Lily and Lionel

A girl can never have too many scarves! There is cool leopard print and there is tacky leopard print, and in the case of this very much in fashion at the moment look, I think less is definitely much, much more!

I love the cashmere, silk and wool scarves from the fab, Lily and Lionel. I buy them online and have just bought this gorgeous leopard print,huge scarf in a stylish colour combination of scarlet , black and aubergine. I love it!

http://lilyandlionel.com/

 

 

 

 

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What a card

I couldn`t  resist buying these fabulous colours of the rainbow playing cards by Fredericks and Mae. Perfect for a stocking filler for Christmas , especially for anyone with an eye for colour, as they are printed in the whole colour spectrum ;reminiscent of a paint or pantone colour chart. Love them!

Available from Amazon or Foyles.

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Wowie Bowie

As a huge David Bowie fan in my teenage years, the man , his music and his style, have always remained a source of fascination to me.

My son Tom ,who works in the Contemporary Art Department in Sotheby`s, has been involved in the last few months, and more intensely in the last two weeks, in the sale of David Bowies own art collection-Bowie Collector, and all that it entails-the dinners, the lectures, the parties, the Private Views, and now this amazing sale of eclectic artworks; paintings, furniture and ceramics from the revolutionary Memphis group, has captured the imagination of art lovers and David Bowie fans alike.

David understood the power of the image better than any musician who ever lived, and of course when I look back, I think it is this that I loved most about him. The visual impact of his constant re-invention, was both new and exciting, and at the time quite ground breaking. I did, and still do, love his music as well, of course!

Ideas often arrive in pictures to us, and more and more it`s the visual image that inspires love, hate ..a reaction.

 “Art was, seriously, the only thing I`d ever wanted to own. It has always been for me a stable nourishment. I use it. It can change the way I feel in the mornings. The same work can change me in different ways, depending on what I`m going through.”

Yesterday we visited the pre-sale ( to be held 10th and 11th November), exhibition at the Sothebys galleries in Bond Street. Oh Wow again!

He worked with several curators who helped him to look at, and seek out art to buy, and it has been fascinating to me to listen to the interviews online with these experts who inspired, and were inspired by his passion and the world of modern art that he elected to enter.

The art is exhibited in several different rooms, with different lighting, Bowie music playing, and large black and white images of Bowie blown up and mounted on the walls, which adds to the whole experience.

There are so many pieces that I covet. The Damien Hirst Spin paintings, one of which he did with David in 1995, the Ivon Hitchens abstracts, the gorgeous Peter Lanyon  Travalgon painting ( and I usually do not like green ), the fabulous St Ives Harbour by Winifred Nicholson, and the striking Caulfield.

What I found most poignant ,was the quote from Bowie about the painting Head of Gerda Boehm by Frank Auerbach . It is a typical Auerbach slightly tortured picture, painted in 1965, and to me could portray either agony or ecstasy or even serenity.

David Bowie said, ” I wish I could sing how this picture is painted”.

I will be glued to the Sothebys website on Thursday at 7pm to watch the auction of first 47 lots live. And I predict HUGE prices, from those who not only love great art, can afford the amazing amounts of money, but wish to have a part of the icon that is David Bowies life.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04g02p7

 

http://www.sothebys.com/en/news-video/videos/2016/10/how-bowies-fascination-with-art-became-a-full-time-job.html

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What a load of Pollocks

I was really excited about visiting the Royal Academy (one of my most favourite places), to see this Autumn`s exhibition of Abstract Expressionism, that is on until January 2nd 2017. This long-awaited exhibition reveals the full breadth of a movement that will be forever associated with the boundless creative energy of 1950s New York.

WOW! That is all I can say. When I walked into the room where there were amazingly huge paintings by Jackson Pollock on all four walls, it just took my breath away. I have swooned over Pollocks before at the Guggenheim in Venice, but I don`t think that I have ever been so thrilled to see so many wonderful pieces of art in one space. The Rothkos were both a thing of beauty and dark .. I wanted every one of the Franz Klines , Clifford Stills and Willem de Koonings, and I really loved the work by Robert Motherwell that he did in East Hampton-an artist that I am not so familiar with.

