Monday, 8 December 2014

Monday 8th December - And the Winter Shall Come

I smell of brandy.  Now, before you start planning your intervention, the reason is that I am soaking apricots in the Christmas-y booze in order to make my cake tomorrow.  I got a bit brandy-soaked myself while wrestling with the clingfilm that is covering the fruit overnight.  Well, there are worst things to smell of and in fact I spend most summer nights smelling a bit like this as I steep cloves in either brandy or rum, then spray it over myself at night in order to keep mosquitoes away.  And it works.  Hurrah and yum!  Sorry, on to today's picture...

And the Winter Shall Come (1907) Frank Spenlove-Spenlove
Well, this is a jolly piece.  Possibly the full title is 'And Winter Shall Come and you'll all die in the snow', because there isn't a lot of Christmas spirit going on in this picture.  I bet the woman on the left doesn't smell of inadvertent brandy.  There is something a bit lonely about her, all over there on her own, looking at her fellow townspeople as they go off into their houses.  Maybe Winter is being used here as a metaphor for the end of life, cold, bleak and lonely.  Oh dear, I just depressed myself so much I'm off to suck the brandy off my tshirt.

Frank Spenlove-Spenlove (so good, they named him twice) was an artist and author, and in 1896 he founded the Yellow Door School of Art in Kent.  He is known for his ability to create atmosphere in his work, as seen in this picture.  The colour, the spacing of the figures, all point towards isolation and struggle both in season and in life.  For some reason, the people on the right have literally turned their backs on the woman on the left and she is left to find her way home alone.  It is uncertain what her fate will be but it doesn't look too hopeful.  The trees are stark and bare and snow covers the ground and buildings in frost-bitten hardness.  We can hope that Spring will come and life will be renewed but she has to get through this season first.  Winter can feel hopeless, even to those of us in warm houses and within loving families.  It is dark, bare and cold and filled with the pressure and stress of imagery of happy people all together, feasting and resplendent in commercial richness.  Fear not, as we are only 13 days away from the shortest day, and then the days will lengthen once more and Spring will come again.

My present suggestion is a little piece of one of my favourite places.  Anyone who has been to the Watts' Chapel will have been blown away by the beautiful angels in the red brick walls.  The shop at the Watts' Gallery stock these little beauties...

She is called the Angel of Hope and she is based on Mary Watts' designs.  The shop has various terracotta tiles but I thought this one is just what people need to give you the hope to get through the dark of Winter.  Order her from here and brighten this season.

See you tomorrow!

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Many thanks for your comment. I shall post it up shortly! Kx