The big paint of very small works continues!
...On and on...
...And on and on...
R manages to donate £5,000 in advance to the National Star College through the Big Give which will double it.
Bishops Breakfast in Stroud at OPENhouse which is a charity that provides housing, mental health support and creative learning opportunities for homeless young people and vulnerable individuals. After Dr Claire Mould's warm welcome Chloe one of the residents gave an articulate and moving presentation explaining her vulnerabilities and how the help and support she received there helped her to be happy and flourish.
Charity open studio in aid of the National Star College and LINC. Such an exciting afternoon as I open the front door to the studio I’m greeted by the delicious aroma of Richards mulled wine and greet Ian and Maeve who had been the first to arrive followed shortly by Carol and Pete who has generously brought a bottle of his damson gin which he pours into the mulled wine as it is served to give it a Axel little Kick and cool. The studio is pretty full by the time the Great Roberto (Robert Fripp) and lovely Toyah arrive bearing gifts and another bottle of champagne! Mark and Viv Powell are also there ( having bought four of the little paintings )who we met through Robert as Mark does a lot of restoration building work for him.
Another Brilliant afternoon with many guests who today include Dame Janet Trotter the Lord Lieutenant who recognises two or three people she Knows including Richard Jardine who was the other award presenter at the University awards ceremony last week. I introduce her to Sue who I think had been at the same SAAFA event last weekend. I also get a chance to introduce her to Paul, director of creative and performing arts at the National Star College and Louise head of art there. She’s very knowledgeable and recognises St Jerome on my altar piece which we discuss - there is even more discussion on it today than yesterday.
Up to London to Chelsea Arts Club for the party for contributors to the Yearbook. I’d been concerned because its in the marquee but am delighted to find it is heated. Very good mulled wine is on offer and I have two glasses. the nicest bit of the evening is talking to Geoffrey the new Club secretary, after his thank you speech to us. Such a delightful man who used to be an equerry to the Prince of Wales. He’s not only charming but also very perceptive and sensitive to the more spiritual aspects of my work and it was he who suggested they use my St Francis and the Birds “After Assisi “painting in the Year book.
Back to Cheltenham in time to work on a miniature for next weekend.
Send cheque for £500 to to Dr Clare Mould of the brilliant Gloucestershire charity OPENhouse to help her fill all the stockings of her mainly young and Vulnerable residents. Then back to work on the tiny paintings for next weekend’s open studio…………
This weekend the open studio is for the Friends of Cheltenham Gallery & Museum (now known as The Wilson) and Friends of the HOLST Birthplace Trust. So lots of people who I know from both and some who missed last weekend. All the limited edition scarves the Holst had printed and made by Beckford silk using the seven small paintings that I had painted to commemorate the centenary of Holst’s Planets Suite, have already sold out. So we are now taking orders. Lovely Sue and Andy have come again this time to choose little paintings for her Mum (who with her sister Natalie has a cold) to give to give to them, her sister and their son for Christmas.
Studio equally busy with guests today and include Tim Russon who had come with his lovely wife Anne Dawson and bought the Bouillibaise painting last weekend. I first met Tim in the 90s when he came to my studio to film with the wonderful champion jockey and trainer the late Terry Biddlecombe whose daughter wrote her dissertation on my work. Tim later made a little film using both my studio and the London gallery plus location shots at the Gloucester rugby ground and the Prince of Wales stadium pool. The related paintings were part of the Paris exhibition that sold in it entirety to the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art in Japan.
Richard has put the big Christmas tree that we went to buy on Saturday evening, up so spend much of the day decorating it and recalling the origins of each piece I place. The tiny Father Christmas form our lovely friend the late Margaret Green; those from when we stayed with the Doctors Subramanium in New York that actually adorned the presents they gave us; the beautiful hand made hangings by Nancy Simmonds with photographs of us all taken many years ago; the angel from Ghent when I was exhibiting with Robert Sandelson at the art fair there and we also saw the exquisite altarpiece by van Eyck and the angels from Estonia sent by dear Margus who was at that time the Ambassador here plus a little Estonian costume doll that we bought during my first exhibition there with Yuri Arrak
Working on miniatures still outstanding.
