Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Gallery on board

I now have a new gallery representing me in Northern Ireland. 'White Image' is a contemporary art gallery in the beautiful village of Hillsborough, not far from Belfast. The owner and director Bill Morrison was keen to take my latest works into the gallery and I look forward to seeing what the reaction of local art collectors will be in due course. Bill, many thanks for your interest. I hope this is the beginning of a long and successful business relationship.
To view the website please click on the link below.

White Image Gallery

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hello Danny

The night of the Danny La Rue show has come and gone and the Benidorm Palace was filled to capacity for this one-off event. I was very proud to be one of the guests of honour at the event and thoroughly enjoyed the whole proceedings. Whilst waiting to present my limited edition print as the first prize in the fundraising raffle, it was amazing to see behind the scenes and meet the other stars of the show during the interval.

My thanks go to all the organisers, but especially to Steve Ashley who was instrumental in bringing the whole thing together for the benefit of the Costa Blanca Samaritans. I hope a large amount of money was raised to help keep the phone lines open for a long time to come.

The younger Danny was played by Jerry Lane who wowed the audience with his singing, dancing and costumes, and was accompanied by a plethora of other great talented singers and dancers, too numerous to mention, on this special night. Then Danny came on to much applause. He sang a fantastic range of his own well known songs as well as songs made famous by friends from glamorous era’s long since gone. An interview session followed with radio presenter Beverly Stewart during which Danny regaled us with stories of his younger days. A night of nostalgia and celebration of a life steeped in show business. The show finished with a bang as all the singers and dancers joined together for the grand finale, making this into what must have been the event of the year in the Benidorm Palace’s 2007 diary.

It was a pleasure to chat to everyone concerned and also to catch up with Danny La Rue when he arrived at the after show party. I am amazed at the amount of British (and Irish) talent now living full time on the Costa Blanca.

An experience to remember for a long time to come.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Danny La Rue

'Significant Changes Within' 18"x24" Ltd. Edtn. Print
Raffle prize for the Costa Blanca Samaritans fundraiser event

TJ, Danny and Judy

What a wonderful day I had yesterday!
I had been asked to donate something as part of a fund raising evening taking place in the Benidorm Palace in aid of the Costa Blanca Samaritans on Remembrance Sunday (11th November, for those of you who don't know).

The production arranged for the night is the life story of none other than the great Danny La Rue. Danny has flown in especially to host the night in his own inimitable fashion and it promises to be a fantastic evening.

I was asked to attend by my sole representing gallery here in the Costa Blanca - The Fusion Gallery in Altea, by owner and director Judy Webber to hand over the limited edition print to a 'very special guest'. The coastal drive from Alicante to Altea is spectacular. It was a beautiful day, 2o degrees or so, car windows down enjoying the sunshine, with Michael Buble singing in the background. After a delicious lunch with Judy and Jenny in the old square of Altea I thought, this is one of those perfect days. How can it get any better? Who turned up shortly afterwards as the special guest?
It was Danny La Rue himself!

Danny signing the visitor book

What a character he was! He entertained us for ages with stories of his experiences both on and off the stage, but the time flew and the next thing we knew it was dark. With the business of the day, the handover, completed satisfactorily for the television company, Danny showed a great interest in a number of my original paintings hanging in the gallery.

Before he left he insisted in taking a TJ original home with him to remind him of our time together. Two Irish lads from the opposite ends of the island, meeting up in a foreign land to reminisce about the old country. It's called 'A Gathering Sky' 4"x16"(10cm x40cm)

TJ and Danny with Danny's very own TJ original painting

I will be attending the show in person to hand over the print to the winner on the night. I can't wait to see the show, if yesterdays fun and games were anything to go by. I believe there are a number of limited tickets still available, so phone and book them while you still have the chance!

Link to the Fusion Gallery

Monday, November 5, 2007

A present for Santa Claus

A funny little story that I meant to publish last week.

I was at the exhibition of a Norwegian artist Tor-Gunnar Riise who lives within the Norwegian Arctic Circle and was amazed when Tor had a surprise guest with him...

None other than Santa Claus himself!!

It turns out Santa has a holiday home here on the Costa Blanca. After we had chatted for a while I told Santa that I wanted to give him a present to say thank you for all the presents he had given me over the years. I gave him one of my limited edition prints and he was really touched by the gesture. He told me he would hang it in his workshop to remember me by. Although the photograph attached isn't the 'actual' Santa Claus, I thought it would represent his joy at receiving my gift!

Tor's exhibition was of subtle colourful scenes from the Arctic Circle including paintings of the Northern Lights over mountain tops. Beautiful work. You could feel the shivers running up your spine in his representations even though it was twenty degrees outside. Apparently spring, when it eventually comes, only lasts a week before their short summer takes over. Tor's other paintings described the dramatic changes between the seasons in what must be a barren landscape for much of the year. I wouldn't mind seeing that sometime. I'm not sure I could handle the six months of complete darkness though.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Day Of The Dead

All Hallows Eve has, of course, always been known as the night when the witches and hobgoblins come out to have some fun. This is because it was widely believed that the 31st of October was the night when the worlds of the dead and the living were at their closest point of the year. Whilst we in the north of Europe tend to use it as an excuse to dress up and party, the inhabitants of Spain use their time for fiesta's to welcome the dead into the family again, just for one night.

On November 1st we decided to visit the local cemetery to see the outdoor Mass and spend our time thinking about our own lost family members from years gone by. During my travels in various parts of Europe I have seen some strange cemeteries. So different from what we are used to in Ireland. I thought I would include a couple of photographs of our local cemetery here to let you see how it's 'done' in Spain.

Instead of being put into the ground, the bodies are incarcerated into sections of a wall - each one just wide enough to slide the coffin into - and then sealed up. Visiting family members may have to climb up the ladders provided to replace dead flowers or clean the plaque, depending on where their loved ones are positioned in the wall.

Isn't it strange how we struggle through life, measuring our successes by moving to bigger and bigger houses, only to 'downsize' over and over again as we get older and realize that we don't actually need all that space after all. When we head for the final downsize in life we don't actually need a lot of room at all, just a two-by-two-by-six foot square hole in a wall. It's strange how many 'foreigners' are now buried in our local cemetery.
English, Irish, German, Russian, Dutch, French and Scandinavian to name but a few.
It comes to us all eventually.