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.
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.
heat and horse flies keep me away from my abandoned farms but the garden is full of flowers. dead heading the geraniums a good bit came off so I put it in water and looked at it in the cool of the studio. the same with a delphinium which came a little too late. I tried to paint quickly without thinking and using as few strokes as possible.
I hope you are enjoying your summer, wherever you might be.
it’s been a busy month with paintings and drawings in 2 London shows: Portraits and no barking aRt. once the work was in there was room to manoeuvre myself back outside to contemplate the painting I had left on the easel at the beginning of April and the issues I hadn’t been able to resolve. it’s finished now and I’m pleased that the come here/keep away feeling that I was aiming for is more apparent in this piece than earlier ones in the series.
I took my portraits to the gallery today for hanging. while they have been framed and wrapped waiting to go I’ve carried on with my abandoned farms. some drawings in my sketchbook
and three small paintings
I have two more paintings on the easel but am finding it difficult to get what I want from them. when this happens, as it does from time to time, I find the best thing is to leave it completely and focus on something else. I used up the paint on my palette with two quick studies of a gerbera and a cyclamen on my kitchen window sill.
I’ve added a painting to my resting eyes series which breaks the pattern slightly. This sitter is only using one hand to cover his face and is placed in a setting unlike the others. It is oil on paper.
and if any of you are in Toronto on the weekend or over the next two weeks you can see my work as part of Gallery 50‘s exhibition to celebrate the launch of their new space.