Thursday, 24 October 2013

Oily Rag Approach

On the face of it, my old 1940 bicycle  plays a very minor role in the development of
Ted Coney's Family Portraits. However it is quite important, not only because it conveyed me 800 miles to Scotland to help  produce my painting 'Diamond Sutra' but also for my cycle ride from Harby to Westminster Abbey, which enabled me to gather material for 'Snow Angels and No Angels'.  I also place it at the end of our track to display a clipframe, giving details of my tours   and use it as a (slow!) moving display board when travelling between Ely and Cambridge.
So, I was quite upset when I realised a few months ago, that part of the chain guard was missing as the screw had come loose. I did go to various bike shops to try and get a replacement but no luck. I finally managed to persuade my brother, David to make me one, which he duly did. Not unreasonably, he suggested that I could at least paint the metal, once he had fashioned the shape. I applied the paint with an 'oily rag approach' which means I didn't try to make it look brand new, but it still looks a bit rough and ready compared to the rest of the bike. A work still in progress, I think.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Alright On The Night

This week I gave my outreach lecture 'On The Edge', a slide/sound show about my work, to a group of women in Abington. It all went smoothly and from the comments I got at the end, I think most of them really enjoyed it.
 I am always very nervous when dealing with technology, so I decided to have a practise the weekend before, to make sure everything was working. The sound is very important to the talk as I intersperse live commentary with a 50 year old Ted, talking  on film. This gives me a chance to check my notes to see where I am up to, but also enables me to demonstrate props which I wouldn't be able to lug around when speaking away from home. For instance, at one point when talking about the painting 'David's Journey', I am filmed assembling the labyrinth of mirrors which I used to work from, when developing this project.
Anyway, to my horror, the sound refused to come out of the laptop and I could feel panic rising inside me. I tried to keep calm and look to see if the sound had been inadvertently switched off somehow.
In the end I ran Daniel, the chap who looks after my website, and he very kindly popped round on his way to the shops.
It seems, that by plugging the lead into the laptop and not connecting it to the sound system, I had  inadvertently stopped the sound from working in either bits of equipment.
 . Daniel saw this immediately and soon got me organised. I was just glad I wasn't giving the talk on that day. 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Voice In The Wind

I battled through the wind and rain on my bicycle on Thursday to do an interview for Radio Cambridgeshire.
The receptionist slightly raised her eyebrows as I fell through the door, clutching my bicycle bag, cape, briefcase, lunch bag and woolly hat. Luckily, I had plenty of time to compose myself before my interview with Sue Doughan. I was there to publicise Ted Coney's Family Portraits and at the end of it I was left wondering if I had made sense or talked utter drivel?! With radio you never know. I remember saying things about my long suffering family and how they had got used to me making paintings about them
You can hear the results on Sue's show next Friday (if it doesn't all end up on the cutting room floor) and I should have it  as a link from the NEWS AND REVIEWS page of my website soon after that.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Different Ways Of Seeing

Have started to do some research for my next painting 'The Rashomon Effect'.
 Tony came the other day to take some photographs inside the dolls house for me. He brought his  micro lens, so he could take close ups of various objects with a very sharp  focus. Looking on the computer later, he was also able to show how he could do special effects using Photoshop, such as blurring the image and distorting it in other ways.
  I will need to consider all this clever stuff when deciding how to portray the five different  human viewpoints, which appear to be looking at the same image inside the house. For instance, my grandmother's view will be very fuzzy indeed, while my mother's will be much more clear headed.
Over the next few months, I still intend to do some good old fashioned drawing as well, using my new magnifying glass.