Saturday, May 18, 2019

Caught my eye

I was quietly reading the other evening, past dusk but with the curtains open, when my attention was drawn by a quick movement outside.  On the grass was a tiny fluffy black ball with huge feet, moving at tremendous speed.
Taking off my reading glasses I saw that it was a moorhen chick, looking for its mum - which it quickly found as it zigzag-ed around the garden then back towards the wetland. 
The photo here captures just the kind of chick I saw (image from here).

Monday, May 13, 2019

One thing leads to another

Christine McArthur: The Crimson Window (image from here)
I always like to follow up exhibitions with a poke about on the Internet for more information, more illustrations of the artist's work, and anything else of interest which might arise.  Pursuing the Still Life aspect of Elizabeth Blackadder's work I found the current exhibition on at The Scottish Gallery.  I was attracted to a very red piece, (see above) by an artist I had not previously encountered. 
Christine McArthur: Seven Pears (image from here)
Curiosity thus led me to Christine McArthur, and was lucky to find that she had recently had a solo exhibition at the same gallery: The Diary Series.  There is an online catalogue for this show on the same link as the title of the exhibition, and there is also a 45 minute You Tube film of the artist talking about her work here.
Christine McArthur: Sorted Threads (image from here)
I was delighted also to discover that Christine McArthur makes embroideries, inspired by her grandfather, as explained in her talk and in the catalogue.
What I found inspiring was the discovery that the paintings are actually collages in construction.  It has provided me with a spark of excitement and I have started a new notebook of ideas.  Of course my work will in no way be anything like the lovely works of Christine McArthur, but she has provided me with a glimpse of an inkling as to how I want to develop.
(image from The Diary Series catalogue)
Here is a quick look at a Christine McArthur sketchbook.  The integral use of words and writing also made a connection with me.  Inevitably, I now have a catalogue of The Diary Series exhibition.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

On at my local museum

Elizabeth Blackadder: Still life with lily and flute (image from here)
Recently I had a double pleasure: catching up with a now distant good friend, and seeing a lovely exhibition of a long admired artist.  The first piece of work by Dame Elizabeth Blackadder which I encountered was the print above.  That was many years ago, and I was immediately drawn to the composition, the mix, the feeling: the piece made me both calm and excited at the same time.
Not all of her work gives me that special reaction, but I always love seeing her work, and when individual pieces give me that frisson, it is priceless.
My local museum is the Willis in Basingstoke, and I have been lucky to see some excellent touring shows there.  
(image above from here)
Elizabeth Blackadder: From the Artist's Studio shows a range of her works, painting, drawing, watercolour, and print.  She loves flowers, cats, and buildings, and her compositions have the immediacy of a sketchbook while presenting the kind of timelessness of the carefully considered.
There was also the pleasure of seeing a tapestry made by the Dovecot Studios of one of Blackadder's paintings.
Basilica San Petronio, Bologna (image from here)
As well as the works there are also a couple of video clips to see at the exhibition - this being one of them on her printmaking at Glasgow Print Studios.
A brilliant day - despite thunderous downpours - each of which we managed to miss.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Busy doing nothing exciting

In that waiting limbo, hanging around expecting something to be moved forward - out of my control - getting on with work in progress, with the occasional doodle such as this one exploring pattern, and figures more or less how I feel.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Leapt out on a flick through

The Munch catalogue from the current British Museum exhibition, Edvard Munch: love and angst arrived in the post today.  I have only managed a quick flick through the pages.  It looks interesting and comprehensive - yet, the image which stopped me in my tracks is by Vuillard.  I had not encountered it before, but it leapt out at me, and I love it.
Vuillard: Aurelien-Marie Lugne-Poe (image from here) 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Another garden outing

A few days ago we went to Hinton Ampner gardens, not far from us.  The weather was sunny, and despite a bitter wind, the gardens are mostly sheltered enough to make it a hot day.  Our timing was certainly perfect for the tulips.  I don't think I have ever seen such a consistent mass of unblemished formal plantings of tulips.
There was an easter egg hunt on, and there were many folk there when we arrived just a few minutes after opening, but we were able to enjoy walks in quieter parts.  As we left, however, past the glorious old oak (number 16 on the map of the ancient tree trail here) we could see that the place was filling up rapidly.
When we arrived home we found a delightful surprise bunch of flowers in the post.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

An inspiring exhibition

Poster for a talk with West Street Potters in Farnham last month - with images from the exhibition.
There is a fascinating exhibition of pottery on at the Crafts Study Centre in Farnham.  I managed to visit today, not long before it comes to an end next week.
"This exhibition, curated by Professor Simon Olding and Professor Magdalene Odundo, is comprised of ceramics (with some textiles) from the important collection drawn together by Michael OBrien. The ceramics explore his deep and resourceful fascination with pots made in Africa, and most especially in Nigeria. In addition, the exhibition is used to encourage a critical reflection on OBrien’s own ceramics, which are less well known. We can see Africa in them, too."
Michael OBrian's dish above is not in the exhibition - image from here
Here is an illustrated list of the work in the exhibition.  I particularly like Michael OBrian's square dishes.
Unfortunately I did not take my camera with me, and the textiles in the show are not included in the list.  My favourite - and the most dramatic piece has been captured by Tim Parry Williams in his tweet on the exhibition, here (the pot below is also from the tweet).
The large pots from Nigeria have such a presence, and I also particularly liked their woven supports.  Have a look at pages 5 and 6 of the hand list pictures, and see the 'cushions' under the large pots.
Michael OBrian examining a teapot by Danlami Aliyu - image from here 
Interview with Michael OBrian here.

I found the exhibition inspiring, and perhaps has nudged the beginnings of an idea for a project.  Enough to give me something to think about, anyway.