Archive for the ‘English country house’ Category

To Norwich and back via Oxburgh and Cambridge…..

Reflections

 

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chris.baker.london@gmail.com

The daffodils are out and so are some hardy bluebells. But it’s also great to be inside and transported to some far away art treasures through outstanding presentations by leading experts. Soon it will be Venice (with musical accompaniment) then the following month we will be off to Japan!

Kenwood-from-rivulet

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chris.baker.london@gmail.com

To Charleston, the home of the Bloomsbury set and Farley Farm, the home of the Surrealists in England, and all in one day. And what a glorious summer day. Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant were the main inhabitants but the house has a fascinating history and is full of circles, squares and triangles. Roland Penrose and Lee miller lived at Farley Farm and the house was a meeting place for leading modern artists of the time including Picasso – more shapes to see and a sculpture garden. (Oh – and there are great places to have a pub lunch nearby.)

CharlestonNow to get ready for tomorrow’s Fair in the Square in Highgate…

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contact: chris.baker.london@gmail.com

The satnav was switched on and the trip to Wrest Park began. So to all the back roads in Bedfordshire. It was a real mystery tour going to somewhere ‘new’. To one of Britain’s finest ‘secret gardens’ – all 90 acres of it. A fabulous place to inspire with its magnificent house with conservatory, formal and wooded gardens, a central walk along a gravel path surrounded by statues, giving the long view of the pavilion across the lake.

Wrest-pavillion

Wrest-Conservatory

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mail: chris.baker.london@gmail.com

A stroll across towards Hampstead Heath from Kenwood reveals – for locals – a familiar view. The huge house peeking through the woods is Athlone House. Over 150 years old it’s been a private house, an RAF college and was used by the NHS, but now very sadly it’s under threat of demolition. So I thought I’d paint it, as many have done before.

Athlone-House2

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contact e-mail: chris.baker.london@gmail.com

The pond at Kenwood looks wonderful from the house, but close up the little bridge is a charming feature. The water lilies are flowering and the meadow beside it includes striking foxgloves. There’s something magical about it at this time of year.

Kenwood-pond-bridge

contact e-mail: chris.baker.london@gmail.com

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contact e-mail: chris.baker.london@gmail.com

Before the concerts change the serenity, pond side at  Kenwood House offers a tranquil spot and a great place to sketch. Some in the group stayed near the House – which is still shrouded in mystery while major renovation work takes place. Others of us wandered into the surrounding grounds. It’s very familiar territory but there’s so much to see and it always seems fresh:

Kenwood-pondside

contact e-mail: chris.baker.london@gmail.com

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