Friday, 30 August 2013

Napping Not Apping

This week I was going to tell you about the new Ely app, which was  to have started on Saturday, and  Ted Coney's Family Portraits was  included. However, there was some technical problems, so the opening was postponed.
At 12pm on Sunday I had resigned myself to having no bookings for my tours (as a pop-up gallery, I only open if I have visitors, booked) when the phone rang. It took me an hour and a half to get everything ready for some people who had been before. I had to quickly look up what tour they had taken last time and make some last minute decisions. I did my  tour based on the theme of 'Time' and I think they found it interesting. Luckily, I  vacuumed the floors the day before, which might not have happened if the Ely App had gone ahead, as I volunteered to be on the market stall to help launch it.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Real Boats

Zeli said it was 'the best Sheringham ever' and  I am inclined to agree with her. We have just been on our annual weekend visit to this sea-side resort with 23 members of the family and certainly, we all had a jolly time. Except, I always feel a bit sad when some members of the family don't make it, because it's lovely seeing everyone interacting with each other and catching up on the passed year.
This uncertainty about whose coming, is the theme of my current painting, 'If The Boats Come In' and I have used our annual trip to the boating pond to symbolise how some family members may not always make it, even if they are really trying too. The title is deliberately ambiguous.
 On the real pond, it was very windy this year and most of the sailing boats had a hard time just keeping upright. Another idea for a painting, maybe.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A Real Puzzle

Last week I took two of my paintings to be framed by Jonathan. My latest one, 'Love That Dares' is now displayed on the ART LECTURE page of my website. We decided that a distressed silver frame would suit it best. The other one is a bit of a dilemma. It's the last of the archive paintings which had not been framed by Jonathan and I have been trying to get these earlier ones up to the same professional standard, as and when I can afford it. The painting, '30 Days' charts the month's holiday we had in Sheringham in 1983. It is painted on wood and comprises of thirty jigsaw pieces, each one representing a different day of the holiday. The wooden pieces were cut and shaped by my father, Arthur especially for the project. I had originally mounted them on a piece of grey plastic, because at the time, I  wanted to contrast the softness of the wood with the hard, industrial feel of  plastic. The configuration of the pieces shows a break at the golden section point in the picture, with one piece sticking out at a less formal angle. I wanted to get a bit of drama into the arrangement to represent the fact that Hazel dislocated her knee a quarter through the holiday and ended up in a wheelchair for several weeks. Jonathan hated the plastic background (and so do I, now) and is currently, carefully removing each piece. My decision is, do I put the pieces back in the same configuration or do I rearrange them to reflect the point at which the drama really happened in the holiday?

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Up Side Down Sketchbooks

I've just started some tentative experiments for my next painting 'The Rashomon Effect' which involves looking at the same incident in my grandmother's past  from different points of view. While on holiday in Kent I started drawing the view in my sketchbook using the magnifying glass that Max bought me for my birthday. I noticed that if you hold it a distance from you, the image in the glass becomes upside down. This has the effect of appearing to abstract part of the image. I thought this could represent me in my new painting, as a good symbol of how I was at 20 years old, looking at the world in an 'all over the place' sort of way.
Talking of being young, I have also been helping to look after our grandchildren Barnaby (5 years) and Poppy(2years), this week. Every morning I got them to work in their sketchbooks (yes, they did want to!) and they  drew and painted, using lots of materials. They worked upside down and from back to front in an unrestrained way, confirming how fresh and straight forward, children's art can be.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Cabinet Of Curios

Visiting the exhibition 'Curiosity' last week at the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate made me think about my own collection of objects, which I display at Ted Coney's Family Portraits, so that visitors can see how they have been used in the paintings. In the Margate exhibition, the objects were displayed as art pieces in their own right, rather than been shown as visual stimulus for  other work.
There was some fascinating things to be seen, including some fertility dolls from Angola which were given to girls on reaching puberty and were expected to be treated like members of the family. When the girls became engaged to be married, the dolls were given names, which were then passed on to the couple's first female child. Heady stuff! I suppose visitors wonder about the choices of my objects when they see a tissue paper balloon, a piece of patchwork and Thomas the Tank Engine all in the same cabinet. Until I explain the significance behind them, of course. We also met Mike Middlebrook last week, who had made me the tissue paper hot air balloon many years ago. He was very surprised to learn that his balloon was in a cabinet for public display, until I explained that there was also a portrait of a 'failed hot air balloon' in my painting ' Limners'.
You can see some of my objects on my Facebook page and in a recent short video which appears near the top of the NEWS AND REVIEWS page. Or you can  come on a tour.