Over to Gloucester for Artbridge students exhibition. They have all progressed brilliantly since I gave a talk to them at the beginning of their course in May.
Then on to London to visit Henrietta Kev and boys for her birthday tomorrow.
We all go to dinner at The Hill where Steve Isaac & Samuels Guitar teacher plays on a Saturday evening. He gives us a big smile of recognition as we take our places at the nearby table - the boys being excited had told him when they had their lessons.
After breakfast Richard & I drive over to Tate Modern to see the Georgia O’Keefe exhibition where H,K & the boys meet us after Isaacs football match (they travel there and back on the ferry).We all visit the Tate’s new Switch House a stunning piece of architecture and discuss the installations exhibited within then we go for a birthday meal at Wagamamma’s which is great fun before we make our differing ways home.
Drove to Owlpen for the small music festival. This is its third year and Jennifer Morches the cellist has organised it. She will be playing as part of a string quartet tonight Q21 Ensemble Schubert, Bizet and Schoenberg. After the Schubert which Nicky has introduced as “when they hear it everybody says is their favourite composer”, its beautiful and followed by the most extraordinary performance by the mezzo soprano Mirielle Label of two songs by Bizet, the second being a Tarantella originally for voice and piano, here arranged by R… Richter Mirielle has the most powerful and exquisitely beautiful voice that seemingly effortless without any amplification fills the little church. Before the Schoenberg 2nd String quartet R… gives a wonderfully informative talk with short extract played by them all to demonstrate the groundbreaking way in which Schoenberg worked making huge changes to the patterns in which music had been composed up until that time, demonstrating that there were really only three musical motifs repeated within the piece. Telling us also of Schoenberg’s anguish when having included a young artist into their circle who his wife had an affair with but who after another friend had told her she should return to Schoenberg, suffered such anguish that he destroyed all his paintings, stabbed and then hung himself. which perhaps helps to explain the turmoil in this abstract music.
Working on the large square canvas of horse and rider, Red, for Richard to take to the photographers in the morning.
Richard’s collected a large van and already taken the canvas to the photographers then comes back in the car to collect me to go to Pittville Park for the 150th anniversary of the launch of the lifeboat that Cheltenham funded and launched on Pittville Lake before it went onto Burnham. Lovely John Baker who is vice President of the Cheltenham & Tewkesbury branch of the RNLI has organised it. A regimental band playing and three men in traditional naval dress of the period. John wants me as convening judge to say a few words about the schools art competition that I judged in June with Sophia Wilson who is also here from Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum and Angus Pryor of the University arts faculty. It a lovely sunny day though rather chilly as we are in the shade. Unfortunately we are unable to stay for the unveiling of the plaque by Sarah Chalke wife of Cheltenham’s MP Alex - she’s a barrister and driving down from Stoke on Trent, as Richard has to go to collect the hired van before picking up the painting from the Darkroom.
Meanwhile I’m beavering away on two or three of the smaller works to send snapshots tomorrow to Panter & Hall so they can start to plan the catalogue etc.
Continue on the smaller works.
Paintings arrive back from The Morohashi Museum of Modern Art delivered by Alban Shipping, all beautifully wrapped, boxed and tied Japanese style, inside the big wooden crate from which they remove them.
Working on a couple of the pieces for the Panter & Hall exhibition in December.
I decide they are not quite finished enough to send to the photographers so they will go on Monday instead.
