The Magnolia Trail

Category : Art, Art for Sale, News
Date : September 14, 2017


When I am asked from where I get the inspiration for my paintings, I am never quite sure what to say. It seems that subconsciously I ‘take’ something in without actually knowing it, and then somehow it gets into my mind, heart and spirit and evolves into a representation for something that I had already seen OR sometimes in the case of my ‘Tsunami’ painting, painted an event before it happened. The Magnolia Trail represents my first date with Roy Wood in the mid 70’s, it took me a while to work this one out and only recently came to me.

Dick Plant who engineered our earlier Renaissance albums, was convinced that Roy and I should meet as were both single and a little ‘eccentric’. It tuned out he was right and we hit it off. We went in a foursome with Dick and Annie to Trader Vic’s in the Hilton, Park Lane, London, a Polynesian style restaurant with wonderful ambience and fabulous food. A night to remember particularly as we all had several of their special tropical drinks ‘The Scorpion’, made from white rum and juices etc., wow!!! PLUS the glasses were huge like goldfish bowls, and the drinks were adorned with white magnolia petals…well, we all ate the petals as well and laughed the night away. This was the same evening that we had gone to Hampstead Heath after the dinner to go to the fairground, but we were too late and there ‘was nobody there’.

As promised, the next morning I phoned Betty Thatcher about my date with Roy. From that conversation she was inspired to write ‘Trip to the Fair’ that we recorded for our album ‘Scheherazade and Other Stories’. It’s a wonderful song telling the story of that first interesting and eventful night.

The Magnolia Trail came to me in the last few months, without any thought, it just appeared and it’s only now that it has fallen into place as to what it is. Simply, it is a glass bowl full of magnolia petals, but with a fabulous story to go with it!