Nathan’s in Germany and Instagramms a post saying ‘Waiting for Wenders’ (the film director Wim Wenders.)
The catalogues arrive so I have to cancel joining the Aston Project meeting on Skype so that I can stuff them into envelopes, remembering to include the note that I have written and the card of ‘Of Jesse’s Seed’ the three dimensional work that I didn’t manage to finish in time for the catalogue itself, that relates to the Black Lives Matter movement. We set out on foot in the drizzle at 5 to 5 so think the post might have gone before we got there.
Also working on ‘A wing and a prayer’ . Richard has made me a floorboard base to situate this soft sculpture on. I also give Her face and hair another coat of medium.
A magnificent book arrives from Nathan and Clementine, the complete murals of Diego Rivera. It’s a fabulous book with lots of fold out double pages to show the whole of the beautiful murals how lucky am I.
When we go down to post another batch of catalogues there are more people out and about because of the sunshine. We pass the time of day with three neighbours in their gardens and have to make detours over the grass to get around people who are also walking in the churchyard. Though we both have our masks and gloves on it’s interesting that we only see one other person with a mask.
Mark & Ben come with their beautiful Bedlington terriers to see the ‘Shepherd & his Flock’ and for s glass of champagne in the Garden it is so good to see them and we talk a lot about the joys of gardening.
In the evening Ian and Maeve come especially to see ‘The First Extinction Rebellion’ it’s lovely to see them and we chat about the Australian holiday that they had embarked on only a week before Australia locked down, so they were forced to buy new tickets to fly back. These tickets were sold for almost five thousand dollars to them but the airline then resold them for eleven thousand dollars so that they and twenty other couples had to wait until the following morning for another flight but they did get back so have been enjoying their normal growing of lots of vegetables too. Ian comments on how pleasant it is as we sit and have our champagne in the garden. Shortly after they have left at 7 o’clock Sue and Andy and Wallace arrive at exactly the same time so it’s interesting to hear them discuss the paintings together, particularly the one that Sue and Andy had reserved as soon as they got the catalogue, ‘Tiger Lilies’ partially because it reminded her of the two old yew trees at the north door of St Edmund’s church at Stow on the Wold which had allegedly been the inspiration for Tolkein’s moonlit door into the mountains and mines of Moria in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. It is so good to catch up with them all
Robert and Toyah arrive, both wearing their face masks which they removed after they have looked at my exhibition in the studio, when we are sitting in the garden for tea. Robert has generously presented us with a bottle of champagne and they have brought another of their beautiful jade plants, an offspring of their own magnificent specimen. Robert looked very tanned from the time he’s spent watering the garden etc. As they are leaving Toyah says that if she was able to afford it she would have liked the ladies in the garden Passe, Present, Futur and The Dream but like everyone they haven’t been able to go out on tour. It was such a joy to see them both looking very well. Shortly after they leave Vic and Suzy arrive. Unbeknown to Suzy, Vic is buying “The Lighthouse Keeper’s Family” for her birthday on Friday which is very touching - Suzy thinks it has gone to someone else as it has a red spot next to it and is disappointed as they have similar work with one of Richard’s carved seagulls on top and would have liked another one to go opposite it. When she is in a different part of the studio talking to Richard Vic tells me more about the song “I want to marry a Lighthouse keeper” which was written and performed by Erika and Sunforest an American group that he managed and produced in the sixties when he was only eighteen. After their LP was launched he received a phone call from Stanley Kubrick’s office saying Stanley would like to meet him because he would like to use two of the tracks in his new film ‘A Clockwork Orange’. Vic had sent us a link to the album with Ericka’s artwork for it. Both the music and that were wonderfully evocative of that era. More recently Marks & Spencers have used the song for launching their summer collection of swimwear etc.a very stylish little film to promote their range
I need to put some finishing touches to the soft sculpture ‘A Wing and a Prayer’ so that she won’t move on her journey to the gallery tomorrow. Whilst I’m working sitting on a stool low down I look up and notice I haven’t painted the bottom facet of the ‘Night in the Metropolis’ frame and that both the sides and the bottom of ‘Seeking Pastures New’ also need a little more work. So I end up working right through the night……………
………….. until the carriers arrive and I give the works to Richard to give to them. and climb into bed about midday and getting up just after 5pm.Mark emails to say that they had got it all hung by the evening.
