Friday, 3 June 2011

On Board

naked cyclists in front of the Brighton Pavilion

Brighton is a rollercoaster of a seaside place. Sandwiched between the South Downs and the sea, day tripper, London commuter, hedonist, gourmand, and those seeking an alternative lifestyle can all be accommodated by this most cosmopolitan and tolerant of cities. And it is here that we have what we term our 'rooms' for those times when we stray from Hungary.

And for the past month of May, 'London-sur-Mer' became, as is the case each year, a hive of cultural activity buzzing with lunchtime recitals, literary events, exhibitions, concerts, dance, drama and the 'Lady Boys of Bangkok'.

trompe l'oeil by Diane Brandrett at an Open House

On every weekend throughout the Brighton Festival, some 1000 artists at over 250 venues hold 'Open House' in which an impressively varied range of work is on show. Although tempted by a painting by Cyril Mount, former war artist, now ninety years of age and still a rebel with a cause, this year our hearts were stolen by Diane Brandrett's 'South Downs Way', a gilded oil on board which invites the viewer to stroll through the countryside so very typical of downland Sussex.

Diane Brandrett's 'South Downs Way' finds a new home in our drawing room

Diane's work as a restorer at the Brighton Pavilion means that she is no stranger to gold leaf, applying it to arches and architraves, finials and frescoes, pediments and pilasters, all in connection with reviving the regency splendour of yesteryear.

And so as the dying rays of the sun burnish the painting's skyline, a corner of our Budapest drawing room becomes bathed in perpetual golden light.


  1. Jane and Lance, it was well worth the trip to find such a lovely painting. Sounds like you had a great time too :-)

  2. What a beautiful painting! I can see why you were so taken with it. The sky looks stunning - is it golden?
    A good choice.

  3. I think you've described exactly why we have homes in Brighton (other than its proximity to France). My own favourite Sussex picture is by Charles W Taylor of Chanctonbury Hill; a lovely watercolour that sits in our hallway. I'd happily add yours to my collection; it has a slightly Spencer-ish look about it.

  4. Perpetua:
    As we are regular attendees at this particular Open House we are sent an invitation to the Private View. This does make it very special indeed with opportunities to meet the artists and discuss their work.

  5. Craig:
    We are so pleased that you like the painting. Yes the 'sky' is applied gold leaf and so does look particularly magical when it catches the sun.

  6. Cro Magnon:
    Brighton certainly does suit us too. How often we say..."It could only happen in Brighton!"

    Your watercolour sounds absolutely lovely and we are certain that we could find a place for it here should you ever tire of it. Sadly, our photograph does not do Diane's painting justice, its 3-D quality is impressive when viewed at close quarters.

  7. It's a fine view of the chalk lands - the tinge of gold gives the painting an odd quality of distance, as though it depicted a present that realised it would become past. What a good idea to bring the best of Brighton back to Hungary. And the trompe l'oeil is intriguing and clever. You make me want to visit Brighton again.

  8. I believe that one of the great joys of living in more than one country is that it allows you to do things like this. To place an english painting in a Hungarian drawing room is to view it in another light. It really adds a new dimension.

  9. I love the trompe l'oeil, reality is at it's best when a little but skewed. I am dying to go to Brighton or the Isle of Wight for a proper British seaside holiday but we actually only go away twice a year, it just looks like I'm on a perpetual holiday at the moment!

  10. Mise:
    We had not considered the interesting point which you raise here, that of the treatment given to the painting making it take on a somewhat 'ancient quality'. It is so true that so much of the English countryside is under threat, so long may the South Downs remain unspoilt.

    Yes, Brighton is well worth a revisit, perhaps on a bicycle?

  11. La Sombra Sofisticada:
    Absolutely! We are sure that it was the quality of the light which the painting reflected which appealed. We could imagine the golden glow which floods our rooms towards the end of the day giving the painting an extra dimension, and so it has proved.

  12. Bourbon and Pearls:
    We totally understand what you mean about reality needing adjustment. Whenever we have new specatcles we always ask them to be adjusted so that everything is not too much in focus.

    Well, there certainly is a big difference between Brighton and the Isle of Wight, although it is perfectly possible to combine the two. Then you can have the best of both worlds...and sand! But, perhaps, we shall entice you to Budapest first?

  13. Dear Jane and Lance,
    What an eclectic mix Brighton is. We know it well as my sister lives in Horsham, so we often all have a day out in Brighton. I am staying with her for a week at the end of the month so, I shall probably do a post on the Sussex area.
    I love the 'open house' art trails. My neice is a sulptor and she was exhibiting in the Arundel Gallery Trail where artisis show their work, often in their own houses. Not only do you see some wonderful pieces but, you get to go into some beautiful period properties and have a nose around !!!! haha... such a joy for nosey old me, as I get to see fabulous works of art and gorgeous homes.
    If you haven't done it yet, you must go and, it is so near to Brighton. This year it takes place between the 20th and 29th August. Forgive me if I'm telling you something that you already know !!
    One of my favourite destinations when we are in Brighton is The Royal Pavillion, and to have naked cyclists riding past would just be a bonus !! haha.
    Diane's painting is beautiful and shows the South Downs off to perfection.
    Hope that you are enjoying the glorious weather we are having.....have a wonderful weekend both of you. XXXX

  14. Your picture is charming, and I am also very drawn in by the trompe l'oeil. I'm so pleased (!) to see the Lady Boys of Bangkok are getting around; I seem to recall they were part of the Edinburgh Festival opening parade when we lived there. I have seen one of the drag shows, (not normally my scene), in Pattaya, and I have to say I was really rather impressed, so that perhaps demonstrates one should be open minded about expressions of artistic talent, even if they are not within one's normal interests.

