The Cotswolds; Chocolate Box Perfection!

Stepping into this artistic location delights the senses, with its beautiful fresh rolling hills, picturesque villages and country charm, there is so much to see that it can be hard know where to start in the Cotswolds.

Here are a few inspiring ideas I managed to come across while touring this absolutely beautiful part of the world - one area that is picturesque no matter what the season, one of my most inspiring art trips I have been lucky to visit...

the Church where many Downton Abbey scenes were created.
Home Sweet homes.

Share The View - 

Beginning with a stay in the most picture perfect village of 'Bampton', around 1 1/2 hour from Bristol Airport, you are immersed in English Chocolate box perfection. The village, where many Downton Abbey scenes were filmed, is a perfect way to settle into the gorgeous tranquil way of life, picture postcard perfection in the fantastic heart of the cotswolds.

Down the Valleys - 

A short drive away & into a medieval hill town of 'Burford', set along the river Windrush, a place to take stunning walks into the plentiful forests. It is often referred to as the 'Gateway' to the cotswolds. Heaved with country bars, art galleries and quaint little shops, its beauty marvelled by its historical atmosphere.

Down the Misty glen - Steep hilly town of Burford

Live the Fairytale - 

Arlington Row, Bibury

A visit to the cotswolds wouldn't be complete without living  the fairytale and taking a trip to 'Bibury' where 'William Morris' called Bibury the most beautiful village in England. wonderful tiny cottages are strung together along the banks of the river Coln. Arlington Row, owned by the national trust, old weavers cottages, is one of England's most iconic 'picture perfect' sites, and it truly is, breathtakingly pretty. It even appears on the cover of UK passports, personally my favorite delight to be found!.

Tea For Two - 

Explore the magical sweet shop charming village of 'Stow on the Wold' - the highest town in the cotswolds, full of history, charm and delicious coffee and tea houses. Personally my little dream art village, where magical art vibes are alive.

treat yourself to delicious home made toffees and fudge. The aromas will guide you there.

Fields Of Green - 

Dotted along the roads, some of the prettiest views and drives can be found in the tiny villages of 'Swinbrook' and 'Minster Lovell' - where you will find magical views of rolling hills and stumble across houses that are so pretty, no doubt of total chocolate box perfection.

Rolling Rapeseed Hills - Views from Swinbrook.
'Minster Lovell village, chocolate box perfection

A little Boat Spotting -

Known for being named as ' The Venice of the cotswolds'; the village of  ‘Bourton on the water’, featuring a replica minature toy village in the village itself. Bourton on the water is known for its low bridges which run through its centre, with narrow pathways and stone houses, holding a beautiful charm of its own.

'The Venice of the Cotswolds'

So no matter where you go into the heart of the Cotswolds, you will be emersed and wrapped in its elegance and total perfection, ambiance and love.

Happy touring and dreaming! XX SR


'Rainbow Real estate’ ! ‘The Brownstone’ - Recognizable Style & Elegence, NYC '

As one of the most desirable form of dwellings in New York City today, the brownstone remains the most recognisable style found throughout the City, creating the most luxurious rows of elegance dotted around the boroughs.

Gentle arches frame the beautiful brownstone streets

There are quite a few distinctive styles of brownstones around the city, mostly 3 stories, with a basement and with notably tall windows. A stroll around neighbourhoods of Carroll gardens, Park slope and prospect heights in Brooklyn you will be awed by their grandeur and beauty, the beautiful Swedish brown sandstone framing these elegant streets.

Many of the stone cuttings and carvings for brownstones memorialized their owners, once in fashion to have a celebrity depicted on a residence, but most of the details found were mythical characters or even building owners.

Historical Building. Fine ink pen sketch.

Probably the best of the brownstone in Manhattans’ boroughs can be found on the Upper West side where the oldest building can date back to 1880.

A dreamy facade I came across whilst strolling the areas.

Brownstone, a building where NYC pride and elegence are grandurely connected by artistic beauty. - A dream place to call home.

All artwork available to purchase by clicking into ‘Colour In The City’ Collection above. A beautiful way to show off the artistic elegence in the home. XX SR

 

 


Central Park; A tranquil elegance amongst chaos. .

