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Paul and Diana Hogarth.

Paul Hogarth on Santorini

TRAVELS WITH THE ARTIST

DIANA Hogarth married Paul in 1989 and for twelve years they travelled around the world together as a working team, when Paul produced some of his most popular artistic works, They followed in the footsteps of major writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Laurence Durrell, and travelled to upwards of twenty countries during the period.

Throughout these travels Diana kept a daily diary of the ups, downs and in-betweens of life on the road for a travelling artist. Acting as assistant, researcher, driver, public relations officer, and of course wife to to the artist, Diana's diaries make for a fascinating insight into the itinerant life Paul and Diana lived during these years.

Other diary extracts have previously been published in ART, the magazine of the Royal West of England Academy.

Click on the links below to read the diary extracts:

Istanbul and Northern Cyprus 1987 (PDF)

Contrasts - Geneva & Belgrade 1987 (PDF)

TRAVELLING WITH 'ARTIST-REPORTER' PAUL HOGARTH

In the 16 years I knew Paul, we travelled a lot on his assignments. We built a partnership which easily swung into action with each new project. His was the talented art-work, but what I think I did, was relieve him of the background chore of organizing and planning. I enjoyed booking flights, accommodation, car hire and mapping out our journeys.

Literature was very important in Paul's life and a lot of his work was centred round books and authors. When I met him, he had already collaborated with writers such as Brendan Behan, Graham Greene and Robert Graves. My first experience of a writer in this context was Lawrence Durrell, and it was an exhilarating experience to catch up with his novels which Paul was illustrating in 'The Mediterranean Shore : Travels in Lawrence Durrell Country'. and then meet Durrell. He was a very welcoming host and soon became 'Larry'. The same was true of Peter Mayle whose ’A Year in Provence’ was a delight to be involved with. D.H. Lawrence obviously was not around, but we followed in his footsteps for several years, journeying to many unknown areas of England, but also extensively over Europe, and to many parts of the U.S.A. and to Australia. This was followed by an exhibition.

When an artist travels, he has to take his equipment with him. Paul worked in water-colour and did not use an easel on location, but carried a stool and sat with a large sheet of heavy card on his knee with a sheet of paper clipped onto it. The card and paper were packed into his portfolio when not in use. When carrying his equipment, the heaviest item by far was the paper. It had to be the best quality and this was the actual paper that now hangs in many houses with the original painting on it. Paul was a fast and prolific worker, sometimes doing three pictures a day, so the length of the journey would determine the weight of the portfolio. How he envied Edward Lear who had a manservant!

Travelling on planes with a precious portfolio of completed paintings was a nightmare. Being too big for hand-luggage, at check-in we were always asked to put it in the hold, which naturally was fraught with dangers --the main ones being that it would get lost, or that it would be damaged by some heavy item of luggage. We usually managed to charm the check-in attendant to let us to take it into the cabin, but this often led to an uncomfortable flight because it took up leg room..

On location and while sitting on his stool drawing, Paul perfected the art of being inconspicuous. He didn’t like being watched, hence his khaki or stone-coloured clothes which blended with most backgrounds. Much as he loved dogs, in this situation they were annoying as they could smell him out and were not welcome if they decided to hang around, or worse, bark and draw attention to him or, worse still in rural situations, chase him. He also had no control over birds which could destroy a painting from above, as could rain, when a hasty retreat was necessary and shelter had to be found. The local population on the whole were flattered that their buildings or countryside was being drawn, and did not annoy him particularly, but tourists were another matter. Their perception of art was as a leisure pursuit or entertainment, and if they found him they would hang about asking questions and/or watching every pencil line or paint stroke, but his revenge was to sharpen his pencils, and if that didn't bore them, put his pencils and paints away and wait until they’d gone, or he would make caricatures of them which very occasionally crept into the picture. If circumstances allowed he would put a wash on the drawing, and usually colour, but if time and events (such as tourists) were against him, he would make written and colour notes, and if possible come back later; otherwise the picture would be continued that evening in the hotel while the picture was still fresh in his mind and perhaps finished off in his studio at home.

Diana Hogarth.