    I was just wondering the other day whether you find it hard work keeping up two homes. We can well see the benefit of living in two places, but all the things like maintenance, opening and closing them etc can outweigh the joy. And then there is of course the tax issue in UK, if you overstay 89 nights.

  15. Jacqueline:
    We are so pleased that you are as enthusiastic about Brighton as we are. As you say, the whole area around and about is filled with the prettiest of villages, interesting houses and the most wonderful countryside. The sea is a bonus!

    We did not know of the Arundel trail, although it is a place we like to visit. The antique shops are where we head for.

    There is currently a major exhibition in the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery of the work of Duncan Grant. If you are a Bloomsbury fan, then this is definitely worth a visit when you are next there.

  16. Columnist:
    Well, we have to confess that we have not seen the 'Lady Boys' ourselves, but have had reports from friends who have. They concur with you that although one might not think that they would have anything to offer, the show was impressive and, clearly, they do have enormous energy and creative flair.

    We are fortunate to have a full time housekeeper in Budapest who looks after everything when we are here or away. Our Brighton rooms are compact and are part of a larger house whose maintenance is overseen by a management company. However, we are taxed twice!

  17. Love Diane's painting - the golden sky is a wonderful idea; the painting has a beautiful ethereal quality. The trompe l'oeil is brilliant too - a talented lady! Enjoy your weekend. Very hot here! Abby x

  18. Vintage Tea Time:
    Yes, we think that her work is excellent and she is such a delightful and self-effacing person.

    Hot here too 30C in the shade!

  19. Jane and Lance, your painting looks absolutely beautiful, if only we could see it in more detail, but perhaps your camera is like mine, if you go too close the image becomes blurred. I love the trompe l'oeil also, so very charming. Goodness me, ladyboys, naked cyclists you really do see it all in Brighton! Hope you are enjoying your day, with much love Linda x

  20. Flowers on my table:
    Our camera is terribly basic in order that we can use it! However, if you click on the image it does enlarge quite well.

    Only observers when it comes to Lady Boys and Naked Cyclists, but it does make for an interesting life!!

  21. What a lovely choice of painting and a wonderful reminder of the outstanding beauty the English countryside has to offer.

    We must visit Brighton again, although the last time we stayed, little man's pull-out bed had a spectacular pair of false eyelashes firmly stuck to the sheet! Not pleasant!

  22. Ever the pragmatic, Helen ponders how one rides a bicycle naked. The more I consider it, the more I am convinced I will never rent a bike in Brighton.

    The painting is the perfect antidote to that line if thinking. It really is lovely.

  23. Vintage Jane:
    We are so pleased that you like Diane's work. She paints with such attention to detail that there is always something else to see every time one looks.

    Oh, dear, the eyelash incident. Too gruesome. Better luck next time!

  24. Brighton Budapest. Brighton Budapest. Pleased I don't have to choose.

  25. DearHelenHartman:
    We laughed out loud at your most amusing comment. It is much better to not contemplate such things too closely.Who last slept in the hotel bed....who last tried on the clothes.....who last sat on the seat on the bus....Don't ask!!

    We are so pleased that you like the painting. You are right, it elevates one's thinking and, hopefully, one's soul.

  26. Andrew:
    We are always rather sad at leaving either of them, but instantly cheer up when we know we can return whenever we wish!

  27. Hi there, so glad to find your blog, it looks tremendous fun and very interesting, can't wait to read your earlier posts

  28. Blighty:
    Thank you so much for your kind and generous comment. We do so hope that we shall welcome you back again soon.

    We much enjoyed reading your most enjoyable and eclectic blog.

  29. Dear Jane and Lance,
    you're right in saying the viewer is invited to stroll through 'South Downs Way', with its slightly hypnotic, rolling effect. Certainly a painting to lose yourself in.
    I'm glad your lives are buoyantly engaged with your world(s); it's a pleasure to peek over your shoulders.

  30. What a delightful painting. I look at it and imagine the sun setting, or is it rising, on the bucolic scene. The joy of art is that it can be whatever we imagine it to be and it is in our imagination that it comes to life. Lovely.

  31. I love a parade and that one looks very entertaining! Bike seats are usually very uncomfortable so I applaud the riders for their commitment. ...ouch! Your painting looks exquisite. Supporting local artists is so important!

  32. The gilding on Diane's painting adds a wonderful golden luminosity to it. I love it - thanks for the tip about clicking on the image to make it larger............Rosemary

  33. Gardener in the Distance:
    We are so pleased that you like the painting. And yes, it does have the rolling quality that is so characteristic of the Downs.

