Sunday, March 17, 2013

Warm Memories for a Dreary Day

2008 Bath Abbey. This church is noted for the carvings
of angels that are climbing the ladders to heaven.
It's a bit dreary today in central Ohio, so a good day to revisit one of my favorite cities in England.


I first visited this lovely city in January of 1983, on my maiden voyage across the pond. I was traveling with the Ancient Studies Department of UMBC, and the city was a favorite of the professor that led this excursion. I had just met my future husband a month before my trip, and he advised that I look for a very, very strong cider called, Scrumppy. He made it sound very appetizing, with 'green bits' floating in it, but to this day, I have never tasted it.

25 years later, I made my second trip to Bath with my husband.

Sculptures line the upper ledge of the ancient Roman baths.
The Great Bath was once covered, and one of the largest buildings
that most people in the Roman England would have seen.
It is now open to the sky.
We were there for only a few hours, just long enough to take the self-guided tour of the Roman Baths. I was surprised at how organized and extensive the tour had become in the past two and a half decades. Martin, my engineer and Sherpa, was happy to see the workings of the baths and the heated flooring system exposed with full explanations on our audio-guides.

The King's Bath above, was and still is, my favorite part of the baths. The source feeding these thermal baths is located in this area. People would sit in the niches in heated water up to their necks!

From the Roman Baths website: "The pediment of the ancient temple carries the image of a fearsome head carved in Bath stone and it is thought to be the Gorgon’s head, which was a powerful symbol of the goddess Sulis Minerva."

I went back to Bath in June 2010 with my husband, my daughter, and our 10 year old granddaughter. This time, Martin and I went painting, while the two gals went in to see the baths. We found them later in the Tea Rooms having lunch. After a cup of tea and a scone, we paid for a cup of the 'clean bath water' from the source. It tasted awful, but supposed to have wonderful curative properties, and it seems that I've lived to tell this tale.

While in Bath, we saw a excellent exhibit of oil paintings by Neil Pinkham. I was given their last copy of the costly exhibition catalog for free by the enthusiastic assistant gallery owner when I told him that I was also an artist. Upon our return to the USA, I went online to research some things in Bath and learned about the Bath Competition, which was going on while we were there and was still underway.

Someday I want to go back to Bath and take part in that event, but until then, I just looked at all the paintings online and found for the first time the name Adebanji Alade. The link is to his blog. He had won the plein air prize the year before, and I read all about his plein air marathon during this competition.
Great Bath, Morning - Oil - 28" x 40"
        Peter Brown studio painting of the Great Bath, 28 x 40"

What marvelous work this man does en plein air and in the studio.

Here's a short but wonderful documentary video on two artists from Bath, England one of whom is Peter Brown.
Directed and edited by Liam Southall
Camera by James Trosh, Toby Dale and Liam Southall

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