I’ve been part of Julia Kay’s Portrait Party since 2010. a group of delightful, talented people from all walks of life, all drawing each other in all corners of the world! it has changed my life in many ways, all for the better, too many to recount here. I’ve met quite a few of the artists in the ‘real’ world and hope to meet more as time goes on.
Portrait Revolution has just been published, a book full of inspiration, tips and techniques for creating portraits from people in the Portrait Party. I am delighted to be one of 15 featured artists in the book.
I found out today that two of my recent sketchbooks have been selected for the Rabley Drawing Centre Sketch Open drawing prize and touring exhibition! one is Not Moleskine which I recently wrote about in this blog and the other is Unseeing and Now Broken. you can see my Facebook album with the drawings from this sketchbook here –
decay, appropriation, power, fallen regime, history, myth, nothing lasts. beauty does. looking at the Parthenon/Elgin Marbles at the British Museum. and other things.
the tulips and hyacinths are up and about to flower, the evenings are lighter and although still chilly it’s warm when the sun comes out. to celebrate the arrival of spring I’m offering free shipping on drawings in my shop! use the discount code SPRUNG at the checkout to take advantage of this. valid until 23/4/17.
the end of year festivities and ringing in 2017 were all very sedate for me this year. after my last blog post I developed pneumonia and was poorly throughout the holiday period. happily, family and friends took very good care of me and I’m grateful for that. I’m fully recovered but my drawing mojo went walkabout which worried me. I needed to find a way back to regular studio practice.
being part of a large artist community on facebook meant I didn’t have to look too far for inspiration. a friend and marvellous artist François Dupuis posted a drawing every day last year drawn in a small moleskine notebook. our work is very different and my intention wasn’t to emulate but it seemed a good way to get back into some drawing rhythm. little and often. and I had an empty lined notebook “not moleskine” in the studio!
and gathering energy I now have a shop where some of my ink and chopstick drawings are available and can be bought directly. I will be adding to and updating this regularly.
the air has the smell of bonfires about it with the sound of crunchy leaves underfoot. the temperature has dropped to almost winter levels and we are on our way through autumn with darker afternoons and longer evenings ahead. as usual there is still a lot going on in and out of the studio but I’m wearing warmer clothes now.
I’m happy to be an invited artist in a group show, Shifting States, at Espacio Gallery in London from 29 November to 11 December.
I will be showing work that began in the depths of the Dorset countryside adjacent to the sea along the Jurassic Coast. Taking inspiration from Seamus Heaney’s poem The Loaning, an Irish word for a pathway between two fields, I used the landscape as a compositional tool to play with colour, texture, space and form. a sense of being betwixt and between informed the work resulting in the lines between representation and abstraction becoming increasingly blurred.
and I have work in 2 upcoming print shows: the Printmakers Council Loosely Bound 18 November to 1 December and East London Printmakers Festival of Print 2 – 11 December
In October I was delighted to have 3 pieces from my history painting series on show at the Wells Art Contemporary annual exhibition in the Bishops Palace, Wells, Somerset. they were selected by Justin Mortimer, one of the judges this year. Since I saw his portrait of Harold Pinter in 1992 I have liked and followed his work so it was a pleasure meeting him at the private view and I was happy to be able to thank him for selecting my work for the show.
16 days of open studios done and dusted. sales wrapped, prints packaged, visitors book swelled to bursting, hurrah! and not a single dog biscuit left. happy and grateful for the number of visitors who came, looked, talked and bought. a big thank you to my family and friends for keeping me fed and watered throughout. Dorset Art Weeks will be back again in 2018.
This bi-annual two week open studio event is one of the largest of its kind in the country bringing artists and visitors together in ways that are totally different from entering a public gallery. it’s as much about engagement between people as about people and art. the artists are happy to meet you and keen to talk to you about the extraordinary range of materials, skills and traditions that inform their work.
series worked on over the last year will be on show in my studio for the first time including ‘casbah’, ‘asana’ and ‘poolside’, original linocut collages. I will also be showing ink and chopstick drawings based on the iconic Dorset landscape together with paintings and drawings of the ever present rural pheasant who captured my heart and drawing materials over the winter.
I look forward to meeting visitors and hope the weather stays fine and dry but even if it pours with rain I’ll still be happy to see you!
catch up news:
in April I participated in an exhibition to raise funds for Syria Relief as part of the Creative Collective for Refugee Relief, an ongoing initiative aimed at getting food and medical aid to the worst hit areas in Syria. Do click on the links and make the most of the opportunity to buy artworks donated by artists with all the proceeds going straight to the people who need it most.
a little later than planned, my new year post. wishing you all a healthy, peaceful and creative 2016.
december in the english countryside, dead pheasants are hanging everywhere. on people’s front doors and gates, left by someone who’s shot too many and thinks the recipients would be glad of a roast. yes, a little shocking but true and there they are hanging in all their beauty or lying on the side in someone’s kitchen or at the butcher’s. they run across the road in front of cars in the lanes, no flight, a stupid weaving like a drunk across the path of oncoming cars. everywhere and I didn’t think about it really except that I find them beautiful even when no longer alive. for awhile at least. and there’s a tradition in ‘art’ to paint them. my sketchbook is full of them. here is a selection of monoprints, drawings and paintings. I’m wondering what it means and hope to find out as I carry on.
I recently joined Print Solo. a new online platform, dedicated entirely to printmaking, where I can showcase my unique prints. on Print Solo you will be able to find some of my prints, ask me about specific pieces and become a collector of my work. payments are secure and shipping is international. what’s not to like?
I’ve had such a busy summer I’m practically tripping over myself as I realise it’s October already! playing with colour and texture, marrying linocuts with paint, paper and ink. here is a selection of linocut prints from the last 3 months
I’ve been looking at composition, and making studies with ink, chalk and charcoal
I’ve done some painting too and this is my favourite from the summer’s easel
earlier this year one of my daughters was in hospital for two months. I couldn’t help her but I could draw, as always, and I think it supported her to see me doing something that comes naturally in this unnatural situation. happily she is recovered and well again.
this series of drawings resulted in some print work which when assembled on the studio wall created a complete piece. addressing the concept of the tried and tested medical treatment meted out on a daily basis, used to mend a body and bring it back to full health, with pattern pieces used repeatedly to create a fully wearable garment. a basic formula, like the repeated image of the hand with a cannula printed onto dressmaking pattern pieces. the pieces as random as the bodies the medical treatment attends to.