Showing posts from 2020

and the sky was the land and the land was the sky

Since I set up a table in our living room, locked out of my studio, oh it must be years ago now, I’ve been getting used to new ways. Moving water and paint around in fluid flows across comfortingly weighty papers has been my distraction. Making a fresh familiar. Trying not to listen to any predetermined directions that I offered up, I have splashed and poured and spilt and stroked. Torn boundaries. Isolated eddies. Dried markings. Swirling and coalescing  into the beyond. I see worlds that are watery and sky. Land that is undefined and one. Sky and land together, inseparable. And so began a new series of small works on paper - collages with watercolour, India ink and graphite on textured paper. About the wholeness of our environment. No separation. Made slowly. This narrative thread trails on along many paths and ideas. And there will be many workings on the theme as I try to make sense of their meaning. For me. And for universal connections too. From time to tim

caught in a trap

Early this morning, as every morning for the last days and beyond, I was sitting yet again in my makeshift “studio” space trying to work - make something out of the mess inside my brain. Water paints, graphite, brushes, pencils, sketchbooks, ink. Twirls and tearings of scrap and good paper. All damaged now The entrails of my endeavours… The guddle on my table was no kinder to my crazed head state. Water and paint then soluble graphite marking? Or soluble graphite lines etched into the untouched white before adding colour? I feel there is something there to chase. But I can’t catch hold of this illusory creature that is gone before I can make focus and name it. Whispering out of sight and sniggering. Slipping away, sidling off. I am a feart beast caught in a snare. Tormented as thoughts constrain and cut in… But this is just messing about with paper and paint, isn’t it? It’s not life or death or anything. And it’s not a piece that anyone would be i

a new way of being

Sitting now in the middle of isolation, it’s sometimes difficult to connect with life before necessary constraints took over. I miss my family and worry for them with physical achings. Human need for physical and emotional contact is universal after all. But I have my husband and youngest daughter here with me. I am so grateful and count myself lucky. These important things given, I miss painting in my studio. A short bus ride away to that place of dreams (and I don’t say this lightly) which now may as well be on the other side of the world. Just as we were going into self imposed isolation we carried out a frantic gathering of materials from the studio; useful drawing and mark making stuff which didn’t include any oil painting paraphernalia. Paints and wax and boards and easel and palette and knives and squeegees and gougers and scrapers were “studio” things. At home I might do some sketching, exploring and playing, but that wouldn’t be proper work. For in my studio I f

exhibition musings

exhibition at The Whitehouse Gallery Kirkcudbright (finishes this Friday, 28th February) Lots of things happen when paintings are taken out of my studio and are shown to the world (even if it’s only a very tiny bit of it). Most of it too has very little to do with whether they are sold or not. This is maybe surprising as there would seem to be a direct relationship and a purpose to hanging the work on a gallery wall with a price ticket on it and then someone handing over money for it. (Though satisfying that can be) I think it has more to do with how it makes me feel about my work and about myself as the artist. When I am working away from day to day with familiar mess, paints, tools, boards and sketchbooks around me, the paintings are absolutely an extension of me. I strive to make my emotions, memories, thoughts and impressions visually available. It can take a long time - days, months…. Never? Finally I seem to find some kind of resolution. I draw breath and leave

a treat of the unexpected

Change happens and I can’t ever predict what it might be. One day just before Christmas as things were calming down a bit in my studio and I was mulling over what I should do next, I received a phone call from Lynne at The Whitehouse Gallery in Kirkcudbright. Would I like to show some of my work there for a week in February? Well, yes. This popular, contemporary gallery is a smart, light space with a reputation for exhibiting quality art and crafts and I hadn’t ever shown my work there before. I didn’t expect they would ever show my paintings there. I don’t have a great story to tell of commercial galleries and my success. I don’t seem to make the kind of work that sits well in a crowded space of disparate work. My paintings seem to fair better when hung side-by-side, with as much or as little space around them as they need to communicate their collective story without interference. My husband says that it is then that they can sing to each other. Happily Lynne gets t