Last year I was commissioned by the director of sport of Durham School, Ben Mason. He asked me to do a watercolour of a mini rugby tournament. The inaugural Veterrimi IV Rugby Tournament, hosted by Durham School, took place on Saturday 23 October. Despite the unrelenting rain, rugby fans turned out in their hundreds to be part of this special day. Durham School and Rugby School battled it out in the final, with the A J Dingle Trophy finally going to Rugby School. The event received extensive coverage by Sky Sports, Rugby Club News, Sky Sports News, BBC Look North, Tyne Tees TV as well as the local press.
After the tournament, there was a charity dinner dance at Ramside Hall with after dinner speakers Andrew Robson (one of Sir Bobby Robson’s sons) and former Scottish international Doddie Weir.
To wet folks appetites for the painting I had yet to do of the tournament held earlier that day, I had painted a large watercolour of the oldest rugby fixture between England and Scotland, Durham School v Edinburgh Academy which had taken place on the 6th October 2010. The painting sold that evening with £1000 donated from the sale to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
The heavy rain on the 23rd October presented obvious problems trying to paint outdoors. However, I still managed to do a small 14″ x 10″ watercolour under the shelter of a leaky umbrella. This was a great help in trying to capture to atmosphere of the day. Fortunately, there were bursts of sunlight breaking through the heavy rain clouds which caused the autumnal trees to sparkle with colour.
The sketchbook study I’d painted of another rugby match at Durham School was also a great help. The original painting of the final between Durham School and Rugby School is now available as a limited edition print on www.alanreed.com.
The day saw some close run matches and outstanding sportsmanship and congratulations must go to all four teams. Well done to the winners Rugby School. We look forward to the next one!