    Although we are separated by continents, it is wonderful that we can connect our thoughts and ideas with you like this.

  34. Xoxo:
    You are so right. Imagination creates the 'reality' when it comes to a work of art. And, how marvellous it is that we all see things slightly differently and so the works become multi-faceted and more deeply satisfying as a result.

  35. Mermaid Gallery:
    Brighton is certainly never short of a parade and neither, come to think of it is Budapest. Gay Pride, Vintage Car Rallies, Anniversaries of the 1956 uprising, The Children's Parade, St. Stephen's Day.....yes, we get to see them all!

    And you are absolutely right. Local artists need and deserve support since our lives are so much richer because they are there.

  36. Anonymous-Rosemary:
    Yes, the painting does, as you say, have a wonderful luminosity and we are sure that this was in large part its attraction for us.

    As far as we are aware, all our images can be made bigger by clicking on them. Which is just as well as we are no photographers!

  37. Brighton is magical, it's versatile, it's open minded, it's surreal and what I appreciate most - it's mad.

    It is a wonderful combination of class and ability to push the boundaries and surprise (this could indeed only happen in Brighton!). I guess this painting is a good illustration of this combination :)

  38. Brighton sounds marvelous, and I imagine it a place that lifts the spirits (in every sense!).
    I think your painting is absolutely beautiful, and one I would like to hang on my own wall and admire. I hope it brings you both much pleasure each time you gaze upon it.
    Thank you for your kind comments on my post. My husband and I stroll around the grounds of Wallington most evenings during the summer months. It is a perfect place to unwind after a hectic days work.
    I do hope the weather is as warm and sunny where you are, as it is here today in Northumberland.

  39. I was down in Brighton the other day....first time in years....working. Fortunately this involved being out in the sunshine pointing at things shouting, 'film that'...I lived there when i first left home and became an art student and i had quite forgotten how fabulous it is...must go more often!!

  40. Hi Jane and Lance,

    Your first photo reminded me of the everyday crazy antics that go on in Santa Cruz, CA. We are going out there next month to visit my daughter and one never knows what we will encounter. It is a fun, interesting and beautiful area, not unlike some of what you described in Brighton, although, probably not as cultured.

    Your painting is lovely and looks like a nice addition to your home. Thank you for sharing your travels with us; as usual, very interesting and well written.


  41. Sorry, but I have to wonder about the logistics of climbing on those bicycles without a stitch. Wouldn't that be wildly uncomfortable?

    As for the new acquisition for your drawing room, it speaks more to me than any Simple Personality Test answer I might have persuaded you to volunteer. ;)

    Love and care,
    -Your Suze

  42. Moscowlondon:
    We do so agree that Brighton is all the things you describe here, and yes, perhaps for us too, the 'mad' element holds the greatest attraction.

    We are so pleased that you like the painting which does indeed have the capacity to surprise. As the light changes, so does it and this is so reminiscent for us of sunsets from our Brighton windows which are different every day and never fail to amaze.

  43. My Spotty Pony:
    Brighton is indeed great fun and one is never short of amusement in some form or another.

    We are so pleased that you like the painting which we have decided not to hang as we rather like it propped on the chair.

    We envy you your evening strolls around Wallington as that is such a wonderful garden. And, we are sure, something of interest to look at in every season.

  44. Young at Heart:
    What a fun time you seem to have had in Brighton, now perhaps time to return for a longer visit.

    The large student population of the city makes for a very vibrant atmosphere and for a 24hour, 7days a week, 365 days a year experience. Brighton certainly never sleeps!

  45. Starting Over...:
    Sadly, we have never visited the USA and so can only imagine the goings on in Santa Cruz. At least in California one imagines that the weather is always good for the events. The Christmas Swim on Brighton beach in sub-zero temperatures never fails to amaze us!

    We are so pleased that you like the painting and thank you for such a kind and generous comment.

  46. Suze:
    Amazingly, we have never tried to ride bicycles naked. Indeed, our one and only foray into cycling for fitness ended up with our pushing the machines home and selling them the very next day.

    Your comment about the Personality Test really made us laugh, but now we are worried about what tales that painting is telling about us!!

  47. Daer Jane and Lance - What a satisfying job Diane Brandrett must have. I can see even at a distance that your new painting is magical. I'm also taken with her work of trompe l'oeil - it reminds me of the paintings of Gervasio Gallardo.

  48. My goodness. What a find! You certainly got off to a racing start, I thought you must have been bloggers for years. I wonder if we ever passed each other at a Brighton Open House? I have a friend there who kindly let me perch my badges on her table once or twice.

  49. The golden light in the painting is just glorious. Such an interesting technique, and she uses it to great effect.

    I think that all of your blog readers will be making travel plans to explore Budapest and Brighton--you make them sound so interesting and inviting.

  50. Mark D. Ruffner:
    Diane is cerainly very enthusiastic about her restoration work and does find it very satisfying to be raising phoenixes from ashes every day. Not many jobs can offer that.

