Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Rapunzel - a fairy tale painting in progress

 It's that time of year when family commitments mean that I don't get into the studio - or out in the field - much, and so it's been a little frustrating having a part-finished large work lurking in the studio.

Rapunzel is, of course, the well-know Brothers Grimm fairy tale. And it was a bit grim for the prince - when his night-visiting antics had been discovered by the witch, he got thrown down the tower into the thorns, which must have broken his fall because his only injury (a cruel one) seems to have been the loss of his eyesight.

This wasn't the end of the tale; he later recognises his love by the sound of her voice - she and her baby were turned out of the tower to roam the forest - and the little family lived happily ever after in the prince's court.

This image is not finished yet, and with the Artikinesis exhibition at Blake's Lock coming up less than a fortnight after the schools go back, it may be October before I raise a paintbrush at the prince and the tower again.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Blake's Lock - a teaser...

These are details from nine pieces that I have been working on for Artikinesis' Blake's Lock exhibition (17 September to 2 October). I've been considering the surface of the water and thinking about the Victorian turbines...

Sunday, 31 July 2016

An aside about gnosticism, ancient practices, and art

Two sketchbook pages about wood engraving

I recently found a quote, credited to Hugo Ball, in the front of a book about woodcut and wood engraving. It said
"Artists are gnostics, and practise what the priests think is long forgotten."

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Artikinesis set to exhibit in Reading


17 September – 1 October 2016

"Not far from the hustle of central Reading there is Blake’s Lock. Along this quiet backwater, five artists and a poet came, saw, recorded their findings and expressed their feelings.
"Now at the Riverside Museum’s Turbine House gallery, you can share their experiences and discover hidden Reading for yourself."

Riverside Museum at Blake’s Lock, off Kenavon Drive, Reading, RG1 3DH
(access through car park of the Bel and Dragon restaurant)

Exhibition opening times:
Every day 17 Sept – 30 Sept: 10.00 – 18.00
Final day 1 October exhibition closes at 15.00

Artikinesis is a group of five artists: Adeliza, Brian, Elinor, Rose and myself. We're very excited to have Duncan writing poems as part of this project; the interplay between location, visual art and words promises to be very interesting.

Windsor Castle en plein ar and a little bit in the studio

I decided that I didn't like the guards in this painting - they were rather hastily put in and they didn't seem to belong to the scene at all, probably because I made them too big for their position.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Pitt-Rivers Dinosaurs

A series of quick sketches of reconstructed dinosaur skeletons in Oxford. All those knobbly bits make Eddy, Trike, Iggy and Rex tricky subjects, especially with children in tow.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Windsor Castle en plein air

North Terrace, oil on canvas, 50 x 70 cm
Yesterday (Saturday 16th July), I participated in the Windsor and Eton en plein air event. To celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, 90 artists were invited to paint within the grounds of Windsor Castle. My friend Rose and I were two of those artists.

It was a very hot ad sunny day, and the castle was thronging with visitors. Every now and then, a small group of red-clad soldiers marched smartly along the North Terrace, where we were both positioned. They were difficult to capture, and I very nearly scraped them off at one point, having despaired of seeing them again and fixing in my mind enough detail to make my image of them believable...

I think I only just pulled it off.