Friday, 29 November 2013

Contre Jour

'Contre Jour' or 'against the light' is an art term used to describe back-lit images in paintings. I read about it, in connection with an exhibition of Daumier's work on view at the Royal Academy.
I made the trip to see his work because I am interested in using silhouette images in my next but one, (they are forming a queue in my head!) family painting. I am using my collection of shadow puppets to depict two male cousins of my mother's and show how they were seen very differently by each parent. I will try to show this by portraying them  in keeping with the Javanese tradition of the men seeing the actual puppets, while the women only saw the shadows.
I am interested in Contre Jour because rather than a flat sharp shadow, Daumier used to add other colours to make the image more subtle and mysterious. Starting my painting is probably a year away yet, but it's nice to keep carrying these ideas around in my head.

P.S.  If you want to hear the two latest radio programmes featuring me (OK, maybe you don't!), they are now available on my website on the NEWS AND REVIEWS page.

Friday, 22 November 2013

That Ends Well

After a disappointing beginning to the weekend (see my last blog), I rather dreaded as to what might happen next.
However, I had an interesting family who visited Ted Coney's Family Portraits on Sunday. They came from near Croydon, while visiting Bury St Edmunds for the weekend. The wife was a friend of a college friend of mine, whom I hadn't seen for over forty years. Perhaps one day she will visit, too. Anyway, I was able to show them my painting 'Lavender and Dead Bilberries', which is about our wedding  and includes an image of Jean (my old college friend) who was a guest at the wedding all those years ago. 'She hasn't changed a bit' was the reply.
The other thing I was not looking forward to, was the charity auction for ADEC on Sunday evening, in which there were two pieces of my work. One was a small preliminary study on canvas for my painting 'Minglelands', on which I was working  out how to do the gold leaf section, to represent my grandson, Barnaby. The other was a print donated by UKPhotoGallery of a pen and wash study of mine, depicting the Morris Minor.
Luckily, both sold and the auction made £900 to support our local cinema and Babylon Gallery.  Phew!

Friday, 15 November 2013

When Will I Be Famous?

Do you remember that old film where Charlie Chaplin invited everyone to a party and spent lots of time getting it ready, and then no one turned up?
Well, I felt a bit like that this morning. Last Friday the tourist office rang me  in great excitement to say that The Times were coming today to research for an article on Ely and
Ted Coney's Family Portraits had been picked as one of the attractions they were interested in featuring.
I spent a good one and a half hours getting everything ready and even had  the spotlights on and film rolling, so that when the reporter arrived at 11am, he could see what a pop-up gallery really was.
I waited (luckily, I kept painting) until after 12pm and finally rang up to see what was happening. The first message back was that they were running late, so I kept going. The second was more disappointing as they had passed me by, as they were now very late.
So in an instance, my chance of national fame and recognition had gone!
This afternoon Nigel came to film the Morris for a video he is making to publicise my prints, on
YouTube. It did attract a lot of interest from  passing visitors, so I suppose I had a bit of fame of sorts, today. 

Friday, 8 November 2013

A New Perspective

I was showing my painting 'If The Boats Come In' to my old friend Joe, the other day, as he likes to see my progress, when he comes to visit. He is always very encouraging, so I was surprised when he commented that he thought the perspective was a bit out on the boating pond part of the picture. When he had gone, I did have another look at it, and damn it, maybe he was right!
Daniel should be putting new photos of the painting onto my website in the next few days, so you can judge for yourself, if you think my efforts have now made the image, stronger.
 It can be found on my News And Reviews page, as can my latest foray into radio interviews (again, be patient, it should be on there, soon.)

Friday, 1 November 2013

Wish Upon A Star

Have you noticed how you wait for ages for a bus and then two come along together? So it is with radio programmes. After appearing on Radio Cambridgeshire the other week (mind, I haven't heard it yet, but I was told it was on, last Monday) I found myself on Star Radio the other day. Two lovely young people came to the house to do an interview while we looked at the paintings. One recorded while the other asked me questions. It was nice that they sounded so enthusiastic, so lets hope that comes over in the recording. It is not on until 18th November, just enough time to rally a few last visitors before I close for the winter on 15th December.