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R’s been stretching and priming a new canvas in readiness for the commission for Jose’s Portugese wine company
Hurrah! Lovely e mail from Toyah saying she is painting a little watercolour for us for the exhibition in the Tower in aid of LINC
Visit Robbie’s private view at the Gardens Gallery.
Hear from Yukari that the paintings have arrived safely and she has inspected them in Tokyo.
Work on four experimental hand coloured versions of the Geiko & Maiko woodcut print.
Federal Express come to collect the woodcuts and cards for the Morohashi in Japan.
Work through the night adding finishing touches to the commission …
… for Helen, who comes to collect it at about 4.30.pm. I am so touched by her evident joy on seeing the painting and it looks even bigger, she says, than she had imagined.
Lovely e mail from Helen.
Back on Caroline and Simon’s commission which I made some quite radical changes to earlier in the year.
Its pouring with rain. Rosemary and Jan from the Friends of the Wilson come at 3.30, which overlaps with an impromptu visit from a prospective client. So I am hopping from studio to house and house to studio although I’ve left Richard there discussing works but he still needs my advice. Arrange with Rosemary and Jan for two events on the 22nd September afternoon tea with studio visit and in the evening supper and studio visit.
Still continuing with Simon and Caroline’s large canvas.
Into Cheltenham to judge the film, photography and monoprints created by young people at the Rock during workshops that were part of the Christian Arts Festival.
Start work on the big canvas for Jose the Portugese wine expert, producer and vice Chairman of the Paris based International Academie Gastronomique. He had bought my large painting Il Banchetto from my exhibition at Panter & Hall last October. He has commissioned me to create a large painting inspired by ‘the mystery of wine’. It’s exciting and just a little daunting be confronted by a large blank canvas but here I go
Into Cheltenham to see the Artshape exhibition at All Saints that Mike has e mailed me about a couple of days ago - part of the Christian Arts Festival that Nikki Seville has brilliantly organised.
We should be going to the installation of the new High Sheriff, Countess Bathurst, and annual legal service at the Cathedral but I think I got chilled at the Rock (which is a large church on Wednesday and seem to have a cold which I don’t want to pass on to others or cough and sneeze during the service, - we decide not to go.
We have been doing quite a lot in the garden especially Richard cutting back all the ivy on the house etc and filling a particularly big tube-like bag that a large rug had been delivered from America in. A beautiful bright green colour, we taped up the one end and being much stiffer than garden bags usually are it is reusable, so he as filled it several times and emptied into the compost maker at the tip. I’d uncovered it when I was trying to organise the downstairs studio in the house, where I’d also come across several things that we hadn’t been able to find!!
Intensively working on Jose’s commission through the day, evening and night though when I have a break usually find myself adding a little more to the Cantilever commission. Corresponding with the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art in Japan.
My exhibition opens at the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art in Japan after press days and interviews. The curator Yukari is really good at tweeting and keeping me informed. Lovely e mail from Eiji saying thank you too.
Gill and Ian arrive late afternoon with Duke who they have just taken for a walk on Cleeve Hill. It bright and sunny which is very pleasing as the forecast had been for winds and rain. They are bearing a lovely pot full of daffodils, primulas and pansies.
Remains nice weather although the wind’s a little chilly.
Robert and Toyah come for tea to deliver the two beautiful little watercolours she has created for my charity exhibition for Linc. Its great fun as whilst we are sitting around the table, Richard puts one of them, Seeds will spring, into a mount with a black frame and puts it on the wall, which they are surprised and delighted by. And Toyah and Robert suggest that a blue frame would be perfect for the other one called, Every tree needs a hill to climb. Robert has also very generously given my a donation for Linc and Toyah says she will come to the event on the Sunday evening at which wonderful Martin Kiszko, the UK’s award winning green poet will be performing, typically kind of them.
Shortly Robert and Toyah leave Gill & Ian return from walking Juke and Richard starts to prepare the lobster thermidore for supper which we all discuss and enjoy. Nice conversations, often reminiscing.
Richard drives us into Cheltenham for Gill and me to visit Robin Paul’s son Kevin, the stonemason to make arrangements to have a headstone made for my lovely late Mum.
Its still sunny when Gill and Ian leave late afternoon. for their return to Blunham.
