Awaiting my tenth birthday outside the hotels during the summer holidays from school, I approached some of the elderly holiday makers for my first rudimentary portrait painting experiences. The men reacted better than the women (justifiably I might add, the women also looked like men in my paintings), but they all seemed happy to pass an hour in company. One of my ‘subjects’ left me The adventures of huckleberry Finn and Jonathan Livingston Seagull on departure, with a warm dedication.
The stationers in Lavagna, in Liguria, had been flooded. They didn’t want to have to throw the paint sets and drawing paper away, so they gave them to me as a present. It all smelt a bit musty, but provided for my first paintings. A trip to the nearby town of Chiavari and my collection was complete: God bless art suppliers.