Letter to Antony Donaldson

Dec 8th 66  104 Kingston on Thames, Surrey


Dear Tony, 


many thanks for your letter - nice to hear from you and have a word picture of the far west. Your studio sounds very good and it’s address a characteristic touch! I hesitate to mention my modest 20 x 30’ - however it is completed and I am at last getting started on a massive programme of new work - very big, very bright, very simple - I hope they work out as well as I feel they will. Your show looked cool (the orange one best) and ok  but I must admit I’m becoming very bored with the look of the gallery - all exhibitions turn out looking the same. The Christmas show is very deja-vu (spelling!?) However my new work is all too big for the gallery so I’ll either have to force them to move - or leave! Quite simple. I know just what you mean when you say you feel a new man not teaching. I can’t of course give up, but I am learning to play it very cool nowadays - which is quite easy now that there is an influx of new and super keen teachers - Bernard C, R Denny and umpteen old Corsham hangers on. However - the scene is not very different and you are missing nothing. I feel I have a very clear idea inside my own head of what I want to do in my own work - and I recognise all the difficulties that one really does have to overcome in England - lack of space, lack of money, lack of a good art market, lack of sun! etc etc - but if one tries to keep cool and move forward - the work will get better and better. Apart from John Hoyland (and some younger students around the place perhaps) I can’t say I have a high opinion of much that is happening here at the moment. The more I see of the Cohens and Dennys et al - the more one realises how culturally and intellectually constipated and loaded up with prejudices and artistic preconceptions they are - much as I enjoy their company - or that of some of them. Don’t imagine I feel free from these faults myself - but for me the door is still open and that’s what matters. You should have a great experience away from all this - I hope I haven’t depressed you dredging it all up! Anyway - I’m happy(ish), Beth and the 2 children are ok - and we are solvent - just. Weather is terrible. Skirts even shorter. Kasmin on Indian miniatures - Waddington on horse paintings! The economy frozen! The pop scene still going strong (I went mad in Carnaby St during the summer and feel better already) Saw your car with the bonnet up in some back alley recently!! Mini’s a bit rough. Love to Pat - fill your big studio up with big pictures and have a ball. 




ps.I didn’t help hang your show. It was all done before I knew about it. But it was well hung although the pix were rather low.


Dear Pat, knock them in the ankles on Sunset Boulevard!