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 MARCH 2022 Tuesday 1.3.22 Statement from the Bridgeman Art Library for royalties amongst which I learn that Resurgance & Ecology Magazine are using Arts & Books and Time Running Out. Back working on the larger commission having resolved the preliminary composition on one of the smaller ones yesterday. E mail from Dr Gill Rouse, director of LINC, telling us that Alice Robin will be taking over from Claire who is off on sick leave for six months, as senior fundraiser for them. Alice would like to meet up Wednesday 2.3.22 I’m starting to resolve the composition on the larger piece trying to make it as unique as possible and personal to the commissioners E mail from Alice saying she can come on Tuesday next Thursday 3.3.22 I received a request from the Chelsea Arts Club last week asking if I would paint one of their canvases for the charity auction to help fund student bursaries etc and the AGBI for artists in distress. I haven’t got long on this as it needs to be back at the Club by the 13th. The theme is “If I Ruled the World” hmmmph! Work on both the larger and smaller commissions, trying to get them to a state where I know where I am going with each before starting the Chelsea Arts Club canvas. Friday 4.3.22 E mails from Philippe in Marseille. Back on the large commission - composition now pretty well resolved. Saturday 5.3.22 Richard also discovered that the Imperial War Museum also put an image of Other Mothers’ Sons on Facebook commemorating the end of the Gulf War. Tuesday 8.3.22 International Women’s Day I’m talking on the ‘phone to Henrietta when Richard calls out to tell me that I am one of the online magazine SoGlos’s 50 Most Inspirational Women in Gloucestershire https://www.soglos.com/business/50603/50-inspirational-women-in-Gloucestershire Wednesday 9.3.22 I’ve been thinking for some time that I ought to use my studio to offer as a home to Ukranian refugees. Have been feeling cross that the government stance on war refugees and visas is impeding the flow to the UK. Putin’s devastation of their beautiful homeland is heartbreaking; it’s such a criminal and negative thing to do. I find it hard to understand why he could possibly want to destroy his neighbours, who have been thriving, in this criminal way. The Polish people are being wonderful in their welcoming hospitality to the many thousands of people who manage to make it over the border each day, mainly women and children as most of the men, some as young as eighteen, stay to defend their glorious country which is rapidly being destroyed by this heartless Russian invasion. It isn’t the Russian people’s fault, most of them are deprived of the facts that Russia is staging war on Ukraine because they are fed a story of this being a ‘special military operation’ to protect them. But those Russians who do courageously demonstrate get arrested, including mothers with children and little old ladies brave enough to bear banners decrying the war. I still hope and pray that President Zelensky and his brave people will manage to somehow defeat them. Thursday 10.3.22 E mail from Tristan at the RWA saying they have had a request from Professor Marie at the UWE asking permission to reproduce my painting La Prunelle de mes Yeux for an article she is writing on the Angela Carter exhibition that she co-curated at the RWA in 2016. She is the co-founder of the Angela Carter Society. Also one from the Chelsea Arts Club who have received my painting and says PJ – It has arrived and it is ABSOLUTELY LOVELY!! Gosh, how wonderful! Friday 11.3.22 Call from Alison, Director at the RWA to discuss how far the new development has progressed. They are on the last stages. There is a fantastic lift being built on the outside of the building which will be able to take four wheelchairs and four carers up or down at one time and their next bit of fundraising is for a changing place which will be 12 metres square and have changing tables and even a hoist to lift anyone who is disabled or impaired onto the table. I think it will be the only one between Tate St Ives and London. Saturday 12.3.22 Jane came for a cup of tea and a catch up and Richard’s walnut cookies. She brought some seed potatoes for him to plant as she had over ordered. Tuesday 15.3.22 Jean May ‘phoned. It will be two years on Thursday (St Patrick’s Day) that Brian died. She has had the all clear health-wise as, like Richard, she has had lymphoma, which is brilliant news. She’d like to commission a little painting to celebrate her little grandson Arten’s birthday in June. He often hides behind the curtain and then jumps out growling telling her that he is a tiger. E mail from Geoff White of the Clevedon Art Society asking if I would give a talk on my work to their members Whilst reading news of the war in Ukraine a breaking news comes saying there is an earthquake in Japan which will they think be followed by a tsunami. I am worried for all my friends there as it is in the same region as last time. Wednesday 16.3.22 Write to Geoff at Clevedon Art Society to suggest a date in July. Thursday 17.3.22 E mail from Philippe in France. He is contemplating The Captain’s Table and says he will try to ring Matthew tat th gallery tomorrow or I can give Matthew his number. Friday 18.3.22 Yesterday I started work on a large canvas that Richard has recently stretched and primed for me, including the beautiful frame that John made and delivered. He’s now preparing anther one