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.
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.
the first portrait I made for the resting eyes series was my youngest daughter who is a musician. she appears again to celebrate the release of her new single, Our Girl, together with her two band mates, in the latest drawing in this series and the first to include more than 1 person.
I spent the last week in bed with flu. When I started to feel a bit better I did some drawing in my sketchbook. Happy to say I’m over it now and looking forward to getting work together for a group show at Espacio in April. more details about that soon!
A friend in Canada sent me the details of a print project in Toronto last week with the theme of celebrating the Chinese Year of the Horse. It looked interesting and I thought I’d see what I could come up with when I noticed that there was only a week until the final submission date! I set myself the challenge of drawing some horses, a first for me, deciding on an image to make into a linocut print, carving the lino and printing the print in 4 days to give the Post Office time to get it from England to Canada in about 3 days. Air mail, of course. Could I do it?
I have always liked Elizabeth Frink’s sculptures and her horses appealed to me and I knew that there were several on public display in London. There are always subjects to draw at the British Museum too and the horses in the Parthenon Sculptures had something about them that caught my eye. I made some drawings using various mediums and decided on an image for the linocut.
An afternoon spent cutting the lino and it was time to print. Checking my ink supplies I realised I didn’t have anything suitable! Nowhere to buy any at that time of the evening and leaving it until the next day would mean not enough drying time. what to do?
When proofing linoprints I always make a graphite rubbing on tissue. It looks good but it’s flimsy and just a way of seeing what needs doing. I took extra care and made prints using graphite on tissue and then mounted them onto Japanese ho-sho printmaking paper. Voila – problem solved! 3 prints sent off and I met the deadline I had set myself. I will keep you updated on what happens to them when they arrive in Toronto.
There are now 12 prints available. Click on ‘shop’ in the menu tab at the top for details.