Post by Category : Wildlife Art

Spring – The March Hare

This painting started as one thing and became something completely different.

It was inspired by seeing a hare and spring springing in the garden with the first snowdrops and an incredible blood orange snow moon at the beginning of the week. The idea of life’s potential about to burst forth, almost vibrating with energy yet still contained by winter’s chill.

This painting emerged over 5 intense days. It wasn’t planned. Or rather I had a plan and it went in a completely different direction.

It is loosely divided into the four elements –

Earth, the hare and dandelion clocks.

Fire, the sun and eye.

Water, the sea and fish and

Air, the dragonfly and seeds.

I allowed myself to stay in not knowing where I was going and enjoy exploring acrylic on board.

Some symbolism –

The Hare – rebirth, resurrection, dawn, fertility, spring, immortality. A hare or maybe the white rabbit of the magician?

The Dragonfly – wisdom, light, transformation, adaptability. Connecting with our own courage, bringing more joy into our lives. A pollinator.

The Fish and Sea – flow, fertility, swimming your own course despite the currents. Environmental awareness.

The Teardrop or Raindrop – My grief for how we treat nature, desiring to do more to help. Renewal, cleansing, healing.

The Webs – The interconnectedness of all things. The importance of insects and pollinators. Creation. The spider spinning magic, connected to the number 8, the sign of infinity. Beginnings and endings being interconnected. Life and death.

The Moon – Tides, time, seasons. The feminine.

The Dandelion Clocks and Seeds – hope, new beginnings, abundance. Wishes and the magic of life. Wishing to plant more trees this spring to allow the magic of nature to flourish.

Toadstools – altered states of consciousness, seeing beyond the mundane.

The Eye – seeing the truth, seeing beyond illusion, the eye of god, being alive. The great mystery of life! There is a trinity here too with a creature of the air, earth and sea, each with an eye, yet the smallest one, the dragonfly has a human eye. We need to take responsibility for what we are doing! I remember as a child that when we went out on a Sunday in my dads car the windscreen would be covered in insects. Now that never happens. With no insects we have no life on Earth.

Not too much symbolism in this painting then! I didn’t realise I had painted so much in until writing this blog. I definitely had fun painting it. At one point I had painted a horse, deer, badger, highland cow, cat and a random fried egg in the scene, but they all got painted out.

Spring – The March Hare, Acrylic on Board, 50 x 60 cm

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

Tao Te Ching – Nineteen

Give up sainthood, renounce wisdom,

And it will be a hundred times better for everyone.

Give up kindness, renounce morality,

And men will rediscover filial piety and love.

Give up ingenuity, renounce profit,

And bandits and thieves will disappear.

These three are outward forms alone: they are not sufficeint in themselves.

It is more important

To see the simplicity,

To realise one’s true nature,

To cast off selfishness

And temper desire.

LAO TSU

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The Tao Te Ching is loaded with ideas so selecting what resonates.

‘To realise one’s true nature’

I think that art is a kind of seeking of one’s self. I guess it’s what motivates to keep making artwork. The joy of ‘Aha’ moments, happy accident, skills coming together, letting go. The pure sensory pleasure of colour or paint on canvas. The thrill of an abstact line turning into something recognisable. The expression of pure feeling…

Great week in the studio resolving problem paintings – the also rans in the reject pile. Quite a big reject pile – I seem to have a lot of problems, some going back ten years!

I want to clear my studio to really learn how to work in non-toxic acrylic paint. So resolving oil paintings seemed like a good plan and instead of wanting to burn the problem paintings I felt on fire this week.

It would appear artists creates problems to solve. A crazy game but the best fun when it comes together.

Simple ideas applied – design, differences and values.

The work came alive and with it me too!

It’s the best feeling being in the zone. Dubbed the zone by children I taught Alexander Technique to at school discovering it was something they could access for themselves through a bit of Alexander Technique ‘forward and up’ thinking. A real ‘life skill’. I used to feel on fire every time I taught.

