Slade Summer School – Day 5

I wanted to buy something with my debit card today, but the fella in the shop said I had to spend £5 to do so; so, I grabbed the first thing I saw – a huge bag of giant chocolate buttons. Of course, I am now in the unfortunate predicament of not wanting to pack them in my suitcase tomorrow, as they’ll get squished; which means, I’ll have to eat them all tonight. It’s going to be a struggle, because I am actually full up; as I have just got home from a dinner at West London Synagogue. I went to the Shabbat Service first, which was beautiful. I had the sensation of lying down in a fragrant meadow on a warm summer’s day; it was peaceful and very relaxing.

West London Synagogue

West London Synagogue

The dinner was amazing. Firstly, I sat next to two lovely people; they were both very interesting and seemed to think I was too. To my right was a lovely man called Stanley; we had a great chat about lots of things. To my left was Lin, who was also lovely; both she and Stanley’s wife gave me some excellent art advice, which I wrote down and felt very fortunate to receive. Oh, and the food was gorgeous, thanks to the French chef.

The speaker for the evening was Hannah Rothschild – writer, film maker, chairwoman of the National Art Gallery and very down to earth and funny. I was completely mesmerised by her talk – it was so interesting. She has recently published her second book, called: The Improbability of Love. It is set in the art world and involves a stolen painting.

Hannah Rothschild

Hannah Rothschild

After the Dinner, I walked back to Bloomsbury (the Synagogue is in Marble Arch), which meant walking the length of Oxford Street. What an eye opener. It was very busy and there were lots of sights to see. The strangest were the Selfridge window displays, which had mannequins that had eyebrows, but no eyes.

Selfridge window display

Selfridge window display

Just as I was nearing my residence, I was thinking how much I would like to read Hannah’s book and, at that very moment, a bookshop appeared; remarkably, it was still open even though it was getting late. I went in and asked if they had the book. Not only did they have it, but the shop guy told me he had just read it and LOVED it! I told him all about my dinner, which he thought was cool.

 I was funny that should hear a talk from the chairwoman of the National Gallery this evening, as that is where our class spent the morning. What a beautiful place! The coolest thing I saw was, Van Eyck’s, Arnolfini Wedding. It’s a painting that is in every art book, and is therefore, very familiar; indeed, it’s like when you see a celebrity and for a split second you think they’re an old friend.

Jan van Eyck, The Arnolphini Wedding, 1434

Jan van Eyck, The Arnolphini Wedding, 1434

Even cooler than the Arnolfini’s Wedding painting, was what was outside the gallery.


I still can’t figure out how he was doing it.

After the Gallery, we went back to the studio and worked on our pictures, then had some wine and wandered around the school to look at everyone else’s work. I really enjoyed looking our wander – some of the work was exceptional; also, I bumped into a lady who was on the same course as me last year, so it was great to catch up.

Slade studio tour

Slade studio tour

All in all, the course was amazing. I loved the picture that popped out of me; even though it’s not perfect and there’s things I would change, it has given me great inspiration for a new type of picture I want to make.

Of course, one of the best things about the course was meeting Lindsay. It was sad to say goodbye to her; but, who knows, we may meet again…hopefully next year at the Slade.

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