The Company who had commissioned me, displayed my work in the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK, where they were approached by a Northern Irish company who asked who their artist was. They explained I was freelance. In due course the NI company contacted me concerning a commission.
Pat went to discuss the commission with them (no good being married to an actress and not using her skills), as I was designing philatelic stuff in a London Museum (see earlier post).
I should explain at this stage that I was no famous artist who could live off the sales of originals, rather I was/am a jobbing artist who lived off the margins. I opted for 1000 copies sold at £5 profit each, rather than one original at £1000 - like everything else I do, I discovered all this by accident, and in hindsight! Further, at that time I would take any work offered - we had to live!
When I got home Pat explained that she had won the commission! 25 + designs at a price that made me sit down and have a stiff drink.
'We've really fallen on our feet," I declared punching the air.
'There is one problem though.'
'You're only allowed to use five colours!'
'Colours ... but I don't do colours ...I'm strictly mono!'
It was true I had never painted in my life.
'At these fees ... you're going to have to learn to paint quickly.'
I don't know if Tea Towels are international - however, a tea towel is a rectangle of linen, approximately 24" x 18". It was designed to dry cups and saucers, but over time it became an object of memorabilia - a souvenir of places visited, collectable ... alas, rather down market artistically. I had to design 25, for different locations in the UK. They were to be manufactured in their 1000s.
Pat went to an art suppliers where she acted the part of a mum who was supposed to buy a whole lot of stuff for her son. "He's got a school project to design tea towels, but I've lost the list of what materials he needs."
The old gentleman said, "Leave it all to me madam." And so Pat left the shop laden with 'poster' paints, brushes, boards etc.
I started by drawing in pen and ink, and filling in the spaces with poster paints! The first one was, London
I followed that with one of Royal Homes:
and so on and so on. Finally I was finished the 25 +.... but the Duke of Wellington's Estate asked me to do one for them
But it didn't stop there - the Red Arrows - the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team commissioned me for one.
Then one from the USA, for the Confederate Air Force !!!(http://www.angelfire.com/ca4/b17/confederateairforce.html)
There were others ... but ... I have never painted since!!