Thursday, 19 September 2019

The Amada

 An armada of twenty model sailing boats came racing across the pond. We've just been to Sheringham for our annual  holiday with 26 members of the family and one of our traditions is to run sailing races across the old Victorian pond.  One member of the public enquired if we were a sailing club and was surprised by the reply!
I made a painting about this event several years ago called 'If The Boats Come In ' which you can see on the OPENING TIMES 2019 page on my website. In it I tried to show how the boats (symbolically representing different members of the family) were arriving from all over the globe.
A  contingent from Spain made it this time after an absence of 15 years. Lets hope those from America and Australia can attend next year.                 

Thursday, 12 September 2019


The two films made about my Artist in Residence stint in Ely Courthouse are finally on the MEDIA page on my website.
One was made by Cambridge TV to advertise the event and the other was filmed during the residency by  Colin Stevens.
I think he did a terrific job but I do seem to be acting rather strangely. In almost every shot I appear to be gesticulating wildly. Ofcourse I was enthusiastic about my subject but I do seem to be overdoing it a bit.
Maybe because I had explained my ideas about the painting so many times (I was there for 5 hours on each day) I became like an clockwork doll? Lets hope I didn't put too many visitors off.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Merz Barn

Not many artists would create their work  in such a permanent way so that their property would have to be dismantled when the sculpture was removed.
We've just visited the Merz Barn in Cumbria to see the work of Kurt Schwitters and this happened to his last sculptural piece.
We never saw the real art work (it's now housed at Newcastle University) only a large reproduction displayed on the replacement wall of the old barn.
There is also a fascinating display of photographs showing how the wall plus artwork was removed.  After Schwitters died, the barn was left to the elements for 20 years until  artist Richard Hamilton was able to mount a rescue operation in the 1960s.
Kurt Schwitters with his links to the DaDa movement is acknowledged to have been a strong influence on Pop, Installation and Performance Art, so this rare piece was worth saving.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Letters To The Editor

My news stories so far for 2019 , are now on my NEWS AND REVIEWS page.
 As well as articles about reopening Ted Coney's Family Portraits and my Artist in Residence stint in Ely Courthouse, there were two letters to the local newspaper.
I am always very keen to promote tourism in Ely, so anything I see to obstruct that, usually makes me put pen to paper
The recent petty regulations to stop the Babylon Gallery putting out their A board was one such incident. 

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

The Show Must Go On

How I hate technology!
 I've just done my art lecture 'On The Edge'   to a group and always feel nervous when getting it ready.
I put the digital projector on and minutes later it had stopped working . I kept calm, switched  everything off and started again.
I then plugged in the sound system and to my horror it didn't work. I turned all four dials every way I could and continued doing this for some time. I then realised I had plugged the other end into the wrong socket on the laptop and changed it over without thinking.
The four ladies standing close bye were nearly blasting out of the room, the volume was so intense. Luckily, I was ready by the time the audience  arrived and all went smoothly.
If you want to book my lecture for your group (you can see details on the ART LECTURES webpage) just understand I need to arrive an hour before it starts.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Farewell, Mr. Taxman

I've just filed my tax form and as I always do, showed it to a member of the tax department before posting. This is a little know service by which I visit the local jobcentre and meet with a tax expert there. They are always unfailingly helpful and often point out ways of saving money.
 No need to employ an accountant!
This years form showed only the last of my teaching salary and my earnings from
 Ted Coney's Family Portraits.
It was pointed out to me that I no longer need to file a return from next year as the earnings from my pop-up gallery are under £1,000.
It's certainly true that what I make from gallery admissions, talks and sales from cards, prints, tour guides and preliminary canvases don't make nearly that amount.
Maybe I should start selling the final paintings one day?!

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Foot Sore

Although we've been away for two weeks, I'm afraid I only did one drawing. I packed a haversack full of sketchbooks and art materials but we had such a good time seeing friends and family that I just didn't have time.
However, I did make one watercolour sketch of Malham rocks. I had to sit on a rock to make the picture and was there for over an hour. When I got up, my foot had gone dead and it took several hours to get it working properly.
The things was does for art!