Friday, 26 April 2013

Too Many Pins

I've managed to get the reopening of Ted Coney's Family Portraits in both local newspapers again and you'll be able to see the stories on the NEWS AND REVIEWS page of my website, fairly soon. In the Ely Standard I am photographed standing by my painting 'In Three Our Kingdom' and in the Weekly News, with 'Minglelands'. For the latter I was rather surprised to learn that it was normal practise now to make a one minute video as well, to go with the on line newspaper. I thought the results looked a bit scary. It may be because I have my back to the top of the stairs (which is were the painting is)  and I was worried I might topple down, as I do have a certain wild eyed look about me. Also, the photographer was keen to have some movement in the video whilst I was talking, so he got me walking into one of the bedrooms where the exhibition continues. He alighted on the dolls which are each pinned down with large dissecting pins onto blocks of wood and he got me peeling off the cloth, which I put over them when the house is not open. These dolls were used in another painting, 'No More Twist' but without explanation  look as if they might be connected to voodoo. Oh dear, lets hope not to many people see this video, as it might frighten them away.   

Friday, 19 April 2013

An International Affair

Simon came last Saturday to help me get the last things ready for opening the first
Ted Coney's Family Portraits of the  season. We rehung a few paintings so that I could get my  new picture 'Another Year' onto the walls (no, I never did hear from the Dean!). We also managed, with a bit of skillful juggling, to cram another five family photographs into the hallway. Simon also did other much needed jobs such as replacing the gate post which had gone rotten and filling in all the cracks in the plaster. Hazel was very surprised to see me wielding a paintbrush to touch up the walls afterwards. I also did the more interesting jobs like putting the miniature painting (of rough seas - nice touch that) and easel into the dolls house. My first booking was a lovely Russian couple who seemed particularly amused when I explained that my sister-in-law Kari is represented in the painting 'David's Journey' as a hippopotamus. This was because it was seen as a symbol of the great earth mother in some cultures. Maybe it means something else in Russian?! 

Friday, 12 April 2013

The Rashomon Effect

Max bought me a beautiful magnifying glass for my birthday, which is just what I needed for my next but one painting.
It's about an encounter my grandmother had with an old flame when she was nearly ninety and he was eighty, at a prearranged meeting in the Royal Station Hotel, Hull. They had been engaged sixty years before but then both married different partners. He then contacted my grandmother again when he heard she had been widowed. My mother and I both witnessed this encounter and we all had different ideas about the possible outcome.
While thinking this might be an interesting concept for a painting I happened to see the 1950s Japanese film 'Rashoman' which shows the same story but through the eyes of the different characters involved.  The Rashomon Effect, as it is called, gave me the idea of how I might portray my people. To show my grandmothers story in a painting I am going to use lenses of different strengths but looking at the same image. One each, for my grandmother, her old flame, my mother and me. Hence the new magnifying glass.

Friday, 5 April 2013

All Quiet In The Cathedral

At 8:30am this morning I loaded my stuff in the car so Hazel could drive me to Ely Cathedral to put up my display for the Celebration of Business exhibition. It all went very smoothly and while everyone was very helpful, it was a very quiet, uneventful morning compared to last year when I drove down the centre aisle in my 1931 Morris Minor. The main focus this year is my painting 'Another Year' which uses Ely Cathedral as it's central image and while I got several complementary comments, no one has yet rushed forward to ask for it to remain, once the exhibition is over. Still, it's early days yet, as the event is on for a week. I did get someone asking if they could book their art club into one of my tours for Ted Coney's Family Portraits, which was nice. This is for 8-12 year olds, so it could prove an interesting challenge.