It’s probably evident to everyone that the hilltop town of My Dream Farm is based on one of those German toy towns, very simple and made of wood, that have been the playthings of children since time immemorial. You can purchase them still… or their descendants… neatly bagged in mesh and redolent of package-stuffed stockings at Christmas. I have one myself somewhere but couldn’t for the life of me find it in order to model for the hill-top town in the painting, and so the one you see in it is partially remembered and partially re-imagined.
But while looking for the elusive toy, I dug out this rather spiffy version from the same tradition, though with the usual scattering of houses padded out with the more surprising contemporary elements of garages, factory and warehouse blocks, cars and even caravans. It was, as these things so often are, a gift that came at Christmas, packed in a neat canvas bag and given to me by Peter’s brother Martin, his wife Christine and their daughter Megan. Isn’t it splendid?
Photographed on the radiant blue windowsill of our newly decorated bedroom!
And finally, a couple of images of the ‘Goose Girl’ toy based on the principle of extending tongs. Close the tongs and the geese flock around the girl. Open them and they race ahead of her. This was the inspiration for the goose girl in My Dream Farm, and the bee skep-like tree was the model for the apple trees in the orchard.