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Hair Today

Stay with the blog today, it does get silly but this first bit is difficult to type without sounding arty and stuffy, it may help if you read the next bit as your favourite cartoon character from your childhood.

The show stock has all been signed off, mounting and framing is underway and the tour brochure has been finalised heralding the premier of Bloodlines to the galleries this weekend. The first official launch will be at Castle Fine Art in Nottingham on the 7th September, full details of this and all the appearances can be found at www.petersmithcollective.co.uk

Right, you can stop pretending to be The Clangers or Bagpuss, instead revert to your normal tone unless of course you have a secret penchant or perversion for carrying on with the voice.

You may have noticed the blog has become a little less frivolous and a little more informative over the last few weeks, its basically down to one thing, no painting. My time instead has been spent getting a multitude of things ready to support the next four months and to try and address a lack of original paintings that will be available. With only twelve main oils and a handful of sketches its obvious that its not going to stretch far into the thirty galleries we are visiting so to combat this we have planned a Tuppenny mix.

Money, chocolate, cakes, magic, hats, medicine and and fortune telling all feature in the new Bloodlines but one, the Tuppenny Pennysaurus loves traditional corner shop sweets, you know the type; milk teeth, cherry lips, large gobstoppers, foam bananas etc. When I was small and went to a small school for small people, or infant school if you prefer, I used to pass a small corner sweet shop and barbers. I don’t know why they combined the two as the gentleman who ran the shop had to break away from snipping hair to serve, anyway he was no hairdresser either coming from the tell me what you want and I’ll ignore it school of thought. I only went there once for a haircut, the laughing from my fellow pupils took three weeks to abate and my fringe has remained wonky ever since. I now know its possible to render your facial features lopsided with a pair of scissors and that combs with embedded razors remove a lot more hair a lot more quickly than you would expect. He used to greet every new tuft he razored out with the comb with a bewildered consternation as if he had momentarily forgotten what he was doing, come to think of it when he used a mirror to show you the cut at the back he invariably tilted it so you saw instead the underneath of his own chin.

Where was I? Ah, yes the hairdressing sweet shop. Anyway, one particular favourite was a Tuppeny mix. Decimalisation had only just been introduced, gone were crowns, shillings, florins and such, in was 1p, 2p, 10p and all the rest of the p’s so our dear chap had a little problem converting a penny mix into 1p and instead raised his prices to 2p for a small white paper bag of sugary delights. The only problem was that he felt a little guilty at taking all these 2p’s from six year olds so overcompensated by filling the bags to the brim. The queues of kids could stretch for miles, within weeks he was bankrupt with just a pair of fancy trimmers to show for his folly.

The point is I remember the bags like it was yesterday, not because what was in them as such but the way he put the bags together; you never got the same selection and there was always a surprise sweet at the bottom that you hadn’t seen before. He kept one type of sweet under the counter each week as a secret, this was placed in the bag first and the rest of the sweets were piled on top of it. I nearly died of fright when one week I found a set of false teeth at the bottom of the bag however on further investigation and lots of ‘urgs’ and ‘ewww!’ from my fellow pupils I sampled my first weird tasting milk teeth.

So what better way than to take my Tuppenny Pennysaurus which already contains thirty three different sweets, gather all the prints together and start to create individual ‘mixes’ for everyone. Over the next four weeks I will be hand painting an average of eight new sweets into each print. Using the same palette I used to paint the image in the first place additional sweets will be blended into the print to make each one it’s own pick’n’mix selection. It’s a massive undertaking, over two hundred hours have been set aside to work on the edition of seventy five, at the end no two prints will look alike and a bespoke Tuppenny Pennysaurus original painting with its own ‘mix’ will make it very special indeed. A solution to the lack of originals available they will be signed in oil paint and numbered this time on the back.

I’m so excited with this, I have always wanted to do an atelier edition but wanted to keep it personal, this satisfies both needs in one seriously limited edition.

Two days to go.

P.S. We always found hair in the bags of sweets but never worked out if it was indeed his own or a customers.
P.P.S. Urgh!!!!!!


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