Friday, 18 September 2020

Like Show Business

 I witnessed the enactment of John Martin's theatrical display of his work, at Tate Britain in 2011.

All the lights were put out and then dramatically switched on again to show some of his blockbuster paintings just as they were displayed in the 19th century.

 I've been reading his catalogue again recently and realised that this presentation may have influenced  the use of lighting on my tours (when the pandemic allows me to do them again) This works particularly well when visitors enter one of the rooms in complete darkness except for the lighting in the dolls house and puppet theatre. Once the room lights are switched on, you see the paintings which were inspired by them.

In my Virtual Tour (available from my website:www.tedconeysfamilyportraits.co.uk for 99p, with all proceeds going to the NHS Charities Together appeal) I fly back in time to 1930s Hollywood in my 1931 Morris Minor to discuss one of my paintings.

And  you can't get more theatrical than that!

Friday, 11 September 2020

Hitting The Headlines

 From the burning down of the Crystal Palace in 1936 to the present day pandemic, I have used evocative newspaper headlines in my current painting 'Eggheads' to denote each generation.

My painting about brothers, starting with my father and his half brother, shows four generations of our family through the male line. I wanted something to denote the passage of time and the headlines seemed an immediate way of doing it. Luckily I had collected reproductions of old newspapers which I recently rediscovered in our loft.

Hopefully you will be able to see this painting in progress on my new improved website, soon. 

Friday, 4 September 2020

Almost Full Circle

 Thirty six years ago I opened our house as part of the Cambridge Open Studio scheme. This gave me the idea of doing guided tours around my work and formed the basis of Ted Coneys Family Portraits.

This summer I was to have taken part in open studios again as well as reopening my pop-up gallery in the usual way. However, the pandemic meant that everything was cancelled.

A book has recently been published about the history of Cambridge Open Studios and as I was one of the first to take part I was interviewed for my memories. You can read my contribution on the NEWS AND REVIEWS page on my website in the NEWS 2020 section.

I see that an early visitor diplomatically said how much they liked our curtains!

Friday, 28 August 2020

A Movable Feast

 Feasts, meals and last suppers have always been used by artists as interesting subjects for their paintings. My contribution so far is 'In Three Our Kingdom', which you can see on my PRINTS FOR SALE page. It also forms part of my Virtual Tour and both can  be viewed from my website.

We have just got back from our annual holiday in Sheringham and as usual, I was tasked with organising a meal out for 25  Coneys on the Saturday night. Not an easy thing to do in these socially distanced times. A reunion in our usual pub was out as I knew the room would not be big enough for six separated families.

I had arranged  instead for us to have a take-away in the garden of our rented cottage but I kept getting phone calls from anxious members of the family wondering if we might get busted as an illegal rave?

In the end, the pub came up with a splendid solution, to put up a marque in their garden with tables a metre apart. 

 I'm sure there is a painting in there somewhere.

 

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Nothing New

 My children bought me David Hockney's 'The History of Pictures' several years ago for Christmas. While I was teaching I only had time to dip into it but during lockdown I managed to read the whole tome. 

It was fascinating to see how, during the Medieval period, stories were told in a series of images all in the same picture. This carried on in Renaissance times and  right through to strip cartoons of the 20th century, though these were often divided up in a more formal way.

I have used this device in my painting 'Who Stole The Toothpaste?' where Toad is seen three times but all on the same canvas. You can see it on the NEWS AND REVIEWS page on my website - www.tedconeysfamilyportraits.co.uk 

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Zoom Quiz

 We've just done another family quiz on Zoom with each family unit allowed to ask three questions.

As I was keen for all my family to try my Virtual Tour  (with all proceeds going to NHS Charities Together appeal - see www.tedconeysfamilyportraits for details) I gave notice beforehand that my questions could be found when they watched the tour.

My three questions were:

1) One painting is called 'In Three Our Kingdom'. Which famous play does this quote come from?

2) In the painting 'The Rashomon Effect' what was the name of the object belonging to my grandmother?

3) In the painting 'Dear Reginald Owen'  what was his profession?

Please don't send me the answers but hope you enjoy the film

Friday, 7 August 2020

With Amber Eyes

 I've been reading Edmund De Waal's ' The Hair With Amber Eyes' during Lockdown and was struck by how he used an heirloom to write about his family/and world history  over a hundred year period. The netsuke collection - tiny Japanese figurines, were passed from generation to generation, often, in very difficult circumstances.

One of our family heirlooms, a collection of material from 1930s Hollywood isn't nearly so impressive but it does make for an interesting story which I try to show in my painting 'Dear Reginald Owen'.

You can see and hear about it on my Virtual Tour of four  paintings, which is available from my website - www.tedconeysfamilyportraits.co.uk    . http://tinyurl.com/yjasdnu     It costs 99p via Paypal and   all the proceeds will go to NHS Charities Together appeal at the end of the year.