Drive to Tewkesbury to the Alderman Knight School where we are guests at the School Christmas Lunch. It is such a delightful occasion and once again I have the honour of sitting on the table with Richard the art teacher who is serving - I am touched the he and the pupils call me Miss. I am sitting opposite the most enchanting little girl called Jessica who like the others had been on this table last year apart from Jay who tells me he only started in September and had previously been to a main stream school in Gloucester. They are all such good company and delightful children. I feel tears coming to my eye when we all sing Christmas carols and songs.
Back home as Carol - long time friend, who’s over from Portugal and flies back on Saturday, comes to collect her little painting and have a cup of tea and catch up.
Still working on a couple of already paid for miniatures!!
Delightful lunch as guests of Robert Fripp and Toyah with our mutual friends the writer Cressida Connolly and her husband Charles of the Real Flower Confetti Company at Eckington manor, delicious food lovely views and they even have a cookery School here.
Chris and Libby come to collect their painting The Lamb in the afternoon then a little later, dear Lyn Amos from Winchcome.
In the evening supper with three lovely friends Sue and Andy who come to collect their five paintings and Pete who comes to collect his two he generousle y bearing a beautiful bottle of white Port and they champagne and a pot of Sues Plum jam.
R and I go into Cheltenham to do more Christmas shopping
Henrietta, Kev and the little boys arrive about 8.30 pm - the boys are full of excitement and the house if full of laughter and fun.
Henrietta and Kev take my Mum out for lunch whilst we entertain the boys then take them to the Everyman for the pantomime. H & K are already in their seats and Nathan joins us after the interval. Such a joy to be there all together and the pantomime is great fun.
Lovely Christmas Eve supper. R has roasted oysters as our starter before his delicious fish pie.
Up quite late filling the Christmas stockings etc.
Thursday Christmas Day 25.12.14
Gill, my sister arrives mid morning with a big basket full of goodies plus adding presents to ours under the tree which now flow out, half filling the floor. We have our Christmas feast early evening after the huge and exciting exchange of presents and after Henrietta and Gill have taken Duke her dog for a walk. Its delicious and Richard has again made it a wonderful festive feast. Nathan flambées the pudding. In the evening we play games.
Phone call from Lee in Puerto Rico to say Happy Christmas and New Year and reiterating the invitation to attend the big party in New York in May. Dr Ruth the world renowned psychosexual therapist famed for radio and TV appearances and the Broadway play of her life will be there and various other notables and hopes we can come too.
Friday Boxing Day 26.12.14
Richard brings out his historic dish - Pulled and Devilled chicken and turkey from Sir Kenelm Digby’s seventeenth century recipe book - plus a pheasant casserole for lunch. One of the charming aspects of mealtimes this year is that little Samuel loves to stand and read out the cracker jokes. In the evening we again play cards and invite Isaac to join in. Interestingly when he wins the roll over kitty he decides to withdraw for fear of losing it, which was really the sensible thing to do. But we encourage him to play on and with great over excitement he manages to win another kitty which he places in a tin and shouts with joy “I’ve got sixteen pounds!” (I only made one or two concessions).
My sister Gill goes back mid morning followed by Henrietta, Kev and the boys at lunchtime who are now off to Kev’s parents and Nathan catches a train back to London at about 3 oclock though goes via Bristol due to the long delays at Paddington and Kings Cross - rings me when he gets home to say there hadn’t been much of a hold up for him.
I’m back at work trying to complete a couple of large pieces for Art London the big art fair later in January.
Making good progress…..
…which is just as well as Jess emails for high rez images of the works she would like to show there !!
Working flat out on a fourth smallish work for Jess to show at Islington. Had hoped to send image yesterday but it needed far more refining.
Eureka! R’s taken a photograph and it looks pretty good, especially as you can’t see the unpainted sides round the corners!!
Two acceptances to dinner party later in January one being from lovely Toyah the other from Rory a wonderful sculptor who’s currently working on seven life size figures of martyrs for St Alban’s Cathedral.
Hurray! I’m starting on a large brand new canvas which R has stretched and primed in yellow for me (at my request). The colour of happiness according to Vincent.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL MY LOVELY READERS !! MAY IT BE FULL OF PEACE, JOY & BLESSINGS AND MAY ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.