Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Prodigal Son

Recently, we were at Corsham Court, in Wiltshire, which was the home of my old college when I studied Fine Art, over fifty years ago.
I was back to look at some of the paintings in the state rooms (I never did look, as a student) using an old catalogue, friends had given me for a birthday present.
I was particularly interested in the painting 'The Prodigal Son', not so much for its subject matter, but more in the way it was laid out.
It was like a very early comic strip, in that different parts of the story were being told within the one picture.
It has given me  ideas for the composition of a painting I want to do eventually, where Mr Toad represents all the greed and wasted potential that existed in my family.
His downfall and subsequent punishment mirrors exactly what happened to certain members of the Coney clan who drank their way through a small fortune, a hundred years ago.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Strawberries And Selfies

I did a tour of Ted Coney's Family Portraits for some of my lovely students the other week. I hope they enjoyed the experience and they did write nice things in my Visitors book (well they would, wouldn't they?)
They also brought me a punnet of strawberries when they arrived.
I noticed that they took a lot of photos with their phones, both of themselves and the paintings - without asking.
I didn't mind, but no wonder I didn't sell any postcards!

Friday, 19 May 2017

Monkey Business

Seventy years ago I remember playing with a cheap metal figurine, while we were on holiday in the small East Yorkshire town of Withernsea. It rained a lot there.
The object had been bought from a gift shop and was in the shape of  three wise monkeys 'Hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil'.
It sat on a shelf in my grandparents house for many years and eventually my mother must have inherited it. When the house was sold, I finally claimed the object and it has been sitting in my studio for a while now.
It is  one of the 'Withernsea' objects for the new painting I am working on, entitled
 'Forget-Me- Nots '.
You can spot the monkeys at the start of a TV news item I was featured  in recently.
 It appears at the top of the MEDIA page on my website.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Sketching Sebastian

I made drawings of my own children after they were born and some of these images made their way into final paintings such as 'Ghosts' (Yve), 'Lifeline To Leo' and 'Max's Diary'.
Although I also made sketches of my first grandchildren, Barnaby and Poppy, by this time the paintings were using other means of presenting  ideas about the family.
With Barnaby it was a thin slither of gold leaf in my picture 'Minglelands' and Poppy appeared as dawn light in 'Another Year'.
It was a great privilege to be sketching my new grandson, Sebastian last week and I am sure I will mark his birth in some way, eventually. When Max told me he had cut the umbilical cord, ideas started to gather.
You can see all these paintings when you next book a tour at Ted Coney's Family Portraits

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Rembrandt's Squiggles

We've just been to Hull to take part in the City of Culture celebrations. The best thing for me was seeing a painting by Rembrandt from the Royal Collection.
It is entitled 'The Shipbuilder and his Wife' and has the most wonderful bit of painting you could wish to see. When you look closely at the edge of the shipbuilder's ruff it looks like a mass of squiggles of oil paint but when you stand further away - the magic happens.
In my current painting 'Forget-Me- Nots'  I want to paint sections of  objects coming out of the darkness and this trick of Rembrandt's has really inspired me.
 I won't pull it off ofcourse, but what a great example to follow.