Christmas is coming

So much to do, I’ve been very remiss about my blog. Hope by the start of next year I’ll become more regular. Anyway all my presents are wrapped and some delivered. Yesterday we went to Lady McAlpine’s Christmas party. Sad not to see Bill there as he died earlier this year. He would have loved to have seen all his many friends there. This is the most lavish party I know when it comes to decorations. Every one of their many rooms in amazingly decorated – it must takes weeks. Here are just some of them.

There was a band in one of the rooms – accompanied by a big tiger. (Bill and Judy McAlpine love animals, and the house is dotted with hundreds of them. They also have exotic real live ones roaming around their grounds – including wallabies, capybaras, enormous rabbits and many others)

The Henley Bowling Club held its Christmas lunch party last Sunday. Val and I went to it. A beautiful turkey meal and an ongoing quiz for each table. Every one of the 54 answers to the very cryptic questions related to Christmas. Our table came a very close second. Here’s an example of one of the questions – “Drone Insect”. The answer was “Humbug”

Norman acted as Father Christmas

And here’s Val collecting her present and a kiss from Santa.

Last week marked the opening of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. These are the eight miniatures I exhibited there this year.

I gave ‘The Mundy Sovereign Award’ this year to Luanda Houser for her portrait entitled ‘Aleighna’. This artist lives in the USA. Unfortunately I don’t have an image of her portrait, but it was nice to be shown her comments when told of her award by the RMS secretary. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would win an award, especially THIS award. Mr Mundy has been my hero and inspiration ever since I ‘discovered’ the wonderful world of miniature art. I have some of his books and wander through them at length – and often.’

(She’ll be pleased to know that I’m planning to publish a new and comprehensive book on my life in miniature in about a year.)

After over a hundred hours of stippling in sepia watercolour I’ve just completed a larger than life self portrait. As it will soon be time to submit pictures for exhibition in the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, I intend to submit this and two others. Here is a section of the painting to show the detail

And this is the actual painting

As I won’t be writing another blog before Christmas, this is the cover of the little calendar I make each year for half a dozen friends

… and finally, here’s my Christmas card for this year, and to all those readers of my blog who didn’t receive a card I’m sending you my very best wishes for a happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.

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