Friday, 31 March 2017

I'm Worth It

I just announced on my website that Ted Coney's Family Portraits will be reopening for the new season on Sunday 21st April with bookings taken from 1st April.
As this is my 8th year, I have decided to put my prices up from £3 to £5 for adults and £2 to £3 for children and students.  Each tour lasts about an hour and as it takes me  two hours to set up and take down all the signs etc. this seemed like the right moment to make changes.
Several visitors had said they thought it was too cheap, and as I can only take a maximum of six people at a time, I wasn't even earning the minimum wage.
 Of course I do it more for love than money  but there are limits.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Brief Encounter

Many years ago I made a painting entitled 'Family Funeral'.
 It focused on Churchill's funeral, although I used my family to represent the ordinary people at the event. Although it was a pretty awful painting, it was the beginning of making use of my family to make images.
A couple of weeks ago we revisited Laycock and by chance went into a local pottery, to fill a bit of time before going onto Bristol.
We got talking to the potter (he hailed me as a fellow duffle coat wearer) and it turned out he was the grandson of Churchill via his father, who was illegitimate. Something to do with an Irish maid in the dim and distant past.
We had quite a chat but I forgot to ask him if he went to the funeral.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Wall Painting

Last weekend we visited Max and Sarah in their new home. They had stripped the walls and while we were there, we helped with a little decorating.
I normally dodge DIY but as their baby is due, I joined in, by painting around the edges of the walls, while they  steamed ahead with a roller over the larger areas.
The week before, I had been painting walls of a very different kind in my current painting
 'Forget-Me- Nots'.
Using a shaper (that's a stick with a rubber on the end), sponge, tissue and sandpaper I tried to get the impression of an old, peeling wall to act as a background to the images of the five sisters who will be placed on top.
I am not sure which was the most successful.

Friday, 10 March 2017

New and Old Styles

When I am publicising my pop-up gallery - Ted Coney's Family Portraits, I try to spend as little as possible on advertising. If it is free, even better.
For the last three weeks I have noticed that this weekly blog, which is also on my Facebook page reached over 140 people for three consecutive weeks. Before that it averaged about ten people a week. Hopefully, some  will visit when I reopen in late April
As well as the power social media to spread the word, I also use old style advertising because it can be just as effective in a more personal way.
For example, I attach one of my posters to my 1940 bicycle which is seen around Ely and when I travel back and forth to Cambridge on the train, for work.
I do get some quizzical looks, though.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Green and Crinkly

When the old £5 notes go out of circulation later in the year I want to keep a few back for an idea I have for a new painting about the family.
It is said  that E.H. Shepard used the interior of Ely Courthouse for his inspiration for the scene in 'The Wind in the Willows', where Toad is hauled before the Magistrates.
In my painting I see Toad as a symbol for all that is greedy and excessive about some members of the family. Unfortunately they had access too much money to early on, and any family fortune we had, is now lost. Most of it used to buy alcohol.
And the £5 notes? I want to use them to build up the texture of Toad's skin, so hopefully you only see what it is made of, when you look closely.
 I also hope to use the original courtroom in the picture.