I was born just after the war and I truly feel blessed to have lived at a time when children did not have TV, electronic games, Ipad... the lot!
Life was very simple at the top of my father workshop (stained glass windows)
We lived there until I reached the age of
6 years old. We had to move to a house after my baby sister was born.
I had a few books, colouring pencils, paper, a doll and a pram given by friends, a teddy bear that I lost. When I was given an orange on Christmas day, I thought it was the most wonderful ball I had ever seen.
When my mother peeled it, I was gutted!
The city of Amiens was badly destroyed by bombs.
I vividly remember house after house gone under rubble and me walking with my grandmother Alice.
When I saw a flower I was mesmerised and my dear grandma was climbing among the stones to get it for me. Trust me, children of today, it was something so special I will treasure in my heart to the rest of my life.
So the centre of Amiens was completed reconstructed.
Meanwhile, the shops had been replaced by dark little black wooden barracks on (if my souvenirs are right) the Boulevard de Belfort
There was a patisserie where once in a while I could have a "patate" a little cake that has nothing to do with the ones found on the net.
Une patate at the time was soft, with almond taste... delicious!!!
So... where does Wedgwood fit in my story?
Well among the shops there was one that drew my attention.
Being a 5 years old, my nose was with the level of the bottom of the windows.
One day, I stopped in front of one who was displaying the most exquisite little dish.
It was of a beautiful blue with a whitish design on it.
I begged my mum to buy it. Of course she refused explaining to me, the money we had was for food and essential and not for this kind of things.
Each time we went shopping, I wanted to stop to look at this gorgeous little dish.
Then one day, my heart sunk, it was gone! (probably to the relief of my mum)!!!
I never forgot the blue dish with the exquisite design. While in France I never saw another one.
Then I came to live in England and discovered Wedgwood.
Imagine my face when I saw all the pots, dishes, clocks, name it you have it!
The love of my youth, the beautiful blue and white design...
This morning I was cleaning a tiny vase and was thinking how moments that have marked our little lives.
-What do children of today who got it all, fall in love with?
-Will they ever encounter such experience?
- Should we take notice of our youngsters delight in front of an object?
There could be meanings. May be we could foresee the future taste of our children or even understand more about their aspiration?
I belong to an international site where I post some of my paintings.
Yesterday there was a discussion regarding Copyright.
An artist was complaining her design has been copied by Chinese.
Those of you who follow me, will know I am a great defender of Copyright.
My answer was removed from the forum. I am going to try to remember it to its authenticity :
"It is well known Chinese copy other people designs.
China has no rules and no regards about Copyright.
They know there is nothing we can do if they copy our work.
I ended on a note that some people did not like:
It is a shame that such a big country with so many people have not got the brains and have to find ideas from other artists."
May be this comment could somehow be regarded as aggressive but who can blame me when I have so many artists friends whose works have been stolen to be turned into designs or paintings simply copied and for sale on Chinese sites.
So the reaction was:
- My comment was removed, the thread was closed and so when I arrived on it the evening I could not reply to those who attacked me.
- I was reminded that USA was copying other people's works. Chinese people had created designs for centuries.
"Well excuse me but we are talking of now, what is happening on the internet!"
Only a few weeks ago I was praising on this Blog the watercolour artists in China and so I never had the intention to include the entire country and its inhabitants.
Beside, I am backing up two brilliant Chinese artists on the site Grandmasters of Fine Art.
I think the nastiest of comments was from a guy from UK.
He called me a racist and told me I should be ashamed of myself for tarring an entire population!
I have never been a racist in my life. I have friends in all countries of the world, all colours, all religions, all politics.
I might be living for the last 46 years in UK, but I was born in France. I have suffered from racism quite a lot!!! Many people accepted me, invited me, have been friendly with me, opposite to some who have ignored me and some even told me they did not like the French!
For the last 15 years, I have defended artists whose Copyright has been infringed and I will carry on doing so
As for China, it is a country that copy big names, Clothing designers, watches, art, cars, even the latest Lego who now is fighting a company who is copying their product.
