Passing the time with Walter Dolphyn

photo 3 (2)Ducks, walnuts and fresh goats cheese, the area of France around Rocamadour produces some fine food.  It has also attracted pilgrims down the centuries, among them kings, bishops and nobles. The monastic buildings, shrines and pilgrim churches associated with Saint Amadour cling to the cliffs where a tomb was discovered in 1166, said to be that of the servant of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

A more contemporary attraction can be found in a nearby village where in a studio barn the figures, cars and toys belonging to Walter Dolphyn find their home. Packed onto shelves and in cabinets, piggy banks and dinky cars rub shoulders with famous characters of stage and screen, all collected with passion and cherished by Walter for their own moment of fame again. Walter has made this corner of the department of Lot a home for his family for over ten years. It has allowed him to perfect his detailed still life painting learnt from his father and developed over time, just like a fine Cahors wine.

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A warm welcome always awaits you in the French sunshine just as it was last week when I arrived to greet him once more. There was only a slight delay caused by the Montgolfieres of Rocamadour taking to the morning skies and a quick tour of the huge brocante market. Always one to try and find a bargain I couldn’t resist. One rusty table, some china and glasses later and I was on my way to see Walter.

His studio was crowded with new paintings ready to be framed and finally prepared for their long journey back to London.  Always wanting perfection an extra application of silver leaf to frame flats was needed. That evening a 50th birthday party in the village meant fitting paintings into frames was a little delayed.

All good things must come to an end and after 3 days it was time to leave for England. Some inspiration has to remain for him to be able to continue painting for his exhibition previewing on 13 November.  So there are a few that have stayed in France for now to keep him going!

Read more about Walter Dolphyn

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