Royal Wedding

In celebration of the mania surrounding the Royal wedding (as opposed to the wedding itself), I have decided to make available fine art prints of my best shots of Windsor Castle. They are available now on my Fine Art America galleries by clicking here. Below is one sample.


On the easel now

Here are two detail images of the beginning stages of a large painting I have started recently.
Large for me is anything above 24 inches in either direction.

The subject is a scenic panorama of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. I am using as reference a few shots I took on a recent trip to U.K.

This will end up being the first landscape I have created in over a decade. I started with the structure itself since that will be the most challenging.


Spring Exhibit Award

My latest pastel painting, "Eleanor of Aquitaine", won an honorable mention award in the most recent juried group exhibit I submitted it to.

The "honorable" and "mentioned" piece is 9x7 inches.


Postcards from Britain - Blenheim Palace, Part 4

When you go into the main entrance of Blenheim Palace you find yourself in a beautiful open space which establishes the awesome surroundings and splendor of the interior. Original and reproduced, captured French battle standards of the vanquished French armies are displayed in various rooms.

Aside from marveling at the fact that for centuries this entire place was a private residence, the great thing about seeing the interior of a place like Blenheim Palace is the ability to see a private collection of fine art. Art that you will never see in any public museum, and that has been in a family for many generations is always extra special to me.

In a section off to the right of the main hall hangs an impressively huge portrait of the first Duke, John Churchill and his family. Sitting on a table in front of the painting is a beautiful silver sculpture.

The sculpture is actually a dining table centerpiece that was used in many formal dinners hosted by the various Marlboroughs throughout the centuries. It depicts a victorious John Churchill writing what is known as the “Blenheim dispatch”. Basically after leading the British to victory in the battle of Blenheim, in Germany, he takes a moment to write to his wife Sarah, saying something like “… tell the Queen she has had a great victory at Blenheim.” Below are a couple details of the sculpture.

This scene is immortalized throughout Blenheim palace in paintings, sculptures, and tapestries.


Postcards from Britain - Blenheim Palace, Part 3

As I mentioned in a previous post, in centuries past the English were great for pounding their chests in the face of their French rivals, and Blenheim Palace is all about that. The image below shows an example - a sculptural detail on top of a double column in the main courtyard at Blenheim. A close look shows that the Lion, (symbol of England) is mauling and about to devour a bird (symbol of France).

Take THAT French!
From this position, if you turn to your right, you see the main body of Blenheim Palace. It is similar to standing in front of the Vatican in that the main structure sits in front of you, and you are enclosed (hugged if you will) by two wings on each side. The setting is awesome.

Blenheim is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Blenheim is used as a backdrop for many films and television episodes. My favorite being Lewis (Multi award-winning Kevin Whately and the accomplished Laurence Fox, solving crimes against the stunning backdrop of Oxford!). The day I shot the image above, the palace was being used as a backdrop for a show called The Royals which airs in the U.S. on the E channel - which explains all the clutter in my shot.

Lastly for now, here are some links I probably should have posted earlier in this series on Blenheim Palace:

Blenheim Palace official page
A good read about Blenheim
Blenheim Palace facts and figures
More beautiful English country houses