Chinese have learnt, created and adapted and added the Art of Watercolour in the West to their traditional ways of painting.
They have wonderfully well interpreted landscapes and flowers.
With both styles combined, they create truly awesome paintings
It was time for me to find out a bit more.
I asked Father Christmas to bring me some Chinese watercolour paints.
Are they different to ours? Are the colours more subtle? Could I mix the styles as they do or would I struggle? I searched the net to find out if there was some Chinese watercolour sets sold in UK. I found some. The difficulty was to find out how they look, how they behave etc.. I have decided to give some help to artists that might be tempted to give it a go.
So, I chose Marie's watercolour Chinese watercolour paint. (The alone one on the market)
They come only in small size tubes of 5ml. I was happily surprised to find that each tube was covered by a protective cap, probably aluminium stuck on the opening. I wonder if it is to help with the longevity of the paint (in case it hardens like some do..) I am showing an untouched tube.
Before starting a new medium or new paint, I love experimenting with the colours...
(On ARCHES paper)
Each tube has a number. The rest is written in Chinese and so, there is no way to discover the subtle difference between the Reds of the Blues...
I have made a reference chart. May be one day, I will have to replenish a colour or two.
At first glance, I truly thought the beautiful colours of Winsor Newton did not have to worry about the competition.
I suppose it is while working with these colours, I will appreciate their softness within the tints.
I can imagine a landscape painting with the charm of China or Japan.
Now let me show you if there is any difference of tones between the Chinese paints and the ones I use (Winsor Newton - Sennelier)
I have no difficulty in finding the one I prefer
but I will keep it secret!
I also wanted to know how well they could be lifted from the paper.
As you can see: No problem
I also got some Ink as it is the traditional way of Chinese painting.
They are beautiful.
I will find a way to grind them without to go to further expense.
I will give the results later.
I have experimented with them.
The Ink is permanent. It does not lift.
I dampened one stick and rubbed it on some of my watercolour paper.
Once dried I added some Sennelier watercolour.
Chinese artists use Rice paper. I have received some too.
I still have to experiment with it but I see no reason why I cannot work on HP watercolour paper.
It is as smooth as the Rice paper.
Let me finish with a painting by artist Qian Xuan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
It is what I call a Chinese traditional painting
Such finesse, beauty within the style... freshness.
Artists are constantly and relentlessly targeted by scam emails
We need to be on our guard and ready to fight these intruders! Today I received an email from Artists & Illustrators, they were forwarding me a message left on my Portfolio. Hum! Nice... may be! It is not the first time I received messages from the Portfolio on A&I as I suggest on my own website.... "If people are not sure my site is genuine, they can get in touch with me through Artists & Illustrators(My Portfolio) So here is the message: First warning by the Magazine: The user is not registered... Most people who contact an artist want to be recognised as genuine too... so they sign.
First mistake. Genuine people call me Beatrice. If they use the term Seller, it has to be a string of multiple messages left to several artists.
"Am interested in immediate purchase of your listed Artwork for Sale on Artists and Illustrators and I would like if it's still available for sale and would love to see our personal website for more artwork if available."
Scammers always tell us they want to purchase immediately. It is a ploy to get you in a panic as we do not like to miss a sale.
Of course they also want to buy several artworks. Think of it... What an offer if you are not tuned to the world of crooks on the internet!
My website address?; It is on the my Profile page!!! 😃
Now as for the turn of phrases and mistakes.... it is the final nail in their box of tricks!
When you are not sure about an email, share it with friends.
Most of the time, scammers use for their email address, a well known name, mostly dead artists or colonel or poets... all kinds.... It sounds good.
Use Google to research their email address. It can be mentioned in forums by other artists, or be on a list of scammers. Of course this one was the name of an old actress, dead a long time ago... I found her photos but did not know her.
By the way, they wanted to put their claws in this painting: