Wednesday 27 August 2014

Growing Up...For Elise

The other day my daughter was asking me questions about "growing up" and the perspective of an adult as opposed to a child. I don't think my responses were coherent, but it certainly got me thinking about the upcoming changes. Last night a parent-student meeting was held at my daughter's new school as she started secondary this week (in Ireland, secondary school starts after grade six is finished - there is no in-between transitions as there are in the public school system of Canada). Of course the years have gone by in the blink of an eye yet the memories and emotions relating to the my daughter's birth remain fresh. In 2005 my husband and I had a joint exhibition "For Elise" in honour of our daughter, with our work (my husband is a sculptor) inspired by her birth three years before and the new parenting experience for both of us. So here are a few images of some of my work included in that exhibition.

The two stripes of a positive pregnancy test made their way into a number of my paintings, including this one from 2004, "Positive", mixed media on paper, 15 cm x 23 cm.

 Pears, to me, are an appropriate symbol of fecundity. One of my aunt's had given me a bag of pears from her garden in 2000 before I was pregnant and I did a lot of drawings of them before eating! They also made their way into a lot of work at this time. This is "Worth the Wait III", mixed media on handmade paper, 17.5 cm x 25 cm, diptych, 2003.

"Good News I", mixed media on handmade paper, 17.5 cm x 25 cm, diptych, 2003.

"The Happiest Day II", mixed media on handmade paper, 17.5 cm x 25 cm, diptych, 2003.

One aspect of my work at the time looked at objects of my daughter's affection and I began painting her favourite toys. At 12 my daughter still adores her stuffies! "Mr Happy", mixed media on canvas, 30.5 cm x 25 cm, 2005.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Nicolas de Stael - Picasso Museum, Antibes

 I was in Antibes last week enjoying the company, hot weather and warm water of the beautful blue Mediterranean! I also had the chance to enjoy a visit to the gorgeous Picasso Museum at the Chateau Grimaldi. This year is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nicolas de Stael (born Jan 5 1914) whose work is well represented at the Picasso Museum. To mark the anniversary, there was a special exhibition "The Nude Figure, 1951-1955" which included work borrowed from other collections as well as works in the museum's own collection. This is a photo of de Stael in his studio, easily found with a google search. I especially love photos of artists in their studios!

This painting, "Portrait of Anne" was in the large exhibition entrance room (the one that contains the huge musical painting from the permanent collection - I posted a picture of it after last year's visit). De Stael had a daughter named Anne, but I do not know if this is a painting of her.

The second room of the exhibition contained a lot of large, minimal line drawings, ink on paper which I enjoyed looking at.

There was a smaller room with medium size charcoal drawings and line drawings.

I love the broad strokes of charcoal defining the figure by it's shadow only.

 "Reclining Nude, Blue" is in the permanent collection and usually on display whenever I am at the Picasso Museum. It is always a pleasure to see.

I wished that the catalogue to the exhibition had an English translation as there were a lot of images reproduced. Unfortunately only the introduction had been translated and flipping through it I could see that there was a fair amount of text!

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Fever Afterimages - oilstick drawings

A few years ago - my concept of time is in fluxus, so who really knows how long ago it really was - one of my other artist sisters said she was only going to use materials she had to hand before she started buying new materials. With a studio full of, well, everything, I think this is a good idea but one I have not been good at sticking to. However, when I came across some card which I had prepared with gesso and an undercoat of paint some years ago, I thought the pieces would make a good base for some oilstick drawings. I located my large cookie tin of oilsticks, which I haven't looked at in some years. Oh good, they are still usable! So here is my drawing set-up, with the first of three prepared cards ready to exploit. My trusty jar of Swarfega gel hand-cleaner (green lidded red jar at left) has liquefied over the years but it still works a treat at the end of a drawing session!

I haven't yet given a title (other than "unitled") to these drawings which are part of my Fever Afterimages series.

All three drawings are oilstick and graphite on gessoed card.

44 cm length x 50 cm width.