“Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.”
Following the unexpected and unlooked for international acclaim that spontaneously greeted the publication of the triumph that was Part 1, I have reluctantly been prevailed upon by SB to help ramp up the incontinence pants advertising revenue by providing a further glimpse into what is unquestionably one of the finest art collections in private hands in my part of the street.
In truth, and in reality, I sometimes I feel I walk hand in hand with John Ruskin, E H Gombrich and Old “Pervy” Pevsner.
Be that as it may.
First, I must pause gratefully acknowledge the helpful observations of sympathetic Postaliers on Part 1. Old Git (“OG”) in particular, appeared, in a caring way, mercilessly to impugn the authenticity of the Russell Flint print.
Having looked at it closely for the first time in 25 years, I fear the old boy may well have a point.
The armless art dealer seems to have rooked me!
I feel dirty and violated. Used like a used teabag.
This, I have since discovered, is actually quite a common occurrence in the art world. As the leading art lovers’ here, such as Reggie and Old Cunty, will no doubt readily attest.
Yet I still draw some small comfort from the fact that I am the one who still has both his arms: The loathsome spotted reptile does not, skulking, as he must surely be, under a slimy stone in a filthy open sewer, masturbating furiously over a signed photograph of Monsieur Barnier.
I was also influenced by a Lady Postalier to take the picture of the Blue Nude off the wall, seeking a clue as to its provenance. I happened upon the simple expedient of reading the notes on the back. For she had mischievously suggested it may have been modelled by one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of our Prime Minister’S. For great art invariably poses great questions.
Is there a likeness?
Frankly, I do not see how anyone could see the slightest resemblance, unless they had more than a few and smoked some crack cocaine with the former vicar CEO of the Co-op.
The notes describe it as a “multi-media” (?) creation. Priced at £9.99. By one “A Askey”.
Could it be more valuable than I first thought?
Back to Part 2.
By popular demand (LP), Part 2 opens with another bird-murder-kill-death scene. Also by Mr Ramdon, as in Part 1. He seems to have spent a lot of time with his easel in the marshes.
In the upper print, a crepuscular scene of a happy extended duck family having one last dip before turning in for an early night.
In the print below, Mr Ramdon-Duck-Killer, as I have found was his real name, blasting at the innocent ducks, winging the duckling, and then setting his hounds of hell on the poor wounded creature as it vainly tries to crawl away to the safety of the reeds. Maybe he was also a QC?
I hope his dinner did not stick in his throat and choke him to death.
Fortunately, the treatment of animals in civil society generally, and by QC’s in particular, has improved immeasurably since the dark barbarism of the early 19thC. At least it has outside the Far and Near East, the sub-Continent, China, Africa, South America, the Mediterranean, Bradford and parts of East Anglia.
With the second exhibit, we warm to our fellow creature theme.
A coalition of magnificent cheetahs in Namibia, with one standing look out for the mid-afternoon snack. By David Shepherd. Print. This one is genuine, OG, so no need to bring your deadly forensic skills to bear, thank you very much. Bought for an undisclosed sum in Wokingham 20 odd years ago.
When you look at this exquisite picture, the impulse to spend thousands of pounds to actually go to Namibia is magically removed. This is why this picture appeals. It actively saves money. The only picture in the collection with this rare quality.
Next, we turn to the simple bucolic English scene, so beloved of all of us here.
Painted in 1855 AD by Frank Gresley. Watercolour.
Old England! What became of it?
Azure sky, a smattering of scurrying cloud, warm grass that you can almost smell and bushy trees, full of trilling songbirds.
But what have we here? The Poor Palatines making off with the farmer’s hay, before he has returned from the market? Surely refugees would never behave in this ungrateful and criminal way?
Are things really so different in the English countryside today? Especially in the Dales?
Gresley lived most of his life in Chellaston. Derbyshire. He does not seem to have got out much, except to paint. He had a martinet of a wife, who took a hefty commission. Probably would have enjoyed living under house arrest in 2020 Britain. This picture also is genuine. Hand me down.
Next up is “Path Through a Wood Somewhere” by Guy Stocker, a portly and world renowned artist whom I believe still plys his artistic talents in North Londonistan. Oil.
I have often drawn almost biblical solace from this, to me, saturnine picture, redolent, as it is, of life’s endless journey on the stony path to nowhere in particular.
One of the finest wooded path compositions in the entire canon of wooded path compositions.
This picture means a lot me. I was given this by a very dear friend at least 20 years ago for some small forgotten act of charity I had performed. When he presented it, he told me it was the smallest picture he could find and I vividly recall he was at pains to assure me that it would soar in value.
Notwithstanding the recent plummeting values in the wooded path picture market, and the fact that he is Welsh, I do still count him as a dear friend. Genuine.
Finally, pride of place must of course go to Lady C.
Where would I be without her? Over the years, I have often asked myself this difficult question.
Some time ago, and mindful of approaching retirement and the poverty that often comes with it (if you work hard, obey the law and pay your taxes), I gave her “A Forger’s Tale”.
It is a brilliant book. Highly recommended. Especially if you are looking for a retirement hobby that can produce income.
Can be bought on Amazon through the GP website, so that SB gets a tiny payment towards the rent.
Anyway, the gift had the desired rehabilitatory effect. Prompting her painfully at first, yet surely thereafter, to begin to again take up her brushes, following the severe trauma of the 1997 great dishwasher disaster.
Below is one of her stunning watercolour efforts. And it is genuine. I saw her paint the apply bits, OG.
You may wish to know that Lady C also has a lucrative side business in industrial spray painting of 20 foot by 20 foot canvasses. So far, only for corporates. Client confidentiality (“NDA”), alas, prevents me from exhibiting those here.
It struck me that she might be persuaded by the right kind of Postalier private client to provide such a canvas for a domestic setting. The right kind is one with a few bob, obviously. Perhaps for a Great Hall or possibly even the servant’s Dining Room? I happen to know there are quite a few “secret millionaires” on this site for whom the outlay would be as pocket money to the rest of us.
[Anyone interested should get in touch via SB. Cash upfront. Used notes. No time wasters.]
I should add she paints and so signs her creations under a number of aliases, some female, some male, some quite otherwise, for reasons I am not at liberty to disclose but perhaps unconsciously connected to the lingering psychological impact of the 1997 great dishwasher disaster, whereof I spoke.
Ars gratia artis!
© text & images Karen “Woke” Cocklecarott 2020
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file