Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June Flowers North Fife

Today in North Fife was very warm and the pleasure was compounded by the abundance of flowers on the roadside, hedgerows and fields of oilseed rape. Below is a small example. These natural forms provided a rich source for design and decoration by the Arts and Craft movement of the late Nineteenth Century. Artists William Morris and John Ruskin amongst others of influence caused the building of Art Schools in Britain. I myself attended a secondary Art School in Birmingham and it was there I learned to see, appreciate, draw and love natural forms.

A stunning mix of colour from Honeysuckle and sweet-pea.

Intense red of Tropaeolum (Nasturtium) climbing in a beech hedge.

Proserpina by John Ruskin.Proserpina, Studies of Wayside Flowers, Parts 1-2: While the Air Was Yet Pure Among the Alps, and in the Scotland and England Which My Father Knew (18

All within a few meters of a roadside hedge at Hazelton Walls North Fife.

John Ruskin, one of the greatest writers and thinkers of the nineteenth century, was also one of the most prolific. Not only did he publish some 250 works, but he also wrote lectures, diaries, and thousands of letters that have not been published. This book the second and final volume of Tim Hilton's acclaimed biography of Ruskin, which is published on the centenary of Ruskin's death draws on the original source material to give a moving account of the life of this brilliant and creative man. The book begins in 1859. Ruskin had a disastrous marriage behind him, was living with his parents, travelling, and earning his keep by writing and tutoring. This brought him into contact with Rose La Touche, a girl of ten, with whom he slowly fell in love. Hilton recounts how this relationship developed into one of the saddest love affairs of literary hsitory, ending in tragedy in 1875. Thereafter, says Hilton, Ruskin's life was punctuated by bouts of insanity and despair that culminated in total breakdown for the last ten years of his life. During these years, however, his intellect and imagination reached new heights, as he produced Praeterita and most of Fors Clavigera, the series of monthly letters to British workers. Hilton's magisterial narrative follows Ruskin through this period and shows that he was the most eloquent and radical of all the great Victorian writers.John Ruskin Vol 2: The Later Years (John Ruskin : the Later Years)

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