Yukari, curator at the Morohshi Museum of Modern Art send copy of flyer for the exhibition, which is growing ever nearer.
Over to the board room of Gloucester College Cheltenham campus for the lunch and presentation to the hon vice Presidents, who all try to help with encouraging advice and comments etc The College is as always making great progress, and improvements to streamline their courses and make them as accessible as possible to their students. They have now bought a house! that the construction students are renovating, a wonderfully far sighted project.
Just as we are arriving back, we spot Adriane a student from Gloucestershire College, who has come to visit the studio and for me to look at her work and advise her, bearing a beautiful arrangement of flowers that she has made for me.
Over to Worcester to dear Janet and David’s for lunch where lovely Joyce joins us too. Its such a joy to be there in their beautiful home surrounded by Janet’s brilliant paintings. Just time to catch up before we need to return as Dominic Cotter from BBC Radio Gloucestershire is coming to interview me as part of a feature on Bishop’s Cleeve he is recording to broadcast in a couple of weeks time.
Back in studio working on an Owl for the Japanese museum show
Up to London for Mother’s day Lunch and belated birthday celebrations for Isaac and Richard. Nathan arrives shortly after us bearing the most exquisite
bunch of enormous delicately coloured roses other and exotic blooms for me.
such a delicious lunch and delightful afternoon and evening. Arrive back in the early hours.
Back at work finishing the Owl.
Lots of correspondence and communications re the Japanese exhibition and finishing work ………
……so unfortunately don’t think I can make the Bishop’s Breakfast meeting at Imjin Barracks. Nice little note back from +Rachel.
Manage to plough through most of the work and go a little late to the Sue Ryder day hospice as I’d promised Candia I would try. Cotswold Life are working with the Sue Ryder Hospice as one of their charities this year. It is an amazing place where we visited lovely friend and collector Rita Peters during the last stage of her life. She slept peacefully and heavily and drifted off from this world to the next that without being on medication. We were struck at the time by the peace and serenity of this place; how quietly and with such dedication the staff worked. I also remembered my Mum’s friend Della who used to go to the day centre here where lots of activities including art and that Richard and I came and gave a talk here some years ago too. The director talked very informatively and caringly about it and the work they do. Its the only residential hospice in the county and people often come, then go home then return or attend the very therapeutic art classes. And it is to help raise funds via art that we are here this evening (including Alex Chalk Cheltenham’s MP. Art is of course a brilliant form of therapeutic self expression and this is the launch of their Art Affirming Life campaign. We are all given a paint brush to take away with us and invited to go into the art room which we do after chatting to Kitty, Cotswold Life’s young artist in residence and her husband (technical manager at Evesham Theatre). Candia and Tony are busy drawing away. When I enquire whether ArtShape have ever been in to do any workshops Amabel’s face lights up and she tells me it was though Artshape she did a course that gave her back her confidence and self belief to know she could study for an MA whilst working at Sue Ryder and being a single Mum to three little boys. She has a lovely vibrant smile and I’m sure this happy disposition will also have a uplifting effect on the people and patients who come and work with her her. She’d like to do a PhD but is paying off the mortgage. She seemed a perfect example to hold up during the week celebrating women and what they can achieve, given the chance.
Back home to continue work.
Sue and Andy call over in the afternoon to deliver The Big Wave, the painting with the Japanese theme they are loaning to the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art for my forthcoming exhibition there. Its lovely to see them and catch up as we haven’t seen them since the Christmas Open Studio. They are wonderful supporters. Have very interesting conversation with Sue about the complicated logistics of winding down a charity and making its assets available to other charities. For many years she has been a trustee and helped run the Nate Club founded by a doctor who lived in Bourton on the Water too, many years ago, for elderly residents and those with disabilities. Its building had become so run down due to the flooding that the repairs were beginning to outstrip the assets and there were only a few members left, who have now been absorbed into a similar nearby day centre. I was fascinating to hear how the woodworking equipment went to ‘Men in Sheds’ a charity for older men who want to learn new skills etc. originally started by Age UK but now run at local levels.
