I’d be betraying a trust if I said too much about how this painting was born. A woman I know...er....better call her Venetia told me how one of her children had been conceived about one year earlier than planned. Her partner had won a bottle of champagne for being part of a team that squeezed 12 people into a Mini (hopeless! see note below). At a social gathering for an evening meal at home they opened the champagne. Usually cocooned in carapace of confidence but privately stressed Venetia drank a glass of champagne while preparing the food. Despite protests of “Don’t pour me any more of that” she had a couple of glasses and, relieved when the guests had left, helped finish the bottle.
Their second child was conceived that evening. Being rather shy of women I can never forget her confiding that champagne was weakened her, “it makes me dance then lose my pants.” Since hearing this I take her a bottle of champagne at every opportunity (but assume the “£2.99" label prevents her from popping the cork.)
This baby was something of a shock and ripped asunder the life planned with laser-beam precision. She’s organised: has a morning hair brush and night hair brush, a morning tooth brush and evening toothbrush, has clothes in her wardrobe going left to right from white through the colours to black, actually has gloves in the glove compartment of her car, has printed/tickable list of things to pack in a holiday suitcase, has tins in the cupboard with all labels facing out. Christmas cards are written by 31st October, has her oven clean quarterly by a professional oven cleaner. Yes this baby came a little early. If it was going to be a girl they tossed around the idea of calling her Champagne but it was a little lad.
Here is a painting inspired by the above mishap on a small canvas. I tried to get the gradient of light to dark and shadows cast just right but it’s never easy - nor was painting the knickers. How do you paint a pair of silken knickers?
I was tempted to slam a bottle of champagne at their feet but resisted. It’s quite a rude painting but I’m not one for painting kittens pawing balls of wool.
At the time of writing the most people crammed in a Mini (Classic model) is 27 and was achieved by Dani and the Mini-skirts at the London to Brighton Mini Run in Brighton on 18th May 2014. The 27 people crammed into the Mini were all female and included a mother and daughter and a pair of twins.