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Show me the Monet

These two paintings are, in real life, exactly the same, with just one feature missing.

In 2011 the painting and I were selected to appear on BBC's series 'Show me the Monet.' There were three judges. If they all agreed, the painting would be selected for an exhibition in the Mall Gallery, London.

It was an arduous process of preparation which involved a contract forbidding the alteration at all to the work. Like many artists, I am never quite able to say 'It is finished' as can always see something I need to adjust. In this case, there were originally two figures walking along the path. I had taken one away and intended to remove the second as felt it disturbed the feeling of space. However, being obedient, the man and his rucksack remained.

Two judges warmly applauded the piece. One liked the distance, the other liked the foreground (!pre-planned?) The third ripped into me, scathing about the whole painting, especially the figure with a 'carbuncle' on his back. 'Bolberrow' did not get through. I felt rubbished. As soon as I got home the man was contemptuously taken from the cliff path and the painting was banished to the spare room.

Several weeks later, I was contacted by the BBC forwarding me an email from a woman in Edinburgh who wished to buy the painting for the asking price of £300. We exchanged several emails arranging exchange of money and painting before it occurred to me to tell her I had removed the figure. She was outraged, told me I had totally lost any artistic integrity and she would no longer buy the painting.

Lesson learned. Do not paint to please anyone else but yourself.

So...I have retrieved Bolberrow and hung it in a dark corner of the studio gallery for others to enjoy (but not me) It is still for sale, still £300, (I have my integrity you know) but... make me an offer. Instead of my usual donation of 80% of profit to humanitarian causes I will keep every penny of the money paid as as reward for my persistence.

P.S. I have also changed the route of the cliff path. It now continues along the cliff instead of disappearing over the top like a path for lemmings.

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