ken Nettlefold


Well, today is the first day of my exhibition and it has rained and rained and rained. If we still lived in London we would have spent the day wondering around the V & A and the dog would have crossed his legs. I really like the new boy’s bedroom they have created at Winterbourne with its male atmosphere and masculine furnishings. This portrait study of Ken hangs very well in there an it is uncanny how the colours work so well together as it hadn’t been created when I painted this. Strange to think this room was my original studio exactly one year ago until I moved to the hay Loft studio in June. You can just about make out the use of varnish in an Edwardian tulip motif across his face. I like the look of youthful apprehension in his face. We were all there once.


Scullery & NADFAS Day 9


water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

February 28th 2013

Clear cold blue sky day. Very productive planning day. Have a whole new range of ideas to explore. Considered the children’s picture book more closely and looked at the family history and the children who lived here and what they might have got up to. Tried to upload some of my film onto the screen in the studio but to no avail as my laptop kept crashing. Chatted to a man named George about the university art collection which I must find time to see in particular Paolozzi’s prints and the primitive art collection. Thought about the subject matter as well as the style. Looked into the kitchen and scullery which will surely feature, also their shop, which won’t. Chatted to a lady from NADFAS – West Midlands regional Chair no less- and another representative from the parks and gardens department regarding the possibility of doing some workshops. Developed a tiny A6 sketchbook (a format I hadn’t used before), adding dark wash to the pencil studies. Worked on each double page spread before drying it on an old fashioned Edwardian radiator beneath the window. I now have a clearer idea of my direction which is helpful. Need to get a quote from a printer for my small book to assess if it is viable to self publish. It would have 47 double page spreads. Watch this space!    



water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

January 24th 2013

Drove up to Winterbourne with a car load of stuff; canvases, easel, tubs of paint and primer, art materials and a few books to establish my new studio space. No recent snow fall so the journey was easy and we sailed through. A stream of students were just leaving as we arrived for the private view of the new upper rooms at Winterbourne: there’s an Edwardian nursery, Nina the teenage daughter’s room, the governess’ room, also a hobbies’ room leading onto my studio. The staff were racing around making final adjustments and then at 5.30pm the first of fifty arrived for the reception. I chatted to the editor of Birmingham’s Gem magazine, two of Winterbourne’s volunteers, a Birmingham Councillor, an ex KES headmaster and his wife, the marketing manager of the Barber Institute, and the new director of the B.I, Nicola Kalinsky. Alison Derby made a short speech to us all from the stairs and announced my position as artist in residence as from Monday. Paul enjoyed seeing the whole wonderful set up for the first time and said I’d have a great time. We’re ready for the off!