    After some research,we note that you posted on the work of Gervasio Gallardo and can certainly see the similarities between him and Diane. Both have such acute attention to detail with, we feel, a certain touch of humour which makes their work so very appealing.

  51. Jane & Lance
    Thank you for the beautiful outing (maybe outing is nor the best word here)
    to Brighton. I have not been and will put it on my list.
    I love your little painting, what a gem. It is so subtle and so harmonious. It reminds me of fields I have walked and skies I have seen. It will fit in so perfectly in any room you place it.
    my best

  52. Lucille:
    How kind. We were very pleased to have discovered you too.

    And yes, who knows, perhaps our paths have crossed in an Open House in the past. A small world!

    We hope that we shall welcome you here again.

  53. Jen of Country Weekend:
    We were most taken by the effect of the applied gold leaf which, in other paintings, she had used to resemble rain puddles.

    Budapest is, rather sadly in our view, often overlooked by tourists. This is such a pity since there are so many treasures to be found and experienced.

  54. Helen Tilston:
    Outing is probably the most perfect word in this context. Whether it be to declare a particular sexual orientation or just to 'let it all hang out', it could only be Brighton!

    We are so pleased that you like the painting and think that we shall leave it propped on the green chair into which it seems to blend.

  55. Looks like all of the UK is having Open Houses how exciting wonderful.

    The painting is is lovely and I like it propped up on the chair.
    I personally love to prop-up painting on chairs, desks, ledges I even have a painting on an easel in my living room. I think moving art around lets us see it with a new eye.

    cheers, parsnip

  56. Angryparsnip:
    Well, it is certainly Festival season with events springing up everywhere from Land's End to John O' Groats. Whereas, rather sadly, in the UK, some festivals turn into mudbaths, good weather can generally be relied upon for the many outdoor events which are held throughout the summer in Budapest.

    You are right about moving things around the house, for it does make a different viewpoint.

  57. These Open House events seem to be a British invention. I really love these events. I'm glad you spent such an enjoyable time in such an interesting community.

  58. Olga:
    The Brighton 'Open House' weekends are, as you may imagine, enormous fun although, as with most similar things, it is necessary to be a little selective. However, there is an exceptionally thorough 'guide' book which helps to direct one to areas of interest. And yes, one does meet some fascinating people.

  59. Dear Jane and Lance,

    What a pretty painting. I can imagine you being very happy with it. A little piece of home abroad.

    The Brighton festival sounds exciting! We have festivals like this in Rotterdam as well. I enjoy visiting them. You can find lots of 'new talent' there. Is this the case at the Brighton festival as well?

    Lieve groet & happy weekend,


  60. Dear Jane & Lance,

    I forgot to mention it in my last comment, but thank you for your advise on the clematis. I wrote the names in my notebook!

    Lieve groet,


  61. Madelief:
    Once spring is underway, festivals seem to explode throughout Europe with something for everyone we feel.In Budapest, music and food are the main themes of the festival season which is probably very common to many other countries.

    The 'Artist Open House' in Brighton is a very good way to talent spot, although the numbers involved are becoming a little unwieldy these days.

    We are so pleased that you like the painting and that you have noted the plant tips. We look forward to seeing more of your garden in future posts.

  62. After studying the photo of the naked cyclists I have decided that I will never partake in that particular activity.
    Oh but your painting... it's divine. I love the golden glow against the green upholstery of the chair. Lovely.

    I'm just about to have a glass of sparkling wine from Hungary and of course I thought of you both straightaway. Cheers!

  63. Zoomed in on the painting, it is really beautiful, the gilded sky just adds an extra dimension to the whole thing...lovely. I also noticed your floor when I zoomed in, it's gorgeous, is it original? Thanks for your comments on my post, yes I am very relieved to have it all behind me. Onwards and upwards now! Have a lovely weekend, love Linda x

  64. DaniBP:
    We censored several images of last year's Naked Bike Ride before we agreed that this one was fit for general release. This year's will take place on June 12th, so that is a date for your diary if you wish to have a closer view!

    We love the painting too and, like you, thought that the gilding made it rather special.

  65. Flowersonmytable[again]:
    We are thrilled that you homed in for a closer look at the painting. We are both very poor photographers and in spite of standing on a stool and zooming in and out, we still could not get an image which was an exact likeness.

    Yes, the wood block floor is original and there are original floors in all the rooms except our bedroom and bathroom where we have had new parquet laid. Our builders wanted to remove all of them, declaring them to be OLD. Yes, we replied in the best Hungarian we could muster, that is the point!

    Our hearts gave a little skip for joy on hearing of your ordeal being over. Just concentrate now on getting well.

  66. What is around that country lane it draws the eye and tempts one to find out that is what I like in paintings.

    I like the herring-bone design of your drawing room floor.
    Happy weekend. Ida

  67. Ida:
    Yes, we know exactly what you mean. We think that we have a tendency to go for paintings which draw one in and this is no exception.

    Close up, one can really believe that one is travelling along the road and, of course, always the thrill of wondering what is round the bend.

    We like the wooden floors which are so very practical both in summer and winter.

