Sunday, 29 June 2008

Buying Art

In Ibiza I found an amazing little are gallery, selling all originals or limited edition prints. None of the prices were over 2,000 euros, and most were under a hundred. This is a small oil painting done on a block of wood measuring about 8" square. It leap out at me as soon as I saw it. I had to go back the next day to buy it as I had very little cash on me. A bargain at 40 euros or just over £30. Apparently the artist is a 24 year old girl. The other pieces of her work were in reds and oranges, but this reminded me of the villa with the pool in the hills we'd visited the day before. I think the composition is just perfect.

Friday, 27 June 2008

By invitation only

Okay, I've decided that I want to share the progress of my self-portrait with those who are interested, but it'll be to invitees only. . It's a nude self-portrait so I have decided not to share it with the world at large. I am a mum, and I work in a call centre. I'm not a full time artist, so I wish to protect myself and my family from unwanted attention or exposure (pardon the pun).
So can anyone who wants access please comment here, and I'll send them an invite. I will also restrict it to people who's sites I know

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Moleskine Exchange beginning

A while back I invited a group of artists to join me in an exchange of Moleskine sketch books. We bought one each, and each chose a theme for the book. Then we drew or painted in them and sent them onto the next artist on the list. My subject was Genesis, and here's the start I made in it before I sent it on to Casey in America. I couldn't post the image immediately because I wanted Casey to be the first to see it when the book arrived on his door mat.
When I first thought of the theme I had no idea what I was going to depict, so I started reading the Bible (as you do) for inspiration. It then became clear that, as I was going to be the first person drawing in this book, I was the creator of the book. So I chose to paint myself as the creator, with chaos above, mimicking William Blake's pose in his 'The Ancient of Days'.
I am very excited to see what Casey draws next in my book. Since then I've received Vivien's book themed 'Landscapes', and Gesa's book themed 'Lines', but I can't post images of them yet because Casey hasn't yet received them.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Energy and life

Sapphire FraterI was looking up other artist's self portraits on the weekend and I came across this one by Sapphire Frater. As she's a living-working artists, as opposed to a dead, mouldering one, I emailed her to ask permission to post this picture and she graciously agreed.
I love it, just love it. It's direct, honest, and it communicates so much about the way she works.
Sapphire mentions Jung and Der Blaue Reiter as some of her influences, which is funny because I was just thinking about synthesism the other day, specifically regarding music and the visual arts. I am a Romanticist in my choice of classical music, and my younger sister has been mailing me CDs to listen to while I'm working. When I'm drawing or painting I admit to not being able to 'hear' the music playing in the background, but it is there, and I'm sure it has an effect, because sometimes I'll take it into my head that the music is all wrong, leap up and change the CD. Something is definitely going on there.

Sunday, 22 June 2008



An aunty lent me a guide book while I was on holiday, and the first thing that sparked my imagination was a description of a North African deity Bes, whom the island of Ibiza was originally named after. He was described as being a dwarf with bulging eyes, legs apart, a protruding tongue, a bush tail and often wearing a feather headdress. It's said that his loud singing would scare off evil spirits. Here's my depiction of him. I want to make him out of clay, standing about 8" tall.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Friday, 20 June 2008

Olive trees

olive 1
olive 2

Give me an old olive tree, a pen and paper and maybe a cool drink and I'm happy for a good hour.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Castellian Island

We returned from the most surprising holiday I've ever been on - surprising because I didn't expect it to be so beautiful or inspiring. Our hotel room was literally a stone's throw from the Mediterranean, and this watercolour is the view from our ground floor balcony. The earth was an amazing red terracotta, crumbling in low clay cliffs into the soft tides. The sea itself was banded with blues, greens and blacks. All the flora and forna was alien.
Unfortunately on the fourth day there I lost the A5 sketchbook I'd taken. It wasn't stolen, I just left it somewhere and never recovered it, along with a 3B pencil and a small shoulder bag. I bought a new one while I was there. I'm glad I'd vowed not to take Vivien's Moley she sent me from the Moleskine Exchange, or I'd have thrown myself into the sea.
I spent most of my time with my family, but managed to sneak a couple of hours every other day for drawing olive trees, and photograph some scenes. So there'll be more images to come, I promise.

Self Portrait Decision

Okay, opinion is split. My 'artist' friends who read this blog either think it's a great idea, and I should go for it, or are envious of my courage in tackling such a revealing project. Thanks guys for your enthusiasm and encouragement.

However, my family, while having no objection to my doing such a portrait though, are wary of my public sharing of such an image. Okay, respectfully noted. I won't be publishing full images on this blog.

But I will get cracking with it, and I'm itching to make a start, now that I'm back from Ibiza.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Should I bare all?

My sister, Melanie, has asked an interesting question;

"Painting a naked self-portrait - brilliant idea. Posting it on your blog - I'm not so sure. At your next job interview, when the interviewer looks down at the papers he has on you, do you want this to be amongst them? Maybe yes, if your next job interview is for something fabulous and creative and artistic (which it should be!) But maybe no if it's another day-job similar to the one you have now."

When I started Blogging, we had a chat about what to blog about. Mel's approach to Blogging is only to include about stuff you wouldn't mind printed on the front page of your local newspaper, or on a billboard above your corner shop. If you wouldn't want your blog's content shown publicly on that scale, then re-think what you're posting about.

I know what I think, but I'd be interested in other people's reactions. Mel is thick-skinned, so don't think you'd offend if you disagree. I'm glad she's raised the point, because it's always something worth considering.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

A New Self Portrait

naked 3
naked 2
naked 1
Okay, bearing in mind that the canvas I'll be working on measures about 3 feet by 4 feet, I was wondering whether I wanted to paint myself from head to toe, or just my torso and head. I had some photos taken of myself to work from, and these are some of the resulting sketches. So far my favorite is the pose in the middle, which I've added shading to with brush pens. More sketches of layouts to come.
You lot have been awfully quiet. Are you following what I'm doing and nodding your heads sagely, or are you stuck for works and leaving me in droves?
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