Wednesday 27 November 2013

New Triptych - Maritime Alps

 I have been working on a new triptych, again taking up a large part of the north wall in my attic studio. I worked out the composition in white chalk on kraft paper and then started gluing newsprint on the rock and mountain areas to create some texture before I started painting. This is a detail of two of the climbing figures.

And here is a detail of the child figure at the far right of the triptych.

This is a detail of the reaching mother figure.

I started off painting with some blue, the water around the rocks and behind the figures leading to the mountains in the distance. The mountains in the distance are the Maritime Alps, the painting inspired by our visits to Antibes. While I was painting I was thinking of the work of Betty Goodwin, specifically her figures in water which I admired greatly in the 1980s and of Jean Charles Blais, whose work I first came across this summer at the Picasso Museum in Antibes.

I keep referring to the painting as Maritime Alps, so I am sure this name will stick. I like it - not just for the mountains in the background, but for the figures climbing the mountain of rocks. With the xmas season soon to be in full swing, I am not expecting to get a lot of work done on this in the coming weeks, but the painting will look at me every time I go up to the attic, so it will stay in my thoughts.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Xmas preparations begin!

I have been very busy this past week or so! I started the new triptych (next post?) but I have also been busy preparing for xmas and other events coming soon.

I did a large batch of apricot-pineapple jam with almonds. I have been making this jam for xmas presents since 1983, I think. Actually, I only started adding in the almonds for excitement about 15 years ago. I have to source more paraffin though, as I used the last I had on these non-mason jars. I will make up the cranberry-clementine with brazil nut jam when I can get hold of cranberries.

I also made some puddings, a few people get them as gifts too.

Another event is coming up, so I have set out to make another gift book. This is a picture of all the prepared pieces; I started sewing the signatures to the leather cover last night, so expect to be finished that before the weekend is out.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Dream Drawings - Part 1 c 1984/85

I was working on transferring my old slides to newer media and am still interested in these dream drawings. At the time I remember I was very frustrated with my drawing skills which seemed to be deteriorating in the environment of York University, Toronto, where I was doing my Degree in Fine Art (at least that is where the blame fell!). My mentor & drawing professor, sculptor Hugh LeRoy, suggested that I draw with my left hand and channel my subconscious. I enjoyed taking his advice as I was developing my interest in dreams and the psyche. I did these charcoal drawings on standard white 26" x 40" drawing paper.

I remember this as an alarming dream, as the dog bit my hand off when I went to pet it!





The Gift. (I later did a painting based on this drawing.)

 I don't actually know if these drawings still exist or not! They may have ended up in a portfolio that escaped the second Great Purge of 1993 and simply be up in my attic, or they may have met their doom back then...

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Tree Kids - painting finished!

I finished the triptych sometime before Hallowe'en. I had been thinking it would be difficult to take down, but hadn't a bother last night. Today I will roll it up and who knows when it will see the light of day again! I really enjoyed the time spent doing this painting, and have stayed with my initial title "Tree Kids". It is mixed media on paper, approx 220 cm x 267 cm triptych, 2013.

Here is a detail of a wellie on the tree.

And a detail of the face of the adult "kid".

A detail of limbs and leaves!

Tree and sky detail.

My signature on the bottom right corner of the triptych.

And just to give a sense of scale, me with the finished painting.