Archive for July, 2010

Jane Eyre’s beginnings

Posted in BRONTE BITES with tags , , , on July 30, 2010 by echostains



Anyone who has read Gaskill’s Life of Charlotte Bronte will know that Charlotte accompanied her father Patrick Bronte to Manchester when he underwent a successful cataract operation.  Mr Wilson a famous oculist recommended comfortable lodgings which were ran by a former servant of his.

The Salutation

The lodging house has long gone, but the street remains.  The Salutation pub stands facing where the Charlotte and her father stayed.  A blue plaque stares out blankly onto where according to the information Charlotte began her most famous novel Jane Eyre.  This is an excerpt from a letter Charlotte wrote describing her Manchester lodging;-

August 21st, 1846: –

“I just scribble a line to you to let you know where I am, in order that you may write to me here, for it seems to me that a letter from you would relieve me from the feeling of strangeness I have in this big town. Papa and I came here on Wednesday; we saw Mr. Wilson, the oculist, the same day; he pronounced papa’s eyes quite ready for an operation, and has fixed next Monday for the performance of it. Think of us on that day! We got into our lodgings yesterday. I think we shall be comfortable; at least our rooms are very good, but there is no mistress of the house (she is very ill, and gone out into the country), and I am somewhat puzzled in managing about provisions; we board ourselves. I find myself excessively ignorant. I can’t tell what to order in the way of meat. For ourselves I could contrive, papa’s diet is so very simple; but there will be a nurse coming in a day or two, and I am afraid of not having things good enough for her. Papa requires nothing, you know, but plain beef and mutton, tea and bread and butter; but a nurse will probably expect to live much better; give me some hints if you can. Mr. Wilson says we shall have to stay here for a month at least. I wonder how Emily and Anne will get on at home with Branwell. They, too, will have their troubles. What would I not give to have you here! One is forced, step by step, to get experience in the world; but the learning is so disagreeable. One cheerful feature in the business is, that Mr. Wilson thinks most favourably of the case.”


What must that street have looked like then?  Oh to go back in time to August 21st 1846 and see Charlotte coming and going from 83 Mount Pleasant Boundary Street!  I, like most people perhaps, always assumed that Jane Eyre was written at the Parsonage in Haworth, but this appears not to be the case.  According to this information, the novel was started at the above address.  Where once stood Mount Pleasant 73 – 93 the back part of the Municipal School of Art stands.


title page of Jane Eyre

A few days later, she writes thus: “Papa is still lying in bed, in a dark room, with his eyes bandaged. No inflammation ensued, but still it appears the greatest care, perfect quiet, and utter privation of light are necessary to ensure a good result from the operation. He is very patient, but, of course, depressed and weary. He was allowed to try his sight for the first time yesterday. He could see dimly. Mr. Wilson seemed perfectly satisfied, and said all was right. I have had bad nights from the toothache since I came to Manchester.”

Excerpts of Elizabeth Gaskill’s Life of Charlotte Bronte from this site Thanks!

Currer Bell image here





Don’t forget to tune into the Arts Web Show  Just Click the Echostains Blog Spotlight to read my interview with the Aspects

Changing Faces

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS with tags , , on July 28, 2010 by echostains

Inspired by Lesliepaints (and who wouldn’t be), I thought it might be fun to look at some self portraits of artists.  I shall start a new category for this in the future and look at the artists individually.   In the meanwhile, lets get a taste of the ever changing face of the artist by watching this short video.  See how many famous artists you can spot correctly in this wonderful video:)

Video by eggman913


500 Years of Male Self Portraits in Western Art

by Philip Scott Johnson

Artists in order of appearance:
0:08 – Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519
0:15 – Francisco Goya 1746-1828
0:22 – Albrecht Dürer 1471-1528
0:29 – Sir Joshua Reynolds 1723-1792
0:35 – Rembrandt 1606-1669
0:42 – Andy Warhol 1928-1987
0:48 – William-Adolphe Bouguereau 1825-1905
0:55 – Henri Matisse 1869-1954
1:02 – Eugène Delacroix 1798-1863
1:09 – Jean-François Millet 1814-1875
1:15 – Jan van Eyck 1395-1441
1:22 – Peter Paul Rubens 1577-1640
1:28 – James McNeill Whistler 1834-1903
1:35 – John Singer Sargent 1856-1925
1:42 – Kazimir Malevich 1878-1935
1:49 – Nicolas Poussin 1594-1665
1:55 – Paul Cézanne 1839-1906
2:02 – Paul Gauguin 1848-1903
2:08 – Vincent Van Gogh 1853-1890
2:15 – Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882
2:22 – Diego Velázquez 1599-1660
2:28 – Nicholas Hilliard 1547-1619
2:35 – Anthony van Dyck 1599-1641
2:41 – Titian 1485-1576
2:48 – Paolo Veronese 1528-1588
2:55 – Lucas Cranach the Elder 1472-1553
3:01 – Édouard Manet 1832-1883
3:08 – Pablo Picasso 1881-1973