so that I always have some ready. Received e mail from the Government re offering a home to some Ukrainians. we put our name on the list on the first day of the list opening but it’s now up to a hundred and twenty thousand. Over a million people have now left Ukraine, mainly women and children as all men stay behind to defend their country. Putin shows no mercy and is still attacking civilian hot spots, often with missiles being fired from outside Ukraine. Saturday 19.3.22 Professor Marie at the University of the West of England writes to ask if she might also reproduce Now & Then in her article on Angela Carter. I’m still floundering around on the new big canvas, trying to decide on which direction it should go in. Monday 21.3.22 ‘Phone call from Henrietta saying that Isaac has done really well in his mock GCSEs and they are very pleased with him. They saw Samuel off this morning for his school camping trip; very excited. Tomorrow she will be showing a group of students from Emma’s Academy around the CCA gallery at Goldsmith’s and running a workshop with them. Tuesday 22.3.22 A beautiful sunny day, the hottest of the year so far, with temperatures of 19 degrees and over 20 in some parts. Spend a nice half hour picking up dead wood and debris from the garden and even have my brunch outside. Don’t need any heating on in the studio until after 6pm. Thursday 24.3.22 The RWA has a crowdfunding appeal wanting to raise £100,000. For every pound that is donated there is family trust in Bristol that will match it. So I donate £1,000 witch then miraculously turns into £2,000. The last one I did was for a family room in the Academy and this one is for a changing place for children and people with disabilities; it will be the only gallery between Tate St Ives and London to have such facilities. Friday 25.3.22 Alison Bevan, director of the RWA rings to say ‘thank you’ for the donation and to ask if I could approach a couple of my contacts with a view to donating to the auction. Saturday 26.3.22 A parcel arrives from Henrietta which includes a beautiful hand-made card that she has created especially for me inspired by two jolly giraffe ornaments that my Mum had . Also a beautiful little shoulder bag with a leopardskin panel on the front which is perfect in size, scale and design for me to carry around my personal paraphernalia. The weather is still gloriously hot so I’m able to sit out in the garden to have my bunch whilst admiring Richard’s planting. Then busy in the studio. Sunday 27.3.22 Whilst I’m in the bathroom Richard places a beautiful bouquet from Nathan in the centre of the bed to surprise me. It’s exquisite and so fragrant with white roses and a large blue hydrangea in the centre. He calls late afternoon, it’s so good to hear him; he’s working non stop on the film he’s currently designing but at the moment is out walking Bea. They have probably been through London Fields but are just about to meet Clementine. Later a call from Henrietta who is currently at Centre Parks for a long weekend with Kev, Isaac and Samuel celebrating Kev’s sister Jo’s special birthday who is there with her husband Nick and their two children Jonny and Jenna and Kev’s parents. Then back to the studio. John comes mid afternoon with three beautiful new frames. Monday 28.3.22 I’m sitting in the garden with Richard having my brunch as it’s still sunny here today, when my mobile rings. It’s Matthew from Panter & Hall, who has just received our e mail and realises that I haven’t picked up his ‘phone message on the landline saying that Philippe my French client is going to buy both The Captain’s Table and Weekend. He says they have had a very nice daily dialogue about the paintings and the logistics which they both seem to have enjoyed. I’m so pleased that Philippe has now found the two paintings that are right for him and his family. But this means I need to finish the large supper painting I’ve been working on and a newspaper work, to replace them as they had been earmarked for the London Art Fair next month Tuesday 29.3.22 Now working very hard on the larger canvas for the London Art Fair. Wednesday 30.3.22 ‘Phone call from Henrietta on her way back from Goldsmiths. We knew Isaac had done well in his mock GCSEs particularly in media but since the marking of the exam paper that went with it, he has now got the top mark in the whole of his year for his Computer technology & design. We are so pleased as this is the direction he wants to go in. Thursday 31.3.22 Statement for royalties from the Bridgeman Art Library. Very interesting that the payments have come from Italy and New York. Delighted to see that La Repubblicca have reproduced Mr Crow. Also very excited to see that Taming the Bear, the painting that I created for and donated to the Chelsea Arts Club charity auction was now at £1,610 which as Richard points out is about twice as much as the other most expensive works in the auction including those by famous names. But even more thrilling when we log on for the final half hour of the on line auction it had gone up to £1,800 then during the final seconds I was amazed when £2,850 appeared so passed the laptop over to Richard when he exclaimed it reached £3,160 which is so exciting. The money goes to the Chelsea Arts Club student bursaries and the Artists Benevolent Fund. So it has ended up being about three times more expensive that the next highest in the auction and whoever has .bought it must have been very fast on the button.
MAY