Daruma reflected in a sugar pot, reflected in a coffee pot, reflected in a sugar pot … or Happy New Year

For 2022, I am putting my money on post hoc, ergo propter hockery, by including not one but two lucky charms in my last picture for 2021 … and including mirror images of both in silverware. Thus this portrait of a Daruma and a dangly lucky thing I picked up years ago, reflected in a sugar pot, reflected in a coffee pot …

Happy 2022 everyone, and may your God go with you.

Coffee or tea? No, Daruma.

A red tiled roof and the death of a starling

The local magpies had somehow dragged a starling chick from its nest under a red tiled roof and were tentatively pecking it. They wanted to eat it, but it was still alive and they seemed reluctant to kill it. We shooed them away. The chick heaved in a breath, shivering with pain and shock; a tiny mite of agony. We picked it up and put it in a dark, quiet shoebox, where its life soon blinked out, nestled in the warm, dark sleeve of an old school jumper.

A home to more species than one …

Hi-Vis portrait #3: the Construction Manager

A large, ugly block of flats is going up nearby, on a spot where an even uglier paper mill used to be. This presents me with an almost endless procession of people with long pandemic hair tied back in a style more at home in the 18th Century, set off by luminous hi-vis jackets. This is one of them: a Construction Manager done in the style of Joshua Reynolds’s portrait of Francis Barber (or at least art experts think it is Barber).

Apparently Reynolds encouraged students to make copies of the Barber painting. Who am I to argue with Josh?

Construction Manager in the manner of Francis Barber (though without visiting a barber for some time).

Another hi vis portrait: the Site Supervisor

As oil paint ages it gets more transparent. Also, red pigment is highly fugitive. Add those two things together and many Joshua Reynolds portrait subjects now look like they could do with an iron supplement.

A little while back I sat eye to eye with a young man who must have died a couple of hundred years ago. I guess his parents sprang to get Joshua Reynolds to paint his portrait before he was shipped off to some frontier military posting in a malarial swamp, possibly to never return. Here is my version of that portrait, adapted and applied to a Site Supervisor I saw at a local building site. As with my subject from last week, the Site Supervisor has stringy COVID hair, tied back in the Georgian manner.

Georgian? No, second Elizabethan era.