A couple of weeks back I got a call from an irate householder about the shop I stayed in as a student. We still own it but it's been unoccupied for about twenty years. The lady claimed she'd seen a rat at the window.
The environmental health inspector gave it a clean bill of health. While searching for the non existent rodent I found an old sketch of mine. I it took home and reworked it a little. I liked it, so I framed it. It inspired me to paint a large scale Car Couple painting. It was very loose with the thinest of glazes and it was almost entirely alla prima.
This morning I received a call from Lyon & Turnbull. They asked if I had something they could have to illustrate for a forthcoming event during the Edinburgh International Arts Festival. I took through some still life paintings which they liked, but in the course of conversation, I said I'd been working on this Car Couple. Nick Kernow said he'd just that minute been writing about my car paintings for the catalogue. He said he would love to see it as he thought it would compliment the other image he had selected for the two page invitation.
The other image? I nearly fainted when he revealed it was the Eve Arnold photograph of Marilyn Monroe and John Houston at Arthur Miller's 40th Birthday Party, Reno, Nevada, 1960. It's one of my all time favorite Arnold photographs of Marilyn.
I positively floated back to the studio, nailed the painting into it's frame and sped back to Edinburgh in case they changed their minds. They loved it!
Look out for the Scottish Contemporary and Post War Art auction at Lyon & Turnbull on August 20.
High five the invisible rat.