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My life in Art, Part 2
This accounting of one of the sport's most visible artists is provided by the artist himself, John Prince, along with his art, which continues to diversify and evolve.

Art and words by John Prince
Layout by Reuben Edwards

Related Links
Walk-through Gallery of all the art in the story
The John Prince Facebook Page includes links to his art
My life in Art, Part 1
My life in croquet, Part One
My life in croquet, Part Two
My life in croquet, Part Three

This is the long-planned story of the continuing development of the great Kiwi champion, after his competitive career in croquet ended, as John describes so poignantly in the croquet memoir. Fortunately for John--and for us--his art was waiting for him when he quit competing. John comments personally on all the art in both parts of this story, with some fascinating asides related only tangentially to the main narrative. Thus, the beginning of the second and final segment of this story, Part Two:

Meanwhile back to croquet art or the art of croquet.

"Autumnal Picnic" is an early acrylic painting using various objects on a rug spread out on our back lawn. Have the picnickers disappeared into the shrubbery? Of course not, they're just looking for the yellow ball.
"Autumnal Picnic" [better view]

"26-9 TP, letís celebrate!" This watercolour depicts another backyard setup using a lovely old Slazenger's Corbally lignum vitae mallet I discovered in the club house at Kaikoura when doing some coaching there with Roger Murfitt. I swapped it for a longer handled Jackson mallet.
"26-9 TP, letís celebrate!" [better view]

"Tremaine Arkley." Every now and then I get a commission to make a portrait/caricature of a croquet player. This one of Tremaine, an Oregonian well-known in America for his wide-ranging collections, was a thanks to him for commissioning some other croquet art for his massive gathering together of all sorts of croquet memorabilia, including art.
"Tremaine Arkley" [better view]

"Aaron Westerby" is a former Croquet New Zealand Open Champion and Captain of the Winning New Zealand 2014 MacRobertson Shield Test team. Aaron has done a lot for croquet in New Zealand off the court as well as on.
"Aaron Westerby" [better view]

"Chris 'Statto' Williams" is the wonderful chap who does so much for croquet by maintaining results and records for tournaments and events worldwide.
"Chris 'Statto' Williams" [better view]

"David Openshaw" is a rival International team captain who has done much for croquet not just in his native Great Britain but worldwide. This was drawn in 1986, when David was also holder of the British Open title.
"David Openshaw" [better view]

"Nina Coote, Irish Croquet player" is a ghost from the past. Nina was not only a great player but also a feisty competitor, winning a Men's Championship before the playing conditions did not stipulate men only could compete. She became a spiritualist later in life, hence the levitating ball above the turning peg and the Tarot card decorated hat.
"Nina Coote, Irish Croquet player" [better view]

"Bryan Lloyd-Pratt" was definitely one of croquet's all time colourful characters. Somewhere he's quoted (or perhaps I imagined it) saying to a new lady player, "But, my dear, it does not matter how appallingly one plays, as long as it looks elegant." At one time he was editor of England's Croquet Gazette and finally relieved of the position, but not for his outrageous editorials. No, it was because he kept overspending the budget.

"Bryan Lloyd-Pratt" [better view]

"Croquet in the Topiary" is another acrylic donated for a raffle at the Croquet New Zealand Open Championships at United Croquet Club in Christchurch.

"Croquet in the Topiary" [better view]

"Miniature Croquet set" is a creation turned from New Zealand pine, a table top Croquet set along similar lines to the Ayres sets made many years ago.

"Miniature Croquet set" [better view]

"Large carved rocking horse." There is a croquet connection here, this horse was made from Anthony Dew plans, based on the Ayres rocking horses. Ayres made croquet equipment including a very good composition ball. In my early competitive years many older players claimed the Ayres ball was superior to any other. The set I was given is now over 100 years old, as Ayres stopped manufacturing croquet balls before the 1920's.

"Large carved rocking horse" [better view]

"Croquet in the Garden": is a a more recent tongue-in-check acrylic with our beloved Miniature Snauzer Ben, sadly no longer with us. I'm imitating side stance with an Arthur Ross steel shaft mallet I found in a second hand shop.

"Croquet in the Garden" [better view]

"Alice plays here." A croquet friend (well, who else?) commissioned a pair of socks like these from a London manufacturer who had made first colours in the past but this was a first for second colours. There is an "Alice" connection in the shrubbery, the odd playing card symbol, a Cheshire grinning cat, etc.

"Alice plays here"
[better view]

"Croquet through the hoops" is a promotional flyer created for New Zealand's national croquet organization.

"Croquet through the hoops" [better view]

John's Facebook page includes a link to "albums," a walk-through with more than 200 paintings, adorned by casual comments from John and from fans. Not to be missed!

John Prince and his wife Sue live in Central Hawkes Bay. He is a member of the Rangatira Croquet club in Dannevirke. In 1999 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Croquet. He is a Life Member of Croquet New Zealand, Canterbury Croquet Association, and United Croquet Club, an Honorary Overseas Life Member of the English Croquet Association and listed in the Halls of Fame of the World Croquet Federation and Croquet New Zealand.

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