Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Fresh Start

'Symphony of Choices,' oil and acrylic on canvas, 90 x 45cm

Though I hate January, I love the start of the New Year. It always seems to allow one a fresh start. I have just primed some boards to begin my first paintings of 2015, and after an over-view, I am ready to make some changes. 

It has been a few weeks since I have been able to paint because, apart from Christmas celebrations and obligations, there have been so many other things to see to. Just after Christmas, I found that my book, THE JAGGED GREEN LINE, had reached 65 in the top 100 of Kindle's Historical/women's fiction category. On the same day, my essay went 'live' on the chicago-based online art magazine, Neoteric art. I am attaching the link below:

http://neotericart.com/2015/01/02/the-wip-project-what-is-painting-featuring-fiona-stanbury/#more-3342

I love writing these kind of essays and so far it has had a good response!

'Cyprus Walk,' oil and acrylic on board, 60 x 45cm



Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Once Again.

'Landscape-Poem,' acrylic on canvas, 50 x 60cm

Once again, we are almost at the end of another year! I have not written for over a month due to completing several applications, and work going off for a show. I've applied to the Beijing Biennale, which was a long, complex application as both a CD of images and photos (large ones) were required. Also, I am submitting work for a watercolour exhibition, and 2 weeks ago 10 paintings went off for a corporate exhibition in Crawley.


Looming ahead is the exhibition in Cyprus, in the third week of January. But for now, Christmas is less than 48 hours away, and I just put up our tree last night! Happy Christmas everyone. 

My final painting, for this post, is 'Homage to Glyn,' which was painted in memory of my mentor and dear friend, the artist Glyn Hughes, and memories of times in Cyprus with him. It is 60 x 45cm, oil and acrylic on canvas.





Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Dancing Autumn

'Cyprus-Poem,' watercolour, gouache and acrylic on watercolour paper, 22 x 33ins
November has brought flurries of fiery-coloured leaves, while some are still hanging tentatively on threadbare trees, some lying in mosaics across the pavements. Scenes change daily - something that delights me - but I am trying not to let it intrude on my 'Cyprus Poems' series. I need to get the rest of these completed before mid-December. But how those glowing, autumnal colours intrude on my inner vision and dance hopefully on the end of my brush!
'Paintscape,' watercolour, gouache and acrylic on paper, 22 x 30ins

Of the series so far, the above is one of my favourite pieces because it refers to landscape but in an abstract way.
'Inscape,' (Cyprus series) watercolour, gouache and acrylic on paper, 22 x 30ins

It has been such a busy few weeks. Apart from the Cyprus exhibition, I have work going to a show in Crawley in December and work in the Chestnut Tree Auction at the Pavilion in Brighton in March. (This work is still to be painted!)



Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Cyprus Poems (2)

'Landscape-Poem,' watercolour and gouache on paper, 11.8 x 8.3ins
I'm on a deadline right now, preparing a complex application for a painting residency I really want! It would be a huge turning point for me because when you can have 3 months to paint, as many hours a day as you need, and a large space, you can get nearer to that fidelity and meaning we as artists are all constantly seeking. I'm very restricted by lack of space to pursue the large CYPRUS POEMS watercolours on an even larger scale, or just to be able to work on 5 canvases at once, without any interruptions. To have that studio would be HEAVEN!
'Coastal-Night-Poem,' watercolour and gouache on paper, 30 x 22ins
'Coastal-Poem,' acrylic and watercolour on paper, 33 x 23ins

The 17 paintings I made in Cyprus have spilled over their abundant energies onto larger sheets of paper back in the UK, and I'm surfing on the meanings of colour, marks and shapes to make colour-compositions that catch, for me, the essence of my experience. The series is throwing up some strange and unexpected elements, which seem to be full of potential for further exploration, and I'm really excited by the way that my hand just wants to do its own thing!
'Coastal-Poem,' acrylic and watercolour on paper, 33 x 23ins







Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Cyprus Poems


'Coastal Night-Poem,' (2) watercolour, 11.8 x 8.3ins
'Coastal Night-Poem,' watercolour, 11.8 x 8.3ins
'Carob-tree Poem,' watercolour on paper, 11.8 x 8.3ins
Well, I did paint on that balcony in Cyprus and I never imagined that I would end up painting 16 watercolours and one canvas! I began painting in Nicosia in my first week, sitting on my mother-in-law's balcony with the canvas I prepared back home ('Ebb and Flow'). I didn't hear the noise of traffic below as I slipped into the world of colour. That week I also painted one small acrylic on paper ('An Undiscovered Country').

