Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Sticky Fingers

To my horror, the mock wedding cake, which I had specially commissioned for my next painting, had gone sticky.
Although the cake is made of polystyrene, it is covered with royal icing, which I was told was especially hard.
 Just before Christmas I peeped into the boxes to check that all was well and discovered that some of the decoration had started to peel off the cake in an alarming way.
I rushed around to seek advice from Yvonne, but unfortunately she wasn't there. Both her daughter (who said she didn't know anything about cakes) and I agreed, that maybe the sun had got into the studio and melted the icing. So I moved it all into the garage, which is even colder and gets no sun at all.
It turned out that this strategy was completely wrong and when I finally spoke to Yvonne she advised me to move the cake into the house, where it would be warmer and allow the moisture to dry out. After a night in the garage the cake had got worse and one of the bride's head's had fallen off!
As I need the cake to work from for my new painting, 'Bicycle Thieves'  I must keep it in an even temperature, now.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Seeing Double

I think the Ely News may have got a bit bored with advertising Ted Coney's Family Portraits recently as they didn't take up my latest offer of featuring a story. So I was amused to see that there was not one but TWO pictures of me on the front of the newspaper, last week.
I was actually disguised as Father Christmas doing my usual sleigh trip around Ely, but for obvious reasons couldn't use the photos for publicising my pop-up gallery. Pity.
It really is quite a gruelling experience playing Father Christmas, even though you are sat down. Apart from the arm aching from three hours of waiving (new respect for the Queen), your face becomes very tickly from the curly beard and wig.
Towards the end, when my beard had risen up and the wig and hat had slumped down, I could hardly see, anymore. At one point I realised I was waiving to two wheelie bins.
Happy Christmas!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Don't Tell The Dean

The Dean of Ely  turned down the offer of displaying my painting, 'Another Year' as a way of advertising the sale of prints of the same image, with  profits going to the Cathedral.
I thought the prints would sell because the image is of dawn and dusk falling on the Cathedral in a continuous, circular flow. You can see the painting on the PRINTS FOR SALE page on my website.
About a year later I took 100 postcards of the same image to the Cathedral shop and they sold them all and asked for more.
Now they have agreed to sell the prints - but don't tell the Dean.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Goodbye To All That

I closed Ted Coney's Family Portraits for the winter, last Sunday and reopen again in April 2016. We now need to reorganise the house, ready for the family coming at Christmas.
I had some nice comments from the visitors who came on the last tours, with one couple trying to pay me £6 each to come in (rather than £3) as they thought it was too cheap. I had to explain that I had a lot of flyers and posters left showing the cheaper price !
Ofcourse, everyone always asks if the painting 'No More Twist' is about voodoo (no it isn't) but I also had some interesting questions concerning the picture, 'Another Year'. This is a painting showing the dawn and dusk falling on Ely Cathedral and you can see it on the PRINTS FOR SALE page of my website. I always explain that there was quite a lot of  preparation for this piece.
As well as taking photographs at different times of day and night, I also made quick sketch paintings on black paper from direct observation.
I even built, with the help of my son  and brother, an excruciatingly difficult model of the Cathedral, so I could light it in different ways, to make studies from.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Remember Me?

Recently, I was invited by my old school - Hills Road Sixth Form College, where I had taught Art for 34 years,  to join their online Alumni website.
As  I have already had former students contact me and visit
Ted Coney's Family Portraits , this seemed a good way of getting in touch.
Soon after I joined, they suggested  I  take part in a Q and A session, to explain what I was doing now. As this was further publicity and  would let people know I was still alive, ofcourse I agreed!
I was asked  for  the inspiration behind the pop -up gallery -  and if the Morris Minor was still going strong, among other questions.
Anyway, you can read the full interview on my NEWS AND REVIEWS page, it's quite near the top.