Saturday, March 30, 2013



woman Small

New ways to work


I have on a number of occasions found a lot of creative help by moving between disciplines, especially between 2D & 3D, but low relief is different. I am working on two shallow plaster pieces representing a man and a woman, what began as an aside, has become important. Earlier I found only just enough conviction in the project to continue, now they stare back at me unfinished and demand attention. 
The female piece is more advanced, she leads the way. The whiteness mesmerises me, colour can only wash lightly as a faded distemper, shadow takes to itself a new value and cannot be ignored.
I have found the older I get the harder it becomes, the bar is higher and I need to know that my hands and heart can leap as they did before. The reliefs will be in the show, for leaping is no longer physical, rather a matter of the spirit within.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Making Picture frames


How I plan to make some new picture frames.

My regular framer is indisposed due to illness, this puts me in a difficulty. Showing pictures without a frame weakens the impact, show pictures in poor frames adds a negative aura that damages the whole show. Pulling skills from a woodworking past I must see if something can be done.
I have nine new oils of varying sizes that need simple elegant frames about 90mm wide, contemprary, with a nod at tradition. I begin to draw sections of possible solutions on scrap paper. First, the moulding must be composed of a number of pieces else it will twist and bow, 90mm in one piece cannot be trusted to stay straight in central heating. More than one piece laminated together will balace the stresses and keep it true, further it will be stronger and lighter.

The section I settle for is made of four pieces, soft wood and mdf with a fith corner piece to strengthen the corner and prevent it opening up as is often the case in wider frames. The proportions are traditional, with a semi floated canvas and a flush face to the frame which will be painted and polished.
With 20 seperate pieces for each frame and nine frames I have 180 seperate pieces to make and assemble and then apply a finish, not to be the work of an afternoon, but they will I trust, look good.



Thursday, March 14, 2013

A pyramid of feeling


More Piero di Cosimo



The oil painting above is almost finished, worked from an earlier watercolour it has about the right amount of reality triggers for my needs. I planned a tragic piece without sentimentality, a sense of loss without holywood tears. 

 Painted over three sessions I build in colour and tonal patterning to suggest form and figures, stopping well short of realism, it will then deliver to the senses a strong message.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The nurtured tree


Watercolour is prone to dominate the user. It makes the artist subserviant to technique and that in turn undermines creativity and exploratory work.
Overcoming this tyranny is liberating because watercolour is the most amazingly fluid medium, so well suited for exploring new ideas.
This is one of fifteen new pieces that examine new ideas. Here an androgynous figure picks fruit from an anthropomorphic tree, an idea that may need some work, but based on an old motif of mine called the nurtured tree.
The speed that watercolour demands assist the creative process as the work develops before the mind can censor it! 


Saturday, March 2, 2013

A homage to the workbench



I have a root pleasure in tools and benches and the people who still spend their days at a bench. This little tryptych is a homage to the workbench and those familiar with such in a honest way. I have painted kettles, patterns and cramps along with handtools and papers all in a loosely ordered way that would be seen while making things. The three men pause, talk among themselves in an everyday way about the world and the work in hand, each man and subject as important as the other.