Friday, 29 May 2020

Supporting Tourism

I've just had two letters printed in the newspaper this week, both bemoaning the lack of support from the Council for local tourism.
When I set  up Ted Coney's Family Portraits eleven years ago, the City had a vibrant arts community which I could connect to.
It still has, but I sometimes feel the City and District Councils could do more to help.
One of my letters was about the proposed cancellation of the Christmas Lights Switch-On in view of the pandemic. My suggestion was to put the lights up anyway, without a grand opening, as this would cheer everyone up.
My other letter was about a planning application for an out of town shopping centre close by,which they approved.
 In the coming months we will need to get visitors into Ely - not drive them away!

Friday, 22 May 2020

Last Soap Standing

When the pandemic began there was a big rush to buy soaps, hand gels and cleaning materials. Thankfully things have calmed down a bit,but at the time I felt the need to lock my newly acquired Christmas present in a  cabinet for safe keeping.
My brother had bought me a bar of soap in the shape of the  character 'Mr Turnip'. It had cost him a £1 (he told me gleefully) and dated back to the 1950s when I watched the puppet as a child on television.
I am always keen to add to my collection of objects that have inspired me in my painting and you can see two examples on my PRINTS FOR SALE page.
'The Enigma of the Chinese Mask' and 'Diamonds' both use my childhood memories of Mr Turnip to say things about family life.
I have promised my wife that if our backs are against the wall then we'll have to use the soap.

Friday, 15 May 2020

A Toady Green

Johnathan rang to say that he had finished making the circular frame for my painting,
'Who Stole The Toothpaste?' (you can still see the painting on my NEWS AND REVIEWS page).
Normally, I would then go to his workshop to discuss the colour of the frame but ofcourse things are different at the moment.
I do have great faith in Johnathan's judgement as he has been making frames for my pictures for nearly forty years. So I said 'make it a toady green' and then followed it up with 'maybe a toady greenish grey'.
He promised to deliver the painting at some point but said I won't be able to open the package for the 36 hours.
I can't wait.

Friday, 8 May 2020

More Than The Repair

Have you seen the T.V. programme, 'The Repair Shop'? I avoided it for a while as I imagined that it would be like watching paint dry!
However, during lockdown I was tempted and now am thoroughly hooked. Yes, you do see a bit of  repairing but the most interesting thing for me is the stories behind the objects and the emotions they evoke in their owners.
That is why I use objects to tell  family stories in my paintings and sometimes use them almost as symbols for things I want to show.
An example of this was using the puppet Muffin the Mule to represent my brother in my painting
 'David's Journey' but also see him as an icon of the 1940s.
You can see the painting on the PRINTS FOR SALE page on my website.

Friday, 1 May 2020


I've been  making experiments for my next painting using clown faces and called 'Eggheads'.
The title comes from the fact that all new clowns have their make-up verified by being painted on a ceramic egg.
I'm using the faces to represent different brothers in the family and  gradually splitting the images  up to show the changes from one generation to another.
Recently I've been making drawings from a photograph of a face laid under a right angled mirror with the effect rather like a kaleidoscope. After each drawing I put that under the mirrors so the next one becomes more complex. I have also  started to paint them on small  canvases to try and work out the colour scheme. I quite like the idea of painting the faces over a dark background as this gives the images more depth.