Friday, 16 April 2021

Recollections of Prince Philip

 'Phil the Greek is dead' This was the news I was given by a member of the railway staff as  I stepped off a train last Friday.

It got me thinking of the times I had met Prince Philip when working as Head of Art at Hills Road Sixth Form College. He came on a visit to my department in 1991 and asked (after looking around the room) if I ever through anything away. He then made an unscheduled flight into the sculpture studio and promptly banged his head on an artwork hanging from the ceiling.

Several years later when we had won an award for our work in the community, I met him again at Buckingham Palace. I cheekily reminded him of the incident with the sculpture. He laughed and  said

' Not that bloody place'.

You can see my first encounter with the Prince in the MEDIA page on my website.


Thursday, 8 April 2021

Electronic Sketchbook Restored

 I always show how one of my paintings has been put together on the Electronic Sketchbook, when visitors come on one of my tours. (remember those?!) 

 I have four paintings on the screen and when I click on one , it automatically shows images  of my trial studies, early observational drawings and artists references. 

A few months ago I noticed that the icon  to start the sketchbook had disappeared. Although I saw it fleetingly when I switched the computer on it always vanished before I could do anything.

My daughter and her family finally came to visit us for a day over Easter. My son-in-law, who works with computers agreed to have a look. Within a few minutes he had found the icon lurking under the surface. Hurrah!

Friday, 2 April 2021

A Birthday Christmas Present

  It was my birthday last week.

 Perhaps the most intriguing present I received was from our next door neighbour, She'd heard that I have a dolls house which has been developing into an installation since I obtained it to help with my research for a painting, 'Fools Gold'  (which you can see on my PRINTS FOR SALE page).

 When I said  I had carried on collecting objects so that it looked as though the house was frozen in time on Christmas Eve, she gave me a knowing look.

I was presented with the most beautiful   box of  cards, wrapping paper, trees, paper chains, all in miniature. It turns out she is a dolls house enthusiast and makes everything herself.

There are pictures of the house on my Facebook page.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Count Me In

 I've now started working on the final canvases of my picture  'Memento Mori'. Each member of the family is represented  by a bubble in  the nine paintings.

I thought I had completed the first one when I realised I had missed a bubble out! At school, I was always rubbish at Maths.

Luckily, without changing the composition too much, I was able to paint an extra bubble in the far off distance.

I'll need to be more careful with the next one.

Friday, 19 March 2021

Apocalypse Now

 I was visiting an art  college  and wandered into a large modern building, where high up, I saw a Victorian puppet theatre. As I got closer I realised that there were people inside  and they invited me to join them.

Everyone began to leave but the only way out was to jump up,  to climb out of a slit in the back wall. I didn't have the strength to do it.

When I awoke, the dream was so vivid that I was able to write it down. It was the start of an idea for my next painting! I see my entrapment as a metaphor for the pandemic from which we are trying to escape.

It will be called 'Dreamtime'.

Friday, 12 March 2021

Click and Collect

 Although our local art shop has been closed since Christmas, I 've managed to get what materials I need through a click and collect system.

I email the head office and arrange a time to collect stuff from the Ely shop when someone will be there.

Recently, I've managed to get the nine canvases for my current painting 'Memento Mori' as well as some oil paints which I was running out of.

The shop should be opening again on 12th April when restrictions are lifted.  Lets hope it does, as Click and Collect isn't quite the same as mooching around to see what you could buy.

Friday, 5 March 2021

Light Over Dark

 Although I have some way to go before I've created the perfect bubble, I am starting the final painting anyway.

'Memento Mori' comprises of nine small canvases and I have just finished staining them black before I start the painting. I decided to work 'light over dark' after looking at Millais' painting 'Bubbles' in which the said bubble hovers against a dark background.

Millais apparently had a sphere of crystal especially made for the purpose. I've had to rely on photographs from the Internet and some pictures that Max took of him and Sebastian blowing bubbles a while ago.

I did however, retain a glass Christmas bauble which I thought might prove useful.