Update on 30 Tonnes of Buttons!

I have had a few comments/enquiries about the buttons so here’s what I’ve heard today…  If anyone wishes to collect some buttons, it will need to be before next Friday.                  The contact number is on the factory link on previous Blog post.

One of my Blog readers (who happens to live quite close to the warehouse) very kindly offered to collect some buttons for me. She emailed today:

It turned out that what’s available to take at the moment is mostly in a skip at the front of the building, but he did give me a large bag of mixed black buttons. From the skip I retrieved quite a large amount of plastic buttons, mostly in neutral colours, and I also found some wooden toggles and a few wooden buttons that I think were samples.

I also heard this today from Sarah (sister-in-law of factory owner) who made the original contact:  Yes we’re overwhelmed by postal requests so people will need to come to the warehouse by Friday (15th) as we’re shutting up the warehouse and clearing by then.

I’m so pleased that at least some will not be going to landfill. Good Luck everyone!

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30 tonnes of buttons for artists

Today I received this email:
“My brother-in-law’s company ‘A Brown & Co Buttons’ is closing down.
104 year old button company specialising in plastic, metal, glass, pearl (real and imitation) and wood buttons is sadly closing down.
We have approx 30 tonnes of buttons that we really don’t want to send to landfill.
We thought maybe artists might be able to use them?”
This is a tragedy – a warehouse full of buttons about to go to landfill – has anyone any suggestions?
The warehouse is in Croydon, near London, UK
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At home with Leonard

As far as I’m aware, this is a first! A lady recently purchased a print of Leonard but felt that her cream wall didn’t show him at his best. He needed a more vibrant background so she re-decorated the room to suit him beautifully. What an honour!

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Pictures from an Exhibition

Images from the exhibition of prints in the shopping mall in Breslau, Poland – until March 18th. (Then Gdansk Mar 21 – April 2.) The lady top-left is Marta, the manager of the mall and the man bottom-right is my agent Aldo, who has made the exhibition happen. Hopefully there will be more venues in Europe to follow – currently awaiting decisions from 2 venues in Denmark. Aldo approached me after seeing my work in a book Creative Extremes which came out in 2017. He was the agent for a hand-painting artist also featured in the book. (Did I Blog about that? I can’t remember!)

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Conceptual Art at TAAG

An interesting and eclectic mix of works by various artists at the TAAG exhibition this week (until March 1st):

I particularly liked the Collections by Sue Freestone:

and her statement with which I identify…

I can’t help it

Collecting, gathering, random things

It’s not conscious

And then altering, assembling

Fiddling I call it

The juxtaposition of different elements, materials

Always a discord/disconnect

But there’s constantly the same thread running through

The red thread

It’s unconscious

I can’t help it

I was also drawn to the mixed media animorphic sculptures by Clare Heaton:

Why does this appeal to me? I have no idea!


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Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

Here is my first ever piece of conceptual work in situ at TAAG, Teignmouth (until Mar 1st) – explanation beneath.

(I’ve Finally Decided my Future Lies) Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

Elton John

There once was a man who subscribed for many years to National Geographic magazine. The magazines amassed, unopened and un-read. The man continued to subscribe (despite protestations from his wife), believing that one day, when old or struck by illness, unable to be active, the time would come when he would read them.

And it came to pass. The man was diagnosed with cancer and in 2018, underwent six months of chemotherapy.

Did he read the National Geographic magazines? No. By now, the man had a mobile phone, lap-top and Kindle. Life had moved on beyond imagination; beyond the Yellow Brick Road.

[To (slightly mis)quote L P Hartley in The Go Between: The future is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”]



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Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory

This week I visited the Bonnard exhibition at Tate Modern, London. The work of the French artist Pierre Bonnard (1867 – 1947) doesn’t fit easily into any well-known genre. His loose, sketchy style in some ways resembles that of Monet (whom he knew) yet uses a vivid colour palette more like that of Matisse or Van Gogh.

I’ve loved his work for a long time but had only seen images in books. When up close, I was surprised to see how roughly the paint was applied – in school one might have been criticized for ‘painting badly’ – yet they are masterpieces. Bonnard created sensuous images of everyday life. He sketched outdoors but painted from memory in his studio. He often divided his canvases by horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines. Perspective is flattened and there are blocks of decorative pattern.

In the picture above, Coffee (1915) the tablecloth takes up most of the canvas while the head of the woman on the right has been cut off. The paint is applied roughly – almost scribbled on (see details below).









Another example of Bonnard’s sketchy style in Girl with Goat (detail):

And wonderful use of colour in The Studio with Mimosa (1939-46)








Bonnard included his wife Marthe in many of his paintings. An unconventional couple, they lived together for 30 years before marrying. Many paintings feature Marthe in the bath, always as a young woman and often surrounded by pattern and decoration.

Nude in the Bath, 1936

There are 100 works in the exhibition with an excellent audi-visual guide. Recommended!


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