Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Goodbye Mr.Turnip

I've just done my last tour of the season for Ted Coney's Family Portraits ( opening again in  spring 2019).
I had a group of seven visitors and they seemed very interested and asked lots of questions.
I  selected 'Diamonds' as one of the paintings to talk about and they were particularly intrigued that I had used a puppet 'Mr Turnip' in the picture, to represent my childhood .
Mr Turnip used to appear on 1950s children's television and I was so fascinated  that I collected  images of him  in a scrapbook.
In 1987  I decided to use Turnip in a painting about  the house my parents had lived in for sixty years and were about to leave.
I  tracked down the woman (Joy Laurey) who had made  and animated Turnip on TV all those years ago and she consented to me having a replica made. 
You can see the replica on my Facebook page and the painting (and preliminary drawings) on the PRINTS FOR SALE section of my website.         

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

On The Edge 2

I've been giving the talk about my work, entitled 'On The Edge' for about twelve years now, to all sorts of people and in a mixture of venues. I think my most impressive was the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.
I thought it was about time I put together a new one.
I have devised a talk around three recent paintings which I can carry to the venue, instead of relying on technology to show images and film.
I also plan to take some of the objects which inspired the paintings, such as the five suitcases  for 'Forget-Me- Nots'
You can see details of both talks on the ART LECTURES page on my website.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

In Preparation

I'm now working on eight, small preliminary canvases, as I develop my ideas for the latest painting 'Who Stole The Toothpaste?'.
One of my dilemmas was to decide whether I should paint Toad's skin to  look like green crumpled banknotes or collage the real thing.
Having stored up a few old £5  notes and tried both ideas I think I've decided on the latter.
I like the idea that it looks like real skin from a distance and then discover something very different when you get up close.
As I want Toad  to symbolise greed in the painting I think the collage idea will send out a stronger message. I'm painting over the notes though, with washes of translucent green, so I hope the end result will be quite subtle.  

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Proverbial Bus

I've just spent  some time trying to obtain a circular canvas and now, like the proverbial bus, two come along at once.
 I last used this shape about forty years ago and I contacted Jonathan ( who got me the last one ) to see if I could buy another, to use for my next painting, 'Who Stole The Toothpaste?'.
He informed me that the craftsman who made them was long gone and to commission someone else would cost hundreds.
With a bit of searching on the Internet and encouragement to my local art shop, they ordered  one for under £30!
The only proviso was, you had to have two. This was fine by me as my next but one painting  is called 'The Wasp And The Ring', so will also fit very nicely into  a circle.
 

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Just Like The Movies

I was driving along in my 1931 Morris Minor with Max as a passenger, when we heard that a gunman was loose in the local school.
 Knowing that the Morris is made of very thick metal (I didn't think about the windscreen) we drove straight into the building in search of him. Although he fired shots at us I managed to knock him to the ground with the Morris's wheels.
Ofcourse it was just a dream I had recently, but something strange really happen with the Morris, several years ago.
To publicise Ted Coney's Family Portraits at a business event in Ely Cathedral, I was allowed to drive  the Morris down the centre aisle,  to take it's place among the exhibits. (the Morris appears in several of my paintings so very much part of my show))
  Embarrassingly, a few days later, the car wouldn't start and had to be pushed out on two wheels
(think 'The Italian Job') through the front door.
You can see photos of the Morris in the Cathedral on my Facebook page. Click on F on any page of the website.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Soft And Strong

The right toilet paper is as vital to the success of my painting as such equipment as canvas and brushes.
By that I mean it has to be very smooth so that when I use my blotting technique to make translucent colours there is no discernible imprint. Embossed loo paper just will not do!
This is very important when I am overlaying one colour with another and I want the under  painting to show through.
You will see what I mean if you look at my latest painting 'Hinaki' which can be viewed on the NEWS AND REVIEWS page on my website.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Way To Go

We've recently visited the Fry Gallery in Saffron Walden and saw an interesting exhibition featuring the work of  Edward Bawden.
I realised that I have being seeing his prints in the Radio Times since childhood.
He died in his late eighties and apparently was working on a large linocut in the morning, had his lunch and then passed away during his afternoon nap.
What a way to go!