Monday, April 15, 2013

Keats House in Autumn

Autumn Days ..... finished.
Here is the uncropped photo, taken by me, with my cheapo camera, on the terrace, in the shade .... yeah, I know, I need to get it properly scanned.
To Autumn is one of my favourite Keats poems. We had to learn it by heart at school and it was no chore, I date my Keats obsession from then.
I got in the maturing sun, the bees that think warm days will never cease, the soft-dying day and the gathering swallows twittering in the skies...
No full-grown lambs, stubble plains, river sallows or cider-presses - well this IS Hampstead and not Winchester where it was written.
I have substituted a thrush for the redbreast of the poem too.
Keats, who lived in the left part of what was then known as Wentworth Place, referred to the thrush in the garden in some of his letters to his great love, Fanny Brawne, who lived on the right hand side of the house. In one letter to her he mentioned "your new black dress which I like so much", so I have given her exactly that.
This afternoon I am collecting a large batch of cards and prints of Virginia Woolf's house (Monk's House) to send off to the shop at ..... Monk's House. I will be delivering this picture for scanning at the same time and cards and prints of it will be in my online shop next month.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Back to the past

Here I am returning to my roots!
John Keats started it all, my writers' houses that is, when Keats House contacted me after seeing some of my early efforts on line, with a view to cards and prints.
One of those was a design with the thrush that Keats wrote about in a note to his beloved Fanny chirping away in the foreground:

Although it has a certain naive simplicity, the colours didn't work, the atmosphere was wrong and the whole thing seems quite crude now. It was abandoned and committed to my drawer of what I think of as my lost souls, there to languish.  I think my collage style has refined and become more detailed in the intervening couple of years but I still liked the original idea, so I am having another crack at Autumn Days with a view to refreshing the range at the Keats House shop.
I am after a softer, mellower look. This is a badly lit photo taken in the studio on what is a cloudy day. So far the only thing which is certain and stuck down is the lawn. Everything else is just blocked in, in flux and in mortal danger of being messed up by a breeze or rogue cat. Note to self:  It is a windy day and all the cats are in, be afraid ...