All quiet on the painting front

After the successes of 2012, things took a different turn in 2013. In February my father died suddenly, after a long illness. Following this shock, my time was taken up with the funeral, plus taking care of my Mum and helping my brother, as well as doing my day job, so painting had to go on the back burner.

By November, though, things had calmed down sufficiently that I could slip up to Scotland to see my good friend Alpha Alpha. The day before I went to East Fortune, I was lucky enough to see the Leonardo exhibition “The Mechanics of Man” at Holyroodhouse. I had seen this at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace the previous year, but had been desperate to go back. If anything, the exhibition in Edinburgh was even better than the one in London, as it had more of the modern computer-generated anatomical images, showing the same views that Leonardo depicted, and showing how advanced Leonardo had been in his anatomical observations – we would not see work of similar quality again until the 19th century. He is my ultimate artistic “hero”, and it was wonderful to see again the precision and beauty of his work.

Leonardo would have loved Concorde. I think he would have been blown away by the technical achievement (like his own work, well ahead of its time). If we could somehow transport him to the present day in a time machine, it would be fascinating to see him produce a painting of Concorde – I think he would perfectly capture the curves and complexity of the aircraft’s form. To establish some kind of link between man and machine, I bought a postcard in the museum shop, and slipped it into a seat back in Alpha Alpha’s cabin. And, as usual, I did some sketches of the beautiful bird while I was there.


Under-wing sketch of Concorde Alpha Alpha at East Fortune, 2013

Alpha Alpha, watercolour pencil, 2013

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