Friday, 19 January 2018

The Miniaturist

When my grandchildren were here over the holidays, they asked if I would open up the dolls house so they could inspect it more closely. My grandson was particularly keen to move the drum kit around as he explained, it was incorrectly positioned. As he is a brilliant drummer of nine years old, I was happy to let him take over.
The dolls house is on display at Ted Coney's Family Portraits because it has been used several times in my family paintings.
The last time was in 'The Rashamon Effect' which you can see on the CONTACT US page of my website.
You can learn more about the painting if you take the VIRTUAL TOUR .

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Tracking Him Down

Max managed to track down a small ceramic figurine I wanted, of Mr Toad  on E-Bay.
For a future painting, I want to use Toad as a symbol of greed and selfishness to mirror what happened to my family over many years.
To have a three dimensional image of him will help , as he will appear more than once in the picture.
The fact that he is dressed in Edwardian motoring clothes and his image is based on a drawing by E.H. Shephard is also a bonus.
Shephard is reputed to have used Ely courthouse as his inspiration for the scene of Toad's downfall,  another image I hope to capture in the painting.
I also plan to get my 1931 Morris Minor in there somewhere!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Another Door Opening

Just before Christmas I was asked by an old friend of mine, to open an art exhibition at Michaelhouse in Cambridge. It was a display of his students work produced at an evening class at the sixth form college, where I used to work for many years.
Who could resist the invitation when the poster read 'opened by Ted Coney, Head of Art, Emeritus'?!
Ofcourse I took some flyers to advertise my pop-up gallery and used my (very short) speech to make the point that we were all students of Art and never stopped learning. I explained that I was about to embark on some experiments with wire brushes (more on that in another blog) on my latest painting, 'Forget-Me-Nots'
Immediately after my talk I was asked about this by one of the audience. Next day I received a booking from her. for one of my  tours,  so I must have said something right.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

The Caganer

The strangest Christmas present I received this year was from my nephew, who lives in  Spain.
He sent me a caganer model for my nativity display but as it is rather big, it will probably end up on my  shelf of curios, in the studio.
The 'Caganer' figure is a typical Catalan image placed in the Nativity to represent  joy. It is shown pooing, to symbolise fertilisation of the soil and  if not included, will bring bad luck to the family who own it.
 Andrew had already sent me a 'Shitting Shepherd' many years ago, which sits discreetly at the back of the scene, facing the heavenly host, so I already have that covered.
The new one is in the guise of Salvador Dali because  for many celebrities, it was considered an honour to have their own caganer . 

Friday, 22 December 2017

Beard Malfunctions

I am always looking for opportunities to advertise Ted Coney's Family Portraits but this time of year it is just the opposite.
I have twice played Father Christmas this season and both times had to fight hard not to be recognised.
On the first occasion sitting in an outside grotto, I had a very scratchy beard which drove me mad. I had to keep pulling it away from my face when the children weren't looking. I endured this for three and a half hours.
Hazel had already put new elastic on the beard for my second outing, a ride around Ely by sleigh. However, the beard was too wide for my face and kept slipping down, just when children were approaching to say hello.
I am all for keeping the magic alive and the children really do believe, but it proved very difficult in the circumstances. I only hope they didn't see me wrestling with the wig, hat and beard and ruin all their dreams.
Happy Christmas!

Friday, 15 December 2017

Remembering the 6th

Johnathan came the other night bringing back two newly framed paintings - 'Against The Light' and 'Bicycle Thieves'. The latter, he had framed the wrong way around, so had to take it back again!
Whilst he was here, I asked him to open todays door on my painting (of the 37 days of our Christmas) 'Limners'. It turned out to be a picture  to represent Leo's birthday on 6th December and was of a blow up birthday cake, which he had been given as a present.
It was fitting that Johnathan should open the door as had made the frame in 1993 and at the time said it was the most challenging thing had had ever attempted.
You can see the painting on page 2 of the PRINTS FOR SALE page on my website.

Friday, 8 December 2017

How I Cope

I've just had my last tour of the season for Ted Coney's Family Portraits and had visitors from Malaysia, Mexico and China in the group.
One person asked me the question ' Why do you paint ? '
After a few seconds, I replied 'It helps me cope with life'.
At the end of the visit he bought a tour guide and asked me to write the quote on the cover and sign it.
 Perhaps it made an impression..