Music: Bach’s Bouree 1 and 2 from Suite for Solo Cello No. 3, BWV 1009 performed by Antonio Meneses.

Many thanks!  This is a very well put together informative and entertaining video!


This time featuring The ARTS WEB SHOW click below

Where do I go to? to the Arts web Roadshow that’s where it’s at!

Posted in ART, ART VIDEOS, Echostains Blog Spotlight, POETRY with tags , , , , on July 27, 2010 by echostains


This blog first caught my attention when the author left a comment about my hoarding habit!  I visited his site – and I was soon hooked!  Kserverny aka Cheffie, Clickety, Cornered, Sir Richard, or Richard North is a man driven.  Well driven and torn – yes both at the same time!  Not only is he a talented chef he is also an artist in his own right.  It’s not enough For Richard to create delicious dishes and present them in an eye pleasing tempting way – his art must have other outlets.  He has found them by writing poetry, songs and even screenplays.  He paints, he sings, he even makes paper sculpture from time to time.  He takes cool photographs and he makes the most wonderfully entertaining  videos!  I say ‘him’, but really I mean ‘them’ – the Aspects.  As you shall see, the Aspects are quite capable of speaking for themselves;-

 Hi Cheffie!  I’m quite a big fan of yours, how long have you been in that kitchen?  what do you most like about it and what do you most dislike about it?


  I’ve been cooking  just shy of 8 years but i have been in this kitchen for almost 2..
What i dislike is that the catering industry is notorious for taking their employees for granted and the only rewards are personal satisfaction so if you ain’t getting that, you shouldn’t be there. lol. On saying that i do like the community spirit that comes with the job, the ‘we’re all in this together’ attitude, and of course the flirting with the pretty waitresses
(i shouldn’t have said that.. i should not have said that).

Do you think of cooking as an art form? if so why? if not why not?


 I never used to think so, but some people here on blog land persuaded me that it was. There is actually a very strong argument to reinforce that point.

Sir Richard, it is indeed an honour to meet you at last!  (thinks: do I curtsy or not? decides against it with my knees…)    
How did the  Aspects come about? and is it up to you to keep them all under control?  Surely that’s a full-time job? 

Well, the aspects are based on the idea of a multiple personality, fragments of one conflicted mind. and by nature the aspects fight for the top spot which i believe makes for good comedy.
These such aspects are my take on that. (i will point out though that our hive mind is not actually crazy. lol)
Control? The Arts Web Show does not affiliate with control!
 What are your ultimate plans for the roadshow? for example where would you like it to go say in a couple of years time?

The Web Show is the first step in a more widespread plan. The Show must get a high level of popularity for anything to be possible.
But next year we plan to go out into the world and get to know the local art and media culture.
Eventually the show will advance into weekly 45 minute podcast that funds itself through sponsors. (targeted advertising)
I will then use the show to promote the local art scene and get some people into the public eye.
That’s the plan for the next three years
Hello Kseverny,  you are a talented wordsmith.  Which came first the poetry or the music?


   Personally, i put the two together, but each has always had different motivations.
  Poetry is how i deal with stress or emotional turmoil (did i really say that?)
 But when i pick up my guitar and sing songs, i imagine I’m a rock star with thousands of  rock chick fans screaming ‘i’m single’.
 Which musician  has influenced you the most and why?



Oh this one is easy.
It’s not a musician, but the greatest rock band ever to walk heaven and earth.
The one and only Led zeppelin.

Hi Clickety, Your photographs are renowned for their unusual perspectives – what inspires you to do this?


The desire to be different.
       Who want’s to capture a shot the same way thousands of other’s have?

