Saturday, 27 August 2016

We have just the one body - this body

Today I have been drawing again with fellow artists under the guidance of Leanne Vaughan-Phillips (find her on Facebook).

I'm tentatively finding my way back into drawing.
The body we are given should be celebrated. So often we see such negative imagery or press comments on 'celebrity' bodies. We are told how we should be.

I worry about how my body looks - how deep these messages reach. Messages from our own upbringing can also make us fear and be disgusted by our bodies.

I admire those who have confidence in the body they have - and I am trying to reach that place through observation and reflection. Thank you Leanne for giving us this opportunity.


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Why cabinet of curiosity ?

I started a new piece of work today using the kind of materials I used back in the 1980's.

We use recycled wood for our wood burner - and I found some offcuts which lend themselves to being used for collage/relief work.

I had found a butterfly caught on the front of the car a few weeks back - I knew it was a skipper of some kind - I identified it as a large skipper. I felt immensely sad about the demise of this small but beautiful butterfly.

Today I made a painting of the butterfly on a fragment of plaster, then arranged and rearranged the wood within the frame until plaster, wood and background formed a kind of balance.

The composition and fossil-like butterfly painting reminded me of those sad lines of butterflies pinned in museum cabinets - I was fascinated as a child by the collections in Swansea and Cardiff museums. Many of the butterflies in those collections were once common - now they are a much rarer sight.

Then this came to my mind :

Cabinet of curiosity

This species of butterfly may become locked in cabinets
And dusty.

We only see them fleetingly
Soon forgotten.
We take photographs
But we squash and spray their progeny
We cut down grasses
And woodland.

We are curious creatures
We worry about many things
Yet remain blind to the most precious visitations
Until we see them no more and our eyes are suddenly opened.


Monday, 15 August 2016

A body you have prepared for me. Life drawing and the ephemeral.

I have begun a new phase on my journey, so I am digging deeper into the plaster as well as into the mysterious thing we call life.

I have created 3 paintings in a series - two of which I have already shown you in this blog.

Here they are together :

I have also started life drawing classes after 36 years.
The discipline involved in looking and mark making is awesome. The results are not great but there is potential in some of them.

I want to translate some of these ideas into plaster relief drawings.

I continue to make butterfly relief frescoes ready for this years National Botanic Garden of Wales orchid show on 4th and 5th Sept, where we will once again show some of our work highlighting the beauty of orchids and the conservation of our natural habitat.

Look out for my work at the Chameleon Cafe Bar in Ystradgynlais in Sept.