After taking the Summer months off, it’s time I returned to the challenge of painting up a large water can for our Eileen. And a visit to the London Canal Museum, earlier this week, provided just the kind of stimulus I needed, with it’s array of stunning examples of painted ware. Magical!

Wonderfully decorated dipper.
Detail of the top of the same dipper.
Gorgeously exuberant and confident artwork of the ‘Braunston’ style, with a lively array of both roses and daisies bursting across the entire surface of this dipper… The most distinguishing feature of the ‘Braunston’ or ‘southern’ style beings the confident, almost diagonal brushstroke around which the rest of the flower develops. That strong diagonal energising and animating the flower…
And now, as they say, for something completely different. This pan is closer to what Tony Lewery summarises as the ‘Uxbridge’ style – the simplest and most formalised of flower designs with each ‘rose’ constructed from a neat crescent surrounded by a ‘necklace’ of teardrop-shaped petals symmetrically arranged around the perimeter. Personally, and perhaps running against the grain of current popularity, it’s this formal (and seemingly simple) style that attracts me the most…

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