Cities excite me, but none as much as the grand sudden burst of uncontrollable energy felt when arriving to New York City, with its chaotic multitudes of colour and splendour of noises. Their sounds alone sooth me but nothing so much as visits to the grandest of spaces, Central Park, where the power of its vastness silences the chaos inside us and outside its walls.

Into the light

Central Park is an oasis for New Yorkers and ‘wannabe’s’ alike, stretching across three avenues from 59th street all the way up to 110th street, its vast 900 acres (6 percent of the entire manhattan) is one complete, tranquil, pure escape.

I was lucky while here, to experience the transition of seasons from Autumn into Winter, with its golden transformations visible from all angles. Streets, especially close to 100th and 103rd street boast some of the most beautiful foliage, pure artistic paintings in their own right.

 

The archaic skyline rising above natural beauty.

Don’t miss seeing the reflection of trees in the lakes, taking walks along the rustic stone bridges, the arches, where walks can be most appreciated. The Ramble’ lake, located with access from 79th street, romanticised by many Hollywood movies, where you can rent boats or merely walk around the largest body of water in the park, enjoying again some of the best views.

Lake views - colour explosions

 

Closeby, from 71st -74th street, Strawberry fields, paying tribute to the late beatle, John Lennon, musician and peace activist, where a beautiful black and white ‘Imagine’ Mosaic was created in tribute to him.

Flowers placed as a symbol of peace.

And a frosty reminder for the wild side of us all - the ‘Wollman Rink’ opens every winter for skaters of all levels, and although a tourist draw, this rink located in the heart of the park, boast the most beautiful view, with the backdrop of skyscrapers

Central Park tranquility - located 59th st and 5th avenue.

Shop 'Colour In The City' Collection for more insights on NYC. 

Peace !  XX SR.

 


MET Gallery - Magnificent Eclectic Talents, where something is always happening!!

'The Met'  - where all world class art collections are joined under one incredibly beautiful space. Located on 5th Avenue and  82nd street, representing more than 5000 years of art from across the globe, with some of the finest artists including 'Monet', 'Manet', Cézanne, Dégas, Van Gogh but to name a few. It is a truly phenomenal space, where with each turn of the eye, one can be overwhelmed what they are invited next to see. Met was founded in 1870, its footprints extend to over 2 million square feet.

 

 

MET Gallery on 5th Ave & 82nd street.

A glimpse of some treats below.

The Mett gallery opens on sunday -Thursday from 10am-5.30pm

Friday and Saturdays 10am-9pm.

Vincent Van Gogh - 1928 Painting on display.
'Claude Monet' Waterlilies. - where he painted from his retreat home in Giverney, france.

 

Paul Gaughain, ' recognised for his synthesist style and colour.
Degas, especially famous for his work on the subject of Dance.

 

The Met is also host to 'The Met Gala' formally called the costume Institute Gala, the pinnacle of iconic style, an annual fundraiser for the 'Metropolitan Museum of Art'. The event welcomes stars, young creatives, and industry paragons alike, hosted by the queen of fashion 'Anna Winter' a legendary Vogue stars' night.

(entrance to the gallery on 5th avenue & 82nd street).

Shop 'Colour In The City' collection to enjoy & see for more insights into NYC.

 


The Magical World of Ms Potter.

Believe there is a great power silently working for all things good, behave yourself and never mind the rest” - Beatrix Potter.

A short inspiring, long wished for trip, brought me to the truly calming ‘Lake Windermere’ for some rest time, and to emerse and become inspired by the tales and illustrations of Beatrix Potter, (best known for her tales of Peter Rabbit, and Jemima Puddleduck’ ) and breath the fresh crisp air of the surrounding countryside, where Beatrix devoted her life protecting this beautiful landscape.

Stepping back & being called into nature, views of Windermere.

“Hill Top farm” the original home of Beatrix Potter, is located in Hawkeshead, a short scenic lake cruise, across the lake from ‘Bownes’, followed by a short bus trip through a twisty road taking you to the most wonderful destination overlooking the countryside.

