Kev and Nathan take the boys skate boarding though as Nathan explains to them these skills take many years to learn !! especially as Samuel is only four and Isaac 6.
Working on the commission for Standard Chartered Bank.
Gloucester City Museum exhibition has closed so R starts to collect work back.
Wallace comes from Banbury to help R dismantle and return Gloucestershire College's GloCorama. In between they come back here for lunch. Dear Wallace had kindly loaned three of his paintings for Gloucester and one for ‘Through a Glass Darkly’ at the Parabola; he’s such a good friend and collector.
Early evening we go to the Pump Rooms for the opening event of Cheltenham’s International Music Festival, guitar recital by Milos, a string quartet of Haydn by the Caduccis with a fantastic finale of a Boccherini Guitar Quintet. All thanks to Peter and Beverley who have gone to their lovely son Tom’s graduation in animal biology at Birmingham University.
This is the third day of R bringing things back form Gloucester City Museum during this time I’ve been working on the commission for Standard Chartered Bank.
Over to Simon Chorley’s auction house for the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire’s ‘Treasures of Gloucestershire’ exhibition in celebration of the Queen’s diamond jubilee. I’m touched that my painting The Outsider is amongst the 160 fabulous, historic pieces They have organised a Gloucestershire craftsman and craftswoman's award to Rosie Hofman and Nick Ozanne to whom I have the pleasure of presenting the awards on behalf of the Hon Co. which gave me a moment to stress how important it is to encourage craftsmen and women in the County as we do need people who make things not only to enrich the community but also to bring visitors and help boost the economy.
Really touched as Jane and Stephen invite us back to supper with Sir Nicky and Karin and Tony and Jane. A delightful way to round the evening off. Jane is wonderful cook and hostess and I always enjoy talking to Stephen (playwright etc.) as its fascinating to know how someone in a different creative field works.
Just received installation photograph from the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art in Japan of one of the galleries housing my exhibition there.
Tracey Allen and her Mum Gill come to tea, Tracey bearing four copies of the RAF News with the feature on my Mum and a photograph of her partially overlaying one of my Father as a young Warrant Officer with his crew when they flew for the RAF to collect weather conditions over the Atlantic, even when other planes were grounded due to bad weather. In the centre of the article is a big reproduction of Radio Pram (New Hall collection University of Cambridge), a painting I did of me as a baby being pushed by them with a large valve radio which when the pram went round corners often increased in volume. And I’ve always wondered what people must have thought of the infant within it who caused such a lot of noise to emanate from within. To the right hand side of the article is a photograph Tracey took of my Mum and me. Tracey is also collecting a small painting she has bought the proceeds of which will be going to my bursary and prize fund.
Over to Stow for the opening of the Fosse Gallery’s summer exhibition en route to my sister Gill's near Bedford. Sharron introduces me to Huon Mallalieu the journalist and writer who had written a piece on one of my Brian Sinfield exhibitions for the Antique Trade Gazette.
We arrive in Blunham at the house where John Donne once lived whist Rector of the church which lays opposite. Its a lovely house that still has some of its very old wall paintings and carvings. The garden looks glorious with all Gill’s recent planting as Howell is now not mobile enough to do it anymore. Its lovely to see them and we don’t leave till about 1 am. Gill tells me she’s having tea at the House of Lords on Tuesday in relation to the work she’s doing setting up new free schools.
Working on Standard Chartered commission
Two books arrive in the post an American publication ‘Teaching Film” wearing my cinema painting The Kiss.
Lovely lunch with Kathryn (Principal) and Paul (artistic director) at Star Bistro to discuss photography project Followed by a visit to the fabulous art department and workshop performance by @starcoll students and inspirational conductor Will Carslake.
In the evening enjoyed the University of Gloucestershire's Enterprise Awards 2012 particularly for entrepreneurial student ideas & business partners. Very glamorous occasion.
Up to the Star College just after 6. Sue and Andy are already there (Sue’s sporting a corsage that she’s just bought - she says the one she really wanted already had my name on it as I chose it and a couple of necklaces on Wednesday. All made by the students’ Art Factory; the jewellery and other creations are also sold in the shop in the Reception area throughout the year. I get Sue and Andy to come and help judge the finalists in the Olympic Photography competition as Sue, who also studied Art worked in photographic interpretation in the RAF - she’s a Wing Commander and now in the Reserve.
