Monday, 18 August 2014

Joan Nicholson Portrait by Jehan Daly



Yesterday evening a small miracle happened .... I was in the garden attempting to pull up weeds as a break from the computer toil of the day, and ... the land line rang. I never use my land line and am always a little suspicious of it when it rings as everyone I know rings me on my mobile these days.

The message was faint but enough to make me curious to call the number back. The number I called was answered by a lovely gentleman, who back in the 1980s had bought a painting at a country house sale. The painting was by Jehan Daly of a Mrs Roger Nicholson, my mother. He found my number from the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. He was on a mission to find out who the woman in the portrait was, and I was so excited to see it ... he sent it to me in an email shortly after our conversation. Here it is (above), and it is quite lovely. Jehen Daly was a great family friend of my parents from after the war and he with John Ward and Gordon Davies painted together on various projects and my mother also sat for them. This portrait, though I have never seen it before, is so familiar as I have many sketches of that same pose in my collection, by both Jehan and my father, also oil paintings of her likewise. I know that chair ... it is an old friend ... he was also my sister's godfather and a sweet and gentle man. I have a photo taken by my father of him holding a tabby kitten, black and white, he in ubiquitous tweeds, very of the time ... I am just now rummaging around in the garage to find the old photos so I can scan it in to send to Bill the owner of the painting. I also have an oil painting of Jehan at his easel by my father. 
Then I was ferreting around online to see what there was on Jehan Daly and there is not a great deal but  found this site and went on to type in Roger Nicholson and found this beautiful painting (below) which again I do not remember at all, but would dearly love to know where it is now. I would love it as it is of a period of my father's painting that I particularly love. He was SO good at colour ... exciting, riveting colour ... I remember thinking as a child that the colours he used were entirely a new breed of unknown colour, nothing like the colours I was learning at school ....
It just kept me thinking of these personal things out in the world I have no idea of the places they have settled or the journeys they have undergone to get there, as my father did not exhibit much, only painting for pleasure he was and is relatively unknown. I would love to have the time to bring them both into the public eye but I have so little time. Anyone out there who would love to do this as a labour of love? Any information about paintings by Roger would be gratefully received ... nancy@nancynicholson.co.uk

Now back to the cobwebs and dead mice in the garage!


Later .... found them! so lovely to find so many and smile through these lovely but very stinky old photos and so many slides! Anyway here is Jehan, my mother and father, all taken around that the time of the portrait. Also the others mentioned ...

Photograph of Jehan Daly 1954
Jehan Daly with one of John Wards children I think it may be in Folkestone
where the Wards had a flat.


Photograph of Jehan Daly 1954
Jehan Daly


Photograph of Roger Nicholson about 1954
Roger Nicholson

Photograph of Joan Nicholson about 1954
Joan Nicholson with same kitten and my sister Naomi




















Joan Nicholson by Roger Nicholson

This is the painting my father Roger did of my mother at the same sitting ...

Jehan Day by Roger Nicholson
Jehan Day by Roger Nicholson

14 comments:

  1. Oh Nancy! How fantastic to be contacted about the painting and what a lovely trail of memories and pictures it has returned to you. Marvellous. I do hope that someone out there can help you to further flesh out this trail. Can't wait to hear more...

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    1. Hi Kathleen! Yes, it has made me really keen to archive all the photos and paintings and much other material ... just need some time! Hope you are having a lovely summer ... xx

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  2. Nancy how wonderful- such a lovely treasure to cherish! And your father's colour work is stunning!

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    1. Thanks Emma! Are you coming on Friday? You will see some then! xx

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  3. So lovely Nancy, so many treasures from the past to be discovered! XXX

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  4. How wonderful to find such treasure and how nice of the portrait's new owner to make the effort to locate her family. You have a very talented family, obviously handed down in full.

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    1. Thank you Claire, yes, it has been wonderful to see this painting and rekindle the desire to look into the old family photos! xx

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  5. How wonderful and what fabulous paintings! I particularly like the photo of your Dad where he looks just like he's about to say: "Right then, what's next?!" :o)

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    1. He was a handsome devil my dad, and witty and I miss him so much. Glad you enjoyed the story! xx

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  6. What a wonderful surprise, and I love the photos too!
    x

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  7. Have you come across this? http://www.cambridgeprints.com/artists/n/NICHOLSON.HTML
    Roger Nicholson

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  8. Hello Nancy

    I am/was the child that Jehan is holding in the photo, William Ward, John's eldest, and you are right it is Folkestone. I was looking for Jehan Daly as some of his still lifes are coming up in auction soon, and I found your blog. Jehan was my godfather, the other being Roy Spencer. I don't know if that name rings any bells but he often came up in the same conversations as your father. I drive past the house in Sissinghurst regularly and always think of your family when I do.

    Best wishes

    William

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  9. Hi William how lovely to hear this news! It was a small miracle to hear of this painting and find myself rummaging through the old photos of our families. I am so glad to know you found this article. Where are you living now? I am still in the area. Do contact me if you would like nancy@nancynicholson.co.uk
    Is this terrace the one on the seafront in Folkestone? I have tried to identify it since I go there a fair bit. I have no memory of the visits there but certainly went to Bilting Court as a small child and of course remember wonderful evenings at Camden House listening to lively grown ups chatter round the dinner table with Gordon Davies and your parents ... Do get in touch!

    Best wishes
    Nancy

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