 Quite…    I can see that you certainlyenjoy your individuality:)  You have some very good food shots.  Food is notoriously difficult to photograph – any tips?


  Thanks, unfortunately i don’t have any answers.
    I’m still figuring it all out myself, i get the effects i get with my food shots through photo manipulation,

Hi Cornered!   You are a natural draughtsman, as your work shows.  Do you get much time to draw these days with your busy schedule?


I don’t any more. most of the work you see on my blog is what i did about 4 – 5 years ago.
      The problem is fine art is so time-consuming. Which is a shame really.
 In the arts web show video – will drawing be included? and will it be live?


 You’ll have to wait and see. lol
 I won’t have to wait long the arts web show is my next stop!   One more question though; Who is your favorite artist and why?


 This one is actually very difficult to answer because i don’t have a clear favourite as such.
  I’ve always been able to appreciate the work that came out of the surrealist movement, but i rarely tackle that area myself.
  A lot of people over the years have compared my work to have a similar feel to Van Gogh’s artwork. so perhaps it’s him who i like most.
  unconsciously of course.

Thank you Aspects!  It was a pleasure to meet you all!  I’m running along to the

Arts Web Show now – please join me!

I shall be interviewing all my blogrollers (if they agree to it) in time.  Here’s another I did earlier

Step into Outsider Art

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , , , on July 25, 2010 by echostains


I’ve always been fascinated by outsider art.  My interest began through exploration into Surrealism and then the art of the subconscious.  The expression ‘Outsider’ art was first coined by Roger Cardinal, a British writer.  It was the English equivalent for the term Art Brut, originally formulated in the 1940s by the French artist Jean Dubuffet.

Madge Gill ink drawing

Some think of outsider art as dysfunctional art: art that is outside the boundaries of by dominant culture.  My interest in Outsider art began with artists such as Madge Gill (1882 – 1961), Austin O Spare who used automatism to produce work that they claimed to come from the spirit world.

Gill, a British housewife turned spiritualist after the tragic deaths of her children.  She produced a lot of ink drawings whilst in a trance like state among other works like knitted objects (see this post).  Austin Osman Spare also used automatic techniques to produce spontaneous work.

Austin Osman Spare self portrait with dragon

Ody Saban

Multi media artist Ody Saban (b. 1953 Istanbul) produces controlled yet spontaneous work which are very colourful and intricate;

“My art is a magic art.  I am a shaman, a seer.  I am in continual metamorphosis….I transform myself”

Sometimes the detail and concentration used to make these works is phenomenal.  Adolf Wolfii was one of the first artists to become associated with outsider art.  he had led a very troubled childhood and ended in an asylum.

London North 1911 Adolf Wolfii

He produces lots of creative work in his lifetime.  A doctor at the Waldau clinic, Walter Morgenthaler took a great interest in Wölfli, his condition and his work and brought him to the attention of the art world; –

“Every Monday morning Wölfli is given a new pencil and two large sheets of unprinted newsprint. The pencil is used up in two days; then he has to make do with the stubs he has saved or with whatever he can beg off someone else. He often writes with pieces only five to seven millimetres long and even with the broken-off points of lead, which he handles deftly, holding them between his fingernails. He carefully collects packing paper and any other paper he can get from the guards and patients in his area; otherwise he would run out of paper before the next Sunday night. At Christmas the house gives him a box of coloured pencils, which lasts him two or three weeks at the most.”

His work is very intricate and intense and passionate and it is easy to see that the artist turned inwards to his own world.  he never planned the work he just went ahead and created it.  There have been lots written about this artist – here’s a short description of the artist and his work.  I shall be continuing with some more Outsider artists in my blog.

Gill image from here Saban image from here  O Spare image from here Wolfii image from here
Theres a good blog about this art form here

‘Still I Rise’ Maya Angelou

Posted in POETRY with tags , on July 24, 2010 by echostains

A while ago, I featured the famous poetess Maya Angelou poem  I know why the caged bird sings.  Here’s another one that I think is absolutely amazing and uplifting in its message.  This poem is almost like a hymn  –  it is a song of freedom to everyone who needs to find inner strength and courage.  It is a celebration of the human spirit.  What a gift this woman has!   Please  listen to these words and enjoy.  I realise that Angelou is a household name to most people, but I have only recently discovered her – what a find eh:)

