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Work a little in the studio before going down to the All Souls service at St Michael’s where we remember the lives of those who have departed this life for the next. I light a candle for my Mum and her name is read out in the list of the recently deceased. Its a moving service and tears roll down my cheeks. The altar looks beautiful with the myriad candles all aglow.
Then we set out to drive up to Henrietta and Kev’s in London but break down near Perivale. Richard has managed to park the car on the grass verge with it last gasp of energy. The AA are efficient and are with us in half an hour; the engineer thinks that the alternator has gone and with disappointment I hear him saying the car won’t be going anywhere. So we then wait for a breakdown lorry which takes us to Jonathan’s garage in Blackheath then drops us round the corner at Henrietta’s at 2.30 am.
We are here to look after Samuel who had an operation on his arm last week to remove a small piece of calcified bone from his elbow after he broke his arm just over a year ago. Do lots of drawing and painting with him. Samuel is just as lively and active as ever but its the fear of him falling over in the playground that is prohibiting him from going to school this week.
We are with Samuel until lunchtime when Jenny and John (Kev’s parents) come to take over for the next couple of days.
Arrive home about 6.30.
Over to Gloucester City Museum for a meeting with Angela, Vicki, David and Sarah re showing the Cheese Rolling commission that I painted throughout this year for the doctors Charles and Emma, alongside a beautiful Charles Gere painting they have of the same subject. I also show them other works from the collection where I could link with works of mine on a similar themes, particularly as it had been suggested to me that it would be a good idea if I had an exhibition there to correspond with the Festival of music art and culture during summer 2016. Another idea I have is, as I will also be having a long exhibition at the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art in Japan it might be interesting for each Museum to show a virtual tour of my exhibition at the other and perhaps hold a Japanese tea ceremony in Gloucester and and English afternoon tea in Japan. Fortuitously I was also able to offer a couple of my works that include robots to link up with their Robots exhibition. They are a wonderfully receptive and imaginative group and like the ideas. We then go upstairs to look at the gallery where the Rugby exhibition (is just coming down) that was held to coincide with the World Cup matches particularly those played in Gloucester. Wonderful cases with beautiful historic rugby caps, blazers, boots etc. and a smaller display devoted to WE Henley who wrote Invictus for which they borrowed a Rodin bronze portrait from the National Portrait Gallery. Henley and Rodin were great friends. Its a stunning little exhibition with some wonderful quotations discovered through the research they did, particularly the public correspondence with Oscar Wilde they seemed to have detested one another.
Working further into the chef painting.
Work through the night on this……….
…so I’m just going to bed as Richard sets off to deliver the paintings to L’Escargot in Soho, London’s oldest and most renowned French restaurant.
Up to London again to meet Margus at the Chelsea Arts Club for lunch. Its wonderful to see him again after five years and to meet Tiina his beautiful wife of one year. They are over from Helsinki where they reside as Margus is the Estonian ambassador to Finland. Tiina is delightful and you can see how much she cares about him. Its great to be able to catch up and exchange presents before running them to Heathrow which is on our way back.
Send off small painting to Kalamazoo zoo zoo zoo. Gets us to look at the clip of the song on You Tube from the Glen Miller Story film with the amazing performance; not only wonderfully played and sung but two incredible tap dancers who were so exciting to watch
Into Cheltenham to open the stunning new Arcade Artisans shop which was Habitat. They have all worked incredibly hard to get it together for today. Trudi, who has masterminded it all, was on an industrial floor polisher whilst other painted walls in readiness for hanging and displaying their beautiful arts and craft work. About 35 of them in all I think. Its fun cutting the ribbon.
We were looking forward to going to the opening of the University’s performing arts centre in Gloucester but I’m so behind with my work Richard tells me I can’t as I have too much work to finish .
Over to Gloucestershire College to give an illustrated talk on my work and practice as an artist, to level 3 year 1 art students whilst being shadowed by Ellie A level student from Balcarras and her Mum.
R in London at L’Escargot.
Michelle and Craig come to tea and in the evening Jane and David come for supper and to collect their painting.
Finishing a work for a viscount in London
Ellie, A level student from Balcarras, comes to visit studio (with her Mum) where we discuss her work and mine
Lunch with Jo Stringer chair of Chletenham Trust, Julie Finch CEO and Julia from the Museum with Hilary chair of the Friends of The Wilson and assistant chair Adrian Barlow. We meet for a cup of tea in the Museum cafe beforehand and interestingly spot Jo, Julie and Julia who have also met there - maybe like us to discuss stratergy. We then all meet at the back entrance and walk down to the White Spoon restaurant which is only a door or two away. Nice lunch - conversation opens with discussion of the recent BAFM conference, including the relationship other groups of Friends have with their particular museum where Adrian Quoted the Friends of the Ashmolean etc.
It is still unclear to many of the Friends quite what the Trust has achieved what it’s aims are, who it is answerable too or what they hope for from the Friends of the Wilson etc. So Hilary suggests that it might be a good idea if they posed a series of questions for the Trust to answer in their next Newsletter.
Stop at the Garden Centre to buy plants to put on my Mum’s grave and Daddy and Henry’s too- say a little prayer.
Then back to work in the studio
Should have gone to the Town Hall for the National Star College’s “Gloucestershire’s Got Talent” but as we’ve got Henrietta, Nathan and my sister coming this weekend to help choose keepsakes from my Mother’s dear little house before it is cleared. We have the Heart Foundation coming on Monday.
Work on the my Hare “Herr Strauss” for the Jack and Jill charity in between.
We have a late dinner with all assembled
A nice bright day for going to the house choosing keepsakes. Its sad but the items chosen etc bring back happy memories. After lunch back at at our house Henrietta and Nathan set out back to London with Nathan driving Henrietta home to Blackheath before he drives on to Stoke Newington. In the evening back at the house we open a bottle of wine and drink it with bread and cheese around the table for the last time. We leave early as Gill has a cold…
…returning in the morning. This is rather sadder as see thing disappear into the van. Gill leaves at about 1pm. and is tearful as she gets in the car to drive back to Bedford. She was due to attend and chair a meeting tonight in Bedford but the cold has really taken hold so she has postponed it.
Richard takes several other bags of bric a brac to the hospice charity shop in the village who are very grateful but our front room is still full up with things I cannot bear to part with.
Lloyd calls to collect his painting bought from the London exhibition. We enjoy a cup of tea together and I ask him about the Chistmas carol he has written that will be performed in the cathedral. A wonderfully creative man he used to work for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop were he often wrote music.
Now concentrating all efforts on the miniatures.I’ve managed to paint three or four over the last few weeks
Graduation ceremony at the University where I presented my Award to a graduating art student - this year it is Naiomi Gibbard. It is always a moving event to see so many graduands and so many of their family and friends here to celebrate their achievements.
Over to the Cathedral for Gloucestershire College’s Higher Awards Ceremony which is always so touching and one particularly notices that for some courses in counselling the students tend to be maturer. There were the six of us honorary Vice Presidents sitting in a row in which I sat in the middle. A delightful occasion after which we drove to Stroud to deliver the Christmas cards we’ve had printed to Caroline and Simon at Cantilever Bars situated in a chapel that Simon has beautifully designed and adapted to include open plan design studios offices and storage etc.
Busy working on the miniatures for my charity Open Studio in two weeks time.
We go for the last time to my Mum’s house to remove the final few bits and pieces and dig up a few things and take cuttings from the garden.
Completion day on my darling Mum’s little house that she loved so much.