Make short film speaking in front of the Captain’s Table’ for a group of six year 10 work experience students at the Royal West of England Academy who are curating an online exhibition drawing from the Academy’s permanent collection and would like me to speak about ‘La Prunelle de mes Yeux’. This is the rather surreal painting they have of mine in their collection which is inspired by Henrietta and Nathan as children on the brink of adolescence placed in an imaginary room that I have created for them.
Then at a quarter to four do a practice Zoom with Adrian Barlow to make sure we’re well enough connected and the sound is effective in preparation for tonight’s AGM for the Friends.
Edward and Alyson arrive at 4.30 for tea in the tent. It’s so good to see them both. Edward present me with a lovely paper cookie case full of tiny alpine strawberries just picked from their garden. Richard has made egg mayonnaise sandwiches and open gravadlax ones plus walnut cookies and a banana cake. It’s such an enjoyable hour and a half.
Then I prepare what I’m going to say and we enter the AGM a few minutes early. I’m not quite sure how long I’ve been President for but this is the 37th Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Wilson, which like the RWA is currently closed for more redevelopment. Adrian spends quite a lot of time talking about the portrait by Angelica Kauffman which they have recently been able to purchase with the help of the Art Fund and I think the £4,400 that I donated from the miniatures at Christmas went towards it, the transportation and insurance.
Keep looking at the Chelsea Arts Club canvas which measures 14 x 10 inches and is still pristine white
Listened to the quarter final of the Euros between England and Ukraine from Rome. It was an exceedingly exciting match in which the Ukrainian played very well and hard but England managed to score 3 - 0 so are through to the semi final.
Rounding off ‘Time Running Out’.
More or less finished ‘Time Running Out’ so take advantage of another idea that came to me in the night using a similar frame and format which might account for the fact that I have a human skeleton sitting on the floor next to my easel. I often find the closer I’m getting to the deadline, the greater the number of ideas that flow in, often growing out of a previous one.
Whilst working on large almost six foot square Sumo painting where the balance between the two protagonists is still in question. It seems rather appropriate to be listening to England versus Denmark at Wembley. It is a tense competition between them, a lot more difficult that the lat match against the Ukraine. Denmark scored early on and are a very powerful team of players and it is not until the second half when Raheem Sterling shoots to the goal which was deflected to the back of the net by a Danish player so an own goal he brought about to make the score 1 - 1. Sterling is then fouled in the penalty box leading Harry Kane scoring the second goal off the penalty for England to win 2 - 1.
Watch the final of the Euros between England and Italy whilst working in the studio.
England play superbly well and are only pipped to the title in a penalty shootout. But with a goalie the size of the Italians’ it was an almost impossible task. Jordan Pickford our goalie is brilliant but the Italian hieght must almost the the width of the goal when he’s horizontal; he has just been transferred to Paris Saint Germain.
Surprise parcel arrives from Perth, Western Australia from Paul and Erick
An exquisite set of six little hand made white jugs each with a different tiny bird perched on the handles so beautiful and such a lovely thought.
My shared exhibition with Dali, de Chirico, Miro and Ernst opens today at the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art in Japan. I am so touched and moved by all the care they take of all the works in hanging and presenting them. It is an honour and privilege to be showing there.
Call from Mark at Trinity House.
Have now relinquished the sumo painting “The Bout” so am having another intensive bash on “The Captain’s Table”
E mail from Nathan late evening attaching a wonderful article that he’s found in The Guardian, singing the praises of Ramsgate and nearby art, culture and outstandingly beautiful areas and architecture etc. It made a most compelling read and made one want to go there immediately though we were already smitten on our first visit. .
Kate Dove comes to collect the little painting that I have donated to her exhibition to raise money for the son of a friend of hers who has Gioblastoma, a cancer of the brain which currently cannot be treated on the NHS.
Working on Fandango for the Chelsea Arts Club charity auction when Henrietta Kev and boys arrive at about half past midnight. After they have gone to bed I recommence on Fandango for which Richard has made a splendid cardboard double box then when I relinquish it just after 3am he packs and puts in the porch ready for Royal Mail to collect in the morning.
