Monday, 26 November 2012

Farewell Tour

Yesterday, I did my last Ted Coney's Family Portraits tour of the season. I am finishing slightly early this year because next weekend we are cooking Christmas Dinner for all the children and grandchildren before Leo and Paul go off to New Zealand for a year. Obviously they all need somewhere to stay while they are with us, so everything has to be moved to get the beds out. The thought of moving  all the plinths and showcases back the week after just for one or two more tours was too much to think about!
One of my visitors yesterday was Linda and this was her fourth tour so I had to pick my subject quite carefully. For the last two weeks I have done the 'Journeys' tour and  hope  visitors found it interesting.
 The day started badly however, as it was very windy and I attempted to put one of my signs out, chained to my bicycle (the bike is an important element in this tour because of my 800  mile cycle ride to Scotland and subsequent painting 'Diamond Sutra'). Anyway, the sign soon came crashing down so I had to abanden that and hoped it wasn't a bad omen for the day.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

To Long - Even For Me

To my surprise there was an article about Ted Coney's Family Portraits in the local paper this week. I had thought about contacting the Weekly News to publisise the last few weeks before I close for the winter but as I am nearly fully booked, I didn't bother. However, it was nice to get the extra publicity, even though there were three mistakes in the text. The quick sketch I was holding in the accompanying photo was referred to as 'the painting', and it said that the price of admission for under eights was £2.It should have read 'students' as normally I don't encourage children to come, being  too boring for them. The third error was the news that each tour lasts TWO hours - can you imagine!? Hazel told me not to worry though, as she reckoned that most people only look at the pictures.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

A Grand Tour, Lad ?

 I did my 'Journey's' tour when I had visitors to Ted Coney's Family Portraits, last weekend. One of the paintings I talked about was 'Grand Tours', a work involving four journeys I made with four members of the family, each one with a different mode of transport. I also explained where the title of the painting came from, and in this case there are two reasons. Firstly, because in the 18th and 19th centuries, artists would go on a 'Grand Tour', usually abroad and this was my own grand tour. Secondly, because I am origionally from Yorkshire we use 'grand' as a way of explaining that we like something. Immediately, it brought a smile to two of my visitors, who knew exactly  what I meant. It turned out they were from Leeds! 

Friday, 2 November 2012

Do It Yourself

I had ordered two 'Fine Detail' canvases for my next painting 'Love That Dares'. However, after waiting three weeks for them to arrive, I went to see what the matter was. I was told by Windsor and Newton that they might be available in two weeks time but they could not be certain. I had hoped to get them free on my Tindalls (local art shop) reward card as I had built up £75 but had to change my plans. However, I still spent the money on more primer, the largest tube of white oil paint I could find - and one or two interesting looking brushes.
Anyway, I ordered canvas and stretchers direct from a supplier I have been using for years and they arrived the next day. I've put the stretchers together, stretched the canvas and given then the first coat - using rabbitskin size. When this is dry I will give them two layers of primer and then I shall be ready to paint. I plan to stain the canvas with oil paint and begin the first of several sponged textures to build up the background.
It's actually very satisfying, making the canvases yourself - and certainly quicker!