I don't say my golf game is bad; but if I grew tomatoes, they'd come up sliced. Miller Barber. I can relate to Miller's game but having seen Stenson's final shot to 18 last Sunday, I'm inspired to improve and ...... To paint.
What a fantastic DP World Tour Championship and Race to Dubai Season. Anyone who said that the Tour would die when the McIlroy's and Westwood's left for the US PGA Tour, were wrong. The fantastic show by the young lads coming through from all points of the globe are a testament to the strength of the European Tour and the World's appetite for the great game. Having painted at the final tournaments of the season on the Challenge and Main Tours this year, I've listened to comments in the crowds. People still love the game and are excited to see the top players from the Race to Dubai go on to compete for the Fed Ex Cup and World Rankings. I don't profess to having a valid opinion, I'll leave that to the pundits but It's mine and I think the European Tour Race to Dubai is, ' Alive and Kicking'. Thank you to the European Tour and the Challenge Tour for the invites. I really enjoyed painting at both, for different reasons.
The Race to Dubai Finale will be played at JGE till at least 2017 and I for one am very happy about that. It works out nicely as my main painting at the back of my Exhibition covered 2009-13. I hope I'm still around and more's the point, invited, to paint the 2014-2017.
I didn't expect people to walk around the DP World Tour Championship with a painting under their arm, that is why there were postcards and Greeting cards on sale. There were forms for commissions. The form went this way. Some people walked past the stand, noticed the large swing portraits, asked how much, "Oh , I can't afford that", didn't look at anything else and marched off. Others started by checking out the desk and it's contents and methodically made their way around the exhibits, passed comment and moved on. Some ran in, Stood in front of the $10,000 (actually 10,000 dirhams) Stenson Portrait that was featured in the London Times thanks to a Swedish Journalist who made it all up. I told Suz' who manned the Exhibition for the four days, to let people take photos but drew the line at one guy who was clearly set on re-prints. Others took a card and promised a commission.
Out on the course I was painting away and chatting with interested parties. Met gazillions this year because I was positioned just back from the bunker where the hospitality created a slight bottle neck. Hi to Ken and Collin, it was a pleasure to see you and chat with you about all things golf , trains, poker cards and the weather. Thanks also to Ken for giving me his copy of the Times when he hadn't finished the crossword. The weather. A first this year. Shamal ! Sand Storm. All of the paintings got covered in fine dust. We all got covered in fine dust. The camera men's expensive kit got covered in fine dust. Henrik got covered in fine dust but didn't notice because it was star dust. My kit got coated and I'm still cleaning. Nasty stuff. Thanks also to the two kind ladies from Scotland who looked after me throughout the four days, lovely to meet you both. I hope you both had a safe journey back and a great time at the golf. Luckily the sand didn't carry on throughout the night and by morning it was clear for you.
It is always an anti-climax, day after feeling, the day after DPWTC, or any Tournament. This was no exception. Su and I wrapped up the paintings and headed off home. The players and coaches and golf tourists headed for the airport and life returned to Studio Painting. Looking forward to Next year. Now......... The new season.. Commissions, the MEGA Awards Exhibition, Omega Ladies Masters and the Desert Swing in Jan. Hope to catch up with some of you then or failing that, next year. Have a great Xmas. Mark