Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Facebook effect

Here is a detail from the picture I posted yesterday. It is part of a facebook online competition run by the Cork St Open team – you can vote for the photos on it. If you’d care to, the link below should take you to the picture where you press ‘like’ to record a vote. (Since a recent WordPress update I’m unable to upload a live link so you will have to copy and paste, I’m afraid.)

Thoughts of winter

Paving-stones in winter

Just completed in time for the first snow. I planned this piece and prepared the support, i.e. made the paper, some time ago. This was an image that caught my eye in January, when the damp-enhanced colours of the paving-stones shone through a light dusting of snow which had fallen overnight and settled in places.

I really am not much the wiser, after fifteen years or so of seriously and serially making art pieces, about what ‘art’ is. Or what if anything I can contribute. It’s not just about beauty, or shock value, upsetting preconceptions, arousing recognition, making decor, providing metaphors, whatever the current fad or fashion is.

Lots of things will drive me to make or plan to make a piece. It can be a while before I get round to it – ideas ripen at a different rate and I do take photos to remind me later. There’s usually something extra-intense about the scene or moment or idea. Lots of elements come together to make (now this is really pretentious but I did study French literature!) what Sartre called ‘un moment parfait’. Something to do with a (fleeting) sense of enhanced perception.

Of course the end result is usually entirely different!

Painting, galleries and Open Houses

'Dress' in hand-cast cotton paper

Hot off the press!

As it happens there is some printing on this little red dress made with hand-cast cotton paper: a sort of fantastical abstract bird shape and some small rings in orange, plus some tiny blue flower-like shapes. The red colour, however, is built up with numerous washes of different colours. The paper, having an irregular surface, takes up the colours in an interesting and slightly unpredictable way. It’s important to know when to stop – otherwise you get something like the traditional mud colour found in children’s paint pots at the end of a session.

Much of my time has been spent recently taking stock of things as a result of signing up for an online course with Kathryn Roberts. This dynamic and charming lady runs the Cork St Open Exhibition, among many other things. She brings an astute and educated (American) eye to the muddled professional life and practice of many an artist. A breath of fresh air, but SUCH HARD WORK!

The upside has been visits to the Affordable Art Fair in both Battersea and Hampstead last month. And lots of help and moral support.