After breakfast in the marquee, Henrietta and I do a lateral flow test (with Kev’s help) in readiness for going to the Star College for this afternoon’s awards ceremony. They have split it into six smaller events. Kev’s having to work from here today and I could hear him on zoom conference call with China from 9am. Richard ferries us, dropping Isaac and Samuel off at Pittville Park en route. Paul is there waiting to greet us and we’re taken to be checked in and hand over the results of our tests, take our masks off and replace them with the College’s. We then walk down to the hall where the ceremony is to take place.We’ve been sitting there a few minutes when the Principal greets us and tells us that there are a couple of parents still on their way so if we would like to go into the grounds for twenty minutes we will recommence then. Henrietta comments on how beautiful the grounds are as Paul guides us onto the lush lawns along which splendid outdoors exercise equipment has been erected for the students along the black rubberised path. Then on down to the far corner where there is an area with the magnificent outdoor musical instruments, tubular bells, two large xylaphones, drums etc which they purchased with the moneys that I donated through my sale of miniatures at Christmas. They are so exciting it gives me a very warm glow thinking of students being able to make music outside. We make our way back up to the hall where the ceremony takes place. It’s the first time I’ve spoken publicly wearing a mask as all the other occasions have been via zoom. I am thrilled that the recipient of my award, Molly Martin, has already received one award ; this for Capturing Art is her second then she goes onto
collect another the Making a Difference award too. I’m delighted when I speak to her later that she’s going onto Gloucestershire College which means our paths might cross again. After the ceremony Paul takes us up to the art room to show Henrietta. Whilst we are in there Richard has phoned Henrietta to say he’s back in the College car park with the boys so he then brings Samuel as Richard has told him about some of the special equipment there.
On the way back Henrietta takes Samuel in to buy some new trainers and whilst we are waiting I receive a call from Ian Richens saying they had watched the awards ceremony on zoom but couldn’t hear what I said as they had no sound. I was very touched as he told me that in June they made another gift to the Star College, buying them a special robotic student support piece of equipment that lifts a student from a horizontal to a standing position and also two sofas for the student accommodation. I’m so very touched by their generosity as I know they are vice patrons of Helen and Douglas House, a hospice for children in Oxford who they also generously support, so it gives me a very warm feeling to know that they have also fallen in love with the National Star.
When we are back home Richard cooks a lovely supper of tuna steaks and prawn kebabs on the barbecue for us all to enjoy outside in the little marquee
After brunch and before they leave, Richard gives the boys each a copy of the Inversebrates educational poetry book that he illustrated.
Samuel spots my sister Gill arriving out of my upstairs studio window as we talk about the paintings. Kev is helping her with a beautiful big red canna that she has bought for us. So she gets to see them all for a few minutes before they depart for their holiday in Devon with Kev’s parents and family. It’s lovely to see Gill who also came to put a plant on Mummy’s grave as today was her birthday - she would have been 99 but did very well to make it to only three days short of her 93rd birthday. Henrietta and I went yesterday to the cemetary with plants for her, my Dad’s and Henry’s graves - she is positioned neatly between them.
So good to chat to Gill over the lunch Richard has prepared - tuna steaks again with salsa and we drink a toast to Jessie - our Mum. After Gill leaves to visit a friend in Stratford en route home, we recommence work.
Heads down for getting all the works finished enough to be photographed for the catalogue at the beginning of August.
It’s wonderful, there seem to be daily posts form the Morohashi Museum in Japan which coupled with the Olympics coming from Tokyo makes each day very exciting.
Jean May comes for lunch in the tent. It’s lovely to see her looking so bright as she lost Brian just over a year ago and earlier this year was treated for lymphoma so has undergone chemotherapy rather like Richard was having three years ago. But lovely things are happening in her life too as her son and daughter in law live in the same grounds as her house and only two days before, gave birth in a birthing pool at home. A little girl called Lilu (french for lily) they also have two year old son called Arten.