Friday, 16 March 2018

On Parade

It's a bit disconcerting to all one's work being paraded through the streets of Ely but that's what happened to mine, earlier in the week.
Volunteers from the Babylon Gallery had come to collect some of my paintings to start to put up our show 'Art Opposites' which starts later TODAY.
They managed to get them there safely and have spent the rest of the week putting them up. Everyone kept complaining about how heavy the paintings were but I guess that's what happens when you have them framed under glass or Perspex.
Yesterday I staggered along with the wedding cake to place beside my painting 'Bicycle Thieves' and this morning I need to take in all the other objects which I have used in the paintings  on display.
 Lets hope it stops raining. 

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Homage To Me

'Homage To Ted' was the title of an Email my nephew, Magnus sent out to the family, recently.
It turned out he had been doing a lesson in English with his foreign students and they were looking for words to describe an artist.
Naturally, his thoughts turned to me. Words such as 'eccentric', 'reclusive' and 'absent-minded' were illustrated.
 To describe eccentric, Magnus recounted how I used my 1931 Morris Minor to go shopping in Tescos (though in reality I am more likely to go on my 1940 bicycle) and as a 'reclusive', painting  in my tiny studio. This maybe true but I am always popping out for a coffee and a chat.
After much banter from the family, Yve asked if it could be brought to a halt, as all this talk was bad for my ego.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Snow Angels

With all this snow around I suggested to my students that they might like to make snow angels - though I don't think the Chinese students had ever heard of them!
I was reminded of children making angel shapes in the snow (flapping your arms and legs up and down - if you have never done it) in Spain when we went to my nephew's christening and he didn't turn up because the weather was so bad. The negative shape the snow makes once one has climbed out of it seemed a perfect metaphor for an absent child.
This image was the start of a painting I made several years ago entitled 'Snow Angels and No Angels' which you can see  on the HOME page of my website. There are five snow angels, five corn dollies and five sand mermaids in the sequence.
If you want to see them separately  go to the PRINTS FOR SALE page.

Friday, 23 February 2018


'Hinaki' means eel trap in Marae and I have decided to use the word as the title of my new painting about our son, Leo who is currently living in New Zealand .
An eel trap was one of the first objects I found myself drawing in a museum when we visited, four years ago.
Having made the connection with Ely (which also has eels) I  became interested in the meeting houses, where the structure of the building  represents the  bones of the Marae people.
I have made some drawings of our old beams,( laid on the floor looking up at the ceiling) to represent the UK and am currently making a large sketch of the inside of a meeting house, showing some of it's symbolic patterns. One represents the tears of the Albatross parents, after their children have flown  away.

Friday, 16 February 2018

The Wrong Stretchers

I've just taken my latest painting 'Forget-Me-Nots'  to be framed in readiness for the exhibition at the Babylon Gallery in March (see NEWS AND REVIEWS page on my website) and Jonathan was appalled by my choice of stretchers.
As I wanted a linen canvas, I had chosen a frame with thicker stretchers, which apparently makes it much harder to frame.
After much discussion I am going to have the canvas restretched before it is framed.
The good thing about this is I can have two inches lopped off the top of the picture as the background was always too big
 You can now see the finished painting on the DISABLED VISITORS page. 

Friday, 9 February 2018

Scratching At The Surface

I invested in a set of wire brushes just after Christmas to experiment with rubbing down the surface of bits of my painting, 'Forget - Me - Nots'.
I wanted to give the impression of some of the images fading away to represent loss of memory.
Luckily I tried the brushes on a preliminary canvas first, as I nearly overdid it!
The painting is now finished and you should be able to see the end result when it moves to the DISABLED VISITORS page in the next few days

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Art Opposites

'Art Opposites - Different Approaches to Oil Painting' is the title we have finally decided on. Francis Jeans and I are doing a joint exhibition of our work at the Babylon Gallery, Ely starting 16th March.
You can read all about it on my NEWS AND REVIEWS page on the website. It is the second story down in the REVIEWS AND ARTICLES section.