Well the Caversham art trail is now over and the studio is just about back to normal after a hectic couple of weeks. I must say it was enjoyable meeting visitors and talking about my work and that of the other artists taking part.
If you came along to my demo last Saturday … here, as promised, is the finished portrait of Liz Hodgkin, politician, mayor, gardener, singer and all round mover and shaker in Henley on Thames. As you can see I have exchanged her mayoral gown for her Greys Church choir robes and the photo background for Henley in Bloom Green.
My latest addition to the “Fifty Faces'” collection is on display today! Locals of Henley on Thames may well recognise master (mistress?) baker, Nicola Taylor. Lawlors the bakers have been supplying the town with quality bread, buns and cakes for decades and Nicola’s daily Facebook posts keep my tastebuds tickled all though the week.
This is Angela Tilby, the Diocesan Canon at Christ Church, Oxford.
As it is Holy Week she seemed a perfect choice for my seventh face out of 50 in 2016. Angela recently visited Harpsden Church where I work as organist and choir leader. She was instantly likeable with a warm, lively personality and down to earth approach.
Several people last week suggested our Queen would be a good person to include in my 50 faces series for 2016. So if you were one of those people, here is your answer! I hope you like it. I opted for a look without crown and blue sash just to check you could recognise her without the trappings, but did choose a characteristically bright and cheerful colour as I know she likes to sport outfits that make it easier for people to spot her from a distance. And let’s face it we all like to spot a celebrity, don’t we?
Well done to anyone on the blogging challenge who found this week’s blog! Last week was my first attempt – a short story, which a few people read and commented on (thank you!) It was deliberately different to my usual posts because it was for 29th February, the ‘extra’ day and a chance to experiment with being someone different.
The next day was March 1st and my 50th birthday. The official launch date of my fifty faces challenge. Of course, I had not been able to contain my excitement about this so I have already started painting them but this is my chance to be ‘Queen’ and have an official and unofficial birthday (or several).
The most recent in my bid to paint 50 faces this year. My running coach suggested Malala as a subject and initially I had reservations. I want to have a 50/50 balance of male and female faces but I was not keen to portray women who are famous for being victims or the wife of someone famous! However, when I researched Malala I realised she was far from being a victim. This was someone who was already publicly condemning the efforts of the Taliban to prevent girls from getting a proper education. Her writings contributed to schools in her valley being re-opened to girls. That was when the Taliban tracked her down and shot her through the head. Her response? When she had recovered she completed her education in the UK, wrote a book about her story and amplified her shout against the oppressors more than a hundredfold. Coming from any culture this would have been astonishingly brave, but from a country where women are routinely underrated she is absolutely astonishing.
…Starting with Angela Merkel. Life as a politician puts you under constant scrutiny. I admire her strength, intelligence and compassion. Watching her with interest.