In the the New Year, Lance painted with a renewed energy. He relished the life drawing classes at the SAC on Monday evenings, where all his fellow artists and models also enjoyed the company of his lovely dog, Kit, who was frequently drawn as well.
Whenever there was a warmish day, Lance would be at Falmer, Stanmer or in Alfriston, painting churches.
On February 12th, he painted a superb view of the ‘Cathedral of the Downs’ at Alfriston. He invited me to accompany him on this outing, but I was unable to join him that day.
Little did we know, that this would be one of his last paintings. Because in the hours of Tuesday morning – February 27th – our dear friend, sadly died.
His death was a tremendous shock to us all. He had been a little unwell, on the Monday, with a slight cough, but was feeling positive about a trip to the Gambia that he was planning. In fact, he was meant to be leaving from Gatwick in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Of course, he never made it.
At his funeral, On March 14th, his family asked me to read a eulogy about the six months that Lance spent in Sussex, which I was honoured to do. It was also read by one of his daughters, at his Memorial service in Street, Somerset, on April 19th.
I looked after Kit on that poignant day.
There is now a framed cartoon drawn and painted by Lance hung on one of the walls at the Seaspray cafe, which we are happy – and sad – to look at every day. A sweet reminder of our personal and all- too -short memories of dear Lance.