..which Richard takes to be photographed. Later we e mail them to Sharon and am delighted when she replies that they are ‘absolutely gorgeous’.
Henrietta, Kev and the little boys arrive at lunchtime at the same time as I’m talking on the phone to Nathan. A little later Richard accompanies Kev driving to Bristol to collect a tent. Just after they leave I get call from a Dipak Sutaria who tells me he went to see my exhibition in Gloucester yesterday and wondered if he can come and visit the studio. I say yes although there isn’t a lot of work since most of it is in Gloucester. He runs an Indian tour company so he and Henrietta, who spent three months there between doing her PGCE at Greenwich and her MA at Central St Martins chat about India.
After Dipak has left, Henrietta takes Samuel to the playground whilst I entertain Isaac who builds a city out of all the small silver cosmetic boxes that I save for the purpose plus a few of my paint brush boxes etc. on which he proceeds to write names of shops which include the ‘Mums Shop’ and the ‘Bad Shop’. I also find him laying out the alphabet across the floor with the animal flash cards I’d bought from the Tate a few years ago. My Mum comes to supper to in the evening
Nice e mail from Paul Tarling head of creative and performing arts at the Star telling me when the their CAPA evening is. Also asking if they could use the bursary money that I donated, towards a photography competition that has been open to both students and staff with a gold, silver and bronze category reflecting the Olympic and Paralympic values of excellence, courage, friendship, determination, respect, equality and inspiration. He asks if I will judge them.Take Isaac and Samuel to The Jubilee Jamboree organised by the Friends of Cheltenham Art Galleryand Museum-they particularly love the Punch and Judy show.
H K, I and Samuel leave for Devon. Have been working intensely on Beverley’s painting as there were some changes I wanted to make in order that we can unveil it when she and Peter come to supper on the 12th just before her birthday.
Over to Gloucester for a talk to the Museum’s Culture Club. A delightful group including ladies from the Red Hat Society which I had previously known nothing about. It started in America. A lovely woman introduced herself to me after the talk who had been a great friend of Canon Alec Walmsley and his wife Alison who became dear friends of ours too. He and Alison lived in the Cathedral Close. Richard had been hanging up the Rood at the Cathedral (which was on tour before it was installed at St Michael & All Angels Bishops Cleeve ) and Alec stopped on his way from taking a service in the Lady Chapel to say that “..the person who painted that really believed..” He invited Richard to go to his house for a cup of tea, inviting us both to go back again. And it was through Alec that I met Revd Ian Watson who commissioned me to paint a large triptych based on the life of Saint Nicholas for Heathmount School (where Cecil Beaton was an old boy). Sadly Alec, Alison and Ian are no longer with us but have fond memories.
When we get back from Gloucester we go round to my Mum’s where her niece Rita and her husband are visiting. Its lovely to see them both and hear about their recent trip to America.
Whilst we were out yesterday Lee my New York dealer left a message saying that they would be here for three days later this month and she’d really like to meet up in London. So arrange to take them to dinner at the Chelsea Arts Club after the ACS party.
Attend the 5th anniversary party of the Gardens Gallery which I had the honour of opening five years go with the help of Councillor John Rawson who was the Mayor at that time. Delighted to see Martin Horwood, Cheltenham’s LibDem MP, such an affable man - when I enquire about Shona and the children (Mia and Sam) he tells me that Sam is watching the football and that Mia got two gold medals and three silver for her dancing in the Performing Arts Festival. I’m not at all surprised as we had seen her dancing in the pantomime at the Everyman just before Christmas. The are a delightful family. Colin Hay the new Mayor comes and introduces himself and I say how grateful I am as President of the Friends of Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, that he has chosen to support their appeal for the Museum’s new development as one of his three charities and apologise for not getting to the Mayor making ceremony. His wife, also a councillor, is equally nice and is a furniture restorer.
There are lots of familiar faces here including Bob Freeman who has kept the gallery going with the help of people like Caroline Davis and the other committee members. Its a brilliant ‘not for profit gallery owned by the Council but run by a committee for the community and numerous groups of artists have shown here often selling to a very keen audience. It has proved to be very popular and has bookings into 2015. It was very much the vision of dear Hazel Kitchen who beavered away for very many years to try an persuade the powers that be, that this old open air theatre building should be renovated and turned into a community gallery. Sadly dear Hazel died not long after the gallery opened but there is a beautiful bench outside with a plaque in memory of her.
Attend private view at Parbola Arts Centre. Delighted with the way that Niki has curated the show and exhibited my work. Dear Wallace and George come all the way from Banbury.
Delicious lunch and lovely afternoon at Janet and David’s in Worcester with Joyce - supportive and caring friends I’ve had since student days.
John Duck phoned me this morning with the very sad news that his mother dear Minnie had died at the weekend. She’s gone to bed and when her daughter Sheila went in to put drops in her eyes she had quit this mortal coil. Minnie was an angel, a dear dear friend to my Mum especially after my Father died and an absolute angel to Richard’s Father whom she came each day to visit, cooking his lunch and tea every day during the last few months of his life. I would sometime peep in through the glass door during the afternoon and see them both asleep in arm chairs. She was such a caring and kind lady.
Peter and Beverley come for supper. Its Beverley’s birthday on Thursday and I have been doing some more work on her painting over the last few months. It was commissioned by Peter especially for her so its very important for me that she feels happy with the painting. I have it veiled on an easel where it can be seen whilst we eating so the anticipation builds up during the course of the meal though I do see Peter take a little peep between courses. They are delightful company and have given me a jubilee corsage and us a jubilee rose, not to mention the chocolate pigs and wine. Eventually, before the cheese and coffee, I unveil it and am so pleased that they are very pleased with it and notice different aspects and additions.
