Friday, September 26, 2014

New Landscape Series.

This summer in-between various other projects (including the summer gallery in Kenmare.) I’ve been working on a series of landscapes in oil. 
Derryquinn Cove


I’ve often thought that if one were to paint this part of the world people wouldn’t believe it was real. It's the kind of landscape the impressionists would have killed for. More wild than pastoral, with ruins and famine-era stone walls scattered through it. Sometime in the early spring I was walking up a local hill, looked out over an almost obscenely beautiful visa and thought.. “ What am I doing not painting this right now?"


Heron at Dawn. 



So these are scenes from areas within walking distance of the studio ( the fine weather also meant I could get outside to sketch which was great.) 

Walking, Late july. 
There is no way to capture the real beauty of this part of the country though. You’ll just have to come and see it for yourself. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Everyday Tales.




After a fairly long break from the medium I have turned my hand to ink again and expanded my range of Everyday Tales Prints. They're not up on the website yet so the first look is here. ( Below. ) 

When people see them they are sometimes surprised that they are mine.  My usual style is expansive, complex and colourful, and couldn’t be further stylistically from the stark minimalism of these small pictures. 

I have never believed that artists should constrain themselves to one style, medium or subject. It makes it easier for an agent or gallery to market your work if you do, but I suppose art and economics never have gotten along very well.

What I have found is that the only way I can avoid boredom and stagnation is to challenge myself, and what is artistic style really but the artist deliberately putting constraints on themselves, a set of specific obstacles in their own way? 

When I first started on the little pictures It was during a stressful and depressing period just after I had a flare up of a chronic eye condition. I was lucky, my vision was permanently affected, but not as badly as it could have been. 

However it did make me worry for the future ( the disease is usually degenerative) and question a lot of my feelings about art as a visual medium, and my own motivation for creating art. After a period of not painting at all, I one day found myself doodling this: 


There's something about the image that is familiar. But I’m sure I never saw it anywhere. Something poignant and iconic but at the same time almost cliché. 
Big Bad. 

Umbrella
Mushrooms


The theme is obvious: Childhood. Snippets of memory, that almost hallucinogenic imagination mixed up with ordinary activities, illustration from story books, those moments that meant nothing at the time but stand out retrospectively.

They are red, black and white always. These are the most primal and basic of colours, highly symbolic and applicable to a myriad of things, mythological, psychological and historical. They can’t be anything but a kick in the stomach for most of us.

It is interesting how varied the interpretation is. Some people are charmed by them and buy them for their children. Others find them utterly sinister and scold me for having made them. 

I have no desire to stop painting in oils and make them my life’s work, but they act as a palate cleanser of sorts. I’m able to see clearer after having worked on them. When every line counts and every colour has meaning it gives one perspective. 


North.

Red Ball

Seagull

Reading





Monday, March 10, 2014

The end of Hibernation

It's been a long winter and on the first sunny day of spring I have emerged from the studio, blinking like a mole in the sunlight.

Whats that yellow thing in the sky?


The winter months are my most productive painting time, art projects ( more on them in future posts) are well underway and my hibernation is almost over.

But for now I observe that it has  been a very literary start to 2014.
Illustration from  This Year in Jerusalem.


This Year in Jerusalem Has sold out its first edition, with positive reviews in JNS, Hebrew magazine Saloona,   The Times of Israel, and a mention in  the Cornell Chronicle


I'm delighted to have been part of its creation. And will soon be working on a cover for Jeff's second book.



Closer to home, when not painting the winter away I've been writing.  I've had two poems published in the latest edition  of THE SHOp  a magazine for poetry.



Jo-Annes book  Battle For Cedar Creek, now had a website, interesting content coming soon.

And last but not least my Father has written a thought provoking piece for Live Learn Evolve.

Happy Spring everyone!  Lets hope this continues for a while.