Friday, 30 May 2014

Action This Day

'Action this day' is what Winston Churchill said to his civil servants, when he got a call from the code breakers at Bletchley Park, begging for more resources.
I have always believed that a cousin of my mother's worked there during the war but she died before telling us the full story.
I made a painting about it entitled 'Tea For 222' several years ago, as I wanted to show how two of my family had led extraordinary lives during the second world war and yet never talked about it during old age.
You can see the painting when you come to visit Ted Coney's Family Portraits and read more about it in the press stories on my NEWS AND REVIEWS page.
Anyway, Hazel and I finally got to see Bletchley Park last Friday and spent a fascinating day there.
I didn't find out any more about my relative but there were 10,000 people working on site over the course of the war, many of them women. I am sure she only played a minor role but we know she did secret war work in that part of the country, never wore uniform and had been working at Hull University prior to this posting. It makes an intriguing story.

Monday, 26 May 2014

A Quizical Look

I am now working on my latest painting 'The Rashomon Effect' and you can see it's progress on the NEWS AND REVIEWS page of my website.
I am trying to decide how to deal with the view inside my grandmother's quizzer (magnifying glass) as although a small area, it's perhaps one of the most important parts of the painting.
As all the participants within the painting have a different view of the same image, I want to make each one very different.
I think my grandmother was quite blind at the time but was to vain to let anyone realise.

Monday, 19 May 2014

As Seen On TV

I  opened  Ted Coney's Family Portraits last weekend for the new season with a family of four doing the first tour. As one of them had been a couple of years before, when I had given my 'Journeys' tour, I gave them 'Time' on this occasion. It all seemed to go well and I got some very enthusiastic comments in my visitors book at the end.
Just as I was closing up, the doorbell rang. It was another lady who wanted a tour. She said she had enjoyed my exhibition at the Babylon Gallery and my appearance on TV?!
I was to polite to correct her, but maybe my last radio programme had been so illuminating that she imagined she could see it in  pictures.
I haven't managed to get on national television since I appeared on a news programme giving rides for charity in my Morris Minor, ten years ago.  Maybe I don't need to.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Last Piece Of The Puzzle

About ten years ago, I decided that I wanted all my paintings framed by the Trumpington Gallery, when I could afford it.
 Some had been done by them already, ofcourse, but we have been steadily working through  the earlier ones, (getting one or two reframed each year), to bring them up to the same high standard.
The last one has just been delivered, and will be up in time for when I reopen
 Ted Coney's Family Portraits this Sunday.
 The painting is entitled  '30 DAYS' and is all about our month's holiday in Sheringham, many years ago. Each day's events are painted on a wooden jigsaw piece and they all fit together. Only, there is a break in the painting where Hazel dislocated her kneecap and ended up on crutches. With two small children, it was some holiday!
Anyway, you can see it, and all my other paintings, when you visit.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Worth A Thousand Words?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but when it comes to a press photo, I am not so sure.
To launch my exhibition at the Babylon Gallery the press came and insisted on taking a picture of me with Mr.Turnip (you can see the picture and story in the REVIEWS section of my NEWS AND REVIEWS page, on my website).
 As Mr. Turnip is a marionette, I suggested that  they should take our picture infront of my painting  'Diamonds', in which he appears.
 Unfortunately, when the article appeared, there was no mention in the text, of who he was  and the painting behind us was out of focus, so you couldn't see the connection.
Curiously, Mr Turnip and I look similar in the photograph, but that is because I forgot to brush my hair and has no bearing on the story!
A similar confusion happened this week. I have a small display in an upmarket wool shop in the market square, centred around my painting 'If The Boats Come In'. The connection between the painting and wool is that the work is all about family ties and unravelling threads. The press duly ran the story but put in an old photo of me with another of my paintings entitled 'Limners'. As this is about our 37 days of Christmas, anyone reading it, must have been a bit mystified.
However, I am grateful for the press helping me to advertise the opening of
Ted Coney's Family Portraits on 11th May, so I mustn't sound too critical.