This is a short version of the poem – for the longer more detailed one – it’s here

“Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s miraculously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Mata Angelou

Video by mkimimi

Going going GONE

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 22, 2010 by echostains

just one of the many mags I used to collect

I’ve been busy having a huge clear out at the moment.  I was amazed at  just how much rubbish I had held on to.  Of course it’s not all rubbish.  A lot of it is of sentimental value, like a tiny baby dress that belonged to our daughter,  holiday mementos, ornaments.  I have a lot of clothes that are now retro they are so old:) .  I can’t believe how tiny some of the belts were that I found.  Just another reminder of a middle age which I don’t even remember joining.  Perhaps someone enrolled me whilst I wasn’t looking:)

Sunburst mirror

I threw a LOT of home magazines away, lot and lots and lots went to the recycling plant to be recycled. I would like to think that perhaps some of them might be recycled into designs like this beautiful sunburst mirror.  If I had more time on my hands, perhaps I could have created a shelf like Sean Miller from Seattle who pasted this magazines together with cornstarch, left them to dry and harden under pressure, then carved out this shelf using a bandsaw!  

Sean Miller recycled bookshelf


Mirror available from here shelf info from here, Period Living image here

The Battle for Trafalgar begins (fourth plinth)

Posted in ART, DESIGN, exhibitions, SCULPTURE with tags , , , , on July 20, 2010 by echostains

Yonka Shonibare's Nelson ship

As I wrote previously in this post, Yinka Shonbare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle occupies the fourth plinth at moment in Trafalgar Square London UK.  Six other artist have been shortlisted and shall battle it out for the prestigious fourth plinth place when Shonibare has vacated it.  Who shall be the victor?

Katherina Fritsch

Among the artist are British artists Hew Locke and Brian Griffiths.  They shall compete against duos Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset.  Katherina Fritsch and Mariele Neudecker have also made proposals.

I wrote a post featuring Fritsch’s work a while ago (seen here).  The other artists work, I am unfamiliar with but the people shall decide whose work shall go up in time for the  2012 Olympics.  miniature versions of the aforementioned artist’s work shall be displayed in the crypt of nearby St Martin’s in the field church and all shall be a sculpture!  Read all about this exciting prospect here!

Boneshaker Brian Griffiths

One of the artists (Brian Griffiths) has been described as a’ junk shop Viking’ which sounds eclectic and quirky enough to peak my interest.  Here’s some of his work at the Saatchi Gallery.

Dust to Dust sculpture Hew Locke

Edinburgh born artist Hew Locke’s work looks pretty interesting.  Read a short description of the all the artist work here

Hew Locke work here and in this gallery.  Fritsch image from here Shonibare image from here

A life in Motion – Muybridge

Posted in ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS with tags , , on July 18, 2010 by echostains

Eadward Muybridge


Francis Bacon was a great fan of the pioneer film photographer Eadward Muybridge  b. 1883 – 1904 (strange way of spelling Edward I know, but I believe this is the original way of spelling his name in Anglo Saxon)  Muybridge is famous for his study of motion in film. 

Bacon's Woman emptying a bowl and Paralyctic child


Though born in Surry England, he moved to the USA when he was a young man and in  1868 he became world renown for his Yosemite Valley, California photo’s.  He was famously hired by Leland Stanford, a railway magnate to prove that a trotting horse’s  legs all leave the ground at the same point in time.  The project was fraught with difficulties though: one of them being the lack of a fast shutter and the photographer having to be in court when he was tried for the murder of his wife’s lover.  Though acquitted, he travelled around  lot after this. 

He did eventually prove Stanford’s theory (by developing a faster shutter) and a lot of line drawings were published, taken from his photographs.  He gave many lectures, using a zoopraxiscope, which was a kind of magic lantern which projected the images onto a screen in rapid succession. 

Muybridge horse in motion


Yosemite Valley c. 1874


Apart from the animal plates, Muybridge is well-known for his study of the human form in motion.  these were published in 1887 and called ‘Animal Locomotion – An Electro Photographic investigation of consecutive phases of Animal Movement. 

Some more reading about Muybridge, his discoveries, experiments and life from here   and here
Animated Gif (racehorse) from here Yosemite valley pic from here video from autostopowicz70 (Philip Glass Photographer Act 1 ‘A Gentlemans Honour’.  Bacon image here Muybridge portrait from here