Monday, 30 January 2012

Up For Auction

I always try to get involved in community events, partly because it is a way of advertising
Ted Coney's Family Portraits and partly because it makes living in Ely a bit more interesting. I have reasantly helped organise an art competition/exhibition at the Babylon Gallery (which is close by) and it was nice to get an aknowlegement in the local papers (along with other shops and businesses) for the small donation that I made to towards the prizes. However, the latest request is a slightly new departure for the business.
Hereward Rotary are organising an Auction as part of a fund raising Barn Dance for the Teenage Cancer Trust. They have asked me to donate free tickets to one of my tours when I reopen in the spring. Will someone see this as a treasured prize I wonder? The event is being led by David Palmer, who I reckon can sell anything. He did after all, auction one of my paintings, 'An Extra Snow Angel' for charity, several years ago.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Good For Another Eighty Years

While Ted Coney's Family Portraits is closed, I always try and get as many jobs done as possible before I reopen. One of those jobs is getting the Morris Minor through it's M.O.T. before visitors arrive. It has to be said that it is one of the stars of the show (or tours) so it must be there, looking respendent in it's garage. This is especially so in the car's 80th year and also because I will have my painting
 'Dear Reginald Owen', which uses the Morris as a time machine, on display for the first time. Anyway, you will be pleased to know that the car passed with flying colours, with a dodgy horn and a loose lead on one indicator being the only things which needed attention. The horn would start blasting off even without me going near it, which caused some stares as I went sailing past. The car is now safetly back so I will need to give it a little clean before April.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Artist References

As I tell my students, sometimes another artist's work will give them a direct clue as to how their own work can proceed, while other artist's are just plain inspiring, even though there is nothing obvious that can help them. So it was, when I visited two exhibitions last week in London. The Grayson Perry exhibition reaffirmed my belief that objects can have real power, especially if you have owned them or been aware of them for sometime. This is something that I have often tried to show through my paintings of family life, for instance in my painting '2001' which featured our Morris Minor and other objects we own.
The other exhibition was of the landscape artist, John Martin. His dynamic use of light is giving me lots of ideas of how to paint, 'Another Year' which attempts to show segments of Ely Cathedral both at dawn and dusk. I know it sounds a bit corny but with Martin's help I might be able to pull off something more exciting.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Forever Christmas

I have just opened the last door of my painting 'Limners' and then closed all 37 doors until I restart
Ted Coney's Family Portraits again in April. We open one a day from 1st December. This is because the painting is about the thiry seven days of our Christmas and we have reached the point where it is all over for another year. Or is it? I shall be putting a christmas pudding I found in my stocking, (yes, we all got stockings this year) into the dolls house along with a minature stationary set given by Isobel. Although the dolls house was used for a painting of mine entitled 'Fools Gold' I have since carried on collecting for it, especially items to do with Christmas. This is so that the house appears frozen in time on Christmas Day, with the turkey (and now a christmas pudding!) and presents still not opened, under the tree.

Monday, 2 January 2012

An Arty Day

Between Christmas and New Year I had one day to catch up on my painting. I worked on
 'Dear Reginald Owen' for a while (yes, it is still not finished) disolving one form into another by using opaque and translucent paint. I kept laying out all six canvases on the floor of the studio to see how they looked together and trying to decide what to do next. I glazed over the sky one more time and suddenly I knew - it was finished! (that is, until I look at it again tomorrow)
I then put out my model of Ely Cathedral to make some sketches in preparation for my next painting,
 'Another Year'. I drew, using a spotlight to light the model, because I want to echo what I had already done from the real thing - showing the building at dawn and dusk, but from very different angles. I did two rather mediochre drawings in charcoal and pencil but then got lured away to watch the two programmes I had missed over Christmas, 'Outnumbered' and 'Downton Abbey' before they disapeared from BBC Eyeplayer etc.   Happy New Year, by the way.