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..