Thursday, 27 March 2014

Age Old Problem

The other Sunday, I appeared live on a local radio programme to publicise my Retrospective exhibition at the Babylon Gallery and the return of Ted Coney's Family Portraits in early May. It was a sort of Dessert Island Discs format with me talking about different bits of music which had been significant in my life. This was all fine, as I had sent my requests in earlier and knew what questions to expect.
It was to my horror then, that the interviewer suddenly asked me what music I didn't like. I am one of those people (maybe it's my age, having turned seventy yesterday) who instantly forgets what I don't like - wasted information, as there is only so much my brain can hold.
However, I knew I had to say something as the show was live, remember. I suddenly thought about the Monkees who were a sort of American manufactured pop group of the 1970s (I think). I said I didn't like their music as it always seemed a pale shadow of the Beatles (whose music I had just had played). This may be true, but I couldn't remember a thing about Monkees music anyway, but the real reason for saying it was because of my chance encounter with one of them.
When I was teaching at Hills Road Sixth Form College, one of the students had an American father called Micky Dolenz. He was one of the Monkees many years before and I  showed him around the Art Department while he was over, visiting his daughter. Infact I  surprised him by being reminded  that I had seen his younger self in the series of adventure films on 1950s TV, entitled 'Circus Boy'.
 I do remember some things.
 You can hear the radio programme on the NEWS AND REVIEWS page of my website and it's the latest one in the RADIO section. Happy listening.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Technology Be Damned!

It was the very last thing to get ready for my exhibition. I took  the film which introduces my work, along to the Babylon Gallery for them to set up a device to play it on. Although I just shove it into a TV  and it plays on a loop here, ofcourse it wouldn't do this in the gallery!
Frantic phone calls to Colen, who originally made the DVD, meant that he had to make a new version overnight and was duly delivered early the next morning.
I am so bad at anything technical, that I couldn't even switch  the computer on, never mind get the film playing. Thanks to  wonderful volunteers, Rebecca and David, they managed to get it all working just as the first visitors arrived.
Over the weekend 250 visitors came to see the show and £250 worth of preliminary sketches were sold, so not a bad beginning , after all.
Needless to say, you can see the film (in four suites), by clicking on the You Tube symbol on any page on my website,  but I hope you'll come to the exhibition and see the real thing.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Sale Or Return

It might be the fact that I am having an exhibition in a real gallery, but the Cathedral shop has agreed to take 100 of my new postcards of the painting 'Another Year' to try and sell on a sale or return basis. Feeling ever braver, I approached another gift shop in Ely and they agreed to take some of the cards, also.
The preparations for the exhibition gathers apace (it opens tomorrow). I had my photograph taken for a local paper yesterday with the puppet, Mr Turnip, against the backdrop of my painting 'Diamonds' in which he appears.
On Sunday morning I am going to appear in a dessert island disc local radio programme, but no doubt, if I survive it and the opening, I tell you about that, next week.

Friday, 7 March 2014

A Shy English Artist

Fifty years ago, I was described in a newspaper as 'A shy English artist', while painting a mural for a youth hostel in Holland. Well, that was because I didn't speak Dutch, but was reminded of it this week when I spoke to Caroline and Christine at the Babylon Gallery.
 I told them I hoped not to do any stewarding at the gallery while my exhibition was on, as I didn't want to witness visitors coming in for two minutes and then walking out again. They both admonished me for being so sensitive and told me to live in the real world!
Talking of the real world, arrangements for the exhibition are gathering a pace.
 Jonathan arrive with my newly framed picture 'Love That Dares' the other evening, only to be told that he had put the canvases in, the wrong way around (it arrived again the next day, correctly framed)
Seventeen of my paintings were collected the other afternoon and  I nervously wait to see how they look in the gallery. I must say, the house looks rather bare.