Sunday, March 22, 2015

Animal Magic exhibition at The Beaney Canterbury

Icon of Carduelis carduelis
I am pleased to hear that one of my bird icon paintings has been accepted in by The Beaney Gallery and Museum in Canterbury, for their Animal Magic exhibition opening in April.  Icon of Carduelis carduelis the Goldfinch has been chosen.

Painting on the bark before framing.
I had been wanting to use some large pieces of Silver Birch bark, that I'd found on the ground in the Seekers Trust woodland. I'd been to the Seekers on one of my regular retreats, when I saw the bark and brought it home.  For this exhibition I'd been thinking about bird paintings, and the idea of painting a bird on the natural material of bark seemed appropriate.

One of my original sketches
As I painted the birds, a Great Tit and a Goldfinch the idea of an icon arose using gold coloured leaf as well as paint and the sort of halos that are painted around religious figures.

Birds are rightly in my view, often revered and celebrated and I liked that I could symbolize this in some way as an icon.

Icon of Parus major

The exhibition runs from 11th April till the 4th of May, The Beaney website here

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Self Exhibition at Turner Contemporary

Image from MoMA

I've been to see the new exhibition Self at Turner Contemporary a few times now and plan further visits as there is a lot to see and appreciate. gallery website here

Image from Turner Contemporary website
I had to keep reminding myself that they were all self portraits at first, as my automatic tendency was to think who was the person in the portrait that the artist had painted?  then ah, I'd think that would be themselves. It is unusual to have an exhibition just of self portraits from many artists.
I made a few very quick sketches as I went round.

There is a wide range of work from the 1600's to present day and including the great self portrait from Van Dyck,  around which the gallery organized the exhibition.

There are quite a few women artists in the exhibition, which is good to see, including Mary Beale, Louise Bourgeois, Sarah Lucas and Gillian Wearing.

Other artists include Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Graham Sutherland, Edward Lear and Sir Francis Grant.

image from the National Portrait Gallery

I was particularly struck by a little painting by Richard Parkes Bonington  1914. The image is of the artist working on a painting,  the viewer looks at his back, with the artist wearing a long coat.

Image from National Portrait Gallery

The self portrait of Paule Vezelay is expressive and stylized in soft pinks and greys and there was something joyful about her.

Louise Bourgeois work included a five legged cat like creature in bronze which I was drawn to and a sketch of the sculpture on a piece of fabric.

The exhibition is well worth visiting and I will be going back to see it again. It runs till the 10th of May.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Snowdrop Day at Goodnestone Park Gardens

After a few wrong turns and wondering yet again why there are so few sign posts for certain places, Ruth and I found Goodnestone Park Gardens.   website here.   It was their Snowdrop Day with the gardens open and plant stalls from Kent Hardy Plant Society.  website here

It was very muddy, but the day was fine a mixture of sun and cloud and the snowdrops were glowing white around the gardens.  It was interesting seeing the winter bones of the garden and it would be good to see them in the following seasons.

Some magnificent old pine trees,  walled gardens and woodland walks.  As well as the snowdrops there were Camellias in flower, Iris, Daphne, Hellebores, Aconites, and Primulas and some beautiful large Hamamelis or witch hazels, one with a very heady perfume.

 The stall holders had specimen snowdrops, I hadn't realised how expensive they were, as well as ordinary, snowdrops, iris, and other hardy plants. We bought a few flowers which I will be drawing and painting before they go out in the garden. I started with the double flowered snowdrops.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Opening of Mr Lion Exhibition Turner Contemporary Gallery Margate.

Mr Lion opened at the Turner Contemporary Gallery last Tuesday.  It was good to see our group Blank Canvas's work on the gallery walls. Link to the exhibition here  Article in the Thanet Gazette here

We had been planning the show for a few weeks and my painting Call of the Wild rather than my artists book, was my choice in the end for the show.

We had the Lion bars, Battenberg cake, biscuits tea and coffee ready and some art tables for people to experiment with  making something.

There was an opening speech and Blank Canvas was praised for our work in the exhibition, for supporting Turner Contemporary and for being part of their vision for the gallery.

We had a lot of visitors and I think most people were interested and intrigued by the idea of Mr Lion.

The show is on till 22nd March 2015 Tuesday till Sundays 10 till 6pm