Busy in studio
Over to Su Billington’s Deepspace to look at her poster exhibition part of the Gloucestershire Printmakers’ Impress Festival. Its a great space where Su organises lots of activities and event. Then over to Standish to see Ian and Maeve who are loaning their Badger painting for Japan. I’m always rather awestruck by the scale and beauty of their converted ancient barn and it’s beautiful garden and grounds. We sit and enjoy a piece of Maeve’s cold-tea cake with cups of tea. Interesting always to talk to them about the brilliant work they do as Patrons of Helen and Douglas House hospice for children in Oxford. They have recently refurbished a sensory room with a hologram fish pool that ripples as you step into it and the fish swim around your feet and headsets where you experience other environments. Plus the money to keep it running. They are very generous and also support my efforts for the National Star College etc.
Still busy finishing and Owl painting for the Japanese exhibition
In the evening we go into Cheltenham to The Wilson for Andrew North (CEO Cheltenham Borough Council)’s leaving party, arriving just in time for his speech. A very nice occasion; we chat to Stephen (VC of te University) and I tell him about the charity exhibition for LINC I am organising and ask if he thinks Tony would like to exhibit. Before we leave we go and look at the new hand of the Friends gallery and particularly at my tiny painting Patience, which is hanging exactly opposite. This painting was purchased on behalf of the Museum with a grant from Cheltenham Arts Council as it was the purchase prize award selected by Kenneth Linley in 1984.
R goes to collect Isaac and Samuel from Heathrow where they and Kev are meeting Henrietta who has been skiing with my sister Gill in Switzerland for four days. They arrive at about 11pm both boys still full of energy and seemingly not tired!! Richard and I then proceed to wrap ‘ Bigger Wave’ folding the skirt of the Kimono around lots of bubble wrap over the back of the canvas very carefully! only to find that …………………..
the shippers who arrive this morning, unwrap all the works to examine and photograph before wrapping very carefully again using the same method but with different materials, watched by two intruiged mischevious boys who are both sitting on top of Richard’s Landrover (parked in the courtyard) when he comes out of the studio. The shippers are very efficient and are gone in a couple of hours.
The boys then want to make ‘Critters’ as made by the ninja artist on CBeebies for which granddad’s stripy socks are requisitioned. Couldn’t find my bag of soft toy stuffing so raided one of my Mum’s cushions which had the perfect filling. These took quite careful engineering and did require a bit of help with the stitching from both Richard and me. In the evening they do a puppet show using the two critters and they sing a very moving duet. Both boys want to take their critters to bed. Bedtime does end up being rather late again because they want to keep doing encores BUT we do all get…….
……..a lie in in the morning.
The boys have another project in mind that they want to create, telling us that they like doing that here as we have more of the materials required (recycled boxes, paper, glues, paints etc that I save specially for the purpose). This project uses quite a lot of the plastic toys and ephemera from Christmas crackers etc. recycled cardboard and acrylic paint. The end project, their giant initials I and S made box like in card board filled with toys etc including Richards first mobile phone all glued in and painted as a whole look good and are something they proudly take home with them……
….when R drives them back mid afternoon bearing their new creations.
E mail from Panter and Hall re dates for images for catalogue early in October for the next solo exhibition with them.
Post Easter eggs and cards to people like Tammy and Lisa (both ex Star students) and to Gill and Ian.
Good Friday 25.3.16
Henrietta, Kev, Isaac and Samuel arrive about 10.30 pm- the boys still being asleep from the journey are popped straight into bed.
Nathan arrives in the afternoon bearing two large easter Eggs in the form of yellow chicks for the boys. Beautiful lily plant arrives from Gill and Ian. Lovely day with all and another project with Isaac before Monkfish & beans stewed in beer followed by baked apples and rice pudding and lots of lively conversation.
Easter egg hunt this year indoors due to wet weather, Samuel wants me to hide all his eggs again this time upstairs! After Richard has lovingly prepared the lunch we sit and enjoy it and chatter before exchanging Easter eggs.
Return to Helen’s commission which I have been working on intermittently over the last fourteen months, to refine and paint two or three more scenarios in the windows.
Lovely e mail from Jackie (Llewelyn-Bowen) saying that they will be pleased to donate a work by Laurence to the pop up exhibition in St Michael’s Tower at the crossroads in Gloucester in aid of LINC (on !st & 2nd May ) which is really exciting.
The owl is almost there so I write to Helen to ask if she would like to see the painting next week.