Friends in Ibiza 1962

Old Friends. Ibiza 1962

Bob Thompson. Carol Thompson. Bill Barrell. and Irene Barrell.
Bob Thompson. Carol Thompson. Bill Barrell. and Irene Barrell.


Rummaging through old drawing books I came across a gauche I did in Ibiza Spain. It is of Bob Thompson and his wife Carol, my wife Irene and me.

We had many dinners together. One time we arranged to have a succession of dinners between four friends. The idea was to have dinner at each others houses, or Fincas ( farms ), and outdo each other.

Each dinner got more and more exotic as it came about. Frank Swaky and his wife Jean topped our fish dinner with a roast leg of lamb with mint sauce and roasted new potatoes.

There was a funny incident at Bob and Carol’s dinner.  Carol had planned a curried rice and shrimp dish. She had everything arranged and looked around  for the shrimp that she had precooked only to find an empty plate. Bob confessed to eating them earlier in the day while painting not realizing they were for the dinner.  So he said. Nobody quite believed him. So we ended up with just curried rice and vegetables but topped off with a fine caramel flan.

We would sit and discuss art into the wee hours of the morning, comparing the abstract artists in the US such as Kline ,de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and the newer figurative artists like Alex Katz, Red Grooms , Yan Muller , Bob Beauchamp and Tony Vevers, with the European artists such as Appel , Alashinsky, Soulages and of course Picasso, Braque , Miro and all the other great masters were bantered about, often recording the  evenings in our drawing books.

I forget who took the honors, but each dinner was very memorable. None of us had much money but there was no shortage of wine, brandy and hashish.  Fundador brandy. We would say, ” It’s fun to pour with Fundador. ” It would give me a vicious hangover but would leave Bob unfazed. If there was beer around Carol always kept one on the side for Bob in the morning. He would be up painting in the morning while I would be nursing a throbbing head.

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