Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Altogether Now

 I've got two pictures in the latest exhibition at the Babylon Gallery in Ely!

It's entitled 'Altogether Now' and my modest works were made during lockdown for the 'Postcards In Isolation' series. They have been part of an on line gallery for a while but this is the first time they have been exhibited for real.

One  had been displayed upside down and the other, with the text cut off from around the edge! Never mind, it's nice to be part of something. Who knows, they might sell (they are very cheap) and if they do, I'll donate the money to the NHS Charities Together appeal which I'm collecting for at the moment.

The postcards both use flowers (gathered on our walks) in different ways and might form the idea  for one of my next two paintings.

Friday, 16 October 2020

Not Guilty ?

 Clandon Park has been it the news recently because of its links to the colonial past of one of it's former owners, who was Governor General of New Zealand in the 19th century .

There is a maori meeting house in the grounds of  this National Trust property , which we saw quite by chance  on a trip there .

Apparently, the meeting house was saved from destruction and given as a gift by a grateful nation. On the day we visited it was being  used by Maori  from North London for their  Hakari or traditional feast.

Seeing the meeting house gave me an idea for a painting as our middle son was working in Auckland at the time. You can see my painting 'Hinaki' (which means eel trap) on my website (THE TOURS page) where I used some of the  decorations to symbolise my feelings about the separation between us.

Friday, 9 October 2020

Keeping It Small

 I've just been rereading 'The Miniaturist' - a gripping tale set in 17th century Amsterdam, about a young woman who is given a dolls house. As the story  unravels, she is given figures and objects for the house by a mysterious miniaturist which foretell what will happen to her and her family.

Several years ago I made a painting about my mother's cousin entitled 'Fools Gold'. I used a dolls house to hint at the strange, claustrophobic world in which he lived.

You can see the painting in my PRINTS FOR SALE page on my website and the dolls house on my Facebook page. Though I don't claim any magical powers!

Friday, 2 October 2020

Chinese Whispers

 My painting 'Who Stole The Toothpaste?' has been framed. Normally I would have gone into Cambridge to discuss the colour but all that had to be done over the phone. I suggested 'a toady green' for the frame to one of the staff as Mr Toad (from The Wind in the Willows') is central to the painting.

This apparently got changed into 'a turdy green' by the time it got through to Rita who does the colouring. Anyway, it looks fine to me and you can see the results if you google my news story in the Ely Standard or Spotted in Ely this week. I'm using it to further my quest to make money for the NHS Charities Together appeal through sales of my Virtual Tour, preliminary studies and a gift card featuring a drawing of my 1931 Morris Minor.

Friday, 25 September 2020

Indian Summer

 We took advantage of the hot weather last week to spend a couple of days in Worthing.

After a long walk to Shoreham (well, long for us!) we sat on the beach and while Hazel did some beachcombing I made a little drawing in my sketchbook.

I picked out some elderly couples sitting on their beach chairs taking in the last rays of summer. With the pandemic getting worse, it did seem like a poignant moment.

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 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.