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Life of Clarkious . . . An everyday story of an Artist.
Having had a lifetime in the Arts - with occasional diversions - and always being asked
. . . "What are you up to now?", seemed to point me forward to another newsletter
. . . (My last one was in 2003!) - so herewith a short précis of 2005.
JANUARY . . .
Many of my friends have decided to desert these UK shores for 'Sunny Spain' - which seemed a good time for myself to escape the British Winter and catch up with old friends, do some 'demo' recordings of some recent songs and up-date the web site with
Robert & Marian in Villanueva del Trabuco - Sample the 'local grape' with Bill & Eileen in Benalmadena - Visit Cath & Rick, my friends from the Class of '63! - devise a new book on the 'Art of Drawing' for a major publisher - give myself the opportunity to explore new areas of Inland Spain and do some Watercolours. Fill 'time and space' - whilst we have it. I wonder who said that? …. (Me!)
Reminding me of passing friends of the past two years . . .
I've lost my former singing partner in the renowned Foggy Dew-O.
The amazingly talented Lenny Wesley - brilliant guitar and voice in his prime, and
brave to withstand a serious lung condition for 30 years . . .
His memory lives on in our old LP's and in our shared career from 1965 - 1973: The Halçyon Days of the free spirit of the '60's - also shared with another casualty, Tony Capstick: Colourful character to say the least, we shared Spotlights and social fun until his passing last November. Our live 'Radio Sheffield' interviews apparently hilarious listening as he constantly took the mickey out of me (without malice!), and did my Film-Art programme on L.S. Lowry, as the 'Informed Guest' . . . Which, sadly, did not reach the screens. We did a final show together in March 2003 at the Lamproom Theatre, Barnsley - I filmed for my 'Live at the Lamproom' video: A well kept secret as far as sales go . . . He'd like that!
Also gone to the Green Room beyond, went - Jake Thackary - Cliff Angier -
Isaac Gillory - Stan Richards (Emmerdale's Seth Armstrong), and old colleague . . .
Richard Whiteley - from the Yorkshire TV days of '67 . . and meeting again in '98 on
Channel 4's Watercolour Challenge, when I cohersed him into doing the guest spot.
What an affable bloke! (as the 2000 who attended the Memorial Service at York Minster
JUNE . . .
Supporting the Yorkshire region and my membership of the Royal Society of the Arts, I hosted a unique and very pleasurable Arts / Environment day, as the monthly event with around 40 members attending, at my 'rare wildflower meadow', Hoylandswaine, in Barnsley's glorious countryside.
We were fortunate to have perfect weather and presentations from Elizabeth Peacock,
Chairperson, . . . Brian Davies, English Nature Conservation Officer . . . The combination of an English summer day, my art / music / poetry presentations . . . The science of plants and nature . . . And a good lunch at the 'Pot House Mill', Silkstone . . . Serendipity Lives!
JULY . . .
The summer was a busy time with an 'Ascot' day at the races in York . . .
Was Artist-in-Residence again for the Marlborough Jazz Festival . . .
Sketching Live performances . . . Meeting the legendary Aker Bilk (the Clarinet was my
first instrument!) . . . Claire Teal (What a 'Singist!) . . .
Folky friend from the DECCA years, Julie Felix . . . And many more!
A great weekend (apart from sleeping under the stars as no accommodation was available in the area by the time I'd finished socialising at the 'welcome drinks' party!) . . .
Amazing . . . the warming and numbing qualities of alcohol!
AUGUST . . .
I enjoyed discovering Great Missenden Abbey in Buckinghamshire, having been asked to host a week of Watercolour and Drawing there, . . . And completed the summer with the eighth and final year with Marlborough College Summer School as the Watercolour Tutor - a medium I can proudly claim to have made popular at the venue - there being no watercolour courses until I started, to eight currently being offered within the three week summer school period. However, the organiser wants change and has "pressed the 'refresh' button", as he put it . . . Never been told to s*d off so politely!!
Life is full of change, purpose and surprise . . . !
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER . . .
A call from my Theatre Director friend, Geraldine Conner, in September, certainly changed things . . . She was auditioning for a new play "Waiting Room for Journeying Souls" for the new 'Peepuls Theatre' in Leicester, and she was having difficulty casting the 'English Morris Man'. So I suddenly found myself working for 4 weeks with some amazing people . . .
in a professional and dynamic production . . . 'thesp-ing' again . . . In the theatre, darlings!
Not a 'luvvie' in sight! . . . I lost a stone in weight . . . (Morris Men dance, you know!)
With arduous rehearsals and long days . . . But 'twas enjoyable and rewarding . . . Making new friends with the 9 other actors in the cast . . . With talk of touring in 2007 - and singing my 'Chimes of Freedom' song which ideally suited the theme of the production,
but too honest for the commercial market!
I continue to develop my Art-related TV proposals, (a few in the melting pot with Chameleon TV), and am still trying to get my Art books away.
My paintings have been shown in the 'Blake Gallery', York, 'St.John's Gallery' Ashbourne, Derbyshire, and the 'Watershed', Silkstone . . . But sadly, this year saw the demise of
the 'Yorkshire Watercolour Society', after 23 years of its existence, promoting
the 'beauty of watercolour' and Yorkshire's leading exponents - I've had some excellent
collective exhibitions with them including the 'House of Commons', Westminster,
and had served on its committee until three years ago.
I was invited by the 'Open College of the Arts', (an international 'open university' of the arts based in Barnsley), to be part of their first major professional exhibition, 'Open Seams of Gold', featuring 6 well known Artists alongside Tutors and Students . . . An excellent, eclectic mix of work which was well received and attended. I did an arts presentation - a song, a poem, and a painting - at the preview, and conducted a Watercolour Master-class on the
A Cricket exhibition is in the planning stages for June 25th 2007, which could
be interesting as my Artist friend Diane Bates has borrowed my 'cricket box' for
inspiration! . . .
Watch this space!!
Perhaps it's my advancing years - Information from my Doctor? -- or my misguided mentality of thinking I'm Barnsley's oldest teenager - but I keep getting 'collected' by
the reference establishment . . .
Already listed in 'Who's who in the Arts' and
a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts,
the Miller's Arts Guide has recently listed me as a collectable artist
@ £1,800 - £2,500 . . . Alongside the great and good from Piccasso to Rolf Harris!
This year I was asked to submit my details for the International Biographical Dictionary, a reference guide of 10,000 persons, (supported by all governments and in all major libraries world-wide) . . . Next year, the Cambridge Blue of 5000. "Buy now before death", I'd say!!
(The most wasted day in life is the one where we forgot to smile! ;-)
And finally . . . ! This was only going to be a short page . . . As less was never more with me . . . A quote from this year's (2005) Summer issue of 'Around Barnsley' . . Describing Yours Truly . . . "He is a kaleidoscope of facets and changing colour
patterns - eccentricity - Yorkshire through and through - and has a facility to not only talk until the cows have not only come home - but have been milked - fed - and gone to sleep"
. . . 'nuff said!
All good wishes to my friends of now - and the ones yet to meet - for a joyous Festive and a fulfilling New Year.
Kindest . . . . . .
. . . Granville Daniel Clarke.
©2005 Granville Daniel Clarke
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. . . Rob Hart