Monday, 20 February 2017

Study in Pink and Grey

 
A painting from the end of last year that is still up in the studio. Sorting stuff today and preparing some boards and canvases, thinking about what to do in school tomorrow as another half term rears it's ugly head. Haven't posted anything here for a long time. Too busy letting life get in the way. Changes, movements, ill health, things going on with the house. Should we stay? Or should we go? Working on a new painting in part inspired by the poems of John Clare. Which is more of a re-working. I often find after a break that I rework an old painting to get back into the swing of things. Painted out a landscape that has hung in the kitchen for about ten years as well today. The cathartic sweep of white gesso over old acrylic, funny thing is that I think the painting that will replace it in the 'new' kitchen will be even older. So old that it was in my degree show, a painting that I still go back to. Does that show a distinct lack of progress in the last 30 years? Probably. Maybe it's my one hit wonder. Will get a decent picture of the Clare inspired painting when it has developed a bit more, and the weather is slightly less grey and wet.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Badger Question

'Blue Sky Above' acrylic on canvas 100 cm x 100 cm.
The painting pictured will soon be on show at the Affordable Art Fair in Stockholm with the lovely Stock Gallery. Along with three other large canvases and a raft of smaller paintings it should be quite a display. I hope the dear people of Stockholm enjoy.
In other news I have lots of exhibitions and opportunities all coming together this month. This week I am really pleased to be showing some work with Comme Ca at the Buy Art Fair in Manchester and will even make the preview evening on Thursday. Just spent the weekend at the first Wilmslow Art Trail event showing my work alongside Di Metcalfe who I have exhibited with previously at the White Gallery in Bollington. Had a very enjoyable weekend even without sales, and so to the title of this post, coined from another art fair in the company of Julie Miles and Hilli Mcmanus the phrase has come to me to illustrate that idea that as artists we can trace a trend or even anticipate one. I expect at every moment in time someone catches the  Zietgiest, the girl with the great bobbed hair and super slim figure in the 1960s, the bleached blond boy with the biggest wooped hair and ripped jeans in the 1980s, but I don't believe you can second guess these things, I always remember Jarvis Cocker of Pulp saying that they played the same music for fifteen years and during a brief moment became trendy and in front of the public gaze. That I believe is the way of these things. Was it that the Beatles and Elvis were super talented? (undoubtedly) But also they were there just at the right time as many other people could have been or weren't.
So if on an endless unrewarding day trying to shift your art onto an unsuspecting public they are dismayed by your birds or rabbits or alpacas and ask 'have you any Badgers' you must simply politely say that unfortunately not and hope that next time you set up your stall you find the bird lover with art on their mind.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

As Fast As My Little Brush Can Go







New paintings recently completed for inclusion in a group show this November at The Gorstella Gallery. Enjoying playing with the composition and keeping the backgrounds simple and light. Got lots on this summer and will post images and information as it happens. Images are 'Song Thrush', 'Three Tree Sparrows', 'Three Wood Warblers', 'Two Gold Finches', 'Two Great Tits, Three Coal Tits, Thrush and Sparrow' and 'Two Robins'. All acrylic on board 15 cm x 15 cm except 'Two Great Tits..' which is 30 cm x 30 cm.   

Friday, 11 April 2014

Starlings and Trips to Liverpool

Painting nearing completion for the King of Cats Touring exhibition. Birds still need their speckles and beaks and eyes. The painting is 70 x 50 cm on canvas in acrylic and is based on an idea inspired by the Starlings that are not in the chimney knocking down soot.
Been to Liverpool and the Walker art gallery to collect my rejected painting from the John Moores 2014. Didn't do too badly getting in from over 2500 entries to the next stage of 180 but not through to the actual show of 52 works. Did get to speak with the project organiser which was very interesting and lifted my mood enough not to chuck the canvas into the river.
Thought I was in with a good chance this year and it seems that I was pretty close. Do I continue to waste my time and effort on these things? Can I get validity from some other avenue?
Decided to try and push the bird paintings toward a more fluid interpretation of how I experience the wildlife around me. Trying to add a feeling of that fleeting glimpse that you get from watching the birds in the garden. Will post the results when they arrive. 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Anxious Green

Painting completed yesterday (09/02/2014). 'Anxious Green' acrylic on canvas 40 cm x 40 cm
Number 2 in a series exploring ideas of mental health. This one has the top of Tina's head and a selection of garden birds (it is not a comment on her mental health). Not sure about the green, could be read as grass, when I am more interested in a slightly uncomfortable colour scheme.
Went to a seminar about approaching Galleries and Curators on Saturday co run by Castlefield Gallery and a-n. Came away feeling as if I could not forward my practice without already having a relationship with a curator or to be leaving an MA course (in London), a continuing feeling of 'them' and 'us' that I have had for the last few years. Back to being much more positive today, I would be making these paintings even if I was the only one to see them, everything else is a bonus.
Think I might enter this painting in the National Open Exhibition, I have another in planning so might wait and see how that turns out.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

A Strip of Trees

'A Strip of Trees' acrylic on canvas 100 cm x 100 cm reworked and revisited for a group exhibition at the Lowry Hotel in Salford. Exhibitions starts on Thursday 16th January.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Nervous Yellow

This morning I have submitted my digital image for the John Moores painting prize for 2014. Shown above acrylic on canvas 40 cm x 40 cm. Been trying to imagine ideas around mental health and that gesture that people make to indicate you are crazy where they spin their finger at their temple. Read somewhere that this comes from the idea that your head is full of birds fluttering around which is quite an interesting description of how you might feel if you are going a bit crazy.

So I've tried a typically Rainham way to illustrate this idea. In searching for the information about the gesture I came across a book called 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman which describes the descent into madness for woman at the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

Her mental health, described as nervousness, deteriorates when she is kept in an attic room of an old house that is wallpapered in a horrid, florid yellow paper. She begins to obsess about the pattern of the paper and thinks she sees a woman moving around behind it. The room is described as a nursery but shows signs of being somewhere where someone has been kept by force. there are iron rings in the wall, bars at the window and a big heavy bed screwed to the floor.  

The original colour of the background of the painting was my usual blue but I have changed it for this vivid yellow in response to the book.

Will know if the painting gets through to the second stage in February.