The Sculpture Lesson

You’d think these three heads were made by a very experienced sculptor, wouldn’t you? In fact they were all made in just 10 lessons by people who had never sculpted a head before. The teacher is Shirley Collen and I have already signed up for her class commencing early in January. Shirley is the lady I painted playing her saxophone recently. Here we are together when I delivered the completed and framed painting last Thursday afternoon.

She certainly is a multi-talented woman. I saw her portfolio of both portraits and landscapes – in oils. They are amazing. I know that she’ll be a very good teacher, and intend to use Rolf Harris as my first model. When I called in to see him and Alwen on Saturday morning he agreed to pose for a sculpture, so when I’ve worked out exactly what I need to do I’ll get ready for my first lesson with real anticipation. How exciting. It’s always good to see Rolf – he never stops. For example yesterday morning he was painting symbols, animals and birds on to a large cardboard tube. Apparently he’d accidentally dropped the tube that morning and so liked the resonance that he decided to make it into a drum. I watched him as he added swirls of colour – orange, yellow, brown, black and ochre – to the tube. By the time I left it was just about complete – he intended to play it at a gig he was appearing in that very evening!

Eileen brought Jack’s ashes back from Singapore over the weekend as she planned to hold a memorial service in Lymington in Hampshire on Wednesday afternoon. Arriving there, after a brief stop for lunch at the Rose and Crown in Brockenhust, the first person I saw on the high street was Brian Hoyle and his wife Pam. (Brian, John Hagley and I had, in the 60’s, formed the Creative Circle in Singapore – its awards ceremony now the biggest annual event for advertisers in Singapore). Eileen had organised the service for Jack at St, Thomas’s Church. So many old friends from Asia were there. Even though it was a very sad occasion - Jack’s spirit was everywhere – it was so nice to meet up again. Later in the evening Eileen organised a small dinner for the family to which I was invited. Here we are waiting for our table to be ready.

The past few days have been spent working on a miniature commission and getting ready for Christmas. Every year my neighbour, Guy Hart, paints a charming watercolour of a German snow scene and asks me to print off 50 or so copies for him. So I did that yesterday – and made a number of copies of my 2012 calendar. I make one every year and give copies to the family and a couple of friends. I used photographs I’d taken of places I visited during the year, putting them in order of seasons. If you’d like to see them here they are.

I mentioned the other week that I made a drawing of my second cousin, Derek, for the family to give to Joyce, his wife, for Christmas. (Derek died recently). They picked it up the other day. I’d had it framed with a nice oval double mount and a small gold frame, andhis son, Clive, said it would be OK to show it on my blog.

My sister-in-law, Val, had a bit of a problem on Friday night. When she arrived home she couldn’t open any of the doors to her house as all the keys were still in the locks on the inside. It was about 11 pm and none of the three ’24 hour’ locksmiths answered their phones. Wish she’d thought of ringing me or one of her children. But luckily her sun-lounge door was open so she could at least sleep there for the night (but said it was very cold). In the morning a locksmith came to let her in (I’m in the wrong business as it cost her £90 for one minute’s work!)

Now it’s back to wrapping more presents, modelling and painting Spitfires and generally being busy.