Saturday, 27 December 2014

A Bit Of A Drama

Just before Christmas, we went to see the excellent film 'Mr Turner', which is about the life of the famous English artist.
It amused me to see in the film, how Turner made possible buyers wait in semi darkness, before throwing open the doors of his studio to reveal his paintings in strong light.
In a way, I do something similar to my visitors when they enter
 Ted Coney's Family Portraits. I keep them huddled in the cloakroom, watching an introductory film before letting them enter a darkened dining room. There on an easel is a single painting, illuminated by spot lights. This painting 'Life Cycle' is the first work I did about the family in 1969 and I always start my story with this, regardless of which tour I am doing.
Happy New Year!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Postponed

The Christmas tree had to be hidden in the garden, the cards taken down and presents stashed away upstairs.
The reason ? I had a photographer arriving, to take pictures of the house and gallery for a possible feature in the Cambridge magazine or newspaper in February.
He did take over 90 pictures, so hopefully something will materialise as he  had a long list from the editor, of images she wanted. These included several pictures of me, desperately trying to keep my shoulders back and stomach in.
I was glad that I had hung Richard's aeroplane in the kitchen and put up the extra easel with a painting on in the dining room as these got photographed, too. I usually show the plane when I am describing the painting 'Airlines', which shows my brother making connections with his children through flight. The model is one he made several years before he died.
Once the photographer had departed, Christmas was reinstated with a vengeance, ready for the family to arrive.
Happy Christmas!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Muffin and Green Ice Cream

I did my last tour of the season for Ted Coney's Family Portraits, the other day. One of the group was an interesting woman whom I had previously met at a talk at the 'Silent Partners' exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum. When she heard I too had  a silent partner (Mr Turnip) I sometimes used in my paintings, she was intrigued and booked a tour.
However, when she came, she was more enraptured that I had used another T.V. character, Muffin the Mule in some of my paintings. She had fond memories of seeing him in the late 1940s,  about once a year on an old neighbour's television set.
 Bizarrely, the children were also given green ice cream while watching the programme and she had obviously never forgotten it.
(You can see how I used Muffin in 'David's Journey' in a link from the PRINTS FOR SALE page   and 'Love That Dares' at the bottom of the ART LECTURE page, on my website)

Friday, 12 December 2014

Your Family ?

A few weeks ago I did my lecture, 'On The Edge' to a group from the University of the Third Age.
I was assured  there would be four 'technical' members who would  help me set everything up and as they had their own sound system and projector, I only had to bring my laptop.
Luckily, I disregarded this advice and brought all my own stuff, as to begin with, they could make nothing work. The hall was filling up with people and I neither had sound or pictures - what was I going to do - sing?!
I quickly switched to my equipment, and with seconds to spare, it all began to work.
I think my talk, which is  about my paintings (you can see more details on the ART LECTURE page of my website), went well and I received quite a few complementary comments at the end.
The best one came from an old gentleman who said
 'I thought you were just showing pictures about your family, when half way through, I realised you were talking about my family as well'

Just the sort of comment I was looking for.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Through The Keyhole

The  virtual tour of Ted Coney's Family Portraits is coming on well, I think.
Colin has shown me several versions and I feel he is getting close to finishing. Mercifully, the bits of me are not too bad and I manage not to fluff my lines. I am only seen speaking briefly in the film,  at the beginning and  end and then a back view where I am 'flying' to Hollywood in the Morris Minor.
The film starts with my logo of the keyhole with a section of my latest painting
'The Rashomon Effect'  behind it. Colin is going to try and give the feeling of passing through the keyhole, as the next shot will be of me working on the same painting in my studio.
Lets hope he can make it work as I think it will make a great beginning.