one stroke too many…

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01/09/2010 by Sarah Ritchie

Ted Sherwen Blade Runner

Ted Sherwen, "Blade Runner, Central Park"

My career began in 1990 as a Photolithographer, in the years “B.C.” (Before Computers). As an apprentice, my foreman was a man named Ted Sherwen. He had the broadest Scottish accent, was the most incredible photo retoucher (by hand, not by Photoshop!). He was (and is) a renowned Auckland-based watercolour painter. In fact, I vaguely recall that he made his living from painting and his daytime job was his hobby (oh, that that should be mine in life!).

Ted taught painting classes. He would bring in 35mm slides (that he used to teach his students) of the progression of one of his paintings, for me to view them on a light bench. I remember him pointing to each slide in the series, saying (of the first slide, and gesturing a stroke action with is hand) “$400”. Then, pointing to the next slide (and another stoke gesture), “$500”. And another, $600. Then the next stroke “$500″…and the next “$400”. He wisely told me that you have to know when to stop…the point when it will be one stroke too many. I have never forgotten that!

[FOOTNOTE: for more information about Ted Sherwen, visit this website]


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Finalist, Estuary Art Awards 2011
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© Sarah Ritchie 2014

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