Room Service, Please Can I Order An Undertaker? My Husband is Dead.



To lift your spirits here is a morbid painting (Iím not really one for painting pretty boats in a harbour or kittens sleeping on a rocking chair.) It shows a woman who has opened the hotel door to tell the staff that her new husband is dead.


Iím not sure where the idea came from. I remember years ago reading about a couple who went to Jersey for their honeymoon and the groom suddenly died on the first night. This must have stuck in my mind plus there was the recent case of the man on his honeymoon in the Caribbean who was eaten by a shark (as his wife looked on.)


Painting faces straight on is difficult (nostrils are never easy); I prefer to paint them from the side. To ensure the viewer knows woman was in the Honeymoon Suite I had to create a sign with a short poem on it (dreamt up in about three minutes while boiling a kettle) and create a room number sign. I was going to paint a chain on the door but stopped at the last minute. I realised hotels donít really have chains on doors - if a guest keels over how do staff enter the room? I put the woman in a white top but itís not her wedding dress. I was going to put some tears on her face and blood on her frock but didnít for some reason. I reckon sheís cold blooded and may have murdered her husband.


Those letters on the sign took ages. I painted them in acrylics four times using a Knights Quest type of font. As you can see from the first photograph I started two paintings and will do the other one a little differently - using real wallpaper on the canvas (than painting it on) and hanging a real sign on it, too. Iíll paint a different widow opening the door.