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.