A portrait of celebrated English novelist Jane Austen, painted in the space of 60 minutes during the Sitting With JaneBookBench auction in Basingstoke last month is now listed on Ebay, in a bid to raise valuable funds for Ark Cancer Centre Charity. Ipswich-based artist and speed-painter Lois Cordeliawhose BookBench design "Look Upon Verdure" fetched the second highest bid of the evening at £6,750, based the portrait on one of a few surviving depictions of Jane Austen, in celebration of Austen's recent appearance on the new ten pound note. Lois painted live while talking with visitors to the auction.
The portrait (acrylic on canvas) measures 23 x 16.5 inches and is signed by the artist. The Ebay auction will run for 10 days, ending 13th October. Please bid generously, as all proceeds go directly to the charity.
Sitting With Jane was one of numerous events this year marking the 200th anniversary (2017) of English novelist Jane Austen's death. Each BookBench in the trail was painted by a professional artist to feature an Austen inspired design, sponsored by the generosity of local businesses, and located on public view at various locations in and around Basingstoke for ten weeks over the Summer. Presented by Wild in Art and Destination Basingstoke, in association with Festival Place, the trailhas raised more than £100,000 for the charity to date.
Photo credit: Adrian Lovell Lois Cordelia's BookBench design "Look Upon Verdure" fetched the second highest bid of the evening at £6,750. Thanks to the generosity of Laura and Matt at The Topiary Salon, Lois's BookBench will remain in Old Basing near Basingstoke and will still be on view to visitors. Appropriately for a beauty salon, the BookBench is not only decorative but also functional.
Below: Laura and Matt Haystaff of The Topiary Salon with Lois Cordelia and "Look Upon Verdure" at the auction, 15th September 2017. Photo credit: Adrian Lovell
Photo credit: Adrian Lovell Sitting With Jane BookBench Auction, Basingstoke Photo credit: Adrian Lovell September 15th 2017Photo credit: Adrian Lovell Sitting With Jane BookBench Auction, Basingstoke Photo credit: Adrian Lovell September 15th 2017
Photo credit: Jason Curtis
"Look Upon Verdure"
Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia had her design "Look Upon Verdure" chosen for the trail and travelled 150 miles to Basingstoke in February to paint it onto a BookBench. Lois took 4.5 hours (interspersed with breaks!) on Tuesday 28th February to transform the blank white BookBench, using acrylic paints, lots of metallic and iridescent colours and a large brush. She had also prepared her own paper-cut stencils of two quotations of Jane Austen, illustrating her love of Nature, in which Lois set herself the special challenge of imitating Austen's handwriting and even her signature (as it appears on her will - see below). Jane invites us to pause in our hectic modern lifestyles, sit with her on a bench and rest our eyes on nature, gardens and greenery: “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment.” (Jane Austen, Mansfield Park)
Lois's BookBench was on public display in the middle of the village of Overton, near Basingstoke, from 17th June until 31st August 2017.
Below: Lois created her own set of paper-cut stencils to evoke the beautiful handwriting of Jane Austen, including this interpretation of Austen's signature.
Below: Lois uses her own hand-made paper-cut stencils to transfer Jane Austen's quotations onto the BookBench.
"Look Upon Verdure"#SittingWithJane teaser: using my own #papercut #stencils to evoke #JaneAusten's elegant #handwriting :) "To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment." Sitting With Jane - Wild in Art - De La Rue plc - Basingstoke - Festival Place @JAusten200 #LookUponVerdure
Lois' design "Look Upon Verdure" has been generously sponsored by De La Rue, whose headquarters are located near Basingstoke.
The trail has encouraged visitors to explore both well known and less frequented parts of north Hampshire, from beautiful villages and rural landscapes that have scarcely changed since Austen's time to modern visitor attractions, landmarks and great shopping.
Meanwhile, Lois Cordelia is very excited to have recently secured her fourth Wild in Art commission, which will remain top secret until the big reveal on 25th October 2017... Stay tuned! :-)