In the “age of anxiety” surrounding the Second World War and the years of free jazz and Beat poetry, artists like Pollock, Rothko and de Kooning broke from accepted conventions to unleash a new confidence in painting. Abstract Expressionism was born from the common experience of artists living in 1940s New York. Two World Wars, the Great Depression, atomic devastation and an ensuing Cold War prompted early works reflecting the darkness of these times, and fed into the movement’s concerns with contemplation, expression and freedom.

 Scale is a trademark of Abstract Expressionism. Abstract Expressionist art invites artist and viewer to meet.-, and it is this scale that I love. The huge almost `ikat` in design paintings by Clifford Still were stunning. Even my artist husband who a week ago had declared that Clifford Still `s paintings were `great big splodges of nothing`, conceded that they were magnificent!

 While the artist expresses their emotions and conveys a sense of their presence in the work, the viewer’s perception is the final component in the mix. Abstract painting “confronts you”, Pollock said in 1950. And the intensity of how you encounter the work, can be heightened by the way the work is lit and displayed.

Often monumental in scale, their works are at times intense, spontaneous and deeply expressive. At others they are more contemplative, presenting large fields of colour that border on the sublime. These radical creations redefined the nature of painting, and were intended not simply to be admired from a distance but as two-way encounters between artist and viewer.

It was a watershed moment in the evolution of 20th-century art, yet, remarkably, there has been no major survey of the movement since 1959.

The Royal Academy has brought together some of the most celebrated art of the past century, offering the chance to experience the powerful collective impact of Pollock, Rothko, Still, de Kooning, Newman, Kline, Smith, Guston and Gorky as their works dominate their galleries with their scale and vitality.

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Franz Kline

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De Kooning

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Rothko

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Clifford Still

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Pollock

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Motherwell

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Norfolk Table

I was invited to the launch of this fabulous book Norfolk Table: One County, Twenty Chefs, but sadly was unable to attend, so I was thrilled to receive a copy in the post today.

Wow! It` s a delicious read by Tessa Allingham and Glyn Williams, with a foreword by famed Norfolk chef David Adlard; (super photography too).

Norfolk is a county steeped in farming and food, and its ninety miles of coastline are a rich source of fresh fish, lobsters, crab and mussels. Its magnificent estates provide wild game and venison ,and many small producers make award-winning cheeses. So , it`s all here for the taking!

Each of the talented twenty chefs featured, champion a local ingredient, give us an insight into their own particular foodie favourites , and also what make them tick, alongside a selection of wonderful recipes-to bring a little of the dining experience in their restaurant home with us.

All my favourite eateries in Norfolk are featured, including The Duck inn at Stanhoe, with talented chef Ben Handley at the helm, the White Horse at Brancaster Staithe-head there for the freshest of mussels.

The Victoria Inn at Holkham, showcasing a rack of their own estate lamb, and the Gunton Arms, where Stuart Tattersall  cooks over an open log fire, producing hearty venison steaks and chops.

Too many to mention really, so you will simply have to buy the book.

I am a real , dare I say, foodie.. and reading this book is not only inspiring, but makes me proud to have lived in Norfolk for most of my life.

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A Feast for November

Feast Norfolk magazine has hit the shops and hotels and cafes once again, and its looking good, choc-full of foodie ideas and inspiration:, recipes, articles, cheffy interviews, and places to eat . The design of the magazine is sooo good I think, and this is not just because I write a column for it each month!

Check my latest Famous Five column to read about what I have loved eating this month.

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A House by the Sea

I have arrived back from Spain (and our new house by the sea), to the most lovely and inspiring new book by celebrated American Interior Designer , Bunny Williams. The book is called A House by the Sea, and presents a tour of her home in the tropics, designed and custom built by her and her husband. Each page celebrates the wonderful, island-living beauty of the villa`s interiors, furnishings and collections. I love all things coastal and beachy ,and the house and the book are just gorgeous!

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