Friday, 17 November 2017

Sooty And The Mexicans

Some of my  Mexican students came for a tour last week. I did think about showing them my painting 'Offrenda' (you can see it on my PRINTS FOR SALE page) as it was inspired by their Day of the Dead culture, but in the end I chickened out.
I had previously  used the hand puppets Sooty and his friends to represent my parents and eldest brother  in the painting 'Duet'.  They lived in the same area as Harry and Marjorie Corbett and their son Matthew, who were the manipulators of the T.V. characters in the 1950s. The Corbetts also seemed to have the same dependency on each other as my family had.
After my mother died, I used the same puppets again to represent various members of the family in the painting 'Offrenda', making them  appear slightly skull- like.
Who in Mexico would have heard of Sooty? I think the group enjoyed their tour anyway, with one student describing it as 'beyond amazing'.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Like A Kaleidoscope

I knew I had one in the loft but could I heck as find it.
 I had some Chinese visitors coming for one of my tours and I wanted to show them what a kaleidoscope was, as I felt it would better explain my ideas for the painting.
'Grand Tours' is a picture I made in 1992 to celebrate five journeys with five members of my immediate family.
 I wanted to make the point  that a journey is like a kaleidoscope, with each new twist and turn, everything changes. I even used a kaleidoscope lens in the preparatory stages of the design , to make the images appear glimpsed at, rather than too clear. You can see the painting on my website on one of the PRINTS FOR SALE pages.
I did manage to buy another kaleidoscope before my guests arrived  and hopefully it helped.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Trapped In Time

I've just been to the Jasper Johns exhibition and was  interested in the paintings where he had used encaustic wax on the surface. He was influenced by the Romans who used it on their mummy portraits of Faiyum.
The process is described as 'hot when you apply it but dry's to an oily sheen'.
I have used it on several of my paintings, where I wanted to give the impression that the image was trapped in time.
I used a thin membrane of encaustic wax between two images in my painting 'Tea for 222' because I wanted to show what had happened in the past while simultaneously  displaying  the present.
Two great aunts had led exciting lives during the 2nd world war - one we believed had worked at Bletchley Park while the other had poised naked in the Windmill Theatre.
Whilst I used numbers (to represent code breaking machines and telephones)  in  the  bottom layer, the top surface was painted with a typical English afternoon tea to symbolise the Aunt's respectable old age.
The wax helps to show both images at the same time.