Saturday, December 29, 2007

Birds and Books

Watching the birds on the peanuts and fat balls is endlessly delightful. There are a surprisingly large variety of birds in this, my city garden. Robins and wrens, blue tits and great tits, blackbirds and sparrows, starlings and woodpeckers, magpies and jays, wood pigeons and the ordinary London pigeons, being the main ones.
Along with trees, birds are perhaps one of my other main art themes, and this Christmas I was happy to receive some bird themed presents. Some little drawings here of 2 resin birds.

One of the new books I received is Living Water, Viktor Schauberger and the secrets of natural energy, by Olof Alexandersson. It is an amazing account of Viktor Schauberger's life of investigating the living force and power of water. he was an Austrian naturalist and forester born at the end of the nineteenth century, brought up with a love and immersed in the forests of Austria. His observations of nature and especially the way streams functioned, flowed and carried materials, lead to his developing systems of transporting logs, ways to bring water back to life and ways of controlling the flow of water.
He was passionate about working with the earth not destroying it, and unfortunately, perhaps did not understand that some people could be so wilfully disregarding of the work he did and the understanding he came to.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Greetings

It's that festive time of year, buying and decorating the tree, seeing friends and relatives and shopping.
I have enjoyed being in town a few times this year, I like to see what decorations are around. I was in Covent Garden where they had decorated the market hall well and had some giant baubles outside. I haven't managed to get to the South Bank yet, where apparantly they have decorated a skip and various tools. The Natural History Museum has a snow globe you can stand in, which would be good for photographs as well.

I have an exhibition on in January, in the Oxfam shop window in Walthamstow. So I shall use some of this holiday time to work on that.
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a creative and peaceful year ahead

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fireworks and Chisato Tamabayashi

After a few arts and crafts events, teaching and getting the flu, I haven't had chance to post here for a while. It was good though getting out and seeing if my glittery photo cards would sell for the festive season. It seems there are fellow enthusiasts for stars and glitter fortunately.

I did get chance to go to a firework display this year as well, I shot quite a few videos and took photos, some here. The fireworks did show up the digital cameras problem with burnout however.It did lead to some interesting photographs playing around with sparklers in the garden later.

On Sunday I was down Brick Lane and went into gallery. There were some beautiful pictures and artist's books by Chisato Tamabayashi, The pictures of leaves had layers of finely cut paper or card, showing the veins in the leaves and the artists books had great paper engineering. the little book had pop up christmas trees. If I had the money I would have brought them all, but I settled on a card.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Photo Open and Walthamstow at sunset.

The probable last exhibition for me this year is just coming to a close at the Pavillion in Mile End Park. As part of Photo Month, there has been an exhibition of work from over 60 photographers, in the park.
Funny having just finished an exhibition in one park I find myself in another park. As part of the deal, the photographers needed to invigilate on some days. Actually this was a good experience because it gave us an opportunity to meet other exhibitors, share ideas, etc.

I really liked the space, inside and out, but the gallery is again off the beaten path, with very little passing visitors and no sign posting from Mile End tube for instance, or outside the main gates.
Having gone done with flu I wasn't able to go to the print sale, but I'm looking out for opportunities to sell cards and prints before Christmas.
There have been some brilliant sunsets recently, here Walthamstow has been transformed by the pinks and purples of the sky.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Right Climate

I have been sitting in my exhibition space this week, in the Changing room Gallery, which is in the park behind the William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow. Thanks to the help of my friends Stavarha and Julie, the exhibition looks great. It provided quite a challenge, the range and diversity of work. For this show I brought together some more political work, looking at the Iraq war, the monopoly of Tesco the arms trade, and ecology
One of the pieces is a desert army shirt from the army surplus store, which is covered with badges which I made from images of war from the First World war up to the present wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Other work includes photographs of the sky and clouds and local graveyard, and my Buddhist paintings. Quite a lot of people wonder at first if it is a group show, and are surprised that it is all my own work. There have been a lot of positive comments and people taking away ideas.
I'm also letting people make their own badges if they want to.
I realised putting this years exhibitions on my CV, that with the Photo month Open next month I will have had work in 9 shows/events this year, and a few more planned for next year at the moment.

Open Studios

It's been a full on few weeks preparing for the Open Studios and my exhibition at the Changing Room Gallery. In the studio it meant moving a lot of stuff with help from friends, to make a bit of a clear space for people to get in!
Then more friends to help hang some work. I find it quite a challenge deciding which work to show, particularly as I have been working in a variety of styles and mediums. In the end I had a section on photography, including some urban images and a painting section, including my recent Buddhist paintings.
Birds have been following my tree themes and one of the paintings is of the Buddha under a tree filled with birds. There were also three tree paintings, originally started when I was in the wood on retreat at the Seekers Trust earlier in the year.
I share the studio with my friend Amitajyoti, and we were busy all the time in our open studio, people interested in the work and Buddhism.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

In the garden for exhibition work

Finally some sunshine, or at least not rain, so I could take photographs in my garden for my exhibition, Gardens of Delight. Though some of the rain drops on the Begonia's and leaves do look lovely as well.

I have also been out taking photos of other peoples gardens for the exhibition as well. I can see that there could be a really big exhibition on this theme, maybe an annual event, involving more local people.

Coming home a little while ago, was this amazing sky, it only lasted about 10mins, but what colours. I really liked the contrast with the urban setting, it seemed a sky more suited to palm ringed beaches.

