Friday, June 22, 2018

Portraits


Yesterday was the solstice, and it was basically daylight the entire time I was awake. Olga started wiggling around at about 4:30 a.m., eager to get up as the skies brightened, and the sun didn't set until about 9:30 p.m. (and dusk continued for a while after that). I'm not complaining. All this light is wonderful!


Olga and I took a long walk in the morning. Doesn't she look a little downcast in that picture? Her stomach was upset yesterday -- she probably ate something suspect. Anyway, she seems better today.

I stayed home all morning, finishing "Less" by Andrew Sean Greer, which recently won the Pulitzer for fiction. It's a terrific book. The guy is a magical writer.

Then, when Olga went on her daily trek with the dog-walker, I went into town to the National Portrait Gallery. It's time for the annual BP Portrait Awards exhibit, which I always try to catch.

On the way there, I made my own photographic portrait of Pikachu (top), hanging out in Trafalgar Square.


This is the BP first-prize winner, the stunning "An Angel at my Table," by Miriam Escofet. There is nothing about this painting that's NOT amazing. At first it seems hyper-realist, a careful portrait of the artist's mother -- but then you notice some mysterious things going on with the tableware, a supernatural ghostly movement. It's remarkable -- as were all of the other portraits, each in their own individual way.

Afterwards, I walked through Soho and up to Oxford Street, so I could pop into Selfridge's and redeem a gift card that Dave got from one of his students. I picked him up a couple of pairs of colorful socks. Then I continued wandering, and wound up in a crowded little square called St. Christopher's Place, where there were cafes and a sculpture and hanging baskets full of petunias:


I grabbed a coffee and a chocolate muffin and soaked up the ambience for a while. In London, when the weather is nice, everybody gets outside -- you've got to seize the moment! We're actually having a pretty lengthy period of remarkable weather, with temperatures in the 70s and lots of sunshine.

Finally I continued my walk north to Baker Street, where I caught the tube for home. A good day all around!

11 comments:

Frances said...

I thought that the painting was a photograph ! Hope Olga is better now. x

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Miriam Escolet's portrait of her mother is indeed stunning. It is as if the items on the table are directing us to the very heart of the main subject. I love the colouration in this picture too. A worthy winner I would say.

Vivian Swift said...

The hands in the Escolet portrait are disturbing. I'd rather look at your picture of Olga. Your sweet girl does look kind of mopey (for her), but that's a beautiful photograph.

jenny_o said...

That is a painting? Wow. I find it creepy, but so very well executed. As Frances said, it's like a photograph, it's so realistic.

Poor Olga. She even LOOKS bleached out (or is that bleched out) in the photo! Hope she's feeling better now.

Ms. Moon said...

That portrait is unbelievable! I think I could stare at it for days.
Baker Street? Of the Baker Street Irregulars?
You SO live in London!

Red said...

People need to get out and then they need to walk like you do.

robin andrea said...

That painting is stunning. I'm so glad you photographed it. Love seeing those blue skies there. Enjoy every sunlit moment of it!

ellen abbott said...

what a fabulous painting! I thought the portraits would be photographs.

Sharon Anck said...

That sounds like a perfect day to me. A little art at a grand museum, a little shopping at a grand department store and a walk through the streets of London. Now that's my kind of day!

Allison said...


Look at the bus just behind that large yellow character. I don't know what to call it. Anyway, why are there adverts for tape worms on the buses? That's very weird. I really enjoy your jaunts around London, I do have location envy.

Catalyst said...

Magnificent painting. BTW, did you see Sherlock on Baker Street?