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:

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:

Neoteric art magazine

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