Friday, 28 June 2013

Messing About By The River

Last week we launched our booklet to promote 'A Riverside Experience' in the press, by having our photo taken by the river. Somehow I managed to be in the forefront of the picture, but that was the fault of the photographer. I say 'We', and by that I mean Ted Coney's Family Portraits and all the other attractions  such as The Babylon Gallery, Waterside Antiques, Peacocks Tearooms, Liberty Belle boat, Jubilee Gardens and the Cutter Inn. The idea is that these booklets will be given to tour operators, so that coach parties will be encouraged to come down to the river and spend an afternoon between the attractions. As Ely Cathedral had 150 coach parties last week over four days for the Flower Festival, we are a little optimistic. You can see the booklet on a link from the GROUP VISITS page of my website and you will shortly be able to see the press stories from both the Ely and Cambridge News on the NEWS AND REVIEWS page of my website.
I was amused to note that when Hazel and I went to read local news for a charity for the blind (which is sent out weekly) the other evening,  neither of my stories had been selected
 (the other story  this week, is advertising my painting demonstration at Tindalls shop, tomorrow). 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Under The Hammer

I donated one of my preliminary studies to an auction last Saturday, to help raise money, so that young, aspiring artists might have their first exhibition one day. Well, I'm not young but am still a very aspiring artist, so it seemed a worthy cause to support. Christine from the Babylon Gallery came and chose a tiny canvas which I had used to prepare for my painting 'Tea For 222', which is painted in oils and encaustic wax. The study I  made, shows part of the enigma machine, which my cousin was reputed to have been involved in, when she worked at Bletchley Park during the second world war. This was overlaid with the constituents of afternoon tea, which is meant to represent her in   gracious old age, giving no hint to her former exploits. The painting raised a few pounds for the fund, which was good to know. Before my head was allowed to get too big, I also noted that the print of my Morris Minor, from a drawing by me and  donated by Nigel, failed to make the reserve price and won't be going anywhere. I need to keep aspiring, obviously.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Date With The Dean

Readers of my blog may remember that I was a bit disappointed  the Dean had never replied to my letter concerning my painting 'Another Year', which uses Ely Cathedral as it's central image. In the letter, I had offered to donate my commission from the sales of prints of the painting to the Cathedral in exchange for displaying the work in situ. I had hoped he would look at the painting when it was on display in the Cathedral a few months ago but somehow he missed it.
I contacted one of the organisers of the Business Exhibition which I had been involved with in the Cathedral (I never give up!) as I felt just a reply would have been good manners.  Hey presto! she sent my Email directly to the Dean and a few days later I got a very apologetic reply and an invitation to go and meet him. He turned out to be a very nice bloke and we had a bit of a chat. I enjoyed going inside the Deanery (is that what you call it?) and he works in a brilliant office space with high ceilings.
Will he take my painting? Well, he still hasn't seen it yet but somehow I don't think it will be worth all the hassle. It's part of my Ted Coney's Family Portraits tours now and ofcourse they already have one painting of Ely Cathedral that visitors can buy prints of, which is where I got the idea from in the first place. Anyway, it was very nice to meet the Dean, and who knows, he might come on one of my tours in the future. (I gave him a flyer)

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Rough Seas Ahead

In the middle of teaching and getting ready to do my moderating job, I had one free day to work on my painting, 'If  The Boats Come In'.
Although in the final piece, I want to create a painting of a section of knitting unravelling, imprinted with the image of boats on a rough sea, I though I had better have a go at just painting the rough sea first. This is partly because I needed to  take it one step at a time, but also when I do my day demonstrating at Tindalls (the local art shop) I want to have different examples of painted water, to display.
I had some good photos from the internet to work from and no, I didn't go strapped to a mast as Turner had done, to paint his rough seas, first hand. I really enjoyed painting with my fingers, blotting, rubbing back, using a palette knife etc. to try and create the illusion of the swirling water.
I remember years ago trying to paint a giant wave in another painting about the sea-side, 'Wish You Were Here' and always thinking it looked like a big scrubbing brush. Have I got it right this time? You'll have to come and see.