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Stephen Bradbury.Artist

Oranges......Cornwall ! December !

                                                               Oranges in December !

                                                             Well !  Can you Adam and Eve it !

                                                               Sorry ! ...... Can you believe it ?

It's certainly wowed my family and neighbours !   My mandarin orange tree, growing outside,  in the garden is producing ripe oranges .in late December !

It's pretty amazing. We've had a really good, mild,  Winter so far, it's been fairly warm. Hasn't really got near to freezing. 

The Lizard Peninsula, is as far south as you can go in England. With sea on both sides, and warmed by the Gulf Stream, it's very temperate and it's possible to grow sub-tropical plants quite safely. We barely get frost. Hardly ever see snow. In fact, I've lived here 30 years and can probably count the times I've seen snow on two hands. 

Now I've said that, we'll probably get blizzards and 15 feet snow drifts. ( which, incidentally, we used to get in the High Peak of Derbyshire, where I used to live , before coming to Cornwall )

They look good, and they taste OK too ! I've also got lemons and limes just about to ripen too. I did my research, before setting about growing citrous trees, and I came to the conclusion that, they really do prefer being outside, you need to feed them citrous food regularly and most of all, they need as much light as possible. If you grow them inside, they struggle for light, central heating isn't good for them, and if  they do produce fruit, they need to draw up water to swell the fruit. The leaves will drop off very easily indoors. I've seen some very sad, sorry,looking examples on You Tube films.

Cornwall in Autumn and Winter is a very wet place. We get a lot of rain, Very often , horizontal ! They don't seem to mind that.

I have about 5 varieties of banana plants growing outside too. I haven't wrapped them this winter yet, to protect them. Maybe as January and February Approach, I might have to, but I check the weather forecasts each day to see what  the temperature is going to be. So far, so good !

Daffodils are starting to flower here and there. Cornwall is famous for growing daffodils early. They are picked, just after New Year and sent all over the World.

Anyway, back to my oranges !

Oranges have appeared in many of my paintings. In fact, my brother, who I stayed with, when I had to go up north and sort out my Mother's house and funeral arrangements, famously, after looking at some of my pictures,, became exasperated looking at them, and came out with the phrase and these eternal words as he looked at my pictures......................

                                         " WHY THE BLEEDING ORANGE ?"

It became a  chapter title in my book , FACETS .

I said, " Gary, it's going to remain a mystery ! I'm not going to tell you, or explain it to anyone. Work it out !"

So there we are, the mystery continues !

Here are some examples from my sketchbook and paintings.

                                                       Hope you all had a good Christmas

                                                                          Take care


Merry Christmas

                                                I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas

                                                   Best wishes to you all, wherever you may be in the World


Topiary for beginners

The story so far.

Here is Albert Trimmings and his cat Ned.

Albert, a widower of some 20 years lives in Bradley, a Northern town. Sadly, Madge his wife , and childhood sweetheart died of a strange case of the cholic, after eating a bag of wine gums, too fast. Albert and family members had tried to tell her for years to slow down, but would she listen ?. No ! And she tragically suffered the consequences ! One minute she was there, The next minute she was lying on the floor, holding her tummy and murmering the words, " red and and green ", and something about her spleen "

The coroners verdict, which was more of a guess, reckoned that the combination of the red, raspberry one and green, apple flavoured wine gums eaten at the same time and with such huge velocity had done for her ! His recommendation to the wine gum industry was that they should put a warning on the paper bags, holding the gums ! Advising the speed to chew and the safe colour combinations to be used for a healthy eating experience !

Too late for Madge, sadly !

Anyway, Albert had spent all his working life, from leaving elementary school, working at the local power station.

Once a year the gaffers at the power station organised a charabanc holiday for the workers. Madge when she was alive would accompany Albert on these exciting trips. Albert, although retired, and no longer working for the company was still allowed to go along and looked forward to the charabanc trips, and thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful venues and places they visited.

Sometimes his sister Alda, would come along too. She lived around the corner from him. In fact you can see Alda's rather 'risque' undies on the washing line to the right of the picture, swaying in the wind . 
Alda, when she was a girl was a bit of a 'wanderer', absconding from school, and getting in to trouble. She had a bit of a reputation and was often found at school, behind the bike sheds with some boy, or other !

The boys of the district used to joke that on Christmas day, if you were lucky to be invited, to the house, you could have a Christmas meal, turkey, and Alda Trimmings !

Well, this year, Albert was very excited about the works, charabanc holiday !

The gaffers had organised, at great cost !  A tour of North Lancashire UCP tripe shops ! with organised tastings !

He hadn't slept for weeks ! He was so excited !

Even Ned the cat, licked his lips at the prospect of Albert bringing some complimentary tripe samples home. He had positively purred at the prospect, till it hurt !

So off Albert went,and Alda looked after Ned, while he was away.

Between tripe tasting locations, the charabanc driver  decided to take a detour and told the works outing that they were in for a 'bit of culture'. Subsequently, he took them to Brassington Hall, a stately home, owned by Lord and Lady Poncenbury-Shufflebottom - Smythe.

