The August Bank Holiday heralds a number of important facts. Firstly it is the last national holiday of the Summer and therefore is an opportunity to cram in as much fun stuff as possible before the last burning rays of sunshine give way to crisp Autumn mornings and nights drawing in.Secondly, its back to school time. Enough said!
Of course there is also the chance to catch some of the great entertainment that goes hand in hand with the holiday season. The Notting Hill Carnival brings a flavour of the Carribean to North London and although the Police numbers will be much higher this year due to the recent trouble, the show goes on and rightly so. Enjoy if you are there this weekend.
As this is supposed to be A Botanical art blog there should be a special mention of some of the great art that is also out there at the moment. The National Galleries of Scotland www.nationalgalleries.org has a fantastic exhibition of works by Dame Elizabeth Blackadder. At 80, Dame Elizabeth is still going strong and has had a truly wonderful career of painting, teaching and exhibiting since graduating from both Edinburgh Art College and Edinburgh University.
Working in a range of mediums, Dame Elizabeth paints with strong colours and mixes her subjects with gorgeous patterns inspired by fabrics or ceramics. The works I like most are, of course her flower paintings. Although I will be unable to visit Scotland this year, I was lucky enough to see some of her paintings at this year's Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition. Simple outlines, striking composition, some with a 'sketchbook' feel of pencil and paint made her paintings of poppies stand out amongst the more contemporary works expected at this 'juggernaut' of a show. If you are north of the border (perhaps at the Edinburgh Festival) go along and check out some paintings. Here are a couple of my favourites from Dame Elizabeth to get you started.