Henry Sandon MBE portrait unveiled


Henry Sandon final

Henry Sandon MBE by Sara Hayward MA(RCA) , oil on canvas, 60″ x 40″, Museum of Royal Worcester 

“I think it’s fabulous. It makes me look happy which is what I always am. I’m delighted with it,” said Henry, 29th August 2014. 

Visitors to the Museum of Royal Worcester can now see my portrait of Henry Sandon hanging upstairs near the twentieth century gallery. BBC Midlands Today recorded the occasion as the portrait was officially unveiled with plenty of style and ceremony by Cynthia Crawford MBE in the museum last Friday. Painted between March and June this year it is is the first to be completed of two portraits I started of Henry. I am hoping – if Henry is willing – to complete the second portrait of Henry holding a Royal Worcester pot- in the autumn, with a view to showing it elsewhere.

Henry is not only a great character but also an affable raconteur and it was wonderful to hear tales of his growing up in London and his career at Worcester Porcelain. Outside builders and cranes on Severn Street kept us entertained as did visitors to the museum coming into our temporary studio who were clearly very excited to have stumbled across their Antiques Road Show hero. Henry is a national treasure, giving generously of his time to charities and institutions; multi talented, larger than life, a gentleman to the core, he is joyous; I wanted to capture something of his great integrity and also sense of humour. A friend said to me, “Make sure you capture the twinkle in his eye!” and I hope I have. Notice the distinctive teapot tie and his laughter lines. My inspiration for the painting were paintings by Bonnard; inspired by his use of  heightened colour and vibrant mark making. 

My thanks go to to the museum for the commission; I hope it does Henry justice. Henry likes the portrait, his family like it, the museum like it and so far so do the visitors. I hope you like it too. Pop in and see it if you can! It’s a gem of a museum and well worth visiting.

Museum of Royal Worcester, Severn Street, Worcester Open Monday to Saturday, March to October 10am – 5pm November to February 10am – 4pm  

Snow & Baked Potato Day 16


 

water colour study from my sketch book

water colour study from my sketch book

Wednesday 27th March

Still some snow on the ground; Winterbourne very quiet. Worked randomly all day in a single colour and by the end of the day was starting to see results.  Bitterly cold so I treated myself to a hot chocolate and baked potato in the cafe; chatted to Vicky from the university who had studied fine art and now wants to get back into it. Worked in blue- cerulean, cobalt and pthalo blue. Chatted to one couple from Hull who live on the coast and they said they rarely see snow up there. Blue blue blue. Also chatted to a bloke up from London visiting his mother, and a toddler – James – from Stirchley. 

110711 Malvern exhibition


An exhibition of thirty paintings by husband and wife artist duo, Sara Hayward and Paul Powis, has just opened at Malvern Theatres.  Sara’s distinctive paintings draw inspiration from her travels to places she has visited, for example, Venice and St Ives, whilst Paul’s landscapes are inspired by landscapes around the Malvern Hills as well as further afield in Italy and Spain. Sara Hayward studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art at Oxford University before going on to study printmaking at the Royal College of Art, London. Paul Powis trained as an abstract painter and became interested in landscape when he moved to Worcestershire from London in 1988. The exhibition runs until August 21st.

“As you enter the theatre, the paintings inspired by Venice which are hung on the main stairs, have an immediate impact due only partly to the richness of their colours. The apparent simplicity of these works belies the care with which the elements are arranged. Because these works by Sara Hayward are displayed together they successfully display the axiom “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Each work enhances the next by its proximity and together they create a beautiful aide-memoire for those lucky enough to have visited this magical city.

Sara’s other works, inspired by coastal environments benefit by a similar unity. They reminded me of the seaside holidays of my youth. The viewer is invited to look through the open window, as if on the first morning of a fortnight away. It’s sunny, the wind blows the curtain aside and all’s well with the world.

In the restaurant area are works by Paul Powis. These draw their inspiration from further afield. Adopting a subjective approach to the colours in his palette and introducing semi-abstract elements, lift these works above the mere representational. The colours “sing”. The spacial elements achieve a satisfying harmony. It is clear to see why so many corporate clients have bought Paul’s work. It’s a pleasure to see so many of Paul’s paintings together,” says Humph Hack in his review for the What’s On online review site Remote Goat.

 Also on display in the theatre are paintings by artists Nicola Clark and Tracy Jolly.

110524 on air


Last week we were down in London supporting Worcester Cathedral choir as they sang in St Paul’s Cathedral at evensong. Well, I say evensong, but actually it was The 357th Festival of the Sons of the Clergy with great pomp and circumstance, more than a handful of bishops and even the Household Cavalry to boot. I say supporting Worcester Cathedral but in truth we were just cadging a lift knowing how close it was to Tate Modern. At the service (which actually was completely awesome) amidst such heady company as the Bishop of London the man sitting next to me looked decidedly underdressed, wearing shorts and looking more likely dressed for a summer picnic; I  nearly said something but then realised it was my husband.

First thing as the coach came into London I had looked out of the window mesmorised by the gardens of the capital’s residents – hugely grateful to all those, and certainly not all, who tended them. Many were neglected and grotty  but some were nicely planted with roses and nurtured front gardens making them uplifting and welcoming to the visitor.  Before evensong we had spent all afternoon in Tate Modern seeing the Miro exhibition and spending time viewing the permanent collection at our leisure. We both preferred Miro’s early work (of tended gardens, naturally) and his later work, but the best bit by far was the film made from interviews with Miro, his grand daughter, gallery owners and dealers who all knew him personally. Shots of where he lived and worked were fascinating. We had once visited Miro’s studio just outside Palma in Mallorca and it is always incredibly poignant to see where an artist works. It puts them in context.

Similarly we’ve visited Barbara Hepworth’s studio in St Ives, Ken Howard’s studio in Venice, Mary Fedden’s in London to name but a few. I can also remember like it was only yesterday visiting Victor Hugo’s writing room in Guernsey, and both William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter’s homes in the Lake District when I was a child. They bring you very close to the artist and to the core of their creativity.

This Friday for four days we will be throwing open our studio doors to visitors as part of the inaugural Worcestershire Arts Trail. Though not in the same league I’m sure it will be memorable for someone; well, at least I hope so! We’ve just come back from talking about it on the Andy Easton show at BBC Hereford & Worcester; I’m not saying I was nervous but I actually thought nothing would come out, not even a peep, when I opened my mouth; the cat had really got my tongue. Truly terrifying it was, but Andy was brilliant,  and unbelievably relaxed even completely eating an enormous wrap during a break. Paul Powis, Bridget Drakeford and Sharon McSwiney were fabulous too. Me, just a bag of nerves, me.