  68. Goodness, naked cycling looks extremely painful to me, even though the participants have a smile on their faces!
    Diana Brandrett is a very talented lady...a clever trompe l'oeil and a most unusual painting with a gilded sky. I can see why you were drawn to it.
    Hope you have a good weekend.
    Julie x

  69. My dears, I feel as if I've been given a gift so good the first time, I read it a second. The painting... mesmerizing. A plan is in the works to do a little staring at it myself.

  70. The Cloth Shed:
    Yes, how the cyclsts manage to retain smiles throughout is quite beyond us!

    We are pleased that you like the painting. Diane herself is very reticent about her skills but we do think that she is very talented.

  71. Tracy:
    It is surprising how much the painting alters in the course of a day as the intensity of light changes and, finally, ebbs away. It has a dynamic quality which we very much like.

  72. Life in Brighton seems to be really interesting and variegated: I just should go there sometimes!
    Meanwhile I've sincerely appreciated your purchase: Diane Brandrett's "South Downs Way" is just lovely! Congratulations.

  73. Dona:
    Life is certainly never dull in Brighton and one never knows what to expect just walking along the street.

    Thank you so much for your kind comment regarding Diane's painting. We are very pleased with it and know that it will bring us pleasure for years to come.

  74. I (despite having enlarged it twice to see if I was missing something) found it difficult to actually look at the painting, for all the tasteful furniture that I am already familiar with. I am amazed at the good eyesight of the rest of your followers.

  75. Brighton is the Dog Danglies! You are so lucky to live there. Without doubt, it is one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities I have ever had the pleasure to visit (multiple times).

    And the seafront is so bohemian, whilst The Lanes are charming.

    I will buy a house there one day, and the picture you bought is gorgeous from what I can make out!

  76. I would not have been able to resist that golden light either, photographers call it the magic hour, but it is really more fleeting. Congratulations on a beautiful acquisition! It is like adding a jeweled window to your wall.

  77. Oh that painting is so wonderful! I want to see it up close!
    Those bikers though...can keep their distance ;O

  78. I had no idea that Brighton was such an interesting place...I always think of it as rather staid, boy was I wrong. Looks like a fun place to visit. But I think I will skip participating in the parade! Your new painting is lovely.

  79. The painting tells only the tales you have already shared-- that the journey is long, sweet and better than we could have imagined when it was only first begun.

  80. Tom Stephenson:
    Our photographic skills are, and we are the first to admit this, sadly lacking and our camera not of the best quality. Reasons perhaps why the picture will not enlarge satisfactorily. We are sorry.

  81. Annie [Lady M]:
    What fun it would be if you were to uproot and move to Brighton where your very individual approach to life would, without doubt, further enhance the ways of the city. And for Izzy there would be days to spend on the beach with, of course, George!

  82. Smilla4blogs:
    We are delighted that you too like the painting. And the way in which you refer to the fleeting 'magic hour' is exactly right. We shall think of it as that now.

  83. Auntie Bliss:
    The nude cycle ride appears to have become an institution in Brighton, taking place this year in a week's time. We assume it is to raise money for charity, but it may be just for the fun of it. Can you imagine?!!

    We are thrilled with the painting too.

  84. Hello Jane, Lance!

    Well, I would know how to match your line of throught with regards to this artistic mix and match! Toronro is abuzz with something more or less of this caliber almost every week. I dont like these wild escapades (naked wild rides) too much, preferring the more romantic side of artistic expression, which this is most obviously not.

    That is why I love your interior decor, I find it very much to my tastes, the painting is lovely!

    Take care my friends, have a wonderful weekend!


  85. La Vie Quotidienne:
    Brighton is, we assure you, anything but staid, rather it is also one of the most broad minded and tolerant of UK cities that we know.

    But what is so good is the city fosters a real sense of community and belonging, despite all of the differences.

  86. Suze [again]:
    You are always so very kind, sensitive, and supportive. We love you for it - and thank you.

  87. Kasia:
    Toronto sounds to be a very lively city with a great deal going on which is, of course, what makes a city vibrant and keeps it alive.

    The nude cyclists, who only appear on one day a year in Brighton, we pass on, but they do add a certain extra dimension and it is a case of each to his, or her, own!

    That apart, the Open House weekends do provide a wonderful opportunity for artists to bring their work to the attention of the public and to raise the profile of the arts generally.

  88. What a beautiful painting! The colors are truly wonderful. It would look perfect in my office where I currently have a vintage 1940's dime store print on cardboard that I found at a local thrift store. Hmmmmmmm....maybe we could work out a trade..LOL!!

  89. First image: Oh dear!
    Diane's work: Lovely!

    How fortunate to have a painting that was done by a very special artist to the Brighton local...her work is wonderful!
    xo J~

  90. Thanks for the reminder to FINALLY visit an acquaintance who lives in Brighton!

  91. Sissymom:
    How really kind of you to suggest a deal!! We have thought long and hard but, alas, much as we should love the 1940s dime store print, the answer has to be no!

    We do hope that you will have a very enjoyable weekend. Your comment, as always, is much appreciated.

  92. 24 Corners:
    And what makes the painting even more special, Jessica, is that Diane herself is such a truly delightful and gentle person.

