A MEMORY

20 SOLD

Remember me as I was

Not as I am now.

Remember my laughter and not my tears

Remember me in happiness and not in fears.

Forget this blank expressionless face,

The open mouth and sad and staring eyes.

Its not me

Nor ever will be.

I left long ago to who knows where or what.

I am just a memory of flesh and blood

Who sleeps a dreamless sleep and will not wake,

Till final darkness comes for me to take.

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THE AGE OF FAKERY

RENOIR III KEPT

My version of  ‘lA lOGE’ by RENOIR which is in the Courtauld Gallery in London

We live in the age of fakery and most of it as a result of Alan Turin and his invention of the computer.

When I first started painting there were no short cuts.    As a tourist artist, I produced a painting of some local scene and mostly holiday makers bought it to take home and remember their Suffolk holidays. Whether a simple water colour or a pastel or oil, in its way it was unique and all part of what I did and original to me.    Of course, styles vary from painter to painter and quality also. I like to think I was somewhere in the middle and consequently making a half decent living from something I enjoyed doing.

The first time I became aware of fakery was when another ‘tourist artist’ who will remain nameless, produced a large painting of Southwold and sold it to a local woman.    A couple of days later she came in to the gallery complete the payment and there on the gallery wall was an exact copy of the picture she had bought a few days before.    The answer was an overhead projector and a photograph and some quick work by the painter to replace it.    Highly indignant, her money was returned with apologies.    She of course returned the picture.    God knows what happened after that. He probably sold both versions at different venues.

Camera obscurer and overhead projectors have been used for years right back to the renaissance.    Vermeer and Caravagio were thought to have indulged, once the optic lens had been invented.    But to them, with genius talent, it was just a quick way to map out the picture and then to indulge their immense abilities with paint and form.    After all, they had to make a living to.    Nevertheless on seeing that copy, it was the first time I had come across such a thing and no, I didn’t rush out and buy an overhead projector myself.

These days anything is possible.    One can take a photograph and with the right computer programme, it can be digitally converted first into a painting and then into any style that you require.    If it’s a landscape, perhaps a Turner or if a portrait, then perhaps Whistler or Sergeant. Anything is possible.    The print is then projected onto a canvas and with 3D printing even texture, crackle and impasto can be added.VETRIANO I SOLD

I am sure that if I wrote an outline of a simple story, with the right programme, it could be turned into a Dickens or a Neville Shute. Anything and everything is possible.

The three pictures in this piece, are of copies I’ve done over the years.    Below a Degas pastel and above, my favourite Vetriano called ‘The Valentine Rose’.    He is well known for his use of obscurer and all the rest, and makes no secret of it.    Still great original work. In the Vetriano original, I expanded the mantelpiece with the beginnings of a clock on it.     In every copy I’ve done, there is always something personal that I’ve added.    Little me running with the greats.

DEGAS II KEPT

So my conclusions are that the age of originality is becoming obsolete and in my opinion we will be the poorer for it.

SENTIMENT

3. B'S TEDDY

There can be a wondrous beauty in sentiment.

A melody of bird song and music,

A love of words that have deep meaning

And simple truth.

Sad songs and sad tears

Perhaps to calm most fears.

There can be a wondrous beauty in sentiment.

ICE CREAM AT GRANDMA’S WINDOW

GIRLS IN BLUE SOLD

Home from school in the hot summer sun

Ice cream at Grandma’s window

For my sister and me

A treat given with love.

Warm stone on our feet that are hard and dry

From joyful running and jumping

Along cobbled lanes

That wind through our village home.

While we eat she tells us of her life before

And how we to will be a grandma one day

And will do the same for our grandchildren

With ice creams at the window.

But you will live for ever Grandma

And you will always be here when we come.

She smiles and says she will

But deep down we know and are sad.

And then its home, licking our lips with joy

Another day in our for ever life,

With tomorrow to look forward to

And another ice cream at Grandma’s window.

WALKING IN CIRCLES

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I’ve started to walk in circles

And I just can’t understand why

Walking straight is nigh on impossible

No matter how hard that I try.

At home I tend to be better

And as long as I stick to routine

And walk close to the walls

With my hand out, it works, if you know what I mean.

My doctor declares himself baffled

And has issued me with a cane

But I’m still walking clockwise as usual

Its inconvenient and frankly a pain.

If I could just change to anti clockwise

At least it would give me some breaks

And maybe its just what is needed

I’ll do it whatever it takes.

I’ve even considered a wheelchair

But it would probably end up the same

With me going round in circles

And only myself for to blame.

So if you see me walking in circles

Please give me your arm if you would

And walk me along in a die straight line

So I finally end up where I should.

THE STRANGER

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I think I saw him the other day walking on the other side of the road. Even though he didn’t look my way, somehow I seemed to know that he was thinking about me. A strange and surreal feeling of familiarity. Then not a sign of him for days. Perhaps I had imagined it.

My walking has become more and more difficult so I don’t get out much. So a few days later, when I did manage to go shopping, this time I am sure I saw him. Again on the other side of the road and walking in the opposite direction. A car passed by blocking my view and when I looked again, he had gone. This time I was sure and this time it was real.

Two days ago, I decided to walk down the same street again just to see if I could see him and perhaps this time I would remember who he was. But there was no sign of him and I almost decided that I’d put it out of mind before it developed into some kind of obsession.

Yesterday he was there again. And as though to confirm that, this time we both smiled at each other and then looked away, almost as though each of us were embarrassed by our acknowledgement of each other. What did surprise me was that his smile had a strangely warm and familiar effect on me. In fact, it comforted me for the rest of my day.

Today he crossed over the road, stopped in front of me and put his hand on my shoulder and then I knew and, was happy.

I DON’T DRINK WINE

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A cup of tea

Is heaven to me

And several of them throughout the day

I must drink tea, come what may.

A cup of coffee must be black and small

Taken in mid morning and then that’s all

Let others drink coffee after every meal

If that’s the way they want to feel.

I drink gin with tonic and lime

And several of them when I get the time.

And drinking gin is not a sin

Gordons and Schweppes are part of my hymn.

Tankards of beer that tastes wholesome and good

Coming straight from the barrel, it really should

And there’s nothing to beat an Adams bitter

It suits me well and makes me fitter.

Rum and coke with lime and ice

Dreams of Jamaica and all things nice

Tropical smells and tropical hue

And heat in the winter when I’m feeling blue.

I don’t drink wine!

Some of my ideas