Albert was entranced by the hall, it's surroundings, and especially, the garden. So much so, that he bought himself a book from the gift shop, and a postcard to give to Alda.

The Brassington Hall tour guide had taken them to see the 'Italianate' bit of the garden, with it's clipped trees and bushes. Albert was awe-inspired and knew what he was going to do , once he got back home, to Bradley !

And this is why he bought the book.

The book was called, 'Topiary for beginners', by Ivor Hollybush. A best seller ! Not to be confused with ' Topiary for Gorillas' by Arthur Sycamore ! In fact so limited was the reading clientele for that book, that only a few were bought by zoos around the World.In fact,  London Zoo purchased one for a birthday present to give to Guy the gorilla , thinking it might relieve some of the boredom, endlessly eating bananas and 'seeing' to the 'lady' gorillas, but in fact, he took one look at it, sniffed it, tore it apart  and literally digested it !   Oh and a couple of the books were sold in remote areas of African Congo !

Meanwhile Albert, as soon as he got home, grabbed the garden shears from off the hook in the outhouse and set to work. and in between cups of tea and rich tea biscuits, he created his garden masterpiece ! Transforming his privet hedge into a homage to his Northern roots. A symbol that represented and epitomised the pride at being a northern, working class, proud, man.


Every home had a set of ceramic ducks over the mantlepiece !

He took a picture of it with his box brownie camera and sent it to the author Ivor Hollybush, and was thrilled to get a letter back from the author congratulating him on his endeavours, saying he was a 'natural' and a 'one off' !

And here he is, posing for the Bradley Advertiser, with proud cat Ned by his feet. Even the Mayor of Bradley came along with other civic dignitaries to admire Albert's hedge and bask in the reflective glory of Albert's new found fame. Also, Percy Throwup, the celebrity gardener, invited him to speak on his wireless program . Alda was so proud !

And that's where we leave Albert Trimmings, Alda, his sister and Ned the cat.

( by the way, Albert has now acquired from the local library, a copy of  ' Advanced Topiary and Unusual Clematis training'  by Ivy Buckett. He's going to have a go at the hedge in the back garden. He keeps muttering something about ' ferrets' ! )

Good luck Albert !

I was born  and brought up in Ardwick, Manchester,  in a working class family, and yes ! .................. I do have a set of three flying ducks.

Here they are.

They were made by Summerbank Pottery in Staffordshire. Probably between 1940 - 1959.

I wouldn't part with them.

I remember as a boy watching Coronation Street on the black and white TV, and there was Stan and Hilda Ogden, some of the main characters, with a set of ducks on the wall over the fireplace. The joke was that one of the ducks was always askew ! In fact I remember, as a boy, watching them filming an episode in Bennet Street Ardwick, where I lived . It was like Hollywood coming to our street in Ardwick !

I hope you liked the story of Albert, Ned and Alda.

Take care


Keep the ducks flying !

( by the way, I know people from around the World look at this site and may be wondering what a charabanc is ?

It's an old fashioned bus/coach. It is pronounced ........     sharabang  ) 

I just read an article where I believe , Collins Dictionary have removed the word..........and the word aerodrome.      Sacrilege !

UCP tripe shops existed in many Northern towns and cities. There were trays of different coloured tripe, black puddings etc in the window, but very often there was a cafe at the back of the shop. 

At the end of Bennet Street, in the early 60's, towards Hyde Road, was Ellis's cake and pie shop. To this day I haven't had a better meat and potato pie, than Ellis's ! They also sold Manchester tart. ( a traditional English baked tart. It had a shortcrust pastry shell, spread  with raspberry jam, then covered in custard and topped with desiccated, coconut and topped with a cherry. )

But for now, present day, Holland's, meat and potato pies............................. Bliss !

Perpetual Motion

                                                                           Perpetual Motion

                                                                  Carrot            -               Rabbit

                                               Carrot         -               Rabbit              -                     Fox


  ( from my sketchbook archive )


Autumn walk. Godolphin

Godolphin Hill

Recently, I took an Autumnal walk from Godolphin House, which is a National Trust, historic house with a medieval 16th century garden, up through the woods and climbed to the top of Godolphin Hill.

From the top you can see some of the best views in Cornwall. Looking north you can see St Ives Bay and to the south, you can see St Michael's Mount and along to Lands End.

It's very panoramic. My photos don't do justice to the scale of the far-reaching views. You can see the shape of Cornwall. The way it sticks out into the sea, with the Atlantic to the north and Mount's Bay and the English Channel to the south. 

Anyway, coming back down it was lovely to see the autumnal colours of the bracken. It goes a lovely brown colour. There was also some gorse still flowering.

Also, on the way down, there was this wonderful avenue of trees , to walk through before reaching Godolphin House again.

The walk reminded me of a book cover I did a long time ago. The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett.

There is bracken in the foreground, and those same, distinctive browns. Every cover in the book series had a hidden chess piece . This one has the chess piece hidden in the bracken. Obviously a king in this one ! The book cover is quite apt for a medieval place like Godolphin !

Anyway, here it is !