    Now, we had hoped to put you down for the next cycle ride!!

  93. Oh I would of liked to have been in Brighton that day, how funny.. Your new painting is very lovely and can imagine looks wonderful in certain light.

    Thank you for the shrub suggestions, I'm off to the garden centre today so hopefully they have them in stock, the Cotinus 'Grace' with 'Prince Charles' growing through sound lovely x

  94. Michael Mattison:
    Yes, you really must. Brighton today, Budapest tomorrow! Both worth visiting.

  95. Hi Jane and Lance!
    Your drawing room´s furnitures are so awesome. the chair is so cute. i love the painting too!

  96. The fishermans cottage:
    Hardly a day passes in Brighton without something extraordinary happening or some 'sight' to be seen!

    The shrubs were only a few suggestions which worked well with us. If you go for the Cotinus at some point, be sure not to settle for anything other than 'Grace' because it really does have the very best coloured leaves. We used to prune it back quite hard each February, when the clematis was cut back to ground level, to keep it to size.

  97. Akissfromthepast:
    How really kind of you to say. We feel that we shall probably leave the painting where it is on the chair rather than hang it on the wall.

  98. What a super hive of cultural activity: lunchtime recitals, literary events, exhibitions, concerts, dance and drama! So let's talk about the naked bike riders - which cultural activity were they sharing in :)

  99. Hels:
    Now that is a very good question!

    Perhaps they are showing us where we shall all be with global warming when the oil runs out, and when there is no more wool from Australia!!

  100. Brighton sounds lively, fun and very interesting, in fact much like yourselves!:-) I can see why you choose to spend so much time there. I have never seen any naked cyclists up here but I did once pass a group of naked ramblers striding out on the roadside!

    I am usually drawn to watercolours but your guilded oil painting is beautiful, even through a photo it absolutely draws you in. I have always admired the gentle rolling countryside of the South Downs it's a wonderful contrast to our rugged Lake District scenery.

  101. Bluebell:
    Gosh, naked ramblers!Who says that one does not see life 'Up North'?

    You are always so very kind, Carol, and we are pleased that you like the painting too. We have not really done the painting justice at all as it is difficult to photograph with so much light being reflected from the surface.

    The South Downs are indeed beautiful, but, then again, the Lake District is glorious too.

  102. The painting is beautiful, I love it. The Rita Mae Brown quote came to mind when I saw the naked cyclist's.
    ""If the world were a logical place, men would ride sidesaddle."

  103. I have always love the Dowms! I can vividly remember now the nice summer walks from Brighton's Marina to Rottingdean. I wish I was there right now.

  104. Her paintings are so beautiful. You are so right - bathed in golden light. I love the cat one, also. Brighton sounds so lively - that first photograph is fantastic! Austin sometimes seems like that all year round, topless swimming pools, men riding their bicycles around town wearing thongs, the list goes on - it makes it feel so free to you and me sort of atmosphere. There are sophisticated things also, not to mislead

  105. Thistle Cove Farm:
    We absolutely love the Rita Mae Brown quotation which really made us smile. Perfect as a slogan for the Naked Bike Ride!

    Glad that you like the painting too.

  106. Pet:
    The South Downs are indeed lovely. We often take the bus from Brighton to Eastbourne which has the most wonderful route all along the seafront.

  107. TCFO:
    When a certain light catches the painting it truly does glow. We love it.

    Austin does sound to be a very lively place and it really is wonderful when there is something for everyone at whatever level and with whatever taste. This makes for a truly cosmopolitan community.

  108. I feel that Brighton is the perfect setting for the two of you. It is an adorable, quirky place, enhanced by the frivolous and colourful ways imported by the gay lifestyle and even non-gays find the joie de vivre of
    Brighton irresistible.

    I don't visit nearly enough nowadays.

  109. what gorgeous photos! and thanks for your comment on my blog :)

  110. The most 'tolerant' of cities... I love it! That trompe l'oeil is amazing...

  111. Friko:
    Yes, we love it for its liveliness, for its sharp contrast to Budapest, and for its widely diverse and interesting community. Certainly the large number of gay people who have chosen to live in Brighton has, in our view, contributed enormously to the cultural life of the city.

  112. Kimia Kline:
    Thank you, although we do not feel that our pictures do Diane's work justice.

  113. Thanks a lot for leave everytime a nice comment in my blog.
    Your post always continue to be of great style!!!.

  114. Eva:
    Thank you so much. It is always so really nice to receive comments.

  115. The Daily Connoisseur:
    Brighton really is the most cosmopolitan of cities, possibly because of its proximity to London - under an hour by train.

  116. The naked bike riders never fail to make me smile!! That's a great shot you took of them. All on my doorstep, of course, but it's always interesting to see someone else's take on what is familiar.

  117. The painting is stunning- I'd love to see it a little closer. Unfortunately when I was last in Brighton it was at the end of November, thus making it near impossible for cyclists to travel nude... however I'm sure they could have still incorporated any number of brightly colored wigs. I hope to come back in the next year or two while I still have a dear friend living there.

