Saturday, 22 October 2011

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now...

I saw this posted on Facebook a few weeks ago and it's been jammed in my head ever since. The list is the work of Keri Smith, it's a scarily accurate list of how to be miserable as an artist, and I'm not ashamed to admit I've fallen foul of a few of the points, in fact I'm currently very guilty of points 1, 2 and 10...

Friday, 21 October 2011

Joe Simpson: Musician Portraits

 "Liam Frost"
Oil on Canvas

"Fyfe Dangerfield"
Oil on Canvas

"Dan Mangan"
Oil on Canvas

"Emmy The Great"
Oil on Canvas 

"Pamola Faith"
Oil on Canvas

I first saw Joe Simpson's work when I was on the first year of my degree and I've stalked followed his career ever since, his last exhibition was a collaboration with 12 bands/singers who were challenged to write a song to accompany his paintings in the series Almost There
His latest body of work is another musical collaboration of sorts, only this time he's painted portraits of musicians he admires, the paintings are beautifully executed and flawlessly stunning, and it's an added bonus that he's chosen a handful of my favourite musicians to sit for him. The exhibition is completely self funded and set up - he spent a week converting the former library of Central St Martins into a pop-up gallery; see the video here for whole progress, and the hard work certainly paid off! It's a fantastic exhibition, if your in the area be sure to drop in, you won't be disappointed!! 

More details about the exhibition can be found on Joe's website

all photos copyright of Joe Simpson.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Doll Autopsy

Living up to my reputation as Sid from 'Toy Story', today I dissected a doll.

Last year I was given 3 hand cast porcelain doll heads - just the hollow heads, no eyes or hair - they interest me on so many levels, so today I finally got them out and started to paint them white ready to paint up as doll skulls, this then got me thinking about the rest of the body... It was at that point I took a knife to the above doll. In my defence her hair fell off ages ago and she was in pretty bad nick when I was given her so I couldn't really use her as a whole. Ssssooo the plan now is to paint up the individual limbs and have them as stand alone pieces, perhaps displayed like an autopsy, maybe incorporating the soft body into it aswell????
I've got a joint exhibition coming up next year with the potter Pea Restall called 'Part Human' so I've been thinking of new ways of displaying the dolls and of new twists to add to the work, so we'll have to see how it goes....

Here's one of the hand cast heads I was given, quite excited to get started on painting this one, the lack of hair means I'll be able to have a go at adding in cranial detail *happily sat with my nose in the anatomy book*

Saturday, 8 October 2011

It's Over....

Here's some shots from Helfa Gelf Open Studios Art Trail, I took part alongside my friends Susie Liddle and Wendy Dykes [whose house we used as a base] since we don't have an actual studio we transformed Wendy's lounge into a pop-up gallery for the month - hard work but it looked great! 
It was alot of work and effort but it paid off, we had lots of visitors, brilliant feedback and some sales :) 
You can check out the groups blog for more photos :)

We also had the wonderful potter and illustrator Pea Restall at the end of the lane also taking part in art trail with her amazing little studio! so it felt like a nice group environment :) 

Helfa Gelf was also a great networking opportunity, the amount of talented artists in the area is astounding! Swimming in this pool of talent are Clarrie Flavell, Wendy Dawson, Leanne Gilliam, and the delightful Karen Cheung whose studio was the only one I managed to get to this year, her work is quirky funny and beautifully drawn!! Her blog is also worth a visit! Here's one of my favourite pieces - it's pretty similar to conversations I've had with my Mam in the past!!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Llandudno Poem...

I bumped into Sonja Benskin Mesher last weekend in work - she's come to the gallery to take part in a workshop, she's written a rather lovely poem about the day on her blog [read it here] and I even get a personal mention! Don't think I've ever been mentioned in a poem before, I feel rather honoured! Thanks Sonja :)

David Nash

I spent the majority of September working on the David Nash install at work, it was hard work but a goldmine of experience, having giant chunks of trees delivered and installed in a day was pretty amazing! The exhibition itself is well worth seeing! The black room [pictured above] is possibly the highlight for me, the sheer scale of the 'King and Queen' leaves me in awe, and the texture of the wood now it's been charred is beautiful - the grain/rings look almost like fingerprints, and there's wonderful areas where it's flaking/bubbling and chipping off....

The smaller scale pieces are my favourite - I love the fact a chainsaw has made something so delicate and dainty! I also really like the bronze casts of the negative space caused by cutting into wood [picture above] - the concept/idea of the pieces fascinates me, almost as much as the fact the brown one reminds me of Cousin It  :)

There's some photos of the install here you can actually see me do some work!

[photos borrowed from Oriel Mostyn's Facebook

Thursday, 6 October 2011


Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I worked pretty much every day of September so haven't had any time to think about art let alone paint :( however I'm now back to normal-ish so hopefully it'll be all systems go!!