'An Undiscovered Country,' acrylic and gesso on watercolour paper, 11.8 x 8.3ins
The following week we went to Paphos and we had a wonderful, first floor apartment with a huge balcony. I got up early in the morning and a series of watercolours inspired by the sea and those brooding, dark carob trees at sunset emerged. This led to more abstract evocations, and in between swimming and walking, I continued to paint. I met up with two Facebook friends. I had already met Valerie Brennan in January and one evening my husband and I went to her flat for a lovely meal and I met Bridget Fahy. Both artists are colourists and our work is very much in alignment, while also different. I saw their large, shared studio and we are making an exhibition there in January. It was very inspiring to see their work and to discuss the exhibition.
'Carob-Poem,' watercolour, 11.8 x 8.3ins

Back in Nicosia I made a few more paintings and decided to leave my 'Ebb and Flow' as it is. I will be showing paintings on canvas and paper and since my return 2 weeks ago I have painted 4 large watercolours taking my themes further. My series is entitled 'Cyprus Poems' and I am exploring what is, for me, the essence of my experience of sea, sand, salty air, shimmering light, warm, liquid sunsets and vibrancy. More photos next time!

'Ebb and Flow,' acrylic on canvas, 80 x 40cm


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Summer's Passage of Colour (2)

'A Garden of Paint,' (series) acrylic on MDF, 51 x 31cm

As a follow-up to my previous post, I decided to add a new painting which possibly reflects some of the colours of my patio garden! I will be in Cyprus within 28 hours and painting on a balcony for the next three weeks (in between various excursions to the beach, of course!) I'm taking canvas and paper to make some colourful responses to the environment there because in January 2015 I will be taking part in a show with two friends! More in my next post.

Summer's Passage of Colour

View of my patio garden from living room windows
My patio garden, view from top flower bed
I can scarcely believe that I haven't written this blog for more than a month! It has been a summer full of events, so much so that I didn't even plant my patio garden to its fullest glory - ultramarine blue Lobelia and Orange Dahlias were missed out.  I've just put in the final Geraniums today, spurred on by my impending trip to Cyprus tomorrow! But they will be something positive for my return and hopefully blooming by then. Though this blog is usually about my paintings, I'm posting a couple of photos of my lovely patio garden. This year it was the best in terms of colour and some of my friends noted that my paintings use similar colours! I spent 3 hours today watering Petunias, Busy Lizzies, Pansies, Violas (still in flower), and the wonderful yellow-with-red spots 'Monkey Plants.' My Fuschias are draped with flowers and my Begonias are just showing their red 'crowns.' I suppose I measure this year by my flowers because there were moments of frenzied planting followed by times when events took over and I had to hope the rain would nurture them.

It has been my busiest year for exhibitions - I have taken part in seven! Shortly after the SEE Art Fair ended, I submitted my entry for OFF THE WALL, The 9th Terrace Open. It is an installation-type show, which is open for only a day but has much coverage on the internet and Facebook. Every year artists from different countries send work for this show, which takes place on the walls of a piece of land in Hackney, London. Many of my American artist friends sent over work and I was thrilled to be showing alongside so many artists who I respect. I delivered my painting on August 2nd and met Karl Bielik, who organises the event each year. It was great to see actual paintings by my friends and I would say that of the 80 entries this year, I must know around 70% of the artists.
One of the walls of OFF THE WALL TERRACE OPEN.
Artists delivering work
'An Unveiling,' acrylic, silver paper, orange plastic bag, indelible marker pen and gesso on canvas, under glass

Karl arranging work on the walls of OFF THE TERRACE OPEN

The unique point of this show is that the works remain on the walls. Some have been there for 9 years. Not every artist likes to submit work that the elements will dissolve - and there were paintings I looked at and thought, 'What a shame, that is too beautiful to fade away!' But many works have stood up to the elements and are still there, either blazing away or flaking and warped. I decided to do two copies of my painting. Both are under glass, both have elements which will survive long after the paint has been washed away. I called them 'An Unveiling,' because the elements will slowly unveil the image. When I submit next year I will be able to see how my painting has survived, or not! 

On the tail of this, an artist-led London gallery accepted me for a two week show - the only snag being that the dates they offered were during my trip and unfortunately when I said I could not exhibit until late September, or October, the offer fell flat! But the fact they liked my paintings was a positive response.