Sunday, 12 May 2013

"Flower Power" Painting #11

So here is the 11th painting in my 'reincarnation' as a panter (it's like being a painter, but I hold my breath a lot). I'll tell you my 'panter' story below.

I bought a book about 7 acrylic painters and their techniques, and  in it the American Barbara Buer truly amazed me ... hence her influence on the following painting.

                                            "Flower Power"    John Simlett (after Barbara Buer)
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
10 inches x 14inches

Unfortunately I varnished it before I photographed it, so there is a 'bloom' to it.


Sheerness Dockyard grew over the centuries, and by 1954 it accepted around a hundred new apprentices each year. As the apprenticeship lasted five years, the total number of apprentices at any one time was approximately five hundred young men aged between 15 and 21.
   For the first three years of the apprenticeship, the boys were released from their workplaces to attend the Dockyard College, for one afternoon and two evenings a week. 
He looked out of the window in that absent minded way of the writer, as if considering the plot for his next film script. Ranged in front of him was a classroom full of apprentices: their first day.
   ‘Panter?’ he asked nobody in particular, ‘do we have any panters?’
   There being no response, he uncoiled his long-legs and began ‘unfolding’, slowly rising to his full height, rather in the way of an awakening giraffe.
   ‘No panters, eh?’ he muttered, turning to face the rows of boys who sat staring wide-eyed at the incredibly tall and thin man who rose before them. He spoke in riddles that held little meaning, his ‘posh public-school’ accent almost mocking them: he had called them, ‘ absolute shower’, which meant nothing then, but a phrase that would soon become common parlance following the release of his first film, Private’s Progress.
   When they had first sat down in the classroom, the tall man had written his name and position in chalk, on the blackboard:

              Alan Hackney, Head of English, HM Dockyard College, Sheerness.

   ‘Well that’s who I am. Now I want you to fill out these forms so that we can know a little about you.’
    Ten minutes later we had completed the forms and handed them back. He had rifled through them.
   ‘There is a panter, now come on own up.’
   ‘Yes sir,’ I replied, with a gulp.
   ‘Are you a panter, Simlett?’
   ‘No sir.’
   ‘What trade are you hoping to be apprenticed too, Simlett?’
   ‘Shipwright, sir.’
   ‘Yes, sir.’
   ‘Are you a panter, Wellboarn?’
   ‘No sir.’
   ‘What trade are you hoping to be apprenticed too, Wellboarn?’
   ‘Blacksmith, sir.’
   ‘Yes sir.’
   ‘Are you a panter, Lewis?’
   ‘No sir.’
   ‘What trade are you hoping to be apprenticed too, Lewis?’
   ‘Painter, sir.’
   ‘Ah! Thank goodness, Lewis. Be a good chap and put an i into Panter for me.’ He handed Lewis his form back for correction.
   This was our introduction to the man who would teach us English and who went on to work in Hollywood, Canada and Italy where he produced many film and TV scripts, not to mention his novels.


  1. Oh fabulous story, John. I cannot tell you how many people pronounce my last name "Macy." Rules of spelling long forgotten, apparently.

    Anyway, your flowers are lovely and with the black background, they just explode from the canvas. Wonderful work with shadow and light too!

  2. Good morning John, very enjoyable story. But I must say, John, your paintings are truly amazing. I love your still life and floral paintings. I'm off to purchase some panels.

    All the best to you,

  3. I always love your stories, John!! I absolutely think your floral is fantastic. I've never had luck with flowers ...these are so colorful and beautiful....

  4. Enjoyed your story :)
    Wonderful with the dark dark background to those lovely bright colours. You have also very good lights in there! Great done!

  5. Beautiful painting John! Your skills are growing with great leaps with every new painting you make. And the story is so great. :) He he he.

  6. Flower Power packs a punch John! I like the depth and use of rich colors in this painting. I have admired Barbara's work for some time.

  7. I found the inspiration for this painting, John and recognized it right away so you know you did a good job. I was not familiar with her name but when I found her work I was already familiar with some of her imagery.
    I think you picked well. I think hyper-realism is a natural for your eye for detail. For me, it is her design work which is her strength. Her color harmony is exquisite.
    (Wiki definition for hyper-realism
    Hyperrealism, although photographic in essence, often entails a softer, much more complex focus on the subject depicted, presenting it as a living, tangible object. )

    Love the story John You are such a good writer! Renaissance Man!

  8. great story John and your painting is beautiful - it seems unfair somehow that not only are you a superb technical illustrator you can also wield a brush to great effect as well!!

  9. Very nice! I could never do flowers (which means I should try again some day, I guess.)

    Wonderful story!! Good stories like that always make this painter and wannabe writer pant. Really. I'm a panter.

  10. I greet you, my fellow flower painter! It's beautiful! I googled Barbara Buer and found her website, what an amazing and inspirational painter she is. Enjoyed the story!

  11. Wonderful "panting", John!!! I really like Barb Buer's florals, too.

  12. I love your stories. This one is no exception. Love the painting. Floral paintings are not easy to do either. I think you have become a wonderful 'panter'. :))

  13. haha great story and the painting is fantastic! I love the black background....a great foil for the colorful flowers!

  14. Great story John - and a superb painting! I love the vibrant colours against that dark background. They really sing out! :0)

  15. Stunning painting!
    Smiled at the story, too :)

  16. G'day, John.

    Just in case you are in New York on Saturday, 29 June 2013, there is the Catholic Artists Society’s Annual Mass for Artists at the Church of Our Saviour in New York City at 1 p.m (the Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul).

    Father Gerald Murray, pastor of Manhattan’s Church of the Holy Family, will be the Celebrant. There will be a reception in the undercroft, after Mass – an opportunity for members and patrons to meet and converse.

    Full details from The Society of St. Hugh of Cluny Blog at

    In the meantime, your paintings continue to enthral. More, please.

    in Domino

  17. Good morning John, if you get a chance go back to my blog. I answered your question about mdf board.

  18. Lovely post and great flowers! I like very much your words and your charming flowers.
    We have the same book...I know Barbara and I admire very much her watercolours and acrylics. (Barbara website is so "musing"! )
    You work hard my dear Panter!!! Bravo,John!!!

  19. There is blog about basic info of Flower Painting