Sunday 31 August 2008

Light In the Darkness of the Post-War Era

A 195os childhood spent in a drab northern town was illuminated by posters for Startrite shoes, by Christmas annuals or the sight of rainbow starlings splashing in a puddle..... and Aunty Dorothy's bright lipstick left on a cup....
Best of all, and before me now even as I write, is 'The Whopper Paint Book'. Inside its cheerful cover is a world of cute puppies, ducklings, kittens, piglets and foals to colour in - some of whom are happily cohabiting with different species!
I wasn't as keen on the racing cars or the planes- even though the Vickers Valiant is one of the most up-to-date of British bombers and the Supermarine Swift was flown by Lieutenant commander Mike Lithgow. Not to mention the Sunbeam Talbot, "one of Britain's leading hopes in competitive motoring"!
In 'the Twins Birthday Party' their aproned and smiling mother cooks and organises games and father puts in a vague, suited appearance at the end.
"All the children are wearing gay clothes at the party " and we should "give the little girls gay dresses", Jumbo is grey and he has on a yellow jumper, Teddy is golden brown, leaves are green, but-look out! One of these Toadstool Houses is quite different from the rest!

Sunday 17 August 2008

To the Chateau Borne, part two.

Down to chateau l’Age Baston once again to replace Mr. Price after his two week’s tutoring drawing on the Painting course.

I have a smaller number of students than usual, for the first week-and this gives me ample opportunity to hone my own skills. Back soon!

Images: gateway to the woods; six cows and a donkey; one red tomato. All Caroline Johnson

Sunday 3 August 2008

Football Magic

Painting a window is hard work both mentally and physically, and is usually done in three to four hours.
In the lead up to football's World Cup, held in France in 1998, we had eight-six window portraits of players to paint, that's an intimidating forty-three each.
Such a huge amount of portrait work was an unique opportunity to hone our craft- and my 'own work' in the studio can only have benefited, despite at times feeling drained and distraught !
I compare this to the Beatle's arduous training in the clubs in Hamburg, although there the resemblance ends- not many 'prellies' available in the average Breton village, to enable the artist to stay awake and continue working!
I would hesitate, to their faces that is, to call the French an over-self-confident race of people... but we portrayed Zidane holding the cup on more than one window,
before the matches began. After they won, we were able to say it was due to our paintings!
I could, in fact, visualise a direct parallel to the sympathetic magic practised in prehistoric cave art and other rituals up to and including the present day!
Mmm...... could be a lucrative service we could offer, perhaps we've been barking up the wrong tree..
'Miraculous Good Luck Paintings- they worked for the French, now let them work for you! Commissions taken in strict discretion.'

Picture:Barthez in goal, window in Plancoet.