Monday, June 27, 2016

Visit to the Seekers Trust

It was good to have some time at the Seekers Trust in Addington recently. The little flats are set in gardens with a wood next door to explore and a large pond. The seekers website here.

I have been going for some years for solitary retreats and creative stays and appreciate the healing chapels and Angelic connections.

Ruth and I went this time, armed with loads of water soluble media and my cameras. I enjoyed drawing with the water soluble crayons, pens, and coloured Inktense crayons.

As well as the woods and rose garden I drew the cherry tree outside our flat and used the spiritual connections and library to draw alchemical notes and Buddhas.

We also went to Aylesford Priory, and I was drawn to all the ancient trees around the site including a huge plane tree and fir at the back of the Priory. Their old barn, now a cafe and shop, was being re thatched, interesting to watch the craftsmen at work.

We came away with some pottery from the Aylesford Pottery founded by David Leach in the 1950's

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Twinkle Troughton, The Frogs Who Desired a King

Hankvert and Found in Margate's Old Town, opened last year to critical acclaim as a seafood cafe, showing art work upstairs and also in a tiny exhibition space in their basement. They regularly  show interesting contemporary art from local artists.
Their new show is by Twinkle Thoughton called "The Frogs Who Desired a King"  on till July 10th.

Twinkle's work is inspired by the Aesop's fable, The frogs who desired a king, and are painted with oils and acrylics on paper. Her website here  and blog about the Margate scene here

These paintings also make reference to war torn landscapes including Syria. The frogs are painted in rich colours that stand out against the landscapes with gnarled trees scratched with the technique called  Sgraffito.

I liked the contrasts in the pictures, the loose brushwork, detailed frogs and textured trees and also the reference to folk tales and symbolic themes, which give more depth and resonance to the work.

10% of the sales will go to the charity Hand in Hand for Syria and there will be a fundraising dinner there on June 30th.

Monday, May 30, 2016

24 Degrees, at the Sidney Cooper Gallery Canterbury.

Ruth and I went to Canterbury at the weekend to see the Degree show at the Sidney Cooper Gallery.
link here   The show called 24 Degrees, BA Fine and Applied Arts Degree Show is on till the 11th June.

It's always interesting to see what art colleges are doing, and the range of work was wide and varied.
From more traditional painting and sculpture to installations with beer cans and moulded black plastic.

Sharon Abayomi was showing work, with a great combination of sculptural forms of wood and Nigerian textiles influenced by Yinka Shonibare who is also showing work at Turner Contemporary at the moment.

The bubbles in Valentina Arno's work intrigued me, her work inspired by Joos van Cleeve painting called Homo Bulla.

Rosie Clay was showing ceramics, I loved the sculpted surfaces and the inclusion of the pieces of cut out clay.

Vicky Finch had set up an installation of forms of fantasy birds and insects and microscopic life in black and white. Formed by lino cuts wrapped around paper and mod rock sculptures. There was a mythic and totem like quality that I responded to.

Cyd Parker's paintings also explored allegory, signs and symbols with painterly stokes of colour.

Other artists and works include Holly Hickmore's amazing horse sculptures, Kevin Monk's "Realm of the Dream Nightmare" and Sam Webbs sculptural forms from found materials.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

New works in mixed media

I have been working on some new pieces using print and paint and collage. In a way I like to work sometimes, I put the ink and paint on with no thought in mind, using brushes and rollers. Then look at the colours and forms and find the faces or figures in them.

In this series there emerged all sorts of figures, birds, strange creatures and faces. I used pencil or pen to just highlight the forms.

The brain is wired to see faces, so they often come first,  it seems almost miraculous when looking, finding other figures arising when moments before it was just a mass of colours. It is a particular way of looking, relaxed and not forced in any way, allowing the eye to travel across the page, and not all forms arise straight away.

These particular pieces have a folk tale sense to me. I will be continuing to work this way for a while.