Immersing into a new Victorian Christmas

Immersing into a new Victorian Christmas

Part of the excitement of moving to Kent was wanting to get involved with the seasonal celebrations of the area. I heard about the Charles Dickens Victorian Christmas Festival  held in Rochester about six years ago and knew that it would be high on my list of experiences I wanted to get involved in whenever I could manage it. I had the chance to do it this weekend and went along to it with my husband on Sunday afternoon which was perfect timing as the twilight came and the lights lit the scenes beautifully. We parked the car with a bit of a struggle as it was so busy, in Rochester, and walked over to the High Street and just wandered along there with all the other visitors, who were mingled in with the people some of whom were dressed in Victorian clothing too. It all added to the atmosphere. Rochesters High Street is full of Victorian buildings, some of which feature in Charles Dickens books, and as well as that there were stalls selling delicious mulled wine and warm mince pies, hot chestnuts, hot doughnuts, hot roast pork, and hot sausages. There were carol singers and even snow in the air from the snow machines. The local shops were open, selling traditional sweets, and festive gifts, and as we walked past the bars even though some of them were playing more contemporary pop songs they were still Christmassy ones so the whole atmosphere was a Christmas delight!

We stood in the street drinking the most delicious mulled wine I’ve ever had, and an accompanying warm mince pie, and enjoyed the atmosphere along with the other tourists, including a lot of French people, one of whom was standing next to me and was fascinated to see in a local restaurant people eating – she turned to me and said “The people, they are eating Worcestershire pudding!” to which I smiled and said it was probably Yorkshire pudding but I couldn’t see what she could see where she was standing, and maybe she might know something I don’t know of the food of the area!


Later on my husband and I wandered past Rochester Cathedral and more carol singers, and then up to the Castle grounds right next to the Cathedral where there was a fair and Bavarian market selling more food and drink and festive gifts. All idyllic! I loved it! 



And this week, just to add to the experience I started to read one of Charles Dickens books… “The Old Curiosity Shop”..I knew last week that I would read it around now, and I’m only a few chapters into it but I am loving the many diverse dramatic characters from the deeply good and beautiful to the grotesque and controlling. He writes so beautifully of life, and humanity, and the way people dressed then might be so different from how we do now, but people are the same!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

I've been an artist all of my life, and my paintings now hang on walls in Europe, USA and Canada. I'm working on getting them on the other continents! My wide range of artwork has been exhibited nearer to home in the East Midlands, with the Guild of Erotic Artists at Beaumont Hall Studios in Hertfordshire, and at "Erotica", Olympia, London. I have also been featured alongside my work in the Guild of Erotic Artists book (volume 2). I love to create dramatic interest in my pictures, whether it’s to paint an unusual landscape, or just to utilise dramatic lighting in my figure drawings or strong colour in my animal portraits. Delighting in the spontaneous tendencies of watercolour adds an interesting and distinctive look to my paintings, some of which are purposefully ambiguous, enabling the viewer to use their own interpretation of my artwork. I also love to hide images, and humour within my paintings, whether it’s a secret message, or an erotic couple hidden within a landscape, or even an erotic landscape where the couple are camouflaged as the features of the land itself. I am equally happy painting in oils, acrylics or watercolours and love to draw with pencil or ink. I have also developed the very effective method of drawing using white pencil on black card which creates dramatic pictures by just picking out where the light catches the body and leaving the rest of the image to the imagination, in darkness. I can also utilise many different styles, whether it is realistic, abstract, surrealistic, erotic, fantasy or camouflage art where something is hidden within the painting. I'm just passionate about my art, whatever I paint! But, it doesn't matter how many landscapes or pet portraits I paint, its always the erotic stuff that people are interested in! I started blogging to share some of the strange conversations I have with the people I meet. But its evolved into far more than that now.