Monday, 16 November 2009

Tick tock, tick tock...

The summer and autumn have seen me working, but not posting! The allotment growing season took up time and dedication, not to mention the preserving and helping out various 'oldies' has also taken its toll-who said retirement gave you more time?! I do paint and draw as often as I can and have enjoyed a couple of short courses and still attend a weekly art group and fortnightly life drawing, which offer support and stimulation. At the moment I am preparing for a joint exhibition in our local Arts Centre, starting on December 6 till 19. I have also got some work in a gallery in Haywards Heath and plan to 'tout my wares' a bit more in the New Year. I still love 'the head' and have worked from myself when desperate and my Mum and Aunt whenever I get the opportunity. They are now 95 and 100 respectively, so I shouldn't hang about...tick tock...
The ordinary and 'everyday' still fascinate, but I have been doing too much 'flitting' from idea to idea, subject to subject and need to get stuck in to a more thematic approach and follow ideas through. That will be my New Years resolution-once Christmas is out of the way-tick tock, tick tock...

Monday, 11 May 2009

Open Doors Studio Art Trail

Last weekend was my first exposure to an Open Doors Trail. I had underestimated quite how exhausting it was going to be, and we have to do it all again next weekend! It's good to talk to people about what you are doing and I guess they wouldn't have picked you out if they weren't interested. We spent all last week turning my dining room into a 'gallery'-looked pretty good-might even leave it for a while! One disadvantage for the participants is that they can't easily get round to see their fellow 'artists' work.
Sold quite a bit which is always gratifying, and feel inspired to continue by other people's enthusiasm.
If you get the chance to join in something similar in your area I would recommend you have a go, but save the wine for when evryone has gone-you will need it!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

'Who's been sitting in MY chair...'

Latest everyday objects to tickle my fancy are chairs-Like most objects they can say so much about their environment, social class, time in history, character-who was last sitting in them! And there are some amazing shapes out there from high Rococco to Bauhaus cool. I love the old bashed about ones and wish mine were a bit scruffier or had more to say. I was recently in an old people's home and they were exactly 'right' for their location, with or without occupants. I do also like that idea of a presence just gone, a fleeting shadow,a ghost of past occupants. Not got far with this one yet, but am enjoying looking around. It's also interesting how often chairs appear in the 19/early 20th century masters, within interiors. Matisse loves them, usually draped in exotic fabric and of course there is poor old Van Gogh and his lonely rush bottomed companion. Have a look at Nick Bodimeade, a local Sussex artist-great FUN!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Heads or Tails

The last thing I would ever have thought I would get into, is trying to paint people. For one thing, I didn't really know where to start and for another I've always thought people are particularly difficult. And why bother painting them when you can take a photo?
But how exciting it's been getting to grips with 'heads'. I came across 2 artists in particular, Alison Lambert and Paul Richards (see Interesting Links) who I really liked and who exemplify the difference between painting heads and what we would normally call 'portraiture'.
It certainly has helped having a two-way exchange with the subject, almost like a visual conversation. And does it matter if one doesn't get a 'photographic likeness'? Should we be trying to go beyond the obvious to the inner personality?
I am lucky in having several 'oldies' available to me to sit and older faces certainly have there stories. Even had a go at a 3D sculpture in clay which was a real eye opener. It's also been fascinating just looking at portrait masters like Lucien Freud, Stuart Pearson Wright, Victoria Russell and even Francis Bacon-(you love him or you hate him!)
So this is one subject area I will be continuing with; I keep staring at peoples heads and assessing how I would start them. What funny eyes that bloke had on the bus, and surely that old womans' nose was far too long for the rest of her face...she would look better with a light behind her!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Into 2009

Another 3 months gone by but I have been busy drawing and painting when I could! Christmas and New Year was a blur and best forgotten as all the family had flu. A new grandson last week (Reuben George-he's gorgeous) has also deflected me a bit, but am enjoying a new project on 'heads' so have been busy drawing anyone who will sit for me-luckily I have 4 'oldies' I can trap into sitting still for an hour or so, and have also used photos as reference after the sittings. I have started to work up a few of the images in oils, but it will take several weeks work. Also did a clay head from a model this week, which I thoroughly enjoyed; it's great getting your hands dirty! Had several paintings in a local exhibition just before Christmas and sold 5 of them, so was very pleased, and got a lot of positive comments which always spurs one on. I got a bit of a shoe fettish, all shoes kindly loaned from my daughter who actually wears these beauties.