Early evening Richard meets Mike Carter to collect the Artshape screens that we will be using at the weekend for the charity exhibition for Linc. As a little boy Mike lived in the house opposite with his younger sister Emma and parents Jackie and Andy.And it was through meeting Mike two or three years ago when I visited a similar exhibition he had put up for Artshape at All Saints where as Patron of Cheltenham Open Studios I likewise became Patron of Artsape. They work through art therapy and tuition often with the disadvantaged. Mike sometimes teaches people with Alzheimers, physical disabilities, learning difficulties. Its a brilliant charity and I am once again honoured to be Patron
Working on miniatures for Linc.
Send off monographs to the Morohashi by Federal Express
Over to Gloucester to do an interview with Dominic Cotter and Karen Organ (head fundraiser for Linc, the leukaemia and intensive chemotherapy fund of which I also have the great honour of being a Patron).
Over to Artshape in Brockworth to give a talk to their Art Bridge students. Its a lovely experience as Caro takes me into their office first which is large with a row of desks and computers and unusually as most of them work only two days a week, most of the are in today. They are a delightful group and all hugely enthusiastic for the work they do. Artshape is situated in the grounds of a farm in a large outbuilding that could have been a converted barn. They have done a miraculous job on the large room next door that they tall me was a cow shed, having painted it white and put strip lights up, which seemed amazing as they only started last week. I stand at the front whilst Richard projects film and images behind me and Artshape are filming this as they are starting an on-line course too. They already have students as far away as Denmark and Cornwall.
Still busy working on the miniatures whilst Richard’s painting me a watercolour of Tewkesbury Abbey and one of Cheltenham Pump Rooms.
Its the big bake off for Richard as he makes wonderful slabs of ginger cake so yummy it reminds me of his late father Stanley’s Yorkshire Parkin; a wonderful iced lemon cake and another huge fruit cake. In the afternoon Robbie Chapman (curriculum and course leader in foundation studies at wonderful Gloucestershire College, comes to deliver his work and generously volunteers to come and collect all the works from here tomorrow and drive them to the Tower in Gloucester (our Land Rover will be full of all the screens, easels etc). Alison Chambers had arrived at the same time and Rob Churchill just beforehand. Also Nikki Seville’s husband Dave with her beautiful textile collage of Broadway.
Neighbours Lucy and Andrew come to help Richard load the heavy screens into the Land Rover and Robbie arrives to load all the works, microwave and glasses into his car. Richard and I set off shortly afterwards with the back open and the screens resting on the tailgate. He drops me off to walk down to the tower to meet two of the volunteers who generously give their time to serve tea and cakes in the Tower and Carol Carpenter who organises it all for the Civic Trust. She takes me through the numbers for opening the kitchen door and switches for the boiler and lights etc where the post box is to send the key back on Monday evening. Richard arrives shortly after with things like the A Board, the card stand and L L-B’s picture. Then at 5 when the bollards go down he is able to drive up to the Tower and we can unload the screens. Karen from Linc and her husband Clive have come to unload and deliver Linc banners. Mark Unsworth comes to bring the beautiful print he has framed for us and joins in the carrying of screens. The team grows as Mike Carter his sister Emma and Dad arrive and start to work out how we can best fit the screens into this relatively small venue and still have access to the toilet and kitchen!! Tony and Stephen deliver w Tony’s magnificent winged man who must be at least eight foot high and two beautiful prints, Temptation and Pen he has donated - they stayed and helped until they had to go off to the jazz festival as did Mark. Hannah Mathison arrives just after the screens were up and in position but not hung, with boxes of her beautiful wire and found materials sculptures. She too is wonderfully hands on and we dedicate the four round tables to her work. I pull out a wooden box on castors from behind the screens which makes the perfect plinth-like base for her ‘Riding the Wave’ sculpture which acts as a centrepiece under Nick’s Wallace Gromit. Toyah’s two watercolours to the left and my little group of miniatures to the right, which Mike hung; he was brilliant at doing this with his Takker gun . In fact he hung most of the exhibition including all his own exquisite intricate drawings. Su Billington and Len appear shortly after Hannah and were a tremendous help too. Its fun and we leave the Tower at about 11pm.
When we get home Richard cooks dozens of baked potatoes!!!