 

Hill Top is a 17th Century house, a stunning timecapsule of her life, a house built with the traditional Cumbrian slate stone walls, now treasured by the national trust. It is a grade 2 listed building  and is now happily open to the public as a writers house museum, showing off how Beatrix herself would have lived and best known it.

Beatrix bought the house and its 34 acres in July 1906 as her retreat home from London and her artistic retreat. The house, farm, and nearby villages feature in her books, (The tale of Tom Kitten, the tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck). The farm was managed by Tom Cannon, a long friend of Beatrix Potter and the wing of the house was left to him in 1906.

Hill Top Farm.

The beautiful tale of Jemima Puddle Duck was dedicated to his children, who appear in her illustrations as does their mother.

Many of her furnishings are displayed throughout the house and you can take a beautiful walk around her gardens and enjoy the tranquil views of the surrounding countryside. You may even meet the gardener in charge of Hilltop who will show you some exciting features:)

Stories of her books to be found around the nearby village
Stunning view of the countryside

A beautiful few days at Windermere, bringing nature and a love for art closer to home.

Shop 'In Dreams' collection on my website for more insights & dreamy images.

(Details of Hilltop Farm can be found on www.nationaltrust.org.uk) Enjoy, xx SR.


NYC - Packing Art into the Meatpacking!!

Chelsea's row of galleries along west 21st street between 10th & 11th Ave includes some of the finest galleries in the NYC gallery world, offering the latest contemporary art for both the casual gallery-goer and dedicated connoisseur.

I was lucky enough back in November 2017 to experience such a thrill, with each gallery providing free entry and an opportunity to witness some finest worldwide artists, one in particular, was the inspiring, (known and found for the 'mile long' queues (Not joking)) was the fabulous Yoyoi Kusama, the Japanese contemporary artist, active in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry. She is best known for her conceptual art, minimalism, surrealism and pop art styles. She has been acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan.

IN 2011, Kusama created artwork for six limited edition lip glosses for the brand lancome, as well as working with the designer Marc Jacobs, who was inspired by her line of Louis Vuitton products, and so, created for Marc a line of accessories, shoes, watches and jewellary. These products were available at a soho pop up shop, which was decorated with Kusama's trademark images of her polkadots.

'Ready to wait in Line?? worth it!

Her work, Displayed in the 'David Zwirner' gallery, showed off her selfmade journey to greatness and quite possibly showing that she maybe the greatest artist to come out of the 1960's. The 'Infinity' rooms on view in chelsea, give her paintings a forcefulness, with their imaginative images and sculptures, rooms that could win over any new fan. One room is a hexagonal box with mirrored interior, shows a changing light show, a sensation of flying above a cityscape.

My favourite room at the gallery, was a room (Photo above) titled 'With all my love for the Tulips, I pray forever' - a simple white room containing three large sculptures of tulips in which everything is covered with red dots, a room where you can experience, through her eyes, her innocent fun of art.

Kusuma in her life, experienced psychological imbalances that led to periods of hospitalisation (in childhood she began to experience visual and auditory hallucinations and continued) thus leading her to the paintings of red dots.

It is the vitality of the artist, that is infectious, the art that keeps her now alive.

(David Zwirner gallery is located on 525 W 19th Street, NYC.)

 

Exhibition was on display November 15th 2017.

Shop 'Colour In the City' Collection for more NYC enjoyment.

_________________________________________ XX SR

 


Galleria Borghese & Borghese Gardens - Eleggence in Roma

Villa Borghese gardens - exploring the 'Viale Del Lago' and the 'temple of Asclepius'

Roaming through the 'Villa Borghese gardens'. stunning lush gardens set a short stroll from Piazza del Popolo, you will come across the most beautiful 'Galleria Borghese' an art gallery housing a substantial part go the Borghese collection of painting, sculptures and antiques.

The villa was built by the architect 'Flaminio Ponzi, developing sketches himself who used this as his country villa to connect with his work.

Park Highlights.

The galleria includes twenty rooms across two elegant floors, concentrating mostly on Italian artists, the main floor mostly devoted to classical antiques, sculptures by 'Bernini' and many paintings from Caravaggio and 'Raphael'. 

