Picture Profile 2011b: “Playing with Sunlight”

An old oil painting from 1981. Rediscovered in 2020!

Artist Code 2011b. Completed March 1981. Original Oil painting on canvas, stuck to hardboard, size 24″ x 34″ (Donated to raise funds for Comberton Church). Canvas on board, size 24″ x 34″. (No prints or cards)

When I went to play golf at Bourn Golf Club recently (March 2020), there was a new receptionist at the desk who enquired whether I was the Tina Bone who painted pictures. Of course I said, “Yes”, and the receptionist mentioned that her parents had a painting signed “Tina Bone, March 1981”. I could bring nothing to mind from that long ago so she sent me a photograph of the framed painting. It had hung on her parent’s wall since September 1981—and the signature was definitely mine (of the time; I have since changed my artwork signature to a monogram when I turned professional in March 2005).

I also learned that the painting had been a raffle prize at the St Mary’s Church, Comberton, August Bank Holiday Fete in 1981 (held almost every year), which was won by the receptionist’s mother. It has had pride of place in their home since then.

After seeing the photograph of the painting, I hoped my memory served me correctly in recalling that this painting was in fact specially painted by me to help raise funds for Comberton Church. My husband and I are avid caravanners and regularly attended rallies in East Anglia and beyond, and there was always a special rally on every August Bank holiday which we would attend. This meant we were unable to support the Comberton Church Fete. So feeling rather guilty, I painted the picture to help with fundraising.

Ironically, the father of the receptionist also works at the Golf Course, and we spoke about the picture. He said he and his wife love the painting and will never part with it (that is so nice!).

From the photograph of the painting, I could see that it had not been varnished, so I offered to clean it up and varnish it.

When the painting came to me I discovered I had actually painted it in oil on canvas which I then stuck to board. I duly varnished the painting and cleaned up the frame and it looked really lovely. I also discovered an old sticker from 1981 on the back of the painting saying: “Mrs N*. Bone, 18 Harbour Avenue, Comberton. 1) Oil – Playing with Sunlight £25”. Canvas size is 16″ x 13″, executed with a palette knife and brush.

*My birth name is “Nettina”!

So my memory did not quite serve me correctly: this sticker related to an exhibition in which I would have entered the painting—the 1) suggesting that I may have entered more pictures—but where it obviously did not sell. So when my guilt appeared in 1981 at again being unable to support the Church Fete, I probably felt it would be good to donate it—so I did not paint it specially after all!

The style of this painting is a chasm away from the way I paint today. I remember palette knife and brush were the norm in 1981, and I painted quite a few pictures in this way. I still have the palette knives (2), but have not felt inclined to paint “naively” any more. Perhaps one day…!

Click HERE to see how I paint with oils currently. This is the first of four squirrel paintings I hope to produce—all on stretched canvas and all four are already drawn. It is just getting around to doing the painting that is the problem!

The painting will be added to my Catalogue of Artwork and has now been allocated an Artist Code (2011b).

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