29 July 2013

{A Shepherd Hut; A World of Possibilities}

The past few years have seen shepherd's huts become the countryside must-have; a luxury item, an upmarket shed, the perfect present for the man who has everything. Whether it's a restored Victorian hut or a freshly built one with all mod cons, the hut is enjoying a new lease of life. You could say the shepherd's hut is the new (rural) beach hut.

     They are used as offices, children's play houses, writing rooms and even mini shooting lodges. All sorts of people have them, according to David Cherrington of the Shepherd's Hut Company: "I have sold huts to lords and ladies, scrap metal dealers, amateur painters and everyone in-between." Everyone, it seems, except shepherds, although fantasy author Terry Pratchett, a famous hut nut, is said to have purchased one for its original purpose.

There's something about a shepherd's hut; something transcendental, some Proustian tug to the past. Once seen, never forgotten and eternally desired. You could imagine Thomas Hardy's Gabriel Oak sitting inside one of these simple little structures, feeding a sickly lamb in front of a warm stove while picturesquely pining for Bathsheba in Far from the Madding Crowd.

     The shepherd's hut was a simple yet comfortable wooden home on wheels. In the past it was a common sight during lambing on the Wessex Downs when shepherds watched their flocks by night and day. It was kitchen, dining room, bedroom and parlour all rolled into one. When the sheep needed moving the hut came too – it was the ultimate rural mobile home. But times and farming practices change and the majority of huts ended up stranded in hedges, alone and isolated in woodland or serving out their days as hen coops. Until now.

     The durability of these huts is evident today with many fine examples still being used by farmers, mainly as storerooms, and can often be seen parked up alongside fields. Many more have been consigned to agricultural museums giving testament to days gone by.

{Builders in UK}

Court & Hunt
5, Guildcount Lane,
CT13 9EZ
Tel: 01304 617282

Contact: Louise Adams
Telephone: 01243 811447
Mobile: 07808 730990
The Old Wash House, 
East Dean, West Sussex. 
PO18 0JF

Sabin Designs
Newland Grange
Stocks Lane
WR13 5AZ
Telephone: 01684 216299
Mobile - Shaun: 07792 165485
Email: sales@sabindesigns.co.uk

The Yorkshire Hut Company
The Yorkshire Hut Company, Unit 2, 
London Ebor Business Park,
Millfield Lane, Nether Poppleton, 
York, YO26 6PB
Office: 01904 270707

The Stepherd Hut Company
David Cherrington, 
The Shepherd's Hut Company, 
Tel: (01822) 612 720 
e-mail: info@shepherd-hut.co.uk 

28 July 2013

{William McGregor Paxton´s artworks}

William McGregor Paxton (June 22, 1869 – 1941) was an American Impressionist painter.

                  Born in Baltimore, the Paxton family came to Newton Corner in the mid-1870s, where William's father James established himself as a caterer. At 18, William won a scholarship to attend the Cowles Art School, where he began his art studies with Dennis Miller Bunker. Later he studied with Jean-Léon Gérôme in Paris and, on his return to Boston, with Joseph DeCamp at Cowles. There he met his future wife Elizabeth Okie, who also was studying with DeCamp. After their marriage, William and Elizabeth lived with his parents at 43 Elmwood Street, and later bought a house at 19 Montvale Road in Newton Centre.

                      Paxton, who is best known as a portrait painter, taught at the Museum School from 1906 to 1913. Along with other well known artists of the era, including Edmund Charles Tarbell and Frank Weston Benson, he is identified with the Boston School. He was well known for his extraordinary attention to the effects of light and detail in flesh and fabric. Paxton's compositions were most often idealized young women in beautiful interiors. Paxton gained fame for his portraiture and painted both Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge. He taught at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School from 1906 to 1913. Paxton was made a full member of the National Academy of Design in 1928.

                      Like many of his Boston colleagues, Paxton found inspiration in the work of the seventeenth-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. Paxton was fascinated not only with Vermeer's imagery, but also with the system of optics he employed. He studied Vermeer's works closely, and discovered that only one area in his compositions was entirely in focus, while the rest were somewhat blurred. Paxton ascribed this peculiarity to "binocular vision," crediting Vermeer with recording the slightly different point of view of each individual eye that combine in human sight. He began to employ this system in his own work, including The New Necklace, where only the gold beads are sharply defined while the rest of the objects in the composition have softer, blurrier edges. This effect is even more noticeable in Paxton's 1915 painting entitled Nude, which shows a young woman seated on a blue dress that is spread across the seat of a backless divan. The woman is shown leaning slightly to the right, reaching for a pink undergarment. The figure is viewed from an angle that is midway between a back view and a right side view. All objects in the painting are slightly blurred with the exception of the woman's one visible breast (the right one) and parts of her right arm. Paxton crafted his elaborate compositions with models in his studio, and the props he used, appear in several different paintings.

                   Paxton was working on his last painting, a view of his living room at 19 Montvale Road, with his wife posing for him, when he was stricken with a heart attack and died at the age of 72.

William McGregor Paxton
{"Girl Combing her Hair" 1909}
William McGregor Paxton
{"The String of Pearls", 1908}
William McGregor Paxton
{"Portrait of Louise Converse", 1915}
William McGregor Paxton
{"Portrait of Charles Sinklar", 1928}
William McGregor Paxton
{"Molly Scott and Dorothy Tay", 1898}
William McGregor Paxton
{"The Crystal", 1900}
William McGregor Paxton
{"The New Necklace", 1910}
William McGregor Paxton
{"Portrait of Mr. Charles F. Toppan", 1935}
William McGregor Paxton
{"The Sisters", 1904}
William McGregor Paxton
{"Child in the Sunlight", 1908}
William McGregor Paxton
{"In the Studio", c. 1905}
William McGregor Paxton
{"Nausicaa", 1937}
William McGregor Paxton
{"The Breakfast", 1911}
William McGregor Paxton
{"Rose and Blue", 1913}
{"The Tam", c. 1930s}
{"The Shade Hat", 1912}
William McGregor Paxton.jpg (43278 bytes)
{"Sylvia", 1908}
{"The Love Letter", unknowed date (c. last 1890s)}