First of the month and I’m working on a big new canvas whilst Richard is delivering some of his prints for the London Business School then meeting lovely Audry Guille, one of my collectors to hand over the little paintings that she had bought from my charity Open Studio before Christmas.
I start preliminary work on a couple more of the new canvases so studio across the Lane, where I have been doing most of my work recently, is filling up with my large easels.
Phone Nathan to see how he is and discover that he and Clemantine are in Woolacombe again in the laavu tent. He’s chopped the wood, lit the stove and is cooking the dinner. He says its bucketing down with rain but that its rather nice being in a tent when it is.
Gill and Ian come and collect my Mum to take her back.
Continue on one of the medium sized new paintings.
Back on the commissions for Leicestershire Museums Service.
Return to the big canvas.
We go down to vote in the evening. It feels like a very good turnout; the amazing thing is the hall is full of people from the same Ward but we don’t recognise any of them. I feel very emotional as I remember that women in this country have had this privilege for just less than a hundred years but in many other countries they still don’t. So its an opportunity that we should fully embrace. Radio suggests the turnout is about 66% which is the highest for a long while so people clearly feel strongly about what they want to happen. We listen to the news at dinner and through the night whilst working in the studio. The exit poll run by the BBC and other broadcasters seems extraordinary as all the previous polls over that past few weeks have indicated that it will neck and neck but this forecasts a small Conservative majority, a large Liberal Democrat decline but a whopping victory for the Scottish National Party. By staying up until after 4 we discover that the poll is proving to be accurate; the Scottish seats, even those held by well known ministers and shadow ministers going to SNP including 20 year old Mhairi Black a University student studying politics, defeating Douglas Alexander. We waited until the Cheltenham results came through as we were hoping that the so called tsunami taking out the Liberal Democrats would miss our friend Martin Horwood in Cheltenham (who had been the only yellow patch in the whole of a blue Gloucestershire in 2005). But the surge was too great for even someone as popular as him to survive - David Cameron and the Chancellor had visited the town to campaign for the new Conservative MP Alex Chalk. Although we are not in his constituency we are very sorry to see such a popular & good man defeated, he always managed to attend everything, including my private view in London and locally and he and Shona have become friends.
Continuing on the big new canvas.
Phone call from Ronald. He’d just driven over to Gloucester Cathedral to collect the work he had donated to Carers Gloucestershire only to find the work had all been removed and there is no one there. I tell him they were probably hoping his piece could go on to Tewkesbury Abbey and manage to find Daphne’s number for him. Such a lovely man, an architect, he used to be one of Sir Hugh Casson’s partners and used to be an examiner along with Daphne for the London art schools.
Making headway on the new large canvas
Really pleased to have clear run in the studio this week, which I do desperately need for the exhibition with Panter & Hall which opens end of September.
E mail from Shaun in the City to say due to the popularity of the London Trail, they have extended it for another week.
Very pleased as I have now densely covered the latest canvas started on the 1st May
Spend afternoon and evening working on charity piece for the Royal West Of England Academy’s Secret Postcard auction.
We were hoping to go to the Star Ball with its Roaring Twenties theme but Richard’s face and eye feel a little like he might be developing shingles again so we decide that perhaps we’d better give it a miss so that he can fight it off. But every cloud has a silver lining and I make good progress on a large painting that I started a few weeks ago but have paused on.
Busy working in the studio when at about 8 o’clock I hear someone knock on the door, open it and call hello. The tall handsome young man (bearing a beautiful bunch of flowers and a bottle of wine) standing there is my lovely Nathan accompanied by Clementine, both looking suntanned and healthy. They’ve just come back from surfing and camping in Devon. Its such a touching surprise. Their three other friends drove back to London yesterday. So we have a lovely evening with them discussing exciting projects they have in the pipeline..…
…..continued in the morning before brunch. They head back to London in the afternoon.
Studio looking fuller at the moment with the commissions and new works. I can’t imagine what it would be like not going back to work in the evening, sitting watching television (if we had one).
Invitations coming in thick and fast from all directions - June is rapidly filling up.
Still trying to make headway on the paintings for the exhibition
Richard has spent the week repainting and repairing at a the house we have been letting out.
Henrietta, Kev and the boys arrive in the afternoon. We have a couple of hours playing football in the garden before H & K go off for their anniversary stay at Cowley Manor which my Mum and we treat them to each year, whilst we look after the boys, who are always great fun.
Busy day. Richard prepares lunch. Henrietta and Kev arrive back about half one and my sister, Ian and my Mum about two thirty. She comments that it looks to be a wonderful feast that he has prepared and indeed it does. Just before three Henrietta’s friend Emma arrives with her children Rose and Jack, as Rose is going to interview me and take photographs in the studio for the bronze art award that her teacher has selected her for. A lovely girl who has grown up since I last saw her. After they have departed to go back to London ( she had been visiting her parents) and Gill, Ian and my Mum depart (they having brought her back after a three week stay with them), we set off for Giffords Circus this year in the grounds of Sudeley Castle.Its an exciting and magical show that we think may even surpass last year’s. It has now become a family tradition, rather like the pantomime at Christmas. Then back home for tea.
H,K, I and S leave for a week in Devon as its half term.
Making hay whilst the sun shines in my studio plus occasional stints working on the gardens.
Canvases looking fuller!
I do so love it when I have a few days of unbroken concentration, some times even a feeling of euphoria the bliss being so great.
Lovely Arabella Kiszley comes to studio so that we can choose two or three works for her to show at Little Buckland Gallery as Part of Cheltenham Open Studios of which she was chairman (and still does a lot to support) as patron I like to too but don’t feel I can open my studio in the summer as well as just prior to Christmas for my Charities. So this seems like the perfect answer. I’ve also included one in the COS show at the Wilson, which I’ll be launching on Thursday.
Last day of te month, which feels well spent, working in the studio.