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Fame at last

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Maria has organised a Bear Fair at Patchings for Easter Monday and she needed to publicise it. so she contacted Radio Nottingham. She’s been called up on the phone for the radio before but this time they wanted her to go in to the studio.

Of course she panicked!! So i had to offer to help out. I’m comfortable in all situations.

Wilbeary and John HolmesShe did insist on taking me in in a bag, so for some time John Holmes the presenter didn’t even know I was there. He and Maria went on and on about Hungary and teaching and other bears, ignoring me altogether. She even introduced another bear before me, so that he appeared on the webcam, it’s not even as if it was a finished bear. She’s now talking about making him the current bear of the month, putting him on the front page of the website and calling him Holmes, after John! I ask you, why can’t she get her priorities right? Once I was allowed out of the bag, literally as well as figurativelly, of course my ‘on air’ presence made itself felt. I told John all about my travels and he very kindly played ‘Walking in Memphis’ for me. (We’re off to Memphis and NY in a couple of weeks.)

wilbeary-jo-davies.jpgOn the whole a good show I think, hope Jo (Davis) was pleased, she’s the one who arranged it. Maria has been on her show a few times before (only on the phone though).

I think this could be start of something, who knows, one day my own show. (stranger things have happened, a frog used to have his own TV variety show). 

Going home

Friday, October 7th, 2005

Well it’s the last day. We got up and packed then went down to breakfast.
Then David did a final quick demo and gave us a short time to finish off our paintings. A few people had to leave early, but most of us gathered round and we each had to submit our work for appraisal. I was a little nervous but since Maria got away with only minor criticisms I thought I’d probably be OK.
Appraisal
Both Jenny and David felt I’d done well for a bear (I thought I’d done well for ANYONE) and I had really captured the atmosphere of that first evening. They seemed to think I had talent and should continue with my painting. I’ll have to make sure next time John and Maria go on a painting course they take me with them. I think they were pretty proud of me.
Sadly we then had to go back home. Still we’ll see Jenny and David at the Patchings Festival in June and then they have an exhibition at Patchings in September. Once John know what his holiday entitlement is next year we’ll have to see if we can go painting again.
At least we have a Chinese take away to look forward to tonight.

Pastels at last

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

We started the day with a demonstration painting by David, he really is very good. Then it was suggested we should get on with our own paintings since we would have to submit at least one piece for appraisal tomorrow afternoon. Since Maria has already finished one piece I thought it was only fair that I should have a go. I think I might have to get my own set, it really isn’t fair I should have to fight for equal time.
Anyway, I’m rather pleased with my picture.
My picture
You do get messy though, I don’t know if I’ll ever get all this pastel out of my fur. I saw someone else working with latex gloves but I don’t think they make them in my size and besides I rather like getting right in there with my paws.
By the end of the day both Maria and I were surprisingly tired, all this concentration wears you out. John had an easy day, sat around reading and popped into Whitby briefly. I’d been asking for some jet ever since we arrived and he at last got around to getting some.
It’s our last evening in the restaurant. The food has been lovely, I think we’ll all miss it.

Sandsend

Wednesday, October 5th, 2005

At last a nice day! We woke up to warm sunshine and set off out as soon as possible. We were going to spend the morning sketching at Sandsend under Jenny and David’s supervision and then the afternoon was free for us to do with as we pleased.
There were lots of interesting subjects and we soon found a nice spot in the sunshine.
The only problem was the local livestock. I didn’t mind the ducks too much, they eventually accepted that we were not going to feed them and left us alone.
The goat was a different matter. First it tried to see if we had anything suitable to eat ( I believe as far as a goat is concerned, just about EVERYTHING is suitable to eat), then it climbed on the bench and rested it’s chin on Maria’s shoulder in order to critique her drawing. I don’t think he can have liked it very much ‘cos he tried to eat it. Mind you from a goat that’s probably high praise. It’s all very well for Maria to laugh, she’s bigger than a goat and for all I know, teddy bears are a favourite part of a goat’s diet.
Goat
After lunch I went for a wander along the beach with John, there were some excellent rock pools.
Rock pool
Perhaps I’ll manage to get hold of the pastels later and start my painting. Maria has already finished one painting but she still keeps hogging the pastels.

Staithes

Tuesday, October 4th, 2005

Another dull day, but rather warmer today. We set off for Staithes, a small fishing port. Like all the local towns/villages on the coast it is built at the bottom of a cliff. So we parked at the top and walked down. You should have heard Maria winge. She isn’t too good at steep downhills and this was a STEEP downhill. However the village at the bottom was lovely. Great for sketching. Jenny was very interested in some of the techniques I’d picked up in NY.
Sketching with Jenny
We had a very nice day, John went to the next bay along the headland, Jet Whyke. Apparently it is a bay where you can occasionally find jet washed up and there are many fossils since it is on the Jurrasic Coast. Maria was a tad concerned and kept checking he had his phone and knew when high tide was. Apparently the tide comes in faster than you can run and at high tide Jet Whyke is 5 feet under water. He got back safe and sound, with several fossils but no jet, just as well since he was buying the fish and chips. Lovely by the way, local and fresh caught.
We spent the afternoon sitting on the harbour wall (quite an achievement for Maria) and sketching. When it was time to go back several of the men were really nice and went to fetch the cars but John made Maria walk back up to the car park!! She was not impressed!! I’m sorry but I don’t know what all the fuss was about. It will have done her good and she was really pleased with herself at the end.
We got back and Maria started a pastel, hogging all the pastels. I’ll have to do mine tomorrow.
The evening meals are exceptional. Bang goes the diet!!

Goathland

Monday, October 3rd, 2005

First full day. After a lovely breakfast (not often I get to have a full English), we all set off for Goathland. A lovely Yorkshire village and apparently the setting for something called Heartbeat (??). John came with us although he’s come along as a non-painting partner (or ‘camp follower’ as he puts it, Maria says he should be providing a lot more ‘comforts’ in that case, no idea what she means), he rather fancied seeing the steam train passing through and apparently there are some lovely walks around.
While we settled down to watch Jenny and David do some demonstration sketches and and then do some of our own, John set off for a walk.
The day was rather chilly so after a while we retired to the tea shop for hot chocolate with cream and scones.
John returned about 2.30 covered in mud (Maria claims up to his armpits but really only up to his knees) and a big grin on his face. Apparently little boys never grow up. He did get some great photos though (particularly of a waterfall).
Waterfall photo
Mind you David did an excellent sketch of the same waterfall. Perhaps I do still have a lot to learn about sketching.
David\'s sketch

Painting

Sunday, October 2nd, 2005

Maria and John were going on a painting holiday with two of their favourite artists David Bellamy and Jenny Keal and would you believe they weren’t going to take me!!! As I pointed out to them I am by far their most artistically gifted bear. Just look at my work in New York!
Anyway they saw the justice of my arguments, so we set off for the Country House hotel near Whitby. We had a really good journey and got up there in just over 2 hours. I think John slept most of the way, he only got back from NY yesterday morning (didn’t take me I might add) and Maria had made him stay up all day so that he could adjust more easily (not sure it worked).
The hotel is lovely, we’re up in the attic but the views (particularly from the loo) are spectacular.
After meeting in the lounge at 4 we all went to nearby Sandsend to start sketching.
View at Sandsend
There were some storms out to sea and the views were very atmospheric. I might do a painting from one of the sketches I did tonight.