We’re then guided down towards the theatre passing student performance installations en route. I’m so pleased when we enter the theatre to see Ian and Maeve our other two guests, who like Sue and Andy had arrived just before us. We go and sit with them then Kate comes to say they have actually reserved the front row for the six of us so we feel rather honoured to have such a good view of the stage and the students’ performances which are a combination of filmed dance and theatre (including a performance of Antigone which is superb) and an exquisite dance sequence in the pool by Tayla who had also made the film - it was quite exquisite and brought tears to the eyes. Also a beautiful live dance sequence with wheelchair and dancer (I think form Gloucestershire Dance) followed by a tremendous group. A most wonderful evening
Still painting in the studio when Ian and Maeve arrive for dinner and to collect the Juri Arrak green man painting and my little seascape that they purchased from the Gloucester City Museum exhibition. They are wonderfully enthusiastic and very excited about having got Juri’s green man particularly as Toyah told me she will always regret not having got it herself. They are a delightful couple who also own two of my owl paintings from my last exhibition with the Brian Sinfield Gallery and also one that they call the ‘cross cat’ that I had donated to the Helen and Douglas House (childrens’ hospice) exhibition; they are vice Patrons of Helen and Douglas House along with Jeremy Clarkson and wife and have done a huge amount to support it over the years. He also raised an amazing over £3m for the Princes Trust of which he was an ambassador. Its a real joy to spend a second evening with them as they also came to the National Star College CAPA evening last night.
Over to Jane and David’s for late lunch. Its wonderful to sit at their dining room table and see the multitude of birds feeding from their bird table with its numerous seed, nut and fat containers suspended below. A mass of blue tits, great Tits even the woodpeckers and a female pheasant accompanied by her partner turn this scenario into an almost Japanese painting whilst a small squirrel darts to and fro. Though we don’t catch a glimpse of the young fox that feeds in the garden. Jane and David are passionate about wildlife and the environment and can often be found as volunteers bird or butterfly counting in Highnam Woods as volunteers in waders cutting the balsam from the river. Jane has made goats cheese soufflés, cous cous salad and whole beetroots followed by black current mouse and ice cream. We have a lovely time reminiscing about Jane’s Mum Joyce who sadly died a couple of months ago and shared experiences etc. Its about 9.30 when we leave.
Congratulations to the University of Gloucestershire and Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum for the big partnership agreement signing. Thanks to the wonderful Summerfield Trust too. A very nice event to have attended.
Parcel arrives with copies of Adam Smith’s ‘Wealth of Nations’ a sizeable tome wearing a reproduction of my painting Money Matters on the cover and spine - its just been published.
Working on painting for Rob and also running through the names of students and staff that I want to mention in tomorrows awards ceremony at the National Star College.
Call from Angarahd at the RWA saying they are proposing to do a feature on me in ART Magazine.
Up early and off to the National Star College for its annual Awards Ceremony; great joy at achievement but tinged with the sadness of partings. Its a wonderful occasion and always awe inspiring to hear what students have achieved during their two or three years at the National Star. This year they decided to use my bursary fund in a photography competition, the combined idea of Paul Tarling director of Creative and Performing Arts and Julian Ralf, head of Sports. To reflect the Olympic standards of excellence, courage, determination, friendship, equality, respect and inspiration. We’d been looking at the photographs over the past two weeks and came up with firstly the short list of six then of Thursday evening when they were up on the wall and exhibited with help of Sue and Andy, whittled it down to the final three in each category. At this mornings ceremony I’m only awarding the student Olympic and Paralympic photography prizes and also my individual photography award. They have been divided, Olympic Silver and Gold, the bronze going to Chris Kirtland for a wonderful study of intense concentration of a fellow student playing polybat which conveys determination so well. The Silver to Stacey Stephens-Lees for her almost classic photograph of equipment in the gym, conveying the courage it would need to embark on using the equipment. Thirdly for the Gold first prize, a dynamic and stunning photograph of the legs and torso of a figure whose head cannot be seen, wearing a red jacket and Man United T shirt by Emma Strong. I can’t believe its now eight years since I opened up a competition to Art students at the University to design and cast a small bronze sculpture as the trophy for the
photography Award at the National Star College. There were seven names on it but the eighth for this years award is Jacob Dewis for his digital photograph on texture, a fascinating study of a piece of basket weave that blown up big feels almost like the sinews of primordial man. He’d been working as part of Stig Godding’s Capture Photography group, where there were very may other beautiful images of textures both natural and man made by other students too. Its a beautiful event and during the buffet lunch we talk to one of the speakers, the paralympian sprinter Ben Lovegrove who as we a are speaking brings out of his pocket the silver medal he won in Beijing. A delightful young man who will I’m sure have inspired the students and staff with his encouraging tips for life after the Star, especially in grasping opportunities when they come your way as one day you may regret it when you haven’t taken them.