The first book in the series had an egret in the foreground. I might be showing it soon in another blog, due to the visitor which is causing chaos to my pond, especially, the fish !

It's not an egret, but a close bigger cousin. Absolute nuisance !

Take care


First words

This little chap has something to say !

                                                         Higgory,  Diggory,  Doke !

                                                       My baby brother just spoke !

                                            He said,     " Ickle, Bickle, Bickle and Boke !

                                                         Higgory,  Diggory, Doke !

( From my sketchbook archive )

If only, all conversations were so simple !


Autumn. Apples and Art.

Autumn is truly here!

The apples are ripening and the ground under the apple trees is littered with windfalls. We had quite a storm a few days ago and leaves, apples and branches litter the ground.  The windfalls are eaten by the birds and badgers over the Winter.
I leave them on the ground for them.

The garden dates back, hundreds of years. I planted some of the apple trees nearly 30 years ago. Others were inherited, and already established. One was planted, apparently 100 years ago, during the First World War. It still thrives today !

Anyway, working in the garden today, picking some apples and taking these pics, reminded me of a piece of artwork I did for a book cover some time ago. It's simple and effective. I like it a lot. Hope you do too !

Here's another piece of artwork that has an Autumnal feel to it. It was for a Joanna Trollope book.

I know why they call it the Fall in America. I spend hours and hours sweeping up fallen leaves !

There's a lot of trees, in the garden !


It's been a while

It's been a long time since I wrote anything on my blog ! But, once again, a big, THANK YOU to everyone for looking at 
my website.

A big thank you too, to all the people on Linkedin who want to be contacts with me. ( Forgive me, if I'm a bit slow at responding)

I'm not much of a social-networker. I'm not on Facebook etc.

It takes a lot of effort to drag me out of the garden these days !

But recently I was !   -  And, I'd like to thank Helen and Kaye for inviting me to exhibit my work  in Chapel Street, Penzance.

It was part of the Art for St Mary's project, and ran from August 16th to September 16th 2016. It was a great privilege. 

Pictures of it will appear on my website- EXHIBITIONS page soon. Great setting for the pictures. The pictures chosen to be  be exhibited all had elements of Cornwall in them.

It looked good!

If anyone would like to exhibit my work, feel free to contact me.

Other news. Mullion Gallery, on the Lizard , Cornwall is closing on the 23rd September. It's the end of an era.
Over the years I've sold quite a few pictures there. Best wishes to Agnes , on her retirement.

Also, I've re-organised my website a bit. It's a bit lighter looking. Taken some stuff out !

I recently found out that a  great artist, Vince Tutton had died. It was a great shock. He greatly helped and encouraged me over the years. He was a very kind man, and will be greatly missed. My best wishes to his wife and family.

It seems that when you reach a certain age,there's more and more news of  someone you knew, who  has died and sadly is no longer around. You realise that you have to use the time you've left to do the things you want to achieve, go places and do the things you want to do.

And find peace !

I'll write again soon

Best wishes


Look to the star

Hello everyone

I haven't added a blog for a while.

Like most artists and creative people, you go through a period of re-adjustment and re-evaluate where you go next. You get a bit lost sometimes !

My own, personal, fall-back mechanism for this is to go gardening. With an acre of garden, it's not hard to find things to do, no matter what the weather ! It's very therapeutic. Being at one with nature and the wildlife.

We all have gifts. We are all beautiful, different, individuals. All of us in our daily lives are trying to work out who we are, where  we are going and getting through whatever it is, that each day throws at us. Trying to work out what to do next, in our lives ! Life is not always easy ! Certainly, as you get older, there is that feeling of time running out !

And in the meantime, if you are like me, not quite sure what you are doing next, get out there, in the fresh air (and Cornish rain) and do some digging.

People from all around the World look at this website. I'd like to thank each one of you.

Take care. Look to the star.

God bless


Stephen Bradbury Exhibition

New exhibition, now on at Morvah Schoolhouse Gallery, a fantastic gallery in a wonderful setting, with magnificent views towards the sea..

Exhibition features paintings from the Facets Series and the Colour Series, plus some new works specially painted for the exhibition.

There is also a  cafe at the gallery.

Fish across the Moon

Looking up at the sky

I watch the night fish swimming by 

And no matter how hard, it seems, to me, I try

This life, and they 

Silently, defiantly, always, pass me by

And that fleeting moment 

of quiet, selfless atonement

Fades and dies

with the fishes in the sky.


World Cup 2014

Here's a chap, who, I think, might be enjoying the World Cup, at the moment !

He's called Oswald !



The Spotty Jug

Sometimes it's nice, just to take some flowers from the garden, put them in a jug of water, and paint them. 

To look closely at the beauty of nature and explore and enjoy the seasons, and leave a momento.


A Whale of a time

Having a Whale of a time

(I know it's corny !)



Whales / Wales

Whales / Wales

Choose which one !





That's one, mean-looking rabbit !


A Million Minds

Through the door of shifting sands, 


The timeless thoughts,

Of a million minds.


The Tide that turns

Coming Home !     Becoming strong!    Flowing with the tide !



The earth has music for those who listen

William Shakespeare  (1564 - 1616 )