Animations and Mathematics
View Two Gallery and other exhibitions
In 2008 and 2010 the Stuckists had exhibitions at the View Two Gallery, Liverpool. The director Ken Martin and his staff made us very welcome. On both occasions I worked at the gallery helping to curate and hang the work.
In 2012 the Stuckists had an exhibition at the Bermondsey Project, at the invitation of Edward Lucie Smith. Each exhibitor designed their own display and hung their own work. The work was hung using masonry nails banged into the wall. I navigated my way there with maps printed from Google and found my way back to London Bridge station by heading towards the Shard.
In 2014, the artist and jeweler David Bisson invited me to take part in the first exhibition of the Wrexham Arts and Crafts Collective, to be set up in the People’s Market in Wrexham. My brother in law Ally Parsonage helped me make a twelve foot exhibition screen on which to hang some of the work. I like the link with my much earlier “Art for the People” period.
I took part in the exhibition Stuckism: Remodernising the Mainstream late in 2015 at the University of Kent. We were invited by students. I was interviewed about Stuckism by Edward Lucie Smith at the Private View.
In 2008 we had a family holiday in Provence. Around 1990 I was very interested in the work of Cezanne and read many books about him and now I was able to visit his house and places where he painted. I admire and value the contemplative nature of his mature work. I was in the habit of making very rapid sketches, but during this holiday I spent longer on each one, using coloured pencils.
About 2008 I painted a number of works on the theme of couples and these have been one of the defining characteristics of this period.
Bali and other Holidays
My college friend Alfie lives in Bali and early in 2010 we had a holiday with him in Singapore, Bali and Yogyakarta on Java. His house in Bali is in the village of Anggabaya. The Hindu religion is very important in Bali, affecting all aspects of life. Everything was so different. I made some water colour sketches there.
In 2012, we had a holiday in Florence, where, for the first time, I saw many paintings that I’d known from books for as long as I can remember. We walked across the river to a Romanesque church and when I returned home I did a tiny painting, A Road Near Florence, inspired by that walk. The figures are even more simplified than in my Formal style and the background is uniform. This was followed by the small painting, People in a Room, painted in a similar style. In 2015 we had a holiday in Ramsgate where I visited places where Van Gogh had worked.
L. S. Lowry
Recently, I have realized that my outlook has something in common with Lowry’s. He is popular because ordinary mortals like myself can relate to him. Lowry comes across as a person who could not fulfill himself in his personal life, yet there is always an interest in life there, and a dry humor. Asked what he did with his old clothes, he replied: “I wear them”. He was able to see interest in things which might normally be considered problematic. Lowry’s palette is even more restricted than my own. He uses Yellow Ochre like myself, with Vermillion and Prussian Blue, which are rather less permanent.
In 2011, I looked on the Internet to see how much I would have to pay for even the most meager work by Lowry. One dealer was offering a quick sketch in felt tip for £10,000. Failing that, I could buy a signed print for £1,000. That year we had a holiday at Criccieth by the castle. Just up the road from us there was a picture framers which also sold works of art. I bought a framed drawing, in coloured crayon, by Helen Steinthall. There was accompanying information showing that she had exhibited in Peel Park Gallery, Manchester, with Lowry in 1931.
Like Lowry I am interested in scenes from everyday life, including street scenes. In 2011 I produced a painting called Street Corner Conwy and this seemed to herald in a new style. The composition was drawn onto the canvas in charcoal before starting to paint.
My grandson Dylan was born in 2010 and my granddaughter Lydia was born in 2012. We have visited our family in South London many times during this period and the streets there make inspiring subject matter.
70th Birthday Celebration
In 2013 we celebrated my 70th birthday in London. I had printed my first book about my paintings in time for this event. We all had a meal in Joannas restaurant in Crystal palace.