Monday, 1 February 2016

Through the Portal into the life and work of Jago Stone, artist

This blog is about Jago Stone (1928-88), artist and writer. The portal into his life and work first opened up for me when I married Louise who had been gifted one of his oil paintings when he moved on from the Gerrard's Cross area in 1970. She was then still at school, her parents had commissioned a watercolour of their family home in 1968 and further commissions for two oil paintings followed with other oils bought from him too.

I've lived with the powerful expressionism of his oil paintings for four decades (Louise's parents passed on some of his work to us during their lifetimes and with my father-in-law's death last year we now have all Jago's work that her parents once owned).

Jago was an interesting character as well as a talented artist. I learned that he had spent time in prison. That he had won a national art prize in prison. That he had been a charismatic man of charm who  enjoyed life. And that he was a restless soul.

The portal into understanding Jago's journey through life widened considerably with the invention of  the World Wide Web.  From our Google searches, we were able to learn more and more. When I could afford to buy one of  the few copies available of his autobiography 'A Burglar's Bedside Companion' (1975) and read it,  I got still more insight.  And I realised that this man was an accomplished writer, witty and humane. I wanted to write his biography. This would be my next literary venture having completed 'The Road to Corbyn'.

You will find more about the genesis of this biography on my website, www.robdonovan-author.co.uk. As I explain there, this has become a detective story. The portal will develop as I discover other people's stories and memories of this man of many parts. I trust my instinct that this is an extraordinary life-story that is worthy of discovery and celebration. 

If you did know Jago and have memories you are happy to share, do please make contact and we can make this venture a reality. Meanwhile, enjoy the gallery of his work on my website!