Sunday, 10 March 2013

Mothering Sunday : England

We celebrate Mothering Sunday in Britain today.  I made this  drawing from a sculpture at the V and A's  Museum of Childhood  in  Bethnal Green, East London a couple of days ago. I regret I failed to make a note of its maker because there was a constant stream of excited kids stopping to touch its silky well-loved terracotta surface.

 The Museum of Childhood is just a short walk across Victoria Park from me and a favourite destination for my grandchildren as well as my own inner child.  Being the most benign and child-friendly of spaces, there can be a dementing amount of noise and clatter but never mind.

Have a look at the Museum's website and be transported and enchanted.  There is something nostalgic for all ages - the museum archives the latest trends in toys as well as some of the most exquisite antique dolls, doll houses and rocking horses.  Curators over time have made sure to document changing conditions of childhood, always with insight and tenderness. 

Inspired, I made this little animation  with the help of my i-phone to celebrate my grandson Storm's "white belt senior" in Choi Kwang Do.

images © Rosie West



  1. Dear Rosie, what a treat to see your delightful artistic accomplishments!

  2. I'm not sure which to be impressed by most - your pencil drawing, or your Iphone skills. I posess no talent in either medium, (and don't even have an Iphone, to prove the latter). Bravo!

  3. That was a treat, dear Rose C'est la Vie. Lovely, lovely drawing! But how you managed it with all those distractions, is anyone's guess.

  4. wonderful to see you back! hope you had a great mothering sunday. and love your animation.

    love to all!


  5. All my dearest blogfriends, thank you for your comments! Every time Rose Cest La Vie looks like she's about to flatline, I somehow manage to pull the patient back from the brink. Having such
    nice visitors at the bedside does help. xx

  6. Yay, Rosie!
    Lovely, strong drawing. I've been working on some sculptural pencil drawings (on a gessoed panel, so I can wear the pencils down and get really dense, buttery dark areas).
    Also got myself an electric eraser for reductive drawing.
    It's unfortunate that more people don't know what a gas drawing is.
    I thought about you the other day when I saw this BBC documentary about the Chelsea hotel. The small segment on Alphaeus Cole (still the world's oldest recorded being, not to mention artist) is funny in a wistful way. His father was a great wood engraver who emigrated from Britain in the mid nineteenth century.
    His style is economical for his wellspring period. He lived another eight years after this was filmed.

  7. HI rurritable, great to hear from you and thanks for your kind remark.
    I haven't posted this before because I've had to google electric eraser and gas drawing. You really got me there.
    Please explain what a gas drawing is to you. Are we really talking gas masks like on google?
    And which make of eraser do you recommend? This is exciting, by the way. I'd like to get my hands on one.
    Much appreciated your Chelsea Hotel clip. I hadn't heard of Alphaeus Cole but my family owned a couple of 19th C
    oil paintings by a member of the Cole family. Sadly I didn't inherit either and they were sold. Nice rural landscapes.

  8. Rose: Were those by any chance by Thomas Cole? He was a friend and (Connecticut)neighbor of Mark Twain, I think.

    I just meant "gas" in terms of strange numinous happiness.
    I have a portable electric eraser manufactured by Sakura. It's sold with some refills, but I recommend getting more. It's powered by 2 AAA batteries (I don't know if you use the same designation there).
    I've also built a stationary one using an old rotary carving tool with the collets refashioned to hold erasers. Something similar to this is sold at drafting supply and some office supply stores.
    For obsessive realist work, they simplify the process of creating highlights. I'm currently using them to draw a dense tangle of vines hanging from live oaks in a picture of a swamp. The oscillation of the eraser at high RPMs can make a pattern that looks like a cluster of pin-oak leaves.

    I'll send you some photos.

  9. Feel a bit of a dork rurritable about the gas you referred to! I was thinking it didn't seem quite right somehow. Put it down to two nations separated by one language.
    I totally agree it's a great pleasure and discipline, drawing. This evening I was in the National Gallery wrestling with a Tiepolo. When I get
    home I can cheat by going to their marvellous website and studying the picture in even more detail and finishing it off.
    I think I might get one of the Sakura erasers. The precision is appealing.
    So do send my your swamp drawing and I'll reciprocate!


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