E mail from Maggie at Hay Hill Gallery in London’s Cork Street saying they have a couple of my paintings up in their Summer Show.
Working on the painting for Dr Lewis.
Up early for a special Bishop’s Breakfast this morning with the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. I’m particularly delighted as he comes to sit on our table next to Mark Hurrell, who tells me he had explained to the younger journalists and programme presenters there, the significance of the Archbishop visiting the diocese. He’s a very charismatic man and is every bit as wise and articulate as he comes across through the media. He also looks exactly how I imagine an Archbishop of Canterbury should look with his silver beard and slightly longer hair. I have always thought that he has a very beautiful and expressive voice. We are all touched by the fact that when he is asked by Bishop Michael to respond to the four presentations by Ruth Fitzjohn of the NHS, Andrew North CEO of Cheltenham Borough Council, John Thurston DL of the Watts Group and Dame Janet Trotter, who had addressed us at the last meeting telling us about her duties as Lord Lieutenant and her worries about lack of inclusion within the County. Rowan Williams gave an excellent response relating and entwining each of the speakers’ concerns into his own message, ending up with the thought that we must try to think rather than who is at the table of who is not. It all took place at the one year old All Saints Academy, a beautiful new very big school on the outskirts of Cheltenham that was funded by the Anglican Diocese of Gloucester and the Catholic Diocese of Bristol. We’d had a short talk by the ebullient Head followed by an award winning pupil representative who made it sound very impressive. Afterwards I chatted to the music teacher and a year 7 student and who is dyslexic and has dispraxia. A lovely boy who was hoping to become an IT designer. This school certainly seems to be all inclusive.
Richard and I spend the day working in the garden in this beautiful sunny weather now that the jet stream has moved northwards.
R drives my Mum to Greenwich to Henrietta’s where she is staying for the week, whilst I continue on the painting for Dr Lewis.
We’ve been doing quite a lot in the garden, especially Richard who’s been trimming things into shape, cutting back the ivy and grass. I’m working on both the painting for Dr Lewis and the commission for Standard Chartered.
Its my Mum’s 90th birthday; she’s doing so well and is staying with Henrietta, Kev and the little boys in Greenwich this week. So Henrietta took her out for lunch and said they were going to be meeting someone - it was such a lovely surprise for her when they pulled into the car park of a restaurant and my sister Gill put her head into her window and gave her a kiss. She phoned me with great excitement early evening to tell me all about it and later Kev sent photographs of the birthday girl with her cake and candles wearing a very big smile, sitting next to Samuel with one hand on his head. We are so fortunate that she is in such good health - I suspect that she is probably the most senior member of the aerobics, skittles and bowls groups that she attends at the senior residents club.
Busy working on all fronts in the studio. E mail from Natalie at GC thanking me for the ‘expert profile’ I’d written for their forth coming prospectus at her request.
Painting whilst R goes to collect my Mum from Henrietta and Kev’s a day early due to the effect Olympics traffic etc. in Greenwich.
We spend the day working in the garden
R’s cooked a beautiful fruit cake and added marzipan and royal icing. plus lots of other dishes such as curried chicken, poached salmon etc.
Richard pipes Happy Birthday Jessie and repeats 90 around the outside very beautifully in pink icing coloured by blackberries. People start arriving at about 2. Merril who had brought her son Harry, Uncle Les and Vera are the first to arrive, followed by my sister Gill. Then my cousin Lynn and husband Gerry and her daughter Katy with her three month old baby who is in competition with my Mum to steal the show. Then Henrietta, Kev and the little boys, my cousin Rita and her husband Raymond and my Mum’s friends Bernard and Joan from the Club. Its a lovely occasion. Kev Harry, Isaac and Samuel play cricket whilst we all reminisce and exchange stories.
Isaac wants to do scientific experiments. so today we dissolve coloured jellies which we set in conical funnels ready for tomorrows volcanoes!!
Whilst Richard Henrietta and Samuel go into Cheltenham whist Isaac requests to paint including frames at one of my easels and is very particular about what he wants and asks if he will be able to take them home with him. The volcanoes erupt magnificently with help of an injections of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar!!!
Miranda rings from Brian Sinfield gallery requesting a work for their 40th anniversary exhibition.