The sun is rising.
I’m watching the dawn for the second day in succession from a plane. Yesterday, I was with Sally as we flew from Miami to Barcelona. Today the sky exploded with Crimson, Red Gold, Cadmium Yellow Light backed by Pale Cerulean Blue seamlessly blending with a smoky Paynes Grey just as I crossed the equator flying South to The Falkland Islands.
Gaea is the greatest painter of us all and her dawns make even those of J.M.W.Turner pale imitations of the riotous beginning of the new day that I watched. New colours arrive, second by second, as blues become turquoise, Paynes Grey becomes mauve and then they are gone and the painfully bright sun forced me to turn and shade my eyes.
Yes, I know that the prose is more than a little purple, but I am a painter and colours are important so I’m allowed.
Let us go back a few weeks though so I can tell you why I’m hurtling all over the world.
In January, we leave the grey skies of Europe and go off to Florida for a mixture of holiday, teachings, demonstrations, meetings with gallery owners, people who will commission paintings and agents. We do love Delray Beach where we stay as its close-ish to everywhere we need to be like: Wellington Show Ground (Horses), Wellington International Polo Ground (Horses), Ocala (Horses) and Orlando (Disney, M.G.M. And Universal Studios, well, I’m a child at heart and Sally is very kind to me ‘cos she hates the place). What more could we need ?
The teachings and demonstrations are always fun. This year I decided to use pastels and Mi-Teints Touch Paper. I discovered this paper last year and it’s fantastic with just enough tooth to hold pastel without needing to use fixative…I can’t recommend it highly enough.
For the teachings, over the last few years a group of us have got together on a friend’s enormous porch in her amazing garden which, like her, is a riot of colour. People work in whichever medium they prefer and everyone chips in with advice and comments while I wander round offering technical suggestions. It’s the same Atellier system that I use at home and it works. The demonstrations are another matter.
I stick to portraits so during three hours of instruction, anecdotes, jokes, quotes and technical ‘ stuff ‘ I have to produce a likeness for a large audience of painters. So, no pressure then ! This year I decided to work with pastels. Like most people I know who paint in pastels, I have a huge range of all makes, shapes, sizes and densities. If I had to say which formed the core of all of them I’d go for the wonderful Lakeland Pencils, which I’ve used since I visited the factory at the age of ten. I’d chosen a theme and decided to paint figures who had shown extraordinary love for their fellow man during times of war, so Irene Sedler and Uncle Avi became my models. This year I was asked by another Art Supplier to demo in their gallery so I was able to meet a whole new set of painters and next year Easel Art will join Hands in Delray Beach as a regular venue. It’ll be Watercolours next year, so see you then.
One of the highlights of this year’s series of demos was that I got to meet Rickie of The Rickie Report and she is lovely. The Rickie Report is a wonderful Blog and it tells you everything you need to know about The Arts in The Palm Beach County area. Sign up and check it out.
We have taken a lot of big paintings to Forms Gallery, Delray Beach, this year and they have decided to push these to a number of other galleries throughout the South West, Far West and Canada and are going to seek as many commissions as I can cope with.
Some of you know that I chat on Facebook a bit, well, a while ago a friend mentioned that a new Equestrian Gallery was to open in Wellington, West Palm Beach, so we talked and I was given a name to contact. After a couple of visits to the gallery and meetings, meetings, meetings — I have a fantastic and wonderfully eccentric contact with over thirty-years’ experience at the heart of Equestrian Art and I look forward to producing a number of Polo, Dressage and Show Jumping commissions throughout the year. I’m so glad that a few years ago we got off our bottoms and took paintings to the U.S. It’s been such an exciting time and we’ve made so many new friends. So check out The Chisholm Gallery.
About a week before we left France Sally read an e-mail from a friend in the Falkland Islands offering me a commission on a number of paintings of one of his ships at rest off the coast of South Georgia…and he read more »