Reflections of Oxford

Caroline-Zimmermann-Reflections_1600

July of 2015 has found us fortunate enough to be spending some weeks in the university town of Oxford.

IMG_2061 - Version 2

caroline-zimmermann-studio

My latest ‘pop up’ studio here has been a quiet contrast to the buzz and excitement of painting in London at Graham Fine Art.

Caroline-Zimmermann-Reflections_1583

As with London, the River Thames is the foundation of Oxford and its meanderings has shaped and molded its identity over the centuries. The University of Oxford Botanic Gardens which I visited last week run along the banks of River Cherwell.

Caroline-Zimmermann-Reflections_1832

I put down my paintbrushes for a few hours to take up a boating invite with local Oxford jewelry artist Tess Blenkinsop, painter Francesca Shakespeare and her husband Christopher who expertly piloted our little punt.

IMG_1937-2

The Thames as it courses through Oxford is called the River Isis, referring to the Latin name for the river: Tamesis.

Caroline-Zimmermann-Reflections_2006

Clearly on evenings like this the river is suitable for a Goddess…. gorgeous light and shadows which make for amazing reflections.

Caroline-Zimmermann-Reflections_1938

It was brief cruise through the long and rich history of Oxford.  We were immersed in a lush combination of ancient trees, vegetation and countless species of birds on this tributary of the River Isis, the River Cherwell.

Caroline-Zimmermann-Reflections_1841

Inspiration abounds as we cruise along at a duck’s eye view, each round of a bend revealing magical compositions.

Caroline-Zimmermann-Reflections_1952 - Version 2Recollections of my previous paintings of the river Arno as it meanders through the Vald’arno near our home in Tuscany.

zimmermann-water-painting-2

zimmermann-water-painting-3

Some unexpected delights as well, and the infrequent encounter with a punting traffic jam.

Caroline-Zimmermann-Reflections_1849 - Version 2

Christopher navigates with skill and perfection as he dodges other punters, deftly avoiding a collision that would have crushed a duck and her goslings.

Caroline-Zimmermann-Reflections_2010Murphy and I look on with grave concern.

All fine, we continue and pause for a picnic on the shores of the River Cherwell.

Caroline-Zimmermann-1

The highlight of the evening was a spontaneous visit to the Magdalen College and its cloisters…

Caroline-Zimmermann-4

…walking the grounds I could just imagine how inspirational it was for Magdalen alums such as Oscar Wilde.

 

illumination, church painting

“The Illumination” 2004 by Caroline Zimmermann

Caroline-Zimmermann-2

Caroline-Zimmermann-3

“In the summer term Oxford teaches the exquisite art of idleness, one of the most important things that any University can teach, and possibly as the first-fruits of the dreaming in grey cloister and silent garden, which either makes or mars a man …”

Oscar Wilde, review of Primavera in the Pall Mall Gazette, 24 May 1890

Caroline-Zimmermann-5

Caroline-Zimmermann-6

Caroline-Zimmermann-Reflections_2023

Zimmermann-paintings-01

tuscany-painting-zimmermann

“Reflections of Tuscany” Bagno Vignoni, Tuscany 38” X 40” Oil on Canvas Lahaina Galleries

Caroline-Zimmermann-Reflections_2013 - Version 2

Caroline-Zimmermann-8

Caroline-Zimmermann-7

My time in Oxford has been productive and full of inspiration… all feeding into my latest water, cloud and sky paintings. Truly its as Yeats states in this quote:

“I wonder anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful. One almost expects the people to sing instead of speaking.” William Butler Yeats, in a letter to to Katharine Tynan

IMG_2050a

[portfolio_slideshow id=3222]

A Day at Oxford Botanic Garden

Caroline-Zimmermann-9

Founded in 1621, the University of Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic gardens in Great Britain and one of the oldest scientific gardens in the world. It has one of the most diverse yet compact collections of plants in the world and contains over 8,000 different species, including… poppies!

Caroline-Zimmermann-poppies

Zimmermann-paintings-03

"Poppy Portrait II" 15cm X 15cm Available at Graham Fine Art

“Poppy Portrait II” 15cm X 15cm Available at Graham Fine Art

"Poppies in a Tuscan Breeze" 25.5 X 25.5 Available at Graham Fine Art

“Poppies in a Tuscan Breeze” 25.5 X 25.5 Available at Graham Fine Art

"Poppy Adoration" 60cm X 69.5cm Available at Caroline's online Virtual Gallery

“Poppy Adoration” 60cm X 69.5cm Available at Caroline’s online Virtual Gallery

Caroline-Zimmermann-10

Zimmermann-paintings-05

Zimmermann-paintings-04

"White Daffodils" Available at Graham Fine Art

“White Daffodils” 25cm X 25cm Available at Graham Fine Art

"Lilacs and Wisteria" 30" X 24" Available at Lahaina Galleries

“Lilacs and Wisteria” 30″ X 24″ Available at Lahaina Galleries

"Summer Sunflower" 12" X 12" Available at Lahaina Galleries

“Summer Sunflower” 12″ X 12″ Available at Lahaina Galleries

Caroline-Zimmermann-11

Zimmermann-paintings-06

"The Rose Arbour" 100cm X 80cm Available at Graham Fine Art

“The Rose Arbour” 100cm X 80cm Available at Graham Fine Art

Caroline-Zimmermann-16

Caroline-Zimmermann-a-1

Caroline-Zimmermann-12

Zimmermann-paintings-18

Zimmermann-paintings-3955

“Hawaiian Heliconia” 2010 Private Collection

Zimmermann-paintings-17

Zimmermann-paintings-15

"Plumeria for Rell" 1998

“Plumeria for Rell” 1998  Private Collection

Zimmermann tropical flower painting

“Hibiscus Leilani” 2012 Private Collection

Zimmermann-paintings-13

Zimmermann-paintings-21

Caroline-Zimmermann-13

Zimmermann-paintings-20

 

[portfolio_slideshow id=3292]