Posts

Keith - Some Life and Times

Image
The hardworking fisherman was admired by Keith and often was the subject of his early paintings. He came from a working class family. His father was a painter but not of pictures. He worked for a firm that painted practical things. Keith was born in Ashton-Under-Lyne and was raised in Cheadle Hulme along with his older sister Joyce. (His niece Megan and her family live in and around neighbouring Stockport to this day.) When his Headmaster tried to convince his father to allow Keith to go to Art College, much to Keith's dismay the request was refused. "Get a trade, lad. It will never let you down." Keith was an avid footballer and played in goal. (He played football until his late 40's, after which he helped teach American youngsters soccer while living the winters in Florida. But I get ahead of myself!)


His father found him an apprenticeship with an electrical firm and Keith applied himself and learned the basics but was never very happy there. He made good friends,…

Unicorns, Pegasus and other mythical beasts - part 1

Image
Keith had a fascination with the myths and legends of our planet Earth. He felt like these marvelous beings were in our consciousness for a reason. Why are unicorns much loved by our children? Why have they fascinated artists and story tellers throughout the ages? What is the symbology behind them?
To Keith the unicorn represented purity of thought and action. The legend says that only those pure of heart can touch the unicorn and live.


In this painting Keith represented these four qualities: love (the wise matriarch), innocence (the young woman), purity (the unicorn) and power (the lion). In Keith's paintings nudity is representative of complete trust and simple innocence. This painting has a gentle energy, even in the face of the powerful lion who rests quietly with inner mastery.


These are the two most purchased prints by children through all the years of our gallery. Could it be that these precious little ones know more than we realise? In 'A Touch of Innocence' the l…

Peace

Image

Visions

Image
As I have mentioned to you before, Keith often had visions during his dreams and meditations. He had one waking vision while visiting the desert in Sedona, Arizona, USA. As he walked through the desert of red clay he stooped to pick up a stone, thinking to take home a souvenir of his time there. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a flash and in astonishment he stood up. In front of him stood a Native American Indian high upon a horse. The man and horse were transparent and completely bathed in the colour red. Keith blinked but the vision did not go away. He backed away from the vision, leaving the stone, now forgotten, on the ground and the man and horse before him faded away. He had a friend with him who was walking several paces behind when this occurred. As they met up he explained what happened and they took a photo of this spot. Years later in the late 1990's he was in between paintings and asked me if I had any ideas for the next one. I reminded him of this remarkable occ…

The Royal Oak

Image
Keith loved trees. When he was a boy he planted two sycamore leaves in his garden. Both grew into beautiful trees. At Christmas he refused to kill a live tree for us to decorate. No amount of pleading would change his mind. Even the very sensible argument that Christmas trees would not have been born without their uses in our society as decoration, therefore they would be serving their purpose, etc.  could budge him on this. Later I tried the environmental argument that fake trees were non-ecological and was told that we could decorate a fallen branch if I preferred! Trees were sacred living
beings and Keith painted them with reverence.

The Heart of the Royal Oak is my favourite painting of all. It was finished and signed on my 36th birthday. I told Keith of my love for it and he gifted it to me as a birthday present. I was over the moon, as you can imagine! Not ten minutes later a lovely young couple walked into Keith's studio over Lanhams and asked how much it was. Keith looked…

Moonlight, Starlight and Sunlight

Image
So many times Keith has represented the moon with a female image. He generally painted the moon as feminine and the sun as masculine.

St IA was a real person who came to St Ives from Ireland to teach Christianity. She had a brother named Erth who travelled with several other missionaries to Cornwall. She wanted to come with them but as so often happened to women of that time, was told it was unseemly so she was left behind. This did not stop her. Legend tells us that she arrived on Porthmeor Beach sailing upon a leaf. (This was most likely an Irish boat made of skins which resembled a leaf to the people on the shore.)  Young IA (or Eia) was most fortunate, for the currents that brought her could have just as likely taken her as far as Nova Scotia or beyond. At a tender age (perhaps as young as 15 or 16) she set up her teaching station on what the locals call the 'Island' where St Nicholas' Chapel sits today. It very likely was surrounded by water in those days, much as St…