  118. Annie:
    Although we spend the majority of our time in Budapest, we have a small flat in Brighton which we come to every two months or so. Hence, naked bike rides and much else of the Brighton scene is quite familiar to us too. Having said that, of course, we always feel that something you have never seen before is often just round the corner on the streets of Brighton.

    We are so pleased to welcome you as a Follower.

  119. JWC:
    By clicking on the image, it can be enlarged, but even after that our photograph, sadly, does not do the painting justice.

    The nudist section of the beach at Brighton is always popular, whatever the season. They are very hardy souls, the Brightonians!

    Perhaps the lure of your friend will mean a repeat visit to Brighton soon?

  120. Love the painting, it's charming, and at least to my untrained eye unique with the gilded sky. Your house looks lovely.

  121. Sue:
    Thank you for your most generous comment.We too love the gilding which makes it special in our eyes.

    We are so pleased to welcome you as a Follower.

  122. It's definitely a time for arts trails! I love your new painting, my friend and artist Lindsay uses gilding on her works and I love the effect. Thank you for calling round to me and reading you has reminded me how much I love Brighton! May next week be a sunny one(we've rain now here)best wishes, Jane

  123. Jane The Booklady:
    We are so pleased that you like the painting and how kind of you to say. Brighton is, indeed, a fun place and we love the time which we spend in our flat there, but always consider Budapest to be home where, today, it is very hot!

  124. Hello again,
    Re your comment on my blog about Beth Chatto. Yes! I know all about her...have her book, and toured her garden a few years back, with her as the guide. She is highly respected here for the wonderful low-irrigation garden she has created. The big difference is that her garden receives much more rain and doesn't get as hot. But we can still benefit by her knowledge. Thanks for mentioning her. Have a great day!

  125. La Vie Quotidienne [again]:
    To mention Beth Chatto was only a thought, and we do appreciate that the summer temperatures are not comparable. Having gardened for so many years, and having had over 12 books published ourselves on the subject, it was a direction in which to point you. But we are delighted to know that you are already there!!

  126. Hello Lance and Jane,

    I'm so glad I read through your comments so that I could see the painting up close. After clicking twice I could see the golden skyline to which you were referring and it is truly beautiful. It looks amazing in your drawing room...I love the herringbone pattern in your floors.


  127. Hello there Jane and Lance!!
    Finally I had my change to stop by at your beautiful blog. Wow what a post you had there. That painting is beautiful. And that green chair is to die for. Thank you so much for stopping by at my blog and leaving such nice comments. I hope it will be a nice and sunny start to your week! I'll be back for sure!!!

  128. What a pretty painting you have acquired, a delightful addition to your collection, I am sure. I have visited Brighton several times over the years, and was charmed by it. I was not aware of how Bohemian it is today. But then, I am not surprised, since seaside pleasure towns are often known for being rather naughty, or at least a places where one can make a bit of mischief without raising too many eyebrows...

  129. Your delightful post has reminded me of two things...first, that I never made it to Brighton when I lived in London and second, the fabulous trompe l'oeil exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington about eight years ago. I can't re-visit the exhibit but I can visit Brighton!

  130. What a wonderful "open house" idea! and to purchase such an extraordinary piece of work! In a more American "small town" way, Grand Rapids for the last few years has been hosting ArtPrize for artist from all over the US to display and compete with a variety of art work mediums. It always fun and educational and sometimes, if lucky, able to find a special work to call our own!

  131. I had to smile when I saw the photo of the naked cyclists in Brighton! And I always thought Brits were too prim to partake in such activities.

    The painting is beautiful - it seems to glow in the light! Thank you for sharing.

  132. Hi Jane and Lance the tromp d'oeil is fantastic and so is the painting...thanks for another great post :))
    Have a great week
    Claudia xo

  133. Annie:
    We are so pleased that you were able to see the effect of the painting by enlarging it. Photography is not, as you are most likely aware, our forte!

    The parquet, which runs throughout the entire apartment, is original and dates from the 1870s.

  134. Suveliina:
    We are delighted to welcome you and thank you for both your very generous comment and for becoming a Follower. The chair is late Victorian and is, unusually, of solid walnut, rather than walnut veneer.

    We hope that you have a very happy week.

  135. Reggie Darling:
    We are delighted that you like Diane's painting which, we think, we shall probably keep propped against the chair - at least for the time being.

    How splendid that you know Brighton. There were, as you may imagine, some pictures of life in the city which we felt should possibly not be published - at least not on our blog!!

  136. ilovelimegreen:
    Indeed, if ever you do have the opportunity to visit Brighton, then do take it up. It is one of the liveliest cities in the UK that we know of, completely outrageous at times, but great fun.

    Also, it has some particularly fine Regency architecture.

  137. The Shade Shop:
    The ArtPrize of Grand Rapids sounds to be a wonderful idea and one which, we imagine, fosters new talent in the Arts. It is something which, if we were in the United States, we should find both of great interest and enjoyable.

    And, as you say, there is always the possibility of something to take home!

