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.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Of The Corner of My Eye

Newly completed painting acrylic on canvas 40 x 40 cm. Off to Will's Art Warehouse for their winter exhibition (not mentioning the c-word). Trying to illustrate the experience I have of seeing wildlife in my environment, that fleeting glimpse and playing with the decorative elements of my work. Tried it with green leaves as they were the ones I selected from the garden, especially the tear shaped Bay leaves, great to draw round and you get a lovely waft of herb, but I realised that I really have a problem with green. So an autumnal feel which I suppose is suitable for the season. Interesting to hear on Grayson Perry's much quoted lecture that blue paintings are what people want and I have also read that red ones sell for more, so I'm hitting two criteria with one image and avoiding horrid green.
More completed images soon and details of where my work can be seen over the next few months.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Buy Art Fair Manchester

This little painting 10x10 cm acrylic on board 'Willow Tit and Blue Tit' one of a group on show at The Buy Art Fair in Manchester with Comme Ca stand 83. Fair is on Saturday and Sunday 28th and 29th September in Spinningfields. Lots of interesting things to see at the fair and The Manchester Contemporary too

Thursday, 29 August 2013

New Studio

It's taken most of the year so far but I finally have my studio back as a working space and much improved it is too. Still need a few finishing touches and a shelf for my paints and brushes but I have actually been in it and done some painting. Have a few days left before school goes back to sort through and catalogue all my teaching materials and painting resources and choose which art books can go on my shelves. Looking forward to painting and being able to have some heating for the first time in two years.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Things of Joy and Beauty

Had a very uplifting and thought provoking evening on Tuesday at Manchester University listening to the Cockcroft Rutherford lecture by Richard Thompson about 'In Place of War'.
Richard is obviously a man at the top of his discipline using drama and theatre in war zones and places of conflict to help those involved come to terms with the situations they are in. His belief and the concrete evidence of the pro-active use of creative intervention in such situations was inspirational. How wonderful to hear of arts and creativity being used, supported and participated in, right at the heart of where you would think it would be the last thing on ones mind. The value of what he does was never under question, in fact one member of the audience felt he should be stopping wars with his theatre, an unusal position for the arts to find themselves.
My practice is very far removed from Richards and the team he works with but I couldn't help feeling a little bit of that value and belief he had in  things creative could rub off on me and that in my heart the hope that all people want something of joy and beauty will save the creative industries and all the things that are good and positive in world. I wonder if our government would be as supportive as that of Sri Lanka? 

Hampstead Affordable Art Fair

The Hampstead Affordable Art Fair starts today with lots of wonderful affordable art work to buy. What could be a better way to start the weekend? All details at Affordable art fair website or www.wills-art. com
Image above 'Three Blue Tits' acrylic on board 15cm x 15 cm part of a group of four paintings that fit together or stand alone, still on show at Harvey Nichols Manchester 

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Spring Birds

Four more images from the exhibition at Harvey Nichols Manchester. From top 'Hours in the Garrden' 15x 15 cm acrylic on board. 'Robin' 10 x 10 cm acrylic on board.'Two Jays in a London Park' 50 x 70 cm acrylic on canvas and 'Coal Tit' 10 x 10 cm acrylic on board. Exhibition on until 17th June  

Monday, 22 April 2013

New Paintings for Harvey Nichols Manchester

Three of twenty three paintings deliverd today to Claire at Comme Ca for an exhibition in the restaurant at Harvey Nichols in Manchester. More images to come soon. Pictures are from top 'A Stray Moment of Perfection' acrylic on canvas 100 cm x 100 cm. 'Three Blue Tits' 15cm x 15cm acrylic on board and 'Two Mistle Thrushes' acrylic on board 20 cm x 20 cm

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Battersea and Hong Kong

Not two places you would usually connect but The Affordable Art Fair opens today to the public in Battersea and moves on to Hong Kong for the 15th March . I have a new selection of bird paintings in both so pop on the bus or the Star Ferry and go and have a look. Picture above 'Sing The Silence' acrylic on board 30 x 30 cm  

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Battersea Affordable Art Fair 7th to 10th March 2013

Last painting completed and ready to be sent to Will's Art Warehouse for the next Battersea Art Fair 7th to 10th March 2013. If you would like tickets please leave a comment 

Friday, 1 February 2013

Painting for The Affordable Art Fair

New painting of Wrens in the Witch Hazel tree that I can see from my kitchen window. Acrylic on canvas 40 cm x 40 cm destined for Will's Art Warehouse and the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea in March

Monday, 21 January 2013

Birds Bound For Hong Kong

A selection of small acrylic paintings on board ready for the Affordable Art Fair in Hong Kong