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Showing posts from 2019

Connections (or where the titles come from)

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Book reading and a word pops out.
I write it down in my notebook of interesting words.
Another remembered word floats up and then a phrase, sighing inside me.
Scratchings of old familiar language and place.
A song perhaps?
I find it, listen to it.
Memories and feelings and heady exploration.
Another idea for a title of a painting is there.

This time the book is “The Old Ways” by Robert Macfarlane.
The word is swathed.
The remembered word is “happed” - Scots for wrapped up, enfolded or clothed.
The song is “Happed in Mist” by Michael Marra.
The title for the painting is “sky happit”.

I expect that one day soon I will make it just as a few years ago I made
“path from wanchancy"














Spring Fling words

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Spring Fling, busy flow

familiar and unknown faces
questions: "damar resin?",
"make it up as you go along?"

explanations offered

hot and cold wax comparisons
talking layers: cutting, gouging, revealing

talking air, sky, transformation,
mental health, flow visualisation

kind words
deep words

people carrying work away

A hot or cold painting

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I was thinking that it’s been a few years since I offered a painting for a prize draw at the Spring Fling open studios event.

It’s a good idea so now I have the dilemma of which one will it be.
Encaustic or cold wax?

Painting with molten beeswax and resin and fusing with a blowtorch is dynamic and exciting.
I can build up numerous layers.

For most of the last few months, I’ve been exploring working with oil paints and cold wax medium using scrapers, squeegees and palette knives.
I can build up numerous layers.

A tricky decision then, but I am keen to introduce my new work so I’ve chosen a cold wax piece.

It is called “when air moves” and if you come along to my studio this weekend (25th - 27th May) you might like to have a chance to win.

I hope you think I have made the right choice!



Spring Fling time

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Next weekend, Saturday 25th - Monday 27th May, will be the Spring Fling open studio event across Dumfries and Galloway, SW Scotland, when artists and makers welcome visitors into their studios from all across the UK and indeed the world.

This is an exciting time.

I stopped making work about a week ago, which is quite extraordinary for me. My inner voice commands “More, more, more!”
But with only a few days left now, all thoughts turn necessarily to a chaotic "getting the studio ready".

All the obvious tasks are involved here: sweeping a floor that doesn’t want to give up its accumulated detritus, tidying waxy paint encrusted work benches, patching and painting bits of the walls where too many nails and bluetack have made their indelible marks.

Paintings have to be edge painted and strung for hanging, even before I can decide where to hang them for optimum effect.

Then there are arcane considerations of how to make the studio look suitably “working artist’s studio”- like, as…

Whatever happened to Box?

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As I start again with a change of title and more regular postings, I thought it would be more than timely to catch up with where I left off.

Oh how time does pass!

"Box" became part of my solo exhibition, "Orchard", at Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries last year. I showed six large scale wall pieces and each was accompanied by an assemblage work (six boxes).

I was thrilled at the way it all worked together.

To create a kind of narrative stepping stone from my last post to now, I've decided to show images for each of these boxes.
I am listing the pieces in the order they were shown in the exhibition.


"nestling breath"


"but she hadn't realised 'til much later what had been lost"


"the conveyable burden"


"creation and reduction"


"for nervous and other diseases"


"realising the Queen of Sheba's jewels"