  138. Louise:
    Perhaps Brightonians are the exception to the normal, British rule!! Certainly that is the case with the annual Gay Pride which takes place over an entire weekend and where anything goes. But it is all done in the greatest spirit of fun and becomes a carnival for the entire city.

  139. Claudia Lane:
    We are so pleased that you like Diane's work. She is, we feel, extraordinarily talented and is such a lovely person as well.

    We too hope that your week goes well.

  140. Hello Jane and Lance - thanks for your comment on my blog... though for you to call me eclectic is quite amusing now I've had a look at your blog!!
    Am delighted Perpetua has brought us together like this!

  141. Annie:
    We are so pleased to welcome you as a Follower. It is so good when connections are made across the Blogosphere and we look forward to keeping in touch.

  142. The first picture is absolutely hilarious!
    So wonderful to be a restorer, how interesting!

  143. Hi Jane and Lance. I hope your weekend was a good one! London-sur-Mer sounds great! I would love to see the "Lady Boys" and everything else too for that matter. What a lot of fun! I love that you bought a painting of Sussex. My husband was born there! Happy Monday and I look forward to your next post, Stephie x

  144. Kristin H:
    Yes, it really appealed to us too, especially the pink wig!

    Diane's restoration work is indeed most interesting and very satisfying to see a beautiful end result.

  145. StephieB:
    We think that Sussex is a very pretty county with so much variation in the landscape and all manner of attractive villages to discover.

    It is never without incident in London-sur-Mer!

  146. Lucky you (and great taste) - that is a gorgeous piece.

  147. LuluLaBonne:
    How really kind. We are quite pleased with the decision to bring the painting to Budapest rather than leave it, as we first thought, in Brighton.

  148. Brighton is, a wonderful city of colour and substance. It is mostly a passionate place where passion is encouraged, delighted and enjoyed. (Sometimes a little too much perhaps!)

    The open house idea is wonderful, although sometimes shades of envy do seep through some of the visitors. But that's only to be expected. I'm glad it's done every year, although I wish we could do it more than that, with different artists.

    I love the South Downs Way, walk and ride it sometimes. I do also suggest the Downs Link Way linking North and South. (I used to live on the slope of the North ones when I wore short pants!

    I'm waffling, sorry, I love the look of the drawing room. Have a lovely week.

  149. Oh my! How did I almost miss out entirely on this?! Sigh. Bloggerbother. Well, the painting is just as lovely as anything one could wish for. Home away from home away from. I don't even know Sussex but that would be the exact idea of what I could imagine it to be from books.

    My best to you both. I love that you split your time between such two different worlds!

    All my best,

  150. Hello Jane and Lance,

    This must be fun and i love this painting.

    Have a nice evening.


  151. Jason Shaw:
    You are absolutely right, Jason, Brighton is very much a city of passion which gives a real feeling of energy about the place.

    We have so much more of the Downs to explore but that for us is the excitement of having a base in Brighton since there are always hidden places to discover and so much glorious countryside all around.

  152. Lost in Provence:
    Sussex is an incredibly pretty county and full of interesting towns and villages hiding a multitude of treasures. You would, we are sure, love it.

    And yes, the contrast is very much what we enjoy!

  153. Maison de lin:
    Brighton is great fun. And, we are so pleased that you like the painting too.

  154. wow mega comments...I ran outta juice on my way down here. Funny we both did “art walk” posts...I like the nudie bike riders at yours though. cheers and all the very best...thank you so much for your visit and comment. Cynthia

  155. Beatnheart:
    Yes, how strange that we are both writing on the same subject - just some distance apart!! The nude cyclists are, we agree, great fun. Now, we do not suppose you have them!!

  156. We've been to Brighton once and loved it. But it was off-season Would love to get back and would love to be there for the Brighton Festival at least once. But no naked bicycling for me. Where does the seat go?

  157. Mitch Block:
    We are so pleased that you enjoyed your time in Brighton. Slightly less hectic when out of season but still great fun. And yes, where does the saddle go?!!

  158. Dear Jane and Lance, the trompe l'oeil is beautiful and Diane's painting will be perfect in your drawing room. I love it xx

  159. Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted:
    This is so very generous of you. We think, at least for the time being, we shall leave it propped against the chair as we rather like looking down into the picture.

  160. Oh Brighton sounds like my kind of place. Never a dull moment! Reminded much of our 'Summer Solstice' festival in Seattle, naked cyclists galore. Such brave souls don't you think?

    Have a lovely and free-wheeling weekend Lance and Jane.

    x Deb

  161. Dumbwit Tellher:
    Yes, you are most probably right, we think that Brighton may suit you very well indeed. Just the perfect mix of the bizarre, the stylish and the eccentric. And, of course, the sea!

    Starkers in Seattle...has a jolly ring to it!!

    Hoping that you have a lovely weekend too.

  162. Simply beautiful,

    Ah to be in Brighton ;)

  163. Alcira Molina-Ali:
    We are pleased that you like it.

    Brighton, nowhere quite like it that we have seen!

  164. You make me sorrier and sorrier that we missed Brighton on our trip to England last Spring!

  165. Kim:
    Brighton really is a fun, interesting place. You must certainly put it on your list for next time!


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