Thursday, 13 September 2018

Between Two Worlds

You can see the latest progress on my current painting 'Hinaki' (means eel trap) in the NEWS AND REVIEWS page on my website.
I've finished the white shapes to represent a maori meeting house, which symbolises the bones of their ancestors. I've also overlaid an eel trap, a fishing device which has been used around Ely and the waters off New Zealand for many years. I'm currently overlaying shapes to represent the beams of our old house to symbolise  the UK.
The painting visualises the tension between living far away with the 'traps' that keep one there and the feelings of those that are left behind. Hopefully, my picture will resonate with people who have family  whom they don't often see.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Just One More

At the start of the visit I always explain  that I am going to do one of eight tours (see TOURS on my website) and will be covering about seven paintings. That way I hope visitors get the message that I can't talk about every painting as we go through the house.
 The other week I had a lovely family who kept asking me interesting questions about the work. They also wanted to know the ideas behind several more and I did bend the rules slightly and gave them a few juicy titbits of information. ('No it's not voodoo, it's more about control')
I hope they didn't think I was being too mean but I think an hour and a quarter is enough for anyone.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Doing the Charleston

I've just found out that Charleston is opening a new gallery in the grounds of the old farmhouse, to reflect some of the material about the Bloomsbury group and their influences.
Hazel and I will be able to visit it when we go later this month to stay in the studio of Quentin Bell. who lived close bye.
This looks like an up-market B&B now and the cost of our stay was a present for all the staff at St Andrews College, from which I've just recently left.
I've been preparing for the visit by reading biographies of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell over the summer.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Being Cheeky

I've just returned from our annual holiday in Sheringham with some of the family.
I did a little bit of watercolour painting while I was there and had a couple of attempts at working from the buoys and fishing boats by the slipway.
I struggled a bit but like a challenge and know it is good for me to work from direct observation, particularly with a medium I am not used to.
On passer bye said 'Could I be cheeky and have a look' There was a silence and then she said
It must be nice to have a hobby'. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

A Quizzical Look

I've just given a talk about one of my paintings to a local rotary club in exchange for a large glass of wine and a roast dinner.
I showed them 'The Rashomon Effect' partly because it is small and easy to carry but also the painting has a good background story.
It is about the same event but seen through the eyes of four different people. My grandmother is represented by her gold quizzer which I inherited and was able to take along to the meeting.
I could sense that before my talk, people were looking very warily  at the picture and obviously would have preferred a nice landscape. However, I think I won most of them over as many remarked how interesting it was.
You can see the picture on the CONTACT US page on my website and if you wanted to find out more, take the VIRTUAL TOUR.  

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Of Me, Not By Me

 Two pictures have been  made of me recently, which Daniel has just put onto the
 NEWS AND REVIEWS page on my website.
One is a photograph of me with some of my students from St Andrews College taken on the last day of term as I was about to finish, after teaching Art for 52 years.
The other, was a cubist painting of me by a very talented Chinese student which was used to advertise Ted Coney's Family Portraits in the Ely Festival booklet this year. Part of it appears in my keyhole logo.
You can see both if you scroll down to the REVIEWS AND ARTICLES section.
 

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Cultural Mix

As I was showing my painting 'Against The Light' to a group of visitors the other week, I reflected on how many cultural references had influenced the work.
As is my habit when doing a tour, I usually also show this evidence alongside the picture. On this occasion we looked at the work of Daumier (the title of my painting is one of his phrases), Javanese shadow puppets and a 1950s comic. A mash-up of cultural references if every there was one.
You can see the painting on the MEDIA page on my website.