Date Posted: 15th April 2023

Railway viaduct; Harrington
Red door and blossom

I am so excited to tell you that I have added 10 small works (and 1 spectacular big one!) to the Percy Kelly  web site.  Each one has come directly from the Percy Kelly estate and has never been exhibited before. All the works are framed and the sizes in cms are shown below at the click on an image – first the framed size followed by the image size.    2 of the works are 2 sided.  I have illustrated  Railway viaduct, Harrington beside Red Door and Blossom on the other side.  Similarly  Gate, Allonby Backs which has a pencil drawing of flowers verso.  Both sides are glazed. For prices which start at £500 please contact me through the web site.

Percy is enjoying (if that’s the right word) a huge boost to his popularity which stretches across all ages and locations. This began at the 1994 opening of the first exhibition after his death in 1993 when a surprisingly long queue formed outside Castlegate House hours before opening time despite him being little known then.  He wrote that he wanted people to appreciate his work after his death. In a letter to his patient, loyal friend Joan David he said people would make pilgrimages to the red GR postbox let into the stone wall overgrown by ivy just a short walk from Pear Tree Cottage in Rockland St Peter in Norfolk. I met the present owners of the cottage a few years ago who told me that they were unaware of the previous famous owner until people came knocking at their door clutching The Painted Letters book (now out of print).

 This  growing attention his work now commands is due to the massively popular exhibitions at Tullie House and The Beacon followed by the sale of over 80 letters and envelopes at Mitchell’s auction last week in Cockermouth achieving startling prices. It was the most exciting auction for years. There were so many of my old gallery friends at the viewing I didn’t get to see very much. Since the progress in all things digital, where you can watch and bid at an auction without getting out of your armchair at home or at work or even on a golf course in Japan, live audiences at Mitchells (and elsewhere) have dwindled. Not so for this one. The ring was packed and bids were fast and furious. It was pure drama. The power of Percy lives on.

On a different level of drama, I was at the opening of Around the World in 80 days at Theatre by the Lake last week and it is wonderful.  It has everything;  great imaginative sets, lots of humour, brilliant acting,  singing, choreography and a good story. Everybody came away smiling. The theatre is important for Keswick, for Cumbria and for Culture.  Support it if you can.