E mail from Toyah attaching some beautiful photographs of her on the stairwell of her house, in between my paintings - stunningly composed by her official photographer Dean Stockings - asking for my permission for my paintings to be in shot. Toyah looks beautiful and I think is wearing the costume she wore when she performed with The Humans at St Michael and All Angels here in Bishops Cleeve as a warm up for the national tour they went on which commenced the day after.
Call from Stephen who’s now off his sticks after breaking his leg and thanks me for my recent news update on the arts activities I’ve been involved with which he says he’s duly reported to Court. He also wants to ask my advice on the judging of the two prizes for craftsmen that are being awarded by the Honourable Company and asks if I’d like to go along to the judging tomorrow afternoon.
Up early to go to the Bishop’s Breakfast meeting which today is close by at the Racecourse courtesy of Edward who is however away on business at the Swedish Grand National. Bump into Ruth Fitzjohn on the way in; I comment that we haven’t seen each other for a long time as she wasn’t at the last breakfast and I missed the two previous to that but I’m most touched when she says she keeps up with what I’m doing as she follows me on Twitter. She’s a lovely generous spirited person who heads Gloucestershire NHS Primary Care Trust. She introduces me to Michael Matthews the new Chief Constable who seems very nice. Today’s presentation is by Dame Janet Trotter, the Lord Lieutenant, who talks in an easy witty and moving way about her role. Home briefly to look at post before setting out for the Forest for the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail trustees meeting. Am there a little early so chat to Paul Harper who tells me that both Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum and the Holst have a piece of his work a desk and cabinet. I’m quite relieved as he tells me that, like me, he’s missed the last two meetings. Andrew and other member arrive shortly after and we move into the meeting room for our meeting. I’m asked if I will prepare a paper on the advantages and possibility of forming a group of Friends of the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail at the AGM, which will be held in Westonbirt in three months time.
E mail from the curator at the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art in Japan who are staging an exhibition of my work there from July to the end of November entitled PJ Crook - The wind from the UK.
To the Cathedral for the Hurrel wedding and which is enchanting in this sublime setting with exquisite music and delightful company.
Working on commission for Standard Chartered Bank etc.
Richard, my Mum and I go to Minnie’s funeral. Minnie was the most wonderful friend to my Mum and also Richard’s Dad. We encourage my Mum to go to the reception at the King’s Head afterwards with Bernard and Joan as we unfortunately can’t as have to prepare for presiding over the AGM for the wonderful Friends of @cheltenhamagm with it’s dedicated committee followed by Brilliant talk by Simon Chorley Fakes & Forgeries!
At the meeting Patrick Brooke, Warden on the Honourable Company who is also the Treasurer of the Museum’s development board, gives me a letter in an envelope and says its “...in appreciation of my contribution being the enormous amount of work and effort you put into the arts and educational causes in the county..” I'm so touched.
Working on the commission for Standard Chartered Bank in Dubai
Send images, photographs and texts (updated cv and message to visitors) at the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art where my exhibition opens early in July.
Over to Gloucester early evening for Bishop Michael and Alison’s Midsummer Garden Party. Really pleased as we meet Pete and Carole Bungard on the way in - Carole is looking and sounding remarkably good after the awful accident where she was knocked down crossing the road. Lots of lovely familiar faces and meet some new ones too.
Nathan and Ruth arrive during the afternoon. Its so good to see them. Nathan shows us some of the new short films and videos they have been working on.
Unfortunately don’t go to Nicky and Karin’s Ruby anniversary drinks party at Owlpen as Nathan and Ruth are home for the first time since Christmas - though have seen N in between in London.
Brilliant awards ceremony at Gloucestershire College where I presented three art prizes. Fabulous exhibition lots of students to look out for. Congratulations ! it was particularly good to see the beautiful work by Craig and James who were both previously at the Star.
Lovely summer party given by Harriet the Bridgeman Art Library in garden of the Chelsea Arts Club. Dinner there after with my dealers Lee & Jim from NY
Go to Garden Gallery opening for exhibition in aid of the Friends fund for the Museums new development Lovely to see so many of my guests dear Daphne and Michael buy my Locals Giclee (100% to the fund) I buy a framed print and Lovely Jane and David purchase Bob Freeman’s Mousehole before coming back to supper with us.
Why has it taken me so long after having been invited by Who’s Who to be in their 2013 edition, to write my entry? But hey! today’s my birthday and I manage to complete it.
Lovely birthday greetings e mail from Margus and lots of lovely cards from my near and dear.
Such a moving occasion had joy of presenting the Alderman Knight School leavers with their Awards. V good luck and congratulations to all 16.
Touched when boys who came to my Gloucester show ran out to greet me as I caught first glimpse of my horse in situ at Alderman Knight School
Statement from the Bridgeman Art Library for reproductions in the UK, Spain, France, United States.
R goes to the railway station to collect Nathan and Ruth and Henrietta Kev Isasc and Samuel arrive before they are back. The little boys are full of energy and immediately want me to start chasing them through the rooms f the house. They all look really well. R, N and R come back shortly afterwards having gone via another possible wedding venue for next year. The boys are very excited as Nathan has brought two skate boards down for them onto which he begins to fix the wheels. We have a lovely birthday cake session with their tea; I always get a lot of assistance from Isaac and Samuel in the blowing out of the candles which adorn the handsome cake that Richard has made for me. They then have a skate boarding session outside before going to bed after which we all have a lovely dinner again prepared by R.