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A Singing Butler Tribute

You Never Looked So Lovely As You Did Tonight...

''Come rain or shine, I'll always love you '' a sentiment beautifully expressed in Theo's latest painting. No matter the weather, the couple in the painting is dancing away, oblivious to the blustery stormy day. The  butler and the maid, struggling a little to keep up, are faithfully providing the musical setting for the pas de deux.

Singing Butler Tribute, an oil painting by Theo Michael

Tribute To The Singing Butler, oil on canvas 60cm x 90cm

An umbrella features prominently. With its universal appeal it is often used by artists, writers, the theatre and of course the cinema. You may have seen the movies Singing In The Rain, Mary Poppins and one of our favourite 60's TV series The Avengers, starring John Steed, who used the umbrella not only as a suave accessory, but also on occasion as a weapon! 
The painting above was inspired by the works of Jack Vettriano, and originally commissioned as an umbrella design. This version was never used, but Theo decided to paint it nonetheless. 

The Canopy Of The Heavens

Below are a few more examples where Theo has used an umbrella in his paintings.
Symbolically it is an emblem of power and dignity. It is said the canopy of heaven is an umbrella; it offers shelter and protection not only from the storms, but also protection from the rays of the sun.
umbrella paintings, original artwork in oil by Theo Michael

The first parasols appeared around 4000 years ago in Ancient Egypt. There is no app you can download as a substitute, so they will probably be around for quite some time to come. 

 Watercolour brushes, Tools Of The Trade...

Theo kept moaning about his watercolour brushes. They didn't hold enough water and frayed easily, and it became impossible to draw detail and thin lines. 
What a great tool these newly ordered synthetic brushes from Spain turned out to be...
 The shape of the brushes allow you to apply a large wash of colour, but they also come to a fine point for the intricate details and line work.
Below are Theo's first attempts with the new brushes. They are proving to be excellent tools, but it will take time to get the best out of them.

Watercolour sketches by Theo Michael

The studies above, black & white and in colour, are invaluable to help Theo with the planning and composition of his detailed oil paintings. With his new brushes in his toolbox, there will surely be more paintings to follow.

Keep It Simple...

You don't always need expensive tools to solve a problem. Sometimes a forgotten item sitting in the basement can be the solution. Being on the tall side, the low height of our kitchen worktop has annoyed me for years. Then we remembered an old granite slab idling in the basement. Presto, the slab now looks beautiful on the work surface, but more importantly, it raised the surface by a couple of inches, and made me and especially my back, very happy. 

Our new motto, address the challenge and find a solution...

On that note, stay safe, and until next time. 

Anja & Theo 

From our Newsletter September 2020



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