Galleria Borghese - Piazale Scipione borghese, 5, Roma.


'Enchanting Village Life - 'Cote D'azur Secrets ' - a reconnection with art.

 

Ah the beautiful French Riviera, a glamorous coastline with glistening seas and elegance, from its aristocracy, to its divine, picture perfect villages, many of which hold artistic specialities. A holiday destination, where, any artist is sure to reconnect with themselves.

Driving along the winding roaming hills, you can be sure to come across villages like the pretty colourful  'Ez', the medieval village of 'St Paul de Vence', an historical typical old traditional untouched French cultural village of 'Villeneuve Loubet', rich and exclusively famous 'Yacht life' coastal town of 'Antibes', the bustling market life of 'Valbonne', all the way to the beautiful art gallery haven of Mougins,... the south of France is a sure true treat, catering for all loves of life.

Villeneuve Loubet :) X

'ÉZE'  - a magical hilltop village located above coastline of Nice, is a famous tourist site, renowned for its panoramic views of the sea from its peak, above the Church, 'Chapelle de la Sainte Croix, dating back to 1306. It is where Walt Disney spent a significant amount of time, enjoying its beauty and charm. Éze is one of the sixteen villages grouped together to be known as the 'Route of Perched villages'.

'ST PAUL DE VENCE' - famous for its modern and contemporary art galleries, it is sure to tantalise an artists pallet. It has been a haven for artists such as Pablo Picasso,  Jacques Revert, and Marc Chagall, all who lived here. A must visit for artists and cultural lovers alike.

St Paul De Vence

'VILLENEUVE LOUBET' - Crowned by its medieval keep, stairways are omnipresent and with steeply sloping streets, boarded by beautiful colourful facades of French charm and balconies decorated with flowers. At the top, a large church with its belltower deserves a visit, with the chateau hiding behind the high walls, is bound to intrigue you.

Medieval Streets 'Traditional French Facades' - Villeneuve Loubet

'ANTIBES' - Known for its famous port and supreme exclusivity. This port (village/town) is a beautiful stop to absorb the french holiday vibe of the Cote D'azur. From its fine class restaurants to its clientele, it is a sure to spot the 'stars'. Take a walk along the port to see some 'out of this world' yachts and walk the narrow route to a magical view point of the cote D'azur, also the pathway to the Picasso Museum and gallery.

'Antibes'

VALBONNE - a true cultural experience is this beautiful market village. You can capture local life from fresh fruit, vegetable, fish, flowers and meat stands around the narrow beautiful streets.

MOUGINS - A village filled with top class restaurants and an explosion of over 40 art galleries, it has attracted many creative types from Fernand Léger, to Churchill, Elizabeth Taylor to Pablo Picasso (Who spent the last 12 years of his life here, where he died in 1973). A few miles inland from Cannes, Mougins offers  extremely cultured presence with the finest of dining to coincide with the most luxurious galleries 'Museum of Classical Art' , founded by Christian Levett, including collections from artists such as Rubens, Picasso, Braque, Dali and Marc Chagall.

. Gallery Highlights of the Cote D'azur

Musée Renoir, (Cagnes Sur Mer) - The Renoir Museum stands in the heart of the magnificent estate with old olive trees and a superb panorama of the Cap d'antibes. Renoir spent the last 12 years of his life at this house in Cagnes Sur Mere.

Musée Picasso - (Antibes)  - formerly the chateau grimaldi at Antibes, is built at the peak of the village. In 1946 it was the home of Pablo Picasso, today it is known as the Pablo Picasso Museum, the first museum in the world dedicated to the artist. Notable paintings are 'The Goat' and 'La Joie de Vivre'

Musee Marc Chagall (36 Avenue DR Ménard, Nice)  - a national museum dedicated to the work of Marc Chagall,who resided in 'St Paul De Vence;, this gallery holds 40 of his work here. Marc Chagall, a Russian/French artist, an early modernist who was associated with several artistic styles including illustrations, tapestry, ceramic, and fine art prints.

