I have recently stumbled on a great cache of paintings going back as far as when I first started. What a range of styles and subjects there is! There are common themes from first to last such as my abiding love of the Yorkshire countryside but in my early days I jumped from place to place having a go at painting photographs from Ireland to India. I will be posting some of these in due course. This painting is definitely not a common theme and is one half of probably the strangest commission I have received to date. It began with a request to look at a pair of antique Victorian frames which had been smoke damaged. They were quite valuable and could they be salvaged? Although I know nothing about frames and framing (apart from the fact that framers make more money than painters!) I knew a man who did. He kindly restored them to full glory as a favour. So the next question logically was- what to put in the frames. Adele owned the frames and we had a long discussion concerning this important decision. Clearly something very traditional was in order to reflect the age and grandeur of the frames. The next time we visited she produced a Victorian jug on which were engraved two ladies. The plan was to paint these ladies for the reconditioned frames. They were typically Victorian - a romantic look back at a classical era. I've no idea whether they were Greek or Roman but definitely one or t'other. This was my initial attempt and is a fairly straight copy of the original on the jug. I simplified the painting for the finished article, concentrating more on the lady and making it a landscape so it fitted the frame and matched the other one. Sadly I have no record to show you how it turned out and how grand it looked in that fabulous old frame. Nevertheless I was overjoyed to find this and its sister piece. I have called it "The Lady and the Lyre" because when you speak it perhaps you are referring to the cherub rather than the musical instrument and should she trust his advice in matters of the heart. I know, I know it is probably a harp she is playing but hey man...that would ruin my alliteration and not be half as enigmatic! Now would you like to see the other one? Of course you do...here she is.
This is - the "Lady of the Lake". What DID those Victorian ladies get up to? You thought they were all virtuous and strait laced...literally. However this young thing is corsetless and in some deshabille. Looks to me like she is getting ready for a moonlight dip. I have taken a lot of liberties with the background but the figure is a copy from the original on the jug. I kept to this format for the final framed version but did concentrate more on the lady. Sadly, once again, I can't show you how grand she looked in her ornate frame so you will just have to take my word for it. However I have these originals both 20" x 16" so if you just happen to have two ornate Victorian frames that need filling........
Professional artist now semi retired and enjoying being eccentric!