Woodslane Online Catalogues
- Since 1961 James Reeve has been exhibiting and selling his paintings, first in Florence, then in Madrid. From 1974 onwards he has travelled widely, often with subsequent London gallery exhibitions. Here he vividly describes and illustrates the characters he meets and the adventures which unfold in Haiti, Madagascar, India, Australia, Jordan, the Yemen and Mexico. As his cousin, the historian, Antonia Fraser remarks in a letter to him: 'Dearest James, When God gave you your great artistic talent She made a big mistake, contrary to what is generally thought.' 'This is because you are really meant to be a brilliant writer.' And so now, badgered by Antonia Fraser and other writer friends, James Reeve has at last put his talents together in a series of self-contained short stories recalling travels, anecdotes and encounters which he has illustrated with his vividly colourful vignettes. Always travelling with the purpose of work, in Italy James meets Harold Acton. In the Australian Outback he draws among other things dumps and decrepit dwellings, and there too is Madam Tongere catching a Wichetty grub. He meets Princess Elizabeth of Toro in Uganda and is captured by pygmies in the Congo forest. He paints the fearsome Mrs Gilbert Miller's portrait in Palm Beach and travels in Rajasthan with Diana Wordsworth, a last relic of the Raj. At last, weary of wandering, he discovers a distant cloud-forest village in Mexico, where Edward James, as the only other Englishman, had preceded him. There he built a house. Living in Mexico for 35 years, among his friends are Dona Olive, the retired prostitute, and the Dominican nuns of an enclosed order who let him in to teach them how to make marmalade.
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