Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Chaotic Days!

'Event,' acrylic on board, 60 x 40cm
These last two weeks I have not had time to paint, only to draw, because I am currently writing a thesis for submission to the Beijing International Art Biennale for their symposium. It has been very enjoyable to write and I am emailing it later today - hoping it is considered suitable! I have also taken my painting for framing, never an easy job for me as I am not especially good at choosing frames - and in this case it has to be a very secure frame for shipping to Beijing. Usually I like my work on canvas to be box-framed so that none of the edges are lost but the painting I have had selected is on board so it was necessary to find a frame that doesn't eat up too much of the edges.

I have also been doing a lot of applications for exhibitions and events, and collating all the materials for the Biennale and sending them. In between that, some gardening for relaxation! 

Today at last I am preparing new panels to paint on and plan to start new work tomorrow.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Great News!

'Paphos Lighthouse Remembered,' oil and acrylic on board, 91 x 61cm

On Wednesday morning I heard the post drop through the letterbox and ran to see what ghastly bills etc may have arrived. I saw an unusually large white envelope on the carpet, covered in chinese lettering and with some kind of official stamps. I thought it must be a mistake but then I saw on the outside 'The 6th Beijing International Art Biennale.' THEN I realised that it was a reply to my submission back in December; I assumed it was a polite rejection and to my amazement I read that I have had a painting accepted for this wonderful exhibition in Beijing in the Autumn! The painting above is the one they accepted, which was my favourite of the 6 I submitted (via huge photos). Two days on, I am still beyond words!

It was quite a lengthy submission process and one to be done with much care, and when I posted the package on December 6th I had a feeling the Christmas post would delay it from arriving by the deadline of December 24th. I did not think much about it again!

The theme of the exhibition is DREAM AND MEMORY, a wonderful and very appropriate theme for my work! My painting has to be packed and will be shipped via a shipping company. I am hoping to go over to Beijing for the Opening. I am submitting a speech/dissertation outline in case I might get invited to the Symposium, which is something I would love to take part in - I'm sure many artists will be submitting these so it has to be extra good and I have already started writing it.

The letter of acceptance is a thing of beauty and something I will keep forever. I am very impressed by past catalogues (works of art in themselves) - the range of art acceptable is very wide and there are no 'Western' modes of vision when it goes to selecting work. (Time and time again here it is the same type of work that gets in, the same kinds of abstract or figurative, never anything that steps outside). After having read a lot of information on their website, I have much admiration for their aims and for their view of art as having a very high importance for both man and the world. More soon.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Doorways into Magic (part one)

'Tom's Midnight Garden,' (2) acrylic on board, 60 x 40cm

How does an artist find a doorway into their particular world when painting? Having spoken to many artists and friends, it became obvious that each of us has our own special entrance point. For me, painting is a form of magic and if I work with it passionately and with attention, I can catch some of that magic and give it form on canvas. I love the material quality of paint and like to explore that line between references to the world around and my inner images - the kind of pictures that stories threw into my mind as a child.
'Tom's Midnight Garden,' oil and acrylic on board, 60 x 50cm

One of my latest series of paintings is based on images associated with a favourite childhood book, 'Tom's Midnight Garden.' Though I did not seek to illustrate this theme, I have explored elements the title suggested to me as a child and let the paint evolve them into a parallel for my internal visualisations. I like to work in this way. A word or title can be the springboard for a painting and I will do a lot of drawings to get some ideas down, then that language and sets of forms filter through into the paintings. But I always like to be surprised and spontaneous, and to let the painting suggest elements and lead me into a new place.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Inner and Outer worlds

'Somewhere Else,' oil and acrylic on board, 40 x 50cm

With spring in full flow, I am making a lot of paintings on paper, just to respond to the wonderful energies and colours while experimenting with different types of mark-making; brush, crayon, felt-tip, pencil, etc.
'Rhythms,' wax crayon, felt-tip, watercolour and gouache on paper
'Inscape,' watercolour and felt-tip on paper

It's always a case of layering my inner world with my reactions to the world around me, and finding an image that captures these feelings.
'Remembered,' watercolour, gouache and felt-tip on paper

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Easter Break

Fiona and 'Arrowheads in Lemba Valley,' (Cyprus series) acrylic on wooden panel, 162 x 108cm

As I go into the Easter break, I have 4 paintings waiting for answers, including my largest one. Back to work on Tuesday!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Already Into March

The Dome, Brighton
The Big Heart auction exhibition at the Dome, Brighton

'Rising Light,' oil and acrylic on board, 30 x 40cm
Normally I hate these winter months but the first part of this year has been so busy that I have not really had time to notice anything! The Big Heart auction at the Dome in Brighton took place on March 3rd. It was a really good exhibition of 200 donated artworks and I was pleased to have a painting in the show. Later I heard that everything sold and the charity raised around £30,000.
Brighton Pavilion
'An Unveiling,' oil and acrylic on board, 20 x 30cm

Since then, I have made quite a few new paintings, going in some new directions. I've also sent out more applications for exhibitions and now I'm playing the waiting game! But as Spring leaves its trails across the landscape, I always feel my energies rising, and I find this one of my most creative times of the year.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Exhibitions and Connections

Me with one of my large watercolours at the exhibition
The New Year began with a speed I haven't experienced before! The exhibition BRUNCH took place at Apothiki studios, in Paphos, Cyprus from January 25th to January 30th. The three of us - Valerie Brennan, Bridget Fahy and myself - first met about 4 years ago on Facebook. We all have a connection with Cyprus: they live there, I used to live there and return frequently. We set up our show on January 24th, on a lovely sunny warm day, and whittled a large number of paintings down to around 7 by each of us. We hung them on the stone walls of the old Apothiki (storehouse) which is now their studio and part-time gallery. There were a large number of visitors at the Opening and everyone found that the work showed our connections both artistically and through our Cyprus connection.

'Evocation,' oil and acrylic on canvas, 35 x 25cm

We all showed works on paper and canvas. There were several articles in Cyprus newspapers and also online. I found it extremely positive as it affirmed our connections and also our ongoing ideas about painting, which we have exchanged over many years on Facebook.

Since my return, I have been doing a lot of painting on small boards, in preparation for larger works. I have also had a painting accepted for the Big Heart auction at the Brighton Dome Pavilion, from March 3rd to March 7th. The auction is also available to see online: