Monday, 27 August 2012

Walking Sticks - By Bicycle

One of the last paintings not to have been framed by Jonathan is 'Walking Sticks' and I had intended to get it done when Ted Coney's Family Portraits closed for the winter. However, given that I am going to be artist in residence at Primavera from early December, I shall need some of my finished work to adorn the walls of the gallery before then. As there is only a limited space available, which will only take small or long, thin work, I decided to use these  paintings which depict four family walks I made several years ago. As the colours of each painting is inspired by an object we found on our journey, I have decided to extend that into the frame, changing it from the rather nasty, silver they were before. So the other week, I strapped all four paintings to my bicycle and although they did rather stick out of my basket, I managed to transport them safetly to Cambridge for framing. I didn't mind if the glass got broken, but obviously didn't want to kill anyone (or me, for that matter ) along the way.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

If The Boats Come In

I've just been on our family weekend in Sheringham with 22 members coming together. A smaller number this year, but good fun all the same. One of the things we always do is race the model boats (you should be able to see some of the photos on my Facebook page soon) on the victorian boating pond. I still have the boats Leo and Max raced as children, so these are about 30 years old. We bought Poppy one from the same shop last year. As well as the races, I got everyone to put their boats in the water, fairly close together, so I could photograph them. This was for a painting I want to do in the future entitled ' If The Boats Come In' which has a fairly ambiguous theme but will be suggesting that some boats (or people) will always be with us, while others maybe need pulling in, or are they unravelling and slipping away? To this end, Julia has already prepared some identical boats made of wool. Just before I left I also made some sketches of the sides of the boating pond, as I want to compare that with the open seas 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Just Passing By

I was just passing by - honest! though I know no one will believe me. I had suggested to the town centre team, two years ago that we should fill the vacant shops with art. I had seen it done in other recession sticken cities and thought it a good idea. I was delighted therefore, when I happen to look at one of these shops in Ely to see they had mounted an exhibition of work from Ely College, and very good it was too.
Just as I was admiring the work, up pops a photographer from the Cambridge News and asks if he can take my photo, looking in the window.
'I was really looking for a pretty girl, but you're an artist, so thats even better' he remarked, flatteringly.
Anyway it isn't a very flattering photo (you can see it and read the story on my NEWS AND REVIEWS page, if you really want to) but I guess it's all good publicity for
Ted Coney's Family Portraits and it does describe me as 'Ely Artist'.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

In Search Of Immortality

Last week I went to an interesting exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum entitled ' The Search For Immortality'. It was all about the Han dynasty in China and their belief in the preparation for the afterlife. I went because I had an hour to spare, and Hazel had told me how good it was. What I hadn't registered, was how useful it could be for my next painting 'Love That Dares' until I entered the first room. I had been wrestling with the problem of how to make the animals (in my painting) become part of the background without resorting to the obvious camerflague of nature and also felt uneasy about the bright colours used on some of the Muffin the Mule characters.
However, my encounter with the wonderful stone horses who were guardians of the emperors, gave me lots of ideas. I liked the idea that nearly all the painted colour had drained away, though traces of it remained, reducing almost everything to the textured stone. As well as solving the problem in my work of individual animals standing out I also liked the notion that it looked like all personality had gone and everything had become the same. Further on in the exhibition, I marvelled at  a gold belt buckle where all the finely carved animals intergrated into a total design, rather than standing out from each other.
Whether I can translate all these ideas into paint, remains to be seen, but I have prepared a stained practise canvas (which I aim to scrub back with a small scrubbing brush) ready to have a go.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Going, Going, Gone - On Tour

Readers of my blog may remember that a couple bid for a tour around Ted Coney's Family Portraits at a charity auction in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust some time ago. Well, this Sunday they came, and I hope they enjoyed it, particularly as it was part of their wedding anniversary celebrations. I had thought I might do them my 'Anniversary' tour, but not all the anniversarys were happy ones, so I decided against it. Also, I had another couple of people as well, so I needed to make it fit for everyone. In the end I did the 'Time' tour which is always a good introduction to the house. One of the guests had just retired after being a guide around the Cathedral for 35 years. She told me that at the begining, which made me quite nervous.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

A Star Is Born (Or Cobbled Together)

I got a call from Radio Cambridge  to ask  if I could take part in a live interview later that evening in a programme about Stars. Aparently my Morris Minor is now a star having driven through Ely Cathedral on two wheels (well almost). When it's a live broadcast and you are nervous, you find yourself saying the most extroidinary things. At one point I heard myself relating the tale from last sundays opening of Ted Coney's Family Portraits, when I tided away a load of breadrolls, wrapped in polythene, into the oven, before visitors arrived.  Later, we decided that the weather was to bad for a barbaque so Hazel unwittingly switched the oven on. Needless to say we had to scrape the polythene off before we could serve the rolls to our guests later in the evening.
You should be able to hear the interview on my News and Reviews page, once Daniel has set it up, along with a feature from the Hills Road Newsletter about the same event in the Cathedral. And ofcourse you can see all the photos on the facebook page linked to the website.