E17 Art Trail and Art Grows on Trees

Just been putting up my new exhibition at Walthamstow Library as part of the E17 Art Trail this year, Gardens of Delight. After I asked people to send me photos of their gardens for the exhibition, I recieved some lovely photos of their gardens and wildlife. An online exhibition is on my main site as well. Having a garden is what makes all the difference to me living in London, and it's really worrying that so many gardens are being lost to concrete, as wildlife rely on gardens even more than humans.

Good fun this morning too hanging free art pieces on the trees by the town square and bus station. A few of us from the arts club hung prints and sculpture from the Lime trees, with labels saying take me home , or I'm yours, free art and so on. Work was being taken off as we were still hanging up pieces which was great. More work will be put up next Saturday 8th Sept. We plan to make it an annual event.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and new work

A bit of a holiday week, visited the Summer exhibition and worked on quite a few paintings. Jake and Dinos dinosaurs "The meek shall inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights," ( I wish I could think of titles like that ) managed to look like they were challenging Sir Joshua Reynolds on his plinth. The water fountains were working, which always excites the children into running back and forwards into the streams of water.

I thought the chose of work in the exhibition was better this year, I lingered longer looking at pieces and found quite a lot of work I would buy if I had the money.As usual there were many prints that I enjoyed including woodcuts by Sasa Marinkov, called "Inside the Forest", Jonathan Gibbs " Bird, Tree and Fish" and John Bryce's " Thames Barrier" "The Humming Bird Tree by Mark Fairinington was beautiful, but sky hung, Christopher Le Brun's water colours of towers in mythical landscapes were atmospheric.

I've been working on some of the paintings I started on retreat a couple of months ago, this little one is in it's final stages. Others are of the woods and one in a smaller watercolour, mandala style of flowers and herbs with the Buddha in the centre, for the E17 Art Trail. Which I'll put up later.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Gardens of Delight

I'm preparing for a new exhibition as part of the E17 Art Trail, called Gardens of Delight. It is a celebration of the garden in Waltham Forest and I am inviting anyone in Waltham Forest to send in photographs of a part of their garden, from window box to allotment. Some thing that inspires you or brings delight, from flowers to birds and wildlife.

Gardens are one of the most important areas for wildlife, particularly in cities and there is growing concern that more and more gardens are being lost to building developments. There is a new manifesto for gardens supported by many organizations, called Let our gardens live.

I personally couldn't live long in London without a garden, it's something about touching another space, surrounded by breathing living plants and wildlife, whilst in the middle of concrete and brick.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Print making and Central Library exhibition

It was our end of term assessment show last week, I have been busy choosing prints and mounting them up. I have particularly enjoyed the lino printing and the bit of dry point that I worked on. I haven't managed to produce much in the way of artists books using printmaking techniques but I will continue to explore that.

My exhibition on the theme of retreat also went up last week in the central library in Walthamstow. See main site for more details and opening hours. It was great to get some of the photographs that I had taken in local parks, churchyards and at The Water Works nature reserve, up in the borough. I am back there in September too as part of the E17 Art Trail.

Hampton Court Flower Show and new meditation classes

The weather held again for our visit to Hampton court flower show. The good thing about this show is that you can buy the plants there and they are a very good price. Loads of people are wandering around with box carriers on wheels, wheelbarrows and armfuls of flowers.


On the walk down from the station past Hampton court itself is a tree filled with bundles of mislettoe They are such perfect ball shapes it's hard to believe they are natural. You can see why people believed it was a special and magical plant.

There were a mixture of boats on the river, including barges and yauhts, I liked one of the narrow boats that had plants in the wheel house and on top of the roof.

I've also been busy arranging a new meditation class at the Health Works in Walthamstow. Using some of my images of water lilies for the posters and flyers. The classes start on 26th July, and I'm hoping to build up the class over the next few months.

City Airport Open Day and clouds

I was at the city airport's open day, with some cards and photographs and our badge machine. I haven't explored my ideas yet for the badges, I like some of the badges other artists make, and intend to work on some ideas. Some of the children at city airport took ages, real care over drawing and colouring in their badges, it's great seeing their faces when Ruth hands them the badge to wear.
The day was hot! the first warm weekend in ages and the sky was full of brilliant clouds. I have been interested in clouds for a while now, and taking photos of the recent changeable skies.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Elements Weekend Retreat

It seemed pretty apt in the end, holding a weekend arts retreat on the theme of the elements, with the weather being the way it is. Funnily enough we didn't have the bad weather that other parts of the country were suffering. We were able to do some walking meditation in the local park, experiencing the elements with only a dash of rain.
As usual, a great group of people really engaging with the material and experiences and some lovely work produced.

I have been busy trying to sort out prints of my work and producing a more typical card range, for a number of events coming up this summer. It's surprising how long it seems to have taken me. But hopefully I should see some results soon.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Found, Shared exhibition and Chelsea flower show

There is an interesting exhibition on at the Photographer's Gallery Found, Shared: The Magazine Photowork The walls at number 5 are covered with found items, from discarded photographs, some torn or creased, to letters and notes and doodles. These are some of the materials used by artists and photographers, some in the form of magazines like Found magazine.
I respond to the random nature and excitement of finding materials and using them in some way.

At number 8 there are works by Joachim Schmid. Since 1982 he has been collecting discarded photographs from around the world, in a piece called Pictures From The Street. He also advertised for unwanted photographs, offering a way of dealing with them for people.

Chelsea Flower Show was upon us last week again, and I went along on the last day with Pauline and Ruth. The weather was not so good, cold, but we missed the rain and all the gardens and flowers were a tonic as usual.

The Fetzer Californian Garden and the moss garden stood out along with Chris Beardshaw's garden, a homage to Hidcote Manor. Some photos here