Way back in the spring, 2012 took a strange direction.
My father died very suddenly and I stopped blogging.
Partly because there was too much happening – largely because it wasn’t something that I felt I could write about in a blog.
Conversely it felt impossible to write at all without mentioning such a major life event.
To some extent I’ve always found it tricky to strike a balance between professional and personal when it comes to blogging.
Silence seemed to be the best option.
But now, picking up the threads and looking back at 2012 as a whole, it feels no easier to mention it than not to mention it… or vice versa…
My mother died four years ago, so now I feel well and truly orphaned and ‘in the front line’, as well as losing my greatest champions. No-one else is as interested in everything that one does as parents are. Sometimes my father was overly enthusiastic about my efforts, but he was a wonderful draughtsman and tremendously knowledgeable about art, so there was always something new to learn from him. It will be hard to plod on without their belief in me. But I will.
As far as my work went, the year’s weddings were colourful and joyous events, and there were many new and unexpected vignettes to record.
In September Charles Oldham , a fine wood carver living and working in Frome invited me to do a very different kind of painting on a set of coats of arms for Oldham (coincidentally) Council which had taken him six months to complete.
Although I’ve known Charlie and his work for over a decade, it was amazing to look at the craftsmanship in more detail whilst painting.
By the time I arrived in Charlie’s workshop the coats of arms had been gessoed and gilded. At times I was holding my breath trying to keep a steady hand for the lettering and fine details, desperately trying not to make a slip.
It was great to be a little part of a process that had involved such skilled craftspeople.
Once the coats of arms had been completed and taken up to Lancashire, I was back in the studio and working on small oils of cafés, following on from the shop front series I had been working on earlier in the year.
And here we are in 2013 already. I’m looking forward to carrying out my only New Year’s resolution, which is to do more painting.
I’m certain my parents would be pleased about that.