Pictures, thoughts,words and opinions

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  • Heavens Above - a map of the stars

    Constellations of the Northern sky

    Read about Jane’s painting ‘Heavens Above’ a map painted in watercolour of the constellations of the Northern sky.

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  • The Starling Variations

    The starling is such an overlooked little bird, often regarded as quite unremarkable, but I think they're marvellous. I have been working on a series of paintings, variations on the theme of starlings...

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  • International Women's Day

    International Women’s Day

    Today is International Women’s Day, a day when women all over the world celebrate their achievements. And I’m not just talking about women becoming prime ministers or astronauts. No, I mean the really big stuff like the 67-year-old-woman from Yorkshire who, after years of abuse, says ‘no’ to her husband. Or the girl in Cornwall, just come out of social

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  • Artweeks in Eynsham 2016

    Find out which artists are taking part in Artweeks – Oxfordshire’s visual arts festival – in Eynsham this May.

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  • A Shakespeare triptych

    The Shakespeare triptych

    Three paintings in praise of Shakespeare: 1 a map of Europe with the plays shown in their approximate location, 2. the British plays, and 3 the Italian plays.

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  • Vincent van Gogh mutilates his ear -23 December 1888

    On this day in 1888 in Arles in southern France, Vincent van Gogh performed the most infamous act of self-mutilation in art history. He cut off part of his left ear lobe. From that point on, the world pointed, laughed and called him mad. The ear-slashing episode followed his most frantic period of creative activity. For during 1888 he made

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  • The death of Mary Leakey – 9 December 1996

    No matter who we are and what we think, the beautiful truth is that we are all children of Africa. It was in no small part the painstaking work of Mary Leakey that revealed this. For more than 50 years under hot African skies, archaeologist Mary grubbed around in the earth searching doggedly for clues that would reveal the truth

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  • Shakespeare map

    All the plays of Shakespeare

    A painting of all the plays of Shakespeare as a map with the plays shown in their approximate location.

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  • Alfred Russel Wallace

    The death of Alfred Russel Wallace – 7 November 1913

    How and why do species change? Why do some occur in some places, but not in others? Why do they die out? These big questions didn’t scare intrepid British explorer, biologist and geographer Alfred Russel Wallace, who died on this aged 90. He wanted answers. Wallace’s achievements have since been obscured by those of Charles Darwin. But be in no

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  • Jane Elizabeth Hodgson

    The death of Dr Jane Elizabeth Hodgson – 23 October 2006

    There are many reasons why a pregnancy may be unwanted. A woman may have no access to contraception or already have too many mouths to feed. It may endanger her health, even her life. She may have been raped. The foetus may not be viable. No matter what the circumstances, the decision to terminate a pregnancy is one of the

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  • A map of the shipping forecast

    My map of the UK shipping forecast combines my interest with cartography, typography, nature and history. If you love weather, you'll love this. Attention all shipping!

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  • Amelia Earhart disappears – 2 July 1937

    “…first lady of the skies,  she had no guy holding her down, no one could clip her wings, she was no bird in the hand, she is no living thing now…” from the poem ‘Amelia Earhart’ by Patti Smith When 10-year-old Amelia Earhart saw an aircraft for the first time at the 1907 the Iowa State Fair, she wasn’t impressed.

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  • guernica

    Guernica – 26 April 1937

    On 26 April 1937, it was market day in Guernica, a small town in northern Spain considered to be the spiritual capital of Basque culture. In late afternoon, without warning or provocation, Luftwaffe aircraft swooped down over Guernica. Wave after wave bombarded the town with huge bombs and more than 3,000 incendiaries.

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  • iCan - a hand painted water can

    iCan – a self-portrait as a folk artist

    My iCan is a self-portrait in the folk art style; a picture of me in the form of all the things I cherish. It’s a decorated narrowboat watercan in the traditional canal art style, made of galvanised steel and brass, supplied by Black Country Metalworks. I could’ve chosen many objects to be the substrate of my self-portrait, a teapot, milk

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  • What is folk art?

    A few years someone described me as a folk artist. I’m not talking about music here, I’m talking about visual folk art. I took it as a compliment – straightforward art for people to enjoy. So what is folk art? Generally it’s native decorative or utilitarian art from an indigenous culture. So in British terms, it’s the kind of stuff

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  • johannes gutenberg

    The death of Johannes Gutenberg – 3 February 1468

    Where would humanity be without the stone axe, the wheel, the plough, the compass and the steam engine? Likewise the printing press, whose inventor, Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg, died on this day in 1468. “Yes but” I hear you bookish pedants cry, “didn’t the Chinese T’ang Dynasty have a method of printing from carved wooden blocks?” Indeed they

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