Friday, 31 January 2014

A Watery Tale

As I was  watching a really good Clint Eastward film at the Old Palace the other evening, I was blissfully unaware of the drama unfolding at home.
 Hazel was battling with a burst pipe and had water pouring down into the living room. She tried heroically to brush the water off my pictures, while the plumber turned it off at  the mains .
The painting most at risk was 'Limners' - a picture about the 37 days of Christmas (you can hear all about it in the radio section of my NEWS AND REVIEWS page of the website).
I had just closed all the doors on the painting  (there are 37!) now that Christmas was over and I planned  to open them again, when Ted Coney's Family Portraits reopens at the end of April.
As we have now got the humidifiers in,  I have had to open them again, to make sure there is no moisture trapped , between the doors and the paintings.
In other galleries, they often have small, quiet humidifiers around, but these are large, noisy, industrial ones.
We shall be glad to get back to normal.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Stuck On The Edge

Last week I did my lecture, 'On The Edge' , to a group of people in Little Downham. I think it went well, as they asked lots of questions at the end, particularly about a painting they never actually saw.
 To have them gasping for more (that's the idea, anyway) I showed them the beginnings of  ' Diamond Sutra', a painting which all started with an 800 mile cycle ride to  Scotland to celebrate being 60 years old. I told them about how my mission to collect sixty objects on the journey to be used  in the painting and the puzzle behind the image of three rabbits I discovered in a country church in Lincolnshire, with the inscription CONEY 1640AD.
I am always very nervous about  technology when doing these talks. I always dread setting up the laptop, digital projector and sound system, in case they doesn't work. Infact, the only thing I had a problem with, was the zip on the suitcase I keep the sound system in. I wrestled with it for several anxious minutes until a kind lady came to my rescue and calmly sorted it out. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Last Minute Dash

I thought I had finished my painting ' If The Boats Come In ' about six weeks ago and it was due to be taken to Jonathan's for framing this week. However, the night before, looking at it side ways  in the semi-darkness of the hallway, I realised it needed a few more dashes of white paint on the boating pond section.
 I always find it very difficult to decide when a picture is finished, but it went as planned, anyway, as I needed it framed in time for my exhibition in March.
You can see the completed picture on the OPENING TIMES 2014 page of my website and ofcourse you will be able to see the real thing in my Retrospective at the Babylon Gallery (more details on the NEWS AND REVIEWS page of my website)
When discussing the frame (more difficult choices) we decided to pick out the darkest parts of the rough sea for the overall colour. I hope I like it!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Shelford Lives - Not Forgotten

I was going through my bookshelves the other day and I found 'Shelford Lives', a book I contributed to, the day before we left Great Shelford and moved to Ely. I remember my contribution was by audio tape, sitting on a packing case, getting ready for the removal van to arrive. As well as talking about our life since moving to Cambridgeshire thirty four years before, it was interesting to read it again and to see our my aspirations and plans for Ted Coney's Family Portraits had turned out.
I have now had it installed in the reviews section of the NEWS AND REVIEWS page on my website. To read it, you need to scroll down a bit as it's from 2007, where you can find the shorter version. To read the whole chapter (lucky you), you need to click on the PDF sign at the bottom of the page.

Friday, 3 January 2014

War Babies

I've been thinking about ideas for my next but one painting (I'm just beginning one called
 'Against The Light') in a vague sort of way. It's going to be about my mother and two of her cousins who were all pregnant before they got married, during the second world war. Although all their marriages lasted, I wonder if they would have married those men if they had not conceived out of wedlock?
At the moment, I've got the image of  a 1940s style wedding cake with three brides on the top and cuts in the cake to represent the babies. I guess my painting is going to poise the question 'Who were the babies - was it the young women themselves?'
Happy New Year!