So touched as receive lovely call from Alison Freeman, Bob’s widow, thanking me for my card. Like us they are a very creative family.
Then shortly after, a call from Martin Kiszko. All very exciting as he is working with Water Aid as a sort of poet in residence and is helping them with a children's poetry competition. His new book of green poems “Verse for the Earth” illustrated again by Nick Park will be launched in Bristol and London in March. So pleased as was able to sponsor a poem - such a wonderful opportunity. He’s also working with the organiser of the Bristol “European Green Capital’ for 2015. He’s been getting lots of television and media coverage - such a multi talented man he deserves the acclaim.
Trying to get three of the works on my easels ready enough for snapshots to give Matthew at Panter and Hall an idea of where to place them in their catalogue.....
....send them off this morning.
Have written e mails to Artshape; Cheltenham Open Studios; Art Gallery & Museum and Gloucestershire College to see if any links can be formed with the Aston Project over the past three or four days.
I’m thrilled to have won several of the hearts I bid on for the Heart Foundation’s little auction for Valentine’s Day. I also received a really nice e mail from Marcus Green the photographer in Stroud who has won mine, saying that he is ‘insanely pleased to have won it’. Richard’s has gone to a marriage celebrant who wants to put it in her portfolio. I’m thinking of juxtaposing all those I have won in a one frame.
Continue on the three newer works.
Its a bright sunny day although still cold when Lea and Morag, two policewomen who run the Aston Project with the help of volunteers, come for lunch. After an introduction to Morag who I haven’t met before but who is equally as engaging as Lea with her stories of the work they do with the ninety 10 to 18 year olds who are part of the Aston Project. These youngsters from challenging back grounds work for time credits (often with local businesses free of charge) one hour one credit which the Aston Project then turn into activities that the they would particularly like to do but would probably not have the opportunity to do otherwise. Some of the stories of the progress they have made are very moving. We spend rather a long time in the studio so it is two before se come over for lunch and before I know it there’s a call from Jane Smoczynski (who needs directing from the Thythe Barn) and has come also to have a look at the studio and discuss the Winchcombe Festival at which I’m giving a talk and exhibiting a couple of my horses and other works. Its good to meet her and she has quite a conversation with Lea and Morag too and gives them one of the leaflets for the Art Trail. Lea and Morag leave about half past three as Morag has children from the Project arriving about four so I give them some clay that doesn’t dry out, leaflets for a local pottery and various contact numbers such as Paul head of creative and performing arts at the National Star College who has said he’d be pleased to meet with them to discuss possibilities. I take Jane over to have a look at the studio and talk about ideas for the festival. Then it’s back to my easel.
ﾠEmail from Rob saying he’s paid money in for my Dinner Party painting which he sold at the Fair.
Call from Gary re the little Rodin bronze I am considering giving to the Art Gallery & Museum.
During the day working in the studio but in the early hours write letters about the Aston Project
Busy finishing off three of the newer works for the catalogue. Then receive phone call from Nathan who flew back from a job in Berlin where he’d been for three weeks, this morning. It all sounded very exciting, especially his descriptions of the artistic community who live and work there, including some of his friends from the Slade.
R went up to London to get stretchers and paint.
Still refining the three new works for the catalogue
After working all day and into the evening in studio suddenly remember I haven’t sent an image or bio to Jane Smoczynski for the Winchcombe Festival of music and Arts. Feel rather guilty as had meant to send it at the beginning of the week. So not surprised when receive a very sweet e mail asking if I could do one for her.
Yesterday I found one of the paintings I’d put to one side early last year that now seems to fit the title of the exhibition “Past, Present and Future” Richard’s always really liked it and has tried to get me to finish it on several occasions but now it does seems appropriate.
Work intensely on the “Past, Present & Future” until the early hours when Richard sets up with the new camera and tripod; he’s gradually learning more and more about its capabilities.
R had prepared two large squares of plywood which he’d primed with gesso and set one on my easel so I am able to commence upon the Star especially for the Star College’s ‘Be a Star for the Star’ Project.
Having mixed up a lovely new red I begin creating aﾠlarge star which, being freehand will hopefully have more character than if I was drawing it up to measurements or with a ruler.
Working on the Star which R photographs me doing to send one to Gill Henry at the Star in the early hours saying “as you can see I am on the job”
enthusiastic reply from Gill asking if the Team can use the photo on the leaflet and Facebook etc. as a build up to their ‘Be a Star for the Star’
E mail from Graham, chair of the Holst Birthplace Museum re the painting/ set of paintings I am doing to celebrate the centenary of the writing The Planets. Richard’s already cut out the wooden panels and primed them. I am hoping to have them ready to go on show at the Museum by the end of April.
Richard notices on the e mail that comes from Christies in New York that Barry Friedman, the celebrated New York art dealer who has bought and exhibited my work, is retiring and they are holding a four day auction of over 400 of his items. Like Alain Blondel he is an expert on Art Deco and it was they who introduced him to the work of Tamara de Lempika. I have vivid memories of us all going to dinner with the Professors Philip and Nancy Kotler in Chicago when Barry and the Blondels were showing a large group of my paintings at the Chicago Art Fair. His wife dealt in vintage clothes and I can remember Barry wearing a tie painted by Salvador Dali. Which reminds me that I had a show running in Toronto at about the same time and so I was short of a chevron shaped newspaper painting. Although I had started another one which was shipped over to the Fair with the rest of my works, it still needed a more work. So R collected it from the Fair in a taxi and brought it back to the Swiss hotel where were staying, covered the floor and bed with polythene sheets we had brought with us, unpacked the paints and brushes and I worked through the night on it for R to return and hang in the morning. We had room service for dinner amidst it all!
Have been working on the ‘Star for the Star’ and a couple of my charity miniatures that were still outstanding
Shush! Working on a small surprise painting for R’s anniversaire.
Richard’s birthday today and on time a package arrives containing the Gwen Raveret wood engraving entitles The Visitation that I have bought for him.
Angela Brown comes to collect her miniature Hare. Her son had also been at the Abbey School with Nathan and he and Charlie Bock also applied for the art scholarship to Cheltenham College in the year that Nathan won it.
Call from Brenda, churchwarden, talking about the altarpiece. I offer to write down my thoughts so that she can send them out a week in advance of the PCC meeting. I also volunteer to go and speak to them. Jess phones during the evening as she has some collectors in New York who are keen on a painting.
Daphne and Michael come for supper as do Jane and David who have just returned from spending the winter in Australia. The other miniature was for Jane. Its a lovely evening with a lot of laughter.
R goes up to London in a large hired van to deliver the big, big works
E mail from Martin invitation to the London launch of his new book of green poetry ‘Verse for the Earth’ with illustrations by Nick Park which will be held in the gallery on the last evening of my exhibition. It should be a very exciting event as Martin will perform some of the poems with projections of Nick’s illustrations, they will then both sign books.
Have continued working on the large star for the Star over the past couple of weeks and tonight add more to the photomontage of film and pop stars that R has digitally altered to break them down into fewer tones for me, it is great fun!!!