Richard cycles into Cheltenham to deliver the small work that as Patron of Cheltenham Open Studios, I am lending to the Group’s exhibition at the Gardens Gallery (which I had the pleasure of opening some years ago.
Alison, Director of the RWA rings to say thank you for the donation and to give me an update on all that is happening there. It’s good to talk to her about the new development even though it meant they couldn’t now host Grayson Perry’s Channel 4 programme. They were up for hosting it next year but Ch4 decided Manchester was better - then phoned up and offered them this July which of course they can’t do as they are now closed and will be full of building works by then.
Nice e mail from Claire at LINC asking if I will be able to let them have a small post card size painting to raffle.
Send image to Clare
In studio at the house.
Lovely call from Henrietta on the last day of half term. The boys start back tomorrow and are straight into tests. They have had to be doing some revision every day though Samuel has been for two sleepovers with friends during the week and Isaac has been out practicing tricks on his scooter which we are often able to watch on the short videos he posts on Instagram. He’s also been doing the course for Adobe Premier with Kev as part of his Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for learning a new skill.
Call from Martin who says he’s in the vicinity so asks if he can pop in for a cuppa. We sit in the marquee and chatter. I then go out to put some food together - cheese and paté, Richard’s newly cooked loaf, biscuits and fruit. Discuss Martin’s poetry book that Richard has drawn the illustrations for. There are now copies of it in the the library of the Royal Etymological Society and the Poetry Society.
I’d missed a call from James at Cotswold Landscapes re the Kingfisher in the morning but he rang back in the afternoon to thank me for painting it and give me an update. The National Star College’s piece is in Stroud where the Town Council had particularly requested having their kingfisher who they affectionately called ‘Kenny’ as they had been working with the National Star. James promises to send me an image of it and one of Art Shape’s, both of which are the larger 5 foot high sculpture. Art Shape’s is situated at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust’s site at Slimbridge which I am also very excited about as I can imagine other projects happening there as they have this year at the Westonbirt Arboretum. Siloha Levy’s has been placed in the grounds of Sudeley Castle; Katy B Morgan’s is at the Riverside Cafe as it is decorated with exquisite dragonflies and damselflies. Tracy Spears’ was selected to be the ‘flying’ kingfisher and will move to a new venue every couple of weeks. So I’m really thrilled. James then tells me that they are really delighted as Cotswold Life have used my kingfisher on the cover of this month’s magazine. I am so touched at Cotswold Life’s generosity of coverage
Working on my corrugated mask piece which is progressing and I think I have now resolved.
A call from Nathan who is back from filming in Kiev now quarantining in Ramsgate. He takes the five-day test tomorrow then another at seven or eight days. It takes two days for the results to come back. He’s currently reading in the garden books on sociology etc in preparation for the film he is designing. It is for the director he worked with on the Sampha film.
Making further progress on Masque
Richard has cleaned my two palettes and today I commence work in oils on the large six foot square canvas that I did all the under-painting on during February. Cautiously to start with I gradually speed up, applying the paint in a fairly spontaneous way. Its flexibility when still wet is always a joy to use.
Nathan Facetimes from a farmer’s field they are camping on at Zennor right at the end of the Cornish peninsular (near where the G7 meeting took place last week). It looks beautiful, gloriously sunny and they are sitting outside their lavvu teepee-type tent. He shows us the new self inflatable mattress and new double sleeping bag without zips or velcro that they have purchased for this trip and said they’d had their best night’s sleep ever last night which is perhaps not surprising as they set out from Hackney at 5.0 am and arrived in Cornwall at 1.30pm. So they surfed yesterday and twice today.. In the middle of the tent is a special stove that has a chimney that comes out of the top. Clem looks beautiful sitting there in her sun hat. Nathan has also brought the sociology books with him that he’s reading in preparation for the film he’s going to be working on for the director Kahlil Joseph and A24.
Becoming more and more engrossed with the two large Sumo wrestlers who are occupying my studio!
E mail from James introducing himself as the new course leader for fine art at the University inviting me to the Degree Show and enquiring whether I will continue to make my award to a graduating student this year.
When I come down Richard’s got a parcel addressed to him but he can’t find a card in it so can’t think why he should have been sent a set of six rainbow le Creuset all different coloured earthenware mugs and in another parcel a tin of shortbread cookies and wonders if it’s a mistake. When I suddenly remember that it’s fathers’ day tomorrow so I suggest it might be a present from Henrietta. And sure enough when I send her a photograph of Richard holding the cookies with the mugs in front of him, she replies that yes indeed they are from them for fathers’ day.
E mail from the curator at the Morohashi asking for permission to print images of the works they are exhibiting in their forthcoming exhibition in the museum’s newsletter.
Masako Ono, curator of the surrealism exhibition at the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art re labels for the works of mine they are including, along with Dali, Magritte, de Chirico, Miro and Ernst.
We go a little early to the degree show at the University and are touched to find James and two of his female colleagues waiting outside to greet us
It is exciting to be shown around the wide diversity of installations,
paintings and sculpture the students have done remarkably well to achieve such a brilliant array of work under such difficult circumstances as these of this Global pandemic!
Henrietta arrives by train at 7.30. It’s so good to see her. It’s really good to get her advice on which works to use to promote the exhibition etc.
Gill arrives about 2pm with most beautiful weeping Acer growing in an elegant box and an agapanthus in an oriental pot. It’s so good to see her too, she’s driven all the way from Bedfordshire. Richard has prepared a delicious meal having made chickpea flatbread and a special aubergine starter followed by tuna steaks marinated in lime, olive oil and garlic served with pomegranate salad and salsa. Then pineapple and raspberries and to finish with a banana birthday cake. Such a treat to have both my sister and my daughter here as a pre-birthday celebration; they leave at about 4.30pm.
Spend my birthday working on a new painting the idea for which had come to me during the night.
Received lovely ‘phone calls from both Samuel and Isaac
Write 50 words on both ‘Stepping Out’ and ‘Metamorphoses’ for the labels of the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art’s surrealist exhibition which is currently being hung.
Beautiful flowers arrive from Nathan and Clementine followed by a delightful ‘phone call.
We’ve now had replies from Tiffany at Panter & Hall saying “…How lovely to have a glimpse at some of the fabulous paintings you are working on for your show with us … all really strong; we are thrilled… Great to have a title for the show too…” I’m thinking of calling it Pandemonium.