My sixteen year old nephew has come to stay with me for a few days, along with his male friend, and I’m enjoying having two teenagers in the house (yes, really, I do mean it). Its the first time they’ve been to see my new house and it was described as “Well lush” which seems to give it the thumbs up in teenage-speak! This morning they asked to see my studio and the artwork I produce in it, which I was more than happy to show them. And my nephew declared that it was “Well cool” which again was great acceptance! He picked up one picture and asked me if it was painted in oils, and I said no, it was in watercolours, remembering that he had mentioned the other day about me painting on material, and realising he meant canvas. Its all new for him to see for himself as he lives the other end of the country from me so I don’t see him as often as we’d both like. He particularly liked the “Tree of life” painting I did, as a version of it is hanging on my studio wall, and his friend liked the “Guardian Angels” painting I’ve done with the faces in the cottage garden. It reminded me of the sort of art that I used to do when I was their age – surreal paintings of faces with a macabre twist to them, mostly.
I took them to see the village of Repton, in Derbyshire, the afternoon they arrived as it’s the village I grew up in, as well as being a very pretty and interesting place to visit. We wandered around the ancient graveyard as I pointed out the more interesting gravestones, and then into the church itself for a brief visit. You don’t have to be religious to find the building of old churches interesting. As we walked in there was a small tea party taking place, and the first person I saw there was a woman I knew from years ago, who helped me get a drawing of mine in a local book about Derbyshire villages. We saw each other at the same time and said hello as I went over to speak to her properly. “Hello Jackie, how are you?” she said and we had a brief chat before I took the quietly loitering teenagers down to the crypt to show them the ancient historical areas which I was pleased to note they were actually interested in! As we ascended the well worn stone steps back into the church and walked back past the tea party one of the old ladies beckoned me over “Are you the artist Jackie Adshead?” and I nodded at her and smiled and she said “I’ve always wanted to meet you, since you did the covers of the Parish magazine” and I smiled even more at her as we chatted. And on the way out, I pointed out the Parish magazine to my nephew and his friend – they still use my artwork for them, and I did them in the 1980s. Its certainly been a good advert for me over the years.
I saw my good friend Peter the other day, who I’ve not seen for a few weeks, and as we chatted he said he had spent the evening with some purple people the week before. Although I am an artist, and colours are incredibly important for me I don’t particularly know what a “purple person” was, and queried the description. He went on to explain about the “arty types who don’t wash very often and their houses and clothes are a disorganised mess” and I nodded at him in understanding. He asserted “You’re not a purple person” and I replied with a big grin “I knooowwww!”. Peter said “No, I always think of you as half yellow, and half blue” and I thought about it, and agreed, yes, I could see that. I know I am an unusual mix in that I am creative and artistic, but also methodical and logical too – hence his description of the half and half colours. He said that he was fully blue, as he has the methodical accountant background to his career. It’s funny, the colour thing, because I’ve always thought of myself as gold coloured. I wonder what colour other people view me as?
Because I did the parish magazine covers, but also I used to do macabre surreal art as a teenager, I like doing erotic art, but I’m more than happy doing landscapes and pet portraits and mythological creatures too!
Basically, I just like doing art, whatever it is.