Wednesday 11 November 2015

Pre-preview Review

I have seen the whole of the Basingstoke Project, and it is good. I speak not of my own work, but of the others'. Uncertainty and frustration may have plagued various members of the group at different times, but all five of us have pulled through and, indeed, pulled something rather magical out of the hat.

I can't show you pictures (not yet), but I can describe how...

... Adeliza has produced an intriguing series of oil portraits in her distinctive style. How to describe that style? Ornate, chaotic, elaborate, deliberate, often tending towards red...

... Brian has demonstrated how the simple medium of pen and ink can have depth, and wit, and enormous variety. He has pushed his illustrative style into new realms (in one case, quite literally!) for this exhibition.

... Elinor has produced some of the most striking images. Hard lines and curves, perfectly placed, shown to perfection in gleaming prints on aluminium.

... Rosemary has scoured Basingstoke for the bold shapes and brilliant colours that typify her work. Dark dryads and thrillingly vibrant fruit meet the sharp lines of modern architecture. Abstraction is never far away, but is only fully expressed in one work.

Watch this space over the next few days as we prepare our pictures (hmm, screwing fixings on and wrapping mounted prints in cellophane), write labels and compile catalogues, then install (on Friday) and celebrate the imminent opening with a private view... I'm not promising regular updates - I will be rather busy - but when I find the time I will try to keep you up-to-date.

The group Web site is

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Sketchbook Exchange 2016 (part 1)

Artists from West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios have started their 2016 sketchbook project. This time, we made our own sketchbooks, concertina-style.

I wasn't enamoured of the floppy card cover. Having been assigned the theme/subtheme Textures/Grain, I decided to use some things with grain to replace the card...
3mm beech-faced plywood, carved, with leather. Held together with nuts and bolts from an I-can't-believe-it's-not-Meccano toy and annotated with Molotow marker pens
There are only four pages per artist in these books, so I crammed several grainy things onto my first page:
Pine grain (Derwent Drawing), grains of rice and salt (Molotow), wheat (pen and ink, acrylic); sand (Molotow)
(It being a concertina, I thought I'd use the back of another page and put some grains there, to be seen through the knot holes. There are a few that can't be seen easily, too).

... and the next page was also home to several thoughts:

Wooden handle of hand chisel (Molotow), alabaster grain (watercolour and watercolour pencil); pointillist landscape, imaginary (Molotow)
But the last two pages were home to one idea. A fairly off-topic idea, inspired by the "grain" more than by the the "texture".
John Barleycorn, folk song, as sung by Traffic. Molotow and acrylic inks
It's a song drawing. They started in last year's sketchbook exchange project, and they've come back in this year's.