A Pythagorean Silence

“It is better to be silent, or to say things of more value than silence. Sooner throw a pearl at hazard than an idle or useless word; and do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few” attributed to Pythagoras.

Why Pythagoras? He founded a Way of Life that put silence at its heart. Why silence? I could find out absolutely nothing about this next painting. It is a watercolour of a rural scene, probably in England. There is no artist’s signature and no title. There may be a date but it is hardly legible. It is like a silent picture. Pythagoras might have approved.



108 more shopping days until Christmas

St. Nicholas:

Patron saint of bankers and thieves but mostly associated with charitable giving and Christmas. His feast day in most of Europe is 6th December but he is celebrated in over 40 countries from Mexico to Iceland and Lithuania to Turkey. There are thousands of churches named after him including over 300 in Belgium and 400 in England.
So, it was difficult to find out which St. Nicholas Church this is:

My only clue here is the name of the artist, Brian Higbee, who lives in Devon and has his own website:http://www.brianhigbee.co.uk/
This is a limited edition etching, hand coloured with watercolour and numbered 138/250. It measures, in the frame, just 13cm x 18cm.

Brotherly Love

Once upon a time (well about 450 years ago) there were two brothers, Albert and Albrecht. They were both talented artists but their father could not afford to send both boys away to study so the boys tossed a coin to see which one would go. Albrecht won and Albert went down the mines in order to support him. In due course Albrecht was recognised as a talented artist and started to become rich and famous but, being the good brother that he was, he returned home and told Albert that it was now his turn to go and study and be supported. Alas, through his tears, Albert said that he could not go as his hands had been ruined working in the mines and he could no longer hold a pencil or a brush. Albrecht then drew his poor brother’s abused hands and called the sketch ‘Hands’. It later became one of the most famous sketches in the world and is known more commonly as ‘The Praying Hands’ (c.1508)’. Albrecht is of course Albrecht Durer (1471-1528).


In 1996, Betty Bradley from Doncaster did a tapestry of ‘The Praying Hands’ and very beautifully done it is. Betty was a needle woman extraordinaire. I hope it will find a new home soon especially now I know the story behind it.


What would Ruskin say?

This is what he said about Whistler’s painting ‘Nocturne in Black and Gold’ c.1875:
“(I) never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face”.
The painting in question:

A bit harsh when you consider that a coxcomb is a pretentious fop! I think Ruskin would have had less to say about this lovely watercolour by John T. Taggert entitled Friar’s Crag, Derwentwater.

If you read the next post you will see that this is the second painting I found by Mr Taggert and I believe that, just as the previous one was, this was painted from a postcard. Could this be the very one?


What, you might ask, has Ruskin got to do with all this? Well, there is a memorial stone to John Ruskin on the banks of Derwentwater marking Friar’s Crag as the first place he remembered being taken to by his nurse.

What would Verity say?

Here she is in a car park in Ifracombe by kind donation of one of the locals, Damien Hurst.

I don’t know Ilfracombe but I wonder if that is Lantern Hill behind her as I gather it dominates the town (or dominated now that Verity is there).

To my next picture. This is an original watercolour signed by John T. Tagget. The title is Lantern Hill and Hillsborough, Ilfracome. On researching this view what should I find but this, an old postcard with the artist named as Brian Gerald.


And here is the one I have:


They are almost identical which leads me to believe that John copied his painting from a postcard which doesn’t detract from the fact that it is a very good watercolour and John was clearly a very competent artist. This only cost ¬£1.95 and then I found another one. See next post (above) but I am going to see if I can find another old postcard to match that one before I write about it.