Monthly Archives: December 2015

Happy Christmas – with art from my past!

Beach-huts in the snow (sold)

Beach-huts in the snow (sold, Affordable Art Fair): mixed media on reclaimed cedar block)

A quick post before I sign off for Christmas.  Such a build-up, always, and a big risk of anti-climax. That’s why I’m all for a full observance of the Twelve Days of Christmas.  You can have some quiet days in between – even some creative ones – but you can have lots of guilt-free pleasure, relaxation and celebration over the shortest days of the year.

Snowy Bandstand - sold, Mayor's Parlour Gallery

Snowy Bandstand (sold, Mayor’s Parlour Gallery): mixed media on reclaimed cedar block

Every year since student days I’ve made my own Christmas cards.  Through thick and thin.  Amateur, then getting maybe a bit better; always hand done (I only once resorted to a printed copy) and always a bit slapdash because despite best intentions they’re always done in a hurry.  Most of these I’ve never photographed so I don’t have a record of them, though tucked away I have a few rejects which remind me what the theme of the year was…

Snowy Pavilion (sold)

Snowy Pavilion (sold):  one-off print, originally devised as a Christmas card

But like everyone else I’ve moved with the times.  I simply couldn’t send a physical card to all the friends and nice people I’ve met over the years.  So for my e-card I usually send an image of a few suitably wintry scenes.  I hope they’re not too naff; I paint them because at the time I’m gripped by the colours and textures and atmosphere of the scene.

West Pier, Snow

West Pier, Snow: sold to private buyer. Mixed media on handmade paper

So, unlike the last post with its hot hot Christmas-cheer colour, here are some images with cold, wintry colours and themes.  (Some are long sold, some I still have.)  And, sunshine or rain, snow or fog, ice or hail – all so beautiful in their own way, if sometimes a nuisance – a very lovely Christmas and a good 2016.

Sea Mist (near Pevensey)

Sea Mist (near Pevensey ): mixed media on handmade paper.  Brand new piece, unsold!

Beach huts 1

Beach huts 1: sold to private buyer.  Mixed media on handmade cotton paper with driftwood frame.

Waste (not), patterns, Christmas, and art buyers.

A detail from 'Waste Not', recently completed

A detail from ‘Waste Not’, recently completed

This seems like a suitable image for Christmas!  a) the colours are festive, b) it’s just been bought from me as a Christmas present, and c) this is the time of the year when we all  create the most enormous amount of waste with our discarded packaging.

Medieval people  carved patterns on their church pillars, the Victorians had their cast-iron manholes – while our major contribution to adorning everyday items is, in my view, the plastic meat or veg tray!

Enough of that.   I am indeed obsessed with patterns.  Recently I was asked to do a pecha-kucha ( timed talk,  lasts five minutes precisely and includes fifteen slides or images)  – quite a challenge.  It all happened at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, for the wonderful Blue Monkey Artists’ network.  Five minutes flat  to say what your work is about. (I’m not even sure what art is!)  But  when it comes to it, I think my work is all about patterns.  So is life, science, the universe…but that’s for another time.   This piece was full of patterns, and it can be hung in any direction as a result.

paiting on handmade paper

‘Waste Not’, recently completed

Although the lighting here is patchy it does show the 3-D effect of the cast shapes.  I made another piece on these lines (sold a while back) which deliberately  gave the impression of being made of metal. A sort of joke.

As it happens, both of these paintings were bought by people I’ve become very fond of, and that leads me to say that people don’t always realise how pleased artists are when people like and buy their work.  Not just for the money either, but because we all need to move work on and clear our minds (and our houses) for new work and new ideas.   If we sell through a gallery we don’t usually know who our purchasers are.

Our youngest visitor.

Our youngest visitor.

But our buyers feel like family – so thank you, everyone who’s bought work from me in the past, and a very Happy Christmas.  And the same to everyone who visited and visits us and looks carefully and courteously at our work, even if they never buy anything!

Christmas is coming…fast

Warm colours, abstract patterns

Warm colours, abstract patterns

Our brief Wolf at the Door pop-up has come and gone. One weekend of gales and driving rain through which a good number of friends, neighbours and past visitors and buyers came to support us and buy Christmas presents.

Our jeweller friends Campoli&Nelson were there, together with artists Judith Berrill, Claire Fearon and Ian Williams.  There were also books, felt jewellery, ceramics and the most sensational cakes and chocolate panforte from Siobhan of Brighton Table.

And my own work of course.  I hung it differently from usual, in groups according to colour and theme.  I had one whole section on the stairs devoted to  cosmology and the night sky.

Night Skies on the stairs

Night Skies on the stairs

2015-12-11 16.32.39

It’s easier for the eye to see pictures properly if they are a coherent group or have common elements. I know from my own experience that, however exciting unexpected juxtapositions may be, I quickly tire when I go to exhibitions which rely on this buzz.

2015-12-11 16.33.28 2015-12-11 16.33.40

I had a green section too…

Green Landscapes

Green Landscapes

…and a winter corner.

Winter is here

Winter is here

Winter is here

Winter is here

I really enjoyed this way of doing things and it told me something about my own work – something to do about focus – I still need to work  out exactly what!