Where it all began...
|St Ives Harbour at Dawn
A lot of you own or have seen examples of Keith's early work. When Keith first started painting he began with subjects that he could see... He used actual models or he painted a seascape or landscape that impressed him with it's beauty. He used to say that if it stood still long enough he would paint it!
His subjects never remained exactly the same. After several years of painting the sea or schooners he would shift to painting clowns or character studies.
The pathos in the single tear on the face of his very unique clowns have the ability to make you feel reflective or sad. Because of the emotion that he brought to the surface through the paint, you either loved them or not. But no one could deny the skill behind them.
Keith had a wry sense of humour and often this was evident in the paintings, making you smile.
|EscarGOt - these snails are impossible to eat!
Everyone loves the seascapes... he captured water so beautifully, employing techniques that enhanced the light as it was reflected from the setting or rising sun, glistening moonlight or simply giving us hope in a stormy sea.
He used real models when painting his characters, asking friends, family and strangers to pose for him. His own father was the model for 'The Last Businessman in Britain'!
|The Last Businessman in Britain (yes, it really is his Dad!)
|The Busker (this was a friend who agreed to pose!)
|Chequered Past (this is an old girlfriend from before we met!)
Cornwall was where his heart was though. Most of his paintings recorded aspects of Cornish life.
And the painting below can be seen today in Carbis Bay's own 'Beck's Fish and Chip Restaurant'. As far as I know the painting is not for sale!
People often ask why Keith changed his painting themes in the late 1980's (1988 to be precise.) We'll get to that in a later blog. But long before that he had painted 'Symphony of the Surf' - hands of God playing on a piano sea as the surf pounded onto the beach. Of course that painting had long ago been sold. But it was one of his most asked after images. So in 1990 he painted another and called it 'Symphony of the Sea'. There are a few variations of this one out there. If you were lucky enough to buy one you know who you are. Even so, each variation is unique as the sea is ever changing.
|Symphony of the Sea
Caress the product of his work
Playing infinite chords of melody
Into the rhythm of the perfect seas
Intoning eternal muses
Of sustenance and light...
Do we wonder that the whales sing and the dolphins dance?
poem by Jodieanne
But I am getting ahead of myself. For now just enjoy the history! (His Story...Groan!!!! Keith was a master punster; those of us who knew him well will know he would have loved that one!)