Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2010

hawthorn-01

Flowers of hawthorn - also known as may - in my garden...

Throughout 2010 I am revisiting the little green nature book that accompanied my childhood and seeing if I can still spot the plants and animals featured in its monthly sketchbook pages.

The book is “Wild Life Through the Year” by Richard Morse and it was published in 1942. You can read about earlier months here.

Trying to tick off some of the 12 items a month featured in the sketchbook is giving me a certain focus as I look (more…)

Read Full Post »

viking-family

A Viking family - the sea was never far away - image from the York Jorvik Centre

I’ve already blogged about Latin words and Celtic words in the English language, but now it’s the turn of the Scandinavian languages.

These contributed to our language during the 9th and 10th centuries, according to (more…)

Read Full Post »

weed-dandelion-01

Is not the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) - a pretty little thing?

In our manicured city gardens we pluck out every “weed” as if it is committing some sort of sin by its very existence among more cultured neighbours.

But as a country girl at heart, I am always on the lookout for the little plants I remember from my wild garden and from walks among the fields, lanes and streams surrounding the village. So there are (more…)

Read Full Post »

frazetta-cover

From my bookshelf - The Fantastic Art of Frank Frazetta (Pan 1975)

Frazetta-self-portrait-1962

Frank Frazetta – a self-portrait from 1962

Over the years I have collected a few books on the art of science fiction and fantasy and as they are probably now out of print, I feel I need to share some of this lovely imagery from the days before computer-designed art.

My first featured illustrator was sci-fi great Frank Kelly Freas. My second great illustrator, whose realm was fantasy, is Frank Frazetta. The timing of this post is made more poignant by the fact that he died a week ago and I have only just found out.

Frank Frazzetta (he later removed one Z) was born in Brooklyn on February 9, 1928. He died on May 10, 2010, aged 82.

I bought the book The Fantastic Art of Frank Frazetta (Pan 1975) for £2.95, which does not now seem a lot of money. In fact it is still available, used, on Amazon from £8 to £30 – and it STILL doesn’t seem like a lot of cash. The foreword is by Betty Ballantyne and it is from this I take most of my biographical information…

Frazetta was selling his art to family by the age of three and by the age of eight he was so (more…)

Read Full Post »

Starling-01

Lovely image of a starling from the Arkwildlife.co.uk website

I have never really liked starlings, but I have to admit I am taking an interest now they have moved into our garden for the breeding season, making lightning raids for raisins from the bird table.

They are so annoying for the amateur photographer, too, as they make a racket, arrive to do their quick thieving and then dash off again before you can even get your camera out. Thus the (more…)

Read Full Post »

Lilac by Edmund Blair Leighton, 1901

Lilac by Edmund Blair Leighton, 1901

It’s that lilac time of year again. Common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is such a humble plant. We had one in our back garden when I was a child and it grew in a place where we emptied the soggy brown leaves from the teapot – and where we emptied the chamber pot in the morning. Sorry to (more…)

Read Full Post »

Freas-cover

Frank Kelly Freas: The Art of Science Fiction (Donning 1977) - the little green man was originally painted for an Astounding Science Fiction cover to illustrate Fredric Brown's Martians Go Home

Frank-Kelly-Freas

Frank Kelly Freas, 1922-2005

Over the years I have collected a few books on the art of science fiction and fantasy and as they are probably now out of print, I feel I need to share some of this lovely imagery from the days before computer-designed art.

My first featured sci-fi illustrator is from way back – Frank Kelly Freas (pronounced “freeze”), born in Hornell, New York, on August 27, 1922, died on January 2, 2005. He was sometimes known as “the Dean of Science Fiction Artists”.

I bought Frank Kelly Freas: The Art of Science Fiction (Donning 1977) at a bargain book shop for £1.95, which was not a lot of money for such a brilliant book.

Freas’ professional artistic life began (more…)

Read Full Post »

wren-01

Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) in my garden

I always thought the wren was the most British of birds. When I googled it and found lots of images of exotic American versions I thought well, I suppose when the Pilgrim Fathers went to the New World they obviously saw lots of little birds that were similar (but usually more colourful) and gave them the name wren.

So I was surprised to find (more…)

Read Full Post »

mayday-04

The May Pole dance, May Day 1974, Midsummer Common, Cambridge...

It’s May Day today and it prompts me to share these old Kodak Instamatic pictures from May Day 1974.

It was my first year at university and (more…)

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 142 other followers