Musée Matisse (164 Avenue des Arénes de Cimiez, Nice)  - The Villa was built in the 17th century and was his home from 1917 until he died in 1954. It has many of his paintings as well as his sketches and personal objects.

Musée des Beaux Arts. (Avenue Des Baumettes, Nice) with a wide selection spanning from 15th Century to 20th Centuries. Built in 1878 it is well worth the hike up the steep hill, it hosts everything from French masters to post impressionist paintings.

XX SR.                                    ______________________


'An Illustrators Dream' - A trip to 'Atelier de Paul Cézanne'

 Atelier De Paul Cézanne - Trip

  ''Just a short drive along the beautiful golden Route of the 'Cote D'azur', a 2 1/2 hour drive from nice airport,  brings you the beautiful arty french university City of 'Aix en Provence', the heart of a creative culture, the threshold of abstraction, renowned for its famous aristocratic inhabitants .

Today, in Aix en Provence, you can share in Cézanne's wonderful art journey and experience by visiting his studio 'Atelier', and see, through your eyes, his unique outlook, landscape and natural surroundings , where he always felt was his great guide and influence, and what truly made him 'The Father of Modern Painting'.

Set up on the 'Lauvres hills' in Aix en Provence, amidst lush french scenery, we see the house once the main art gallery of Cezanne, with his furniture, work and equipment laid as it were for the artist. You can feel the presence of the painter.

Paul Cezanne, born in the City in 1839, father of a successful banker, who wished him to pursue a 'respectable' career attended law school, to soon drop out and pursue his life's passion, art. The artist left for Paris to further his artistic career. His father disapproved but he later reconciled to his choice and on his death, Paul inherited a substantial sum and he continued to pursue art without any financial worries.

In Paris, Pisarro, acted as his master, and formed to be an inspiration to Cézanne. Cézanne was rejected by the Paris Salon, taking a while for his art work to be recognised it wasn't until 1895 that he received his first solo exhibition.

In 1870 he fled to the south of France, where, here in Aix en Provence,he drew an increasing number of landscapes and abandoned his dark colours which he developed in his early years in Paris. This period was to be his turning point in his life, (quoting that his time in paris was wasted) becoming one of the leading impressionists. He spent much of his later life in his 'Atelier' in seclusion. He used planes and blocks of colour to give an abstracted observation to his work. it was this abstract innovation the was said to be the link with 19th century impressionist art and the modern art of Matisse and Picasso, in the 20th Century.

Paul Cézanne's atelier can be found on, 9 Avenue Paul Cézanne, 13100, Aix en Provence, France.

Website : www.cezanne-en-provence.com

'Gardanne'.

'Gardanne' on display @ The Met gallery NYC,  - (the steeple of the local church crowns the cluster of red-roofed buildings which animate the sloping terrain of Aix. Faceted and geometric, the structures show off his early 20th Century impressionistic Cubism)

______________________________________________


'For All that Glitters' - Dublin's Fair City, Christmas 2017

'

'Dublin's Fairest City'  -

and now developing to be a beautiful twinkling spectacle of shimmering lights during this festive season 2017.

As I took a wander through the cobblestone walkways of temple bar and onwards to Grafton Street, where shoppers bustle along (some pausing with their multitude of bags, enjoying the traditional Irish musical sessions scattered along the infamous street), I approached Stephens Green shopping Centre.

Built in 1988, it Is a domed shaped centre, filled with a beautiful glass ceiling and an

architectures haven. The wonders of the decorative detail is quite magical.. almost giving it the scene of being in the North Pole - with the vintage style large clock glass volted ceiling and huge Christmas Balls gallantly hanging from the rooftops. A Feist of festive cheer to the sight.

A wander back down Grafton street is a must, stopping at the infamous 'Bewleys  Café', one of Dublin's most iconic and celebrated landmarks, which reopened its doors after a 3 year renovation. Following a multi million refurbishment, the landmark café sees the return of the infamous stained glass windows, open fireplaces. A mouthwatering Hot chocolate is a sure treat as you are guided to your seats.

Crisp, fresh Dublin in December, A beautiful days venture to see all that Glitters! xx SR.