" I discovered these vistas whilst looking for a restaurant in the area. I had driven past on several trips before, but this time it was quite different. It was June, the poppies were in full bloom, the wheat was ripening; and I couldn't believe how beautiful it was, and if one found the right spot, these 3 vistas come into play. I made my way down to see if the farmer was there, couldn't raise anything except for a guard dog. Made a few notes, and came back a few days later. I met the farmer who told me " Oh.. I was down the pub watching the rugby, you're welcome to paint".
Standing in those fields over the next couple of days, under a surprisingly warm Scottish sun was a certain kind of heaven. I have never painted poppies before, but I couldn't let this go. Everything about it was perfect and I loved it! I even forgot about the restaurant! " by CJ
" This scene takes place at an African Bus Stop in Marondera, near to where I grew up. African Bus Stops are the equivalent to French Markets in their own turbo charged, chaotic kind of way. Animals are normally put on the roof rack with bicycles, so it is not unusual at the end of a journey to see a group of surprised looking chickens with a well coiffed goat. In this instance the man on the bicycle is taking the pig to the bus. The pig is still alive, trussed up on the back of the bicycle and the bus hasn't left yet, so it's not too late.
'Waiting for George' Cheltenham Series, Oil on canvas, 800 x 600mm
I thought it was very comfortable. " by CJ
" The architect who designed the Duomo cupola also designed the church of Santo Spirito. It is magnificent, and feels both ancient and modern at the same time. Partly because of it's daunting effect, I have never managed to paint it in 7 years of working in Florence... until last year. After drawing it many times over, I set up my easel only to be approached by a German offering me a beer. Tempting, but it was only 8.30 in the morning. The square fills up with mothers watching their children chase the pidgeons, grandparents taking a stroll and chatting to friends. Vegetable vendors set up their stalls, tourists strut in looking surprised and normally lost, the smell of coffee is floating right past me. But I must work... I can't let the German see me bolting for a cup of coffee over a beer.
After a days work I developed a ritual of visiting the same Geletaria on the corner of San Vio, and then would sit on the bridge and watch the sun disappear into the Arno. One day at the Geletaria, the girl handing me the ice-cream said "I remember you!"
Christopher is still busy writing, we will add more tales very soon.