Down to Bristol for Nick and Mags’ post wedding one month anniversary party at The Square. We pick up Martin and Maggie and I admire the placing of his new painting which Richard delivered and hung yesterday. We then drive to collect Sarah - Pickles as she has been known since being the voice of Pickles in Creature Comforts then drive into the city centre and manage to park very near to the club. Lots of people arriving and greeted with glasses of champagne. When we get into the inner room delighted to see that Mags has her wedding dress on again and Nick and Joseph are also wearing their wedding suits. Luckily Joseph looking back to his handsome young self who whilst away at university going to rescue a friend who was being attacked - so the friend managed to escape but Joseph had been been beaten up and got a broken nose and black eye for his gallantry. Its packed with people and we see another wonderful cheese cake made out of layers of different round cheeses getting smaller towards the top with a Wallace and Grommit sitting on the uppermost. The party is on two floors, the lower housing trio called The Chip Shop Boys and lovely projection of photographs of Mags and Nick both at their wedding and through their courtship etc. Have a chat to Angie, Nick’s PA whose two daughters were bridesmaids so they too are in their pretty dresses, the little one with flowers round her hair. Nick and Mags give a little speech where Nick thanks Joe for bringing up Mags so well and says he gained not only a step son but also a step cat, Poppy. And Mags thank for Aardman for allowing Nick to get married in the middle of filming his latest production. We all then go and help ourselves from the wonderful hot buffet, a selection of meals from lamb kebabs, chicken & lemon; salmon, mussels & clams and a vegetarian lasagne followed by wedding cake and cheeses. We had all been given casino chips to use as tokens for drinks. We are sitting next to Christine and Duncan and opposite Martin ad Maggie with lighted candles on the tables; its a very nice atmosphere. We also chat to Kate and Martin Rose, Nick’s artists friends from Sheffield.
Its a lovely evening. We leave about 12.30 delivering Martin, Maggie and Pickles back home en route.
Into the Wilson, Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum for a meeting with Rhia, Simon Chorley and Sir Michael McWilliam. After the meeting we go and collect Henrietta and the boys from the park in Bishops Cleeve where they have been playing football, to drive over to the Museum of Gloucester.As always we’re greeted warmly and the boys love all the interactive things for children to do in the Museum and we gradually wound our way up to my exhibition Time is Time Was Times Future as Henrietta had been wanting to see it.
So pleased that the two works I donated to the 'Art Affirming Life' exhibition sold in aid of www.sueryder.org/leckhampton wonderful hospice. where we visited lovely Rita Peters shortly before she quit this mortal coil and many years ago gave a talk there. They have a thriving creative arts centre which provides wonderful therapy.
E mail from Lucy at the Bridgeman Art Library saying that there is a Japanese winemaker who would like to use three paintings from my Japonica series on their wine bottles and asking if I would I will give permission. I wonder whether they have seen the exhibition at the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art in Japan as there were 3 million visitors or were they researching the Bridgeman website for images when they found them or could they have come across my work on Japanese King crimson CDs. Richard points out that it could be a combination of all three. Or perhaps another reproduction such as the book published there on the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo which used my painting of the fish market on the cover and in the endpapers.
R takes the two small paintings to The Darkroom to have them photographed for the catalogue.
Meanwhile Lisa the manager of Artworks, a brilliant collection for schools and colleges in Leicestershire, who own about 9 of my paintings arrives bringing copies of four large giclee prints of my Nocturnal animal paintings they own - copies of these also go out to schools in Leicestershire. We first met her shortly after she started working there about twenty years ago. Amazingly she has managed to retain both the collection and her position even though it has been taken over by different departments at times including Museums; Schools; Library Services etc and several times she thought she was going to be made redundant when cuts were being made. Somehow she has even managed to grow the collection - perhaps because other artists like me let her have works at about a tenth of the real price. They now have to make money and with her great enthusiasm they have met this years target already and they still have until April to go so she fears the county council will put the target up again next year. ﾠShe goes out and about doing brilliant workshops with the children, drawing insects and beetles etc from the collection and brilliant mono prints that form similar patterns to coral and can be done even by very young children. ﾠﾠﾠShe’s quite remarkable as like David she is profoundly deaf so can’t do telephone etc.
She has become a dear friend and we sit over lunch chattering, before having a look at the studios. Then off she goes in her nippy little sports car, back to Leicestershire. I return to work in the studio whist Richard goes to collect the two paintings.
Send off the work I have painted and donated for Longfield Hospice.
Jane and David come to supper to collect the paintings they so kindly loaned to the exhibition at the Museum of Gloucester.