Not on display
- Michael Andrews 1928–1995
- Acrylic paint on canvas
- Support: 1829 × 1829 mm
frame: 1955 × 1959 × 77 mm
- Purchased 1979
T02334 MELANIE AND ME SWIMMING 1978–9
Inscribed ‘Melanie and Me Swimming 1978–9 Michael Andrews’ on stretcher
Acrylic on linen canvas, 72 × 72 (183 × 183)
Purchased from James Kirkman Ltd (Grant-in-Aid) 1979
Exh: Michael Andrews, Hayward Gallery, October 1980–January 1981 (124, repr. in colour) and subsequent tour of the Fruit Market, Edinburgh and Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
Melanie and Me Swimming is based on a 6 × 4 inch coloured photograph of Michael Andrews and his daughter, then aged 6, taken when they were on holiday at Glenartney Lodge, Near Comrie, Perthshire, in the summer of 1976. Andrews and his daughter Melanie often went to the pool to swim. Andrews, who was keen to make a painting of the two swimming, paid the photographer Jean Loup Cornet, a fellow houseguest, to take the photograph. The painting was executed in his Norfolk studio in 1978 and was finished in February 1979. Andrews first made a careful watercolour study (about 11 1/2 inches square) from the rectangular photograph. The photograph did not include the rocks above the pool which were painted from memory. The large picture was painted on un-primed canvas in acrylic paint applied using a spray gun as well as brushes; in the section depicting rocks strips of cloth saturated in paint were laid on the canvas and pressure applied.
Andrews considered that the scale of the figures in the painting, particularly the heads, was resolved at life size and found that it was important to adhere to this scale so that the figures should feel real to him. He did not strictly stick to the photograph when executing the watercolour and the larger painting and sees the photograph as a model or substitute object but not as an image to be copied.
Andrews painted a picture of fish, School 4, immediately before executing Melanie and Me Swimming; the latter was the first of a Holiday series of which five were planned. The second and third of this series, Alistair's Day and Peter's Day, respectively, were painted immediately after Melanie and Me Swimming.
This catalogue entry was approved by the artist and based on a discussion with him on 19 February 1980. It was updated in January 2023.
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981