The Way We Lied

I’ve been trying to tell Simon just how exciting today was, but he isn’t really interested and in fact, I have to say, has been quite dismissive. He said Mary was just being kind to us and probably couldn’t be bothered to stir things up, but I said that she seemed quite genuine and we all found the afternoon very encouraging.
Nicky had made us all think in advance about the questions we wanted to ask so we would use the time properly. As Nicky said, it’s not every day we get the chance to speak to a famous artist, so we don’t want to waste the opportunity. She also said we should decide in advance which pieces of our work we would like to have on display, so we could all get as much out of her visit as possible. I said there wasn’t much for me to think about then, as all my paintings are much the same, but Nicky said in that case why didn’t I also bring my sketch books along to give her an idea of how I prepared my work.
And that was a brilliant suggestion as it made all the difference. I could see that Mary was not particularly excited by my usual paintings, the run of the mill still lifes and jugs of flowers, but she loved my sketches. There’s more energy in these than I am seeing in your finished work, she said. It would be wonderful if you could retain this vibrancy. I was so pleased I could hardly speak. I mean, her praising me! She was very nice to everyone else as well, though I could see she was not very interested in Arthur Jones’s watercolours of local scenes, but then I don’t think he was very bothered either because they always sell very well to visitors to the area. And anyway, he probably won’t be in on the project, he just wanted to join in for the afternoon because he wanted to meet Mary and then be able to go to the pub in the evening to tell his mates he’d met the lady who did all the tit sculptures. He is such a chauvinist pig, he really is.
And when Nicky started talking about the group project Arthur said he didn’t see why we needed to agree to do a combined effort. He said as we were all so different it would be a bit like trying to pretend we all had a house style, like a range of supermarket products. I could see Mary thought he was being obstructive and she said that perhaps he felt that way about the Camden Town artists or the Newlyn School and that soon shut him up.
Nicky told her we hadn’t yet decided what the project should be, just that it should inspire us all to develop new ideas. Then Mary said that she would be delighted to invite everyone who was willing to sign up to the project ( by which she meant everyone except Arthur) to visit her studio and she would show us some of her own sketches and work in progress. That was quite funny as it certainly shut Arthur up and the rest of us were very keen to agree to be involved from that point onwards.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s