I’m excited. I can see weeks of work coming together in what will be a beautiful exhibition, Loving Nature’ .. two days to go until opening on Friday 18th November. Our creative quartet comprises myself, Angela Annesley, Ian Barnfield and George Clement Peer. Our show not only incorporates paintings, woodcut prints, poetry and a gorgeous film of a heron, we are also sharing a live event of improvisational music and dance, spoken poetry and a song of art on 23 November at 19:00. It all takes place in Penzance’s spacious and elegant PZ Gallery, near the Lido, and will be open daily 10-4 until 2 December.
I knew the rain was not far away and that more than anything I wanted to be here. Feet naked to the ground, bare canvas on my knees and oil paints ready at my side. I sat and moved my hand, my brush, as my eyes moved over you. You are the sovereign cherry tree in St Mary’s churchyard, climbed by children (and myself), scampered upon by squirrels, touching and touched by all. I love you. And as I completed the visual record of this precious time with you the first fat raindrops were starting to fall, precursors of the wild and stormy night to come.
I walk into this space and meet myself again. And these trees that I have sat with in the field and on the hillside, connecting with the wind that has drawn their branches into form, through my own breath, as I painted them there and then. And now, in the studio, clothing the feeling of them that lives in my body, with paint.
Autumnal sunlight and a stiff breeze tugging at the willow leaves, soon they will all have flown… My favourite paintbrush and a tube of black watercolour paint help me capture them on paper… They may become part of the twisting Madron Well pathway painting I am working on in the studio.
At the beginning of this new painting I went into nature to look, listen, breathe. And now with pages of drawings and one or two sprigs I revisit the pathway in dancing steps of paint. This one was a twisting path and I am open to some unexpected turns..
Autumn, and umbellifers are bleached as white and black as bones against the rust of decay seen in montbretia and bracken. Aloft, a fistful of seeds awaits the breeze that will both topple and untether, parent and seed, today and tomorrow – gifting future abundance. This oil painting is a work in progress, as patiently and with immense curiosity I investigate the dance of decay in the Cornish hedgerow…
A little figurative exploration that has brought me quiet joy in its making and its formation. It is painted in water soluble oils and I think my recent flower and foliage studies in watercolour have brought a new gentleness to my touch. It very much expresses my love of nature – and paint.
Here he is! A glitch with the blogging app meant I wasn’t able to share at the time what became of the little Cairn terrier portrait. I think I can safely say his strong character shines through!
A quiet study in watercolours of this sweet pea foliage melting into autumn dissolution. Each pair of desiccated leaves rising into the air from a single point on their stem, like fragile wings heading home.
Eyes, nose and ears – no two dogs are identical! Getting them into position is my starting point for a portrait, along with a loose indication of how their fur travels around these key features. Portraying the unique character of fur will take up the main journey time from beginnings to completion.
We can always choose to put ourselves in loving relationship with our body, our longings and that which brings us joy. Brave and beautiful choices take this swimmer towards the cold bright April sea. This mono print results from a drawing I made on the battery rocks in Penzance where embracing self and sea has become an art form.
I was delighted to see this “old friend” last night – one of my own abstract oil paintings of Cape Cornwall – prominently displayed in my old friend T’s airy new beachside apartment!
This is a student discovering that her non-dominant hand is creating a drawing of exquisite sensitivity compared to the drawing produced by her all-knowing “right” hand – producing lines trembling with life in contrast to the generic right-handed image of the flower she was studying. Why not try it yourself?
What could be more exciting? One metre square is my favourite size and format for the flying paint tango!! This pic was taken on my way back from The Art Shop in Chapel Street, Penzance, to my studio above the Exchange Gallery a few minutes’ walk away.
Out with my sketchbook, playing with the lines of wind-sculpted tree. Initially I assumed it was hawthorn and a closer inspection showed me my old friend Elder, the generous donor of my winter medicinal syrups, now back on the brink of fresh green foliage. Thank you Elder. 💚
Getting serious about my art practice clearly involves more than freestyle visual expression. Today it’s about deep diving into website decisions with the creative genius @ianbwild in our office for the day at (no dogs, no dishes..) #artistresidencepenzance
Drawing is never about copying, for me, it is about exploring feeling states with a humble and hungry curiosity to connect. To understand a little more of life through my own body.
Scaling up to A3 with free flowing gouache. This is fun and irreverent, and I enjoyed this exploration of flight and movement arching over the static castle on the rock, St Michael’s Mount – imagining elements strong enough to take it down like a sandcastle!
A study for a new painting. The theme, Nature’s laws of freedom: a gull flying above a giant wave, as another wave crashes down on The Mount – “the jewel in the crown” of Mount’s Bay, Cornwall – demolishing this symbol of privilege for the few and restoring sovereignty to all who fly untethered to the glorification of oppressive power systems.