’s prestigious garden shows including Chelsea, Hampton Court, Stansted, West Dean, Parham and The Old Town Hall Chelsea.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Art Soufflé The Meridian FM Art Festival- a special guest...

I am beyond thrilled and delighted to announce that  Dennis Locorriere of Dr Hook fame and who has sold 60 million albums worldwide will be performing at the private view on 23rd September at Kingscote Vineyards in East Grinstead. Dennis is very well known and Dr. Hook’s latest album, Timeless, was in the Top Ten UK Charts this year. Dennis’ presence will attract all of the major media players to the festival.

Dennis will also be exhibiting his famous cartoons at the festival and fans will able to have printed copies signed by the man himself!!

The festival dates and times are as follows:

 Tuesday 23rd September 2014 Gallery Drinks Reception Press Night & Private View/Dennis  Locorriere Special Performance
 Wednesday 24th September 2014 Open to the public 11am-6pm
 Thursday 25th September 2014 Open to the public 11am-6pm
 Friday 26th September 2014 Open to the public 11am-8pm
 Saturday 27th September 2014 Open to the public 11am-6pm
 Sunday 28th September 2014 Open to the public 11am-5pm
 Monday 29th September 2014 Open to the public 11am-6pm
 Tuesday 30th September 2014 Open to the public 11am-6pm
 Wednesday 01st October 2014 Open to the public 11am-6pm
 Thursday 02nd October 2014 Open to the public 11am-6pm

Kingscote Vineyards,
Mill Place Farm,
Vowels Lane,
East Grinstead,
West Sussex, RH19 4LG
For all festival information, please contact Samantha van Dalen on 07910 199 072

Friday, 11 July 2014

Venue: Art Soufflé The Meridian FM Art Festival

I've chosen the venue and am delighted to announce that Art Soufflé will take place at Kingscote Vineyard. Many thanks to owner Christen Monge for having faith in my idea.

And a delightful, special place the vineyard is too- home to many a hedge fund manager on a weekend and some rare trout not to mention deer. Idyllic!