The Exhibition at Trinity House Modern in Broadway Opens today but this evening I am giving the welcome speech for the Friends of the Wilson’s AGM on Zoom and decide to give it from the garden as it’s brighter & lighter & less claustrophobic than indoors. It is good to see so many familiar faces, 36 in all, guided by our wise and articulate Chairman Adrian Barlow who had kindly given me a little run through earlier this afternoon. it is a good meeting and I am very touched when John Beard our amiable secretary says a thank you for the donation I had made from my Christmas open studio.
Peter and Nancy come to visit the studio, bringing two of their paintings back ‘Black Monday’ and ‘Bow Ties’ for me to touch up a little damage on each. It’s such a joy to see them. After they have looked at their paintings in the studio we sit in the garden and have tea. It’s such a joy to see them and Nancy is doing amazingly well considering that it’s only a few weeks since she lost dear Ken she is so full of grace and composure though I know how much she must be hurting inside. Peter their youngest son and his family live almost next door; kind and caring the are a great comfort to her.
Today it’s judging the Art in the Park exhibition prize winner this year of course it’s on line. With Richard’s help I end up after a couple of hours with a short list of ten and then spot that one name has occured in it twice! so there is my winner! I highly commended the other nine but there were so many wonderfully vibrant and sincere works that have taken a lot of time and effort that are so full of the joy of creativity that I would like to commend them all.
Richard & I go to the cemetery to take a beautiful pink Hydrangea for my Mum’s grave as she would have been 98 tomorrow I can’t believe that it is already 5 years since we lost her. We place a pink African violet on my Fathers grave to her right and on Henry’s grave to her left.
A visit from Gill my sister who has driven up all the way from Bedfordshire to take lavender to Mummy ’s grave and come for lunch in the garden she brings us the most beautiful brilliant red majestic canna plant in a handsome terracotta pot; it’s such a joy to see her looking bright and well. Gill leaves late afternoon and Henrietta, Kev and the Boys arrive from Blackheath at about 8pm. Isaac & Samuel first on their scooters have sped up through the village whilst Henrietta & Kev Pick me a some copies of Cotswold Life as they have given me a superb two pages in the August edition just out. It is so glorious to see them all the boys have grown since we last saw them at the end of February. They are all staying in my studio across the Lane but we enjoy a delicious supper Cooked by Richard (on the barbecue) by fairy lights and candles in the garden. It is so very good to be together again.
After Brunch they are off to Devon to join Kev’s parents in their holiday home and the rest of the family in their holiday accommodations. Mark rings to say they have had an enquiry from a man who is keen on the horses. then later emails to say the have sold ‘Night in the Metropolis.’
Nathan rings they are back from Germany where the job went well. He & Clementine enjoyed their few days together in Berlin.
Richard brings the TLS which has just been delivered in for me with a big smile on his face as they have generously reproduced the whole of my newspaper painting “Happy New Year 2020”. which features the TLS towards the centre back; in the foreground, making reference to climate change the Independent with a large orange photograph filling the front page and a large headline Australia Ablaze.
We’re over the moon as our beloved Henrietta has just got the job of her dreams. She only spotted it a few days before the closing date for applications and after nineteen years teaching in fairly tough comprehensive the school who were making cuts in the arts. She decided to take voluntary redundancy ot really knowing quite what she was going to do until she saw this ad. So she is now a lecturer in Art & Design at Goldsmiths, University of London. She knew as soon as she saw the brief that this was the job for her and they knew as soon as she did her presentation that they loved her and they were a perfect fit. Everything about the job was exactly what she wanted. What a wonderful way to finish the month.
E mail from Mark that they have just sold another small work in the gallery which has been very busy all week.