Keeping Calm and Carrying On

I know it’s been a long time since I last wrote a blog. I was brought up sharp the other day by one of my faithful followers who was concerned about my absence during these difficult times. As we all are. In fact I’ve extremely prolific over these past couple of months as far as painting is concerned.

Having no commissions at the moment and none likely in the foreseeable future I thought I’d take myself back to Tudor England and embark on a series of small miniature portraits of King Henry VIII’s wives followed by a larger portrait of the man himself basing

my portraits on various large scale contemporary oil portraits but making colour changes, inventing nice backgrounds and other additions or subtractions. All the Queens are painted two inches wide, but King Henry VIII was painted four inches wide. Here they are, starting with Catherine of Aragon

And now Anne Boleyn

And Jane Seymour

Now here’s Anne of Cleves

Catherine Howard

Finally this is Catherine Parr

Now to show all six wives together

And now for the lad himself – A large miniature of King Henry VIII

With my young friend working all day in the office she has established in my dining room I spend my time painting. Last week I finished a large watercolour of magnolias.

Just three weeks ago my bowling club opened again. However with the strict social distancing rules in place only two people could play at a time keeping apart. Only three rinks out of six were used enabling a proper distancing could be adhered to. But as myf is living with me she was able to join me for a game of bowls as a special guest. Amazingly on her very first game ever she achieved a score of 17 against my 25. And the following week 17 to 22. But last week she won 14 to 12. She really is good and other members of the club who saw her bowl were very keen for her to become a member. Yesterday’s game ended in a draw 21 to 21.

I’m just about to start on a large trompe l’oeil painting depicting bowling items. It will be highly detailed and I dare say it will take between three and four months to complete. Here is my first rough sketch of the possible layout.

So apart from painting and working we are both well. As I’m now on the ‘vulnerable’ list with Tesco’s we can easily arrange deliveries every 10 days or so. My balconies have been planted and everything seems to be growing well. And myf’s garden is looking very good. The river has now been opened to pleasure boats and we’ve been out three times now for leisurely trips up to Hambleden lock and back. But as we’ve had virtually no rain for weeks it’s so low that today we hit the mud on our way back into our mill pool.

One more thing – the swan nested in a corner of our garden and laid and hatched six signets

And my painting of Nine Little Dunkirk Ships has just been made into a jigsaw puzzle by the Wentworth Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle Company

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