Today – intention to pack my oils to the shed and create space for acrylics! This is BIG! This is putting myself into being a beginner as I really don’t like acrylics or know what they can do but my lungs really, really don’t like oil paint!

I am finally motivated to give acrylics a real go, rather than simply fiddle half heartedly.

Beginners mind! The first three ‘give up’s’ in this verse perhaps instructions as to how to find it!?

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These four paintings of speeding cheetahs were part of a series I did about ten years ago and had got stuck with. Happy with the energy in them now, and they definitely portray the feel of shifting forward and my ignited energy this week. Although they don’t really represent themes I am interested in painting now, my ‘finisher/completer’ is doing a happy dance!

www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

Tao Te Ching – Three

Not exalting the gifted prevents quarrelling.

Not collecting treasures prevents stealing.

Not seeing desirable things prevents confusion of the heart.

The wise therefore rule by emptying hearts and stuffing bellies, by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.

If people lack knowledge and desire, then intellectuals will not try to interfere.

If nothing is done, then all will be well.

LAO TSU

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Feather Study, Acrylic on Canvas

Feathers, found treasures. Still Life.

Painting, I thought about friends in hospital. The feathers became angels sending healing – a wing, a prayer, a focus to mediate on, to stay steady and send love. Feathers holding light, air, space.

A long day painting, absorbed by delicacy.

I read the text many times, ‘strengthening bones’ resonated.

Wing feathers flying through the air. Miracle structures. Lifting up.

Walking to strengthen bone…my injured foot, delicate but functional.

The day was cold, bitter. I didn’t walk.

Maisie, my dog, didn’t want to be out in the day more than necessary either.

Swan Feather, Acrylic on Canvas
Feather Study 2 – Acrylic on Canvas

The Fate of Paintings

Me and the Chinese Ambassador

Artists want their artwork to find homes and be loved, For the art to become backdrops to lives and talking points. To be looked at and dreamt into. For owners to see what the artist saw and find inspiration and joy. This is the ideal, but after paintings leave the studio their fate is not always so straightforward. 

I love art history. I love documentaries about lost paintings that have been re-found or wrongly attributed or simply vanished without a trace to turn up on the other side of the world hundreds of years later and programmes about paintings still missing. It always seems quite shocking and the detective trails can be amazing. 

Washing up yesterday, mulling things over as you do, I could see, even in my career, how this happens. 

So far I have had one painting stolen from an exhibition at Perth Racecourse. It is now on the police stolen art register. 

A portrait, burned in a house fire. Weirdly only the face survived, which was, so I heard, thrown into the garden with all the other debris and then the burned remnant of the portrait was also stolen.

Another painting of elephants was also destroyed in a fire along with most of the other contents of the owners house. Scary stuff!

I heard that one painting, a painting of a big lion, came back onto the market and sold at a reputable contemporary art auctioneers under the wrong title. It sold as Three Flying Giraffes! How on earth did that happen? 

I know my artwork has reappeared in contemporary art auctions several times now.

I’ve heard that paintings have been the cause of bitter argument about ownership during divorce. Or given to now grown up children who want to take childhood memories with them into adulthood.

I heard about a collection of paintings that were lost in a house clearance after a death when the family just sold the contents without seeing what was in the house. 

One gifted painting sold on Ebay to raise money for Glencoe Mountain Rescue and several sold at charity auctions for Save the Rhino amongst other charities.  

Three paintings have been damaged in transit, one by the postal service, one by a helpful friend and one by me.  Paintings are definitely safest hanging on the wall! 

Two paintings were gifted by Edinburgh Zoo to the Chinese Government when the pandas arrived. I wonder if they are still hanging in the Consulate in Edinburgh and Embassy in London or are they now in China? I will probably never know!

No doubt there are other odd fates of paintings that I don’t know about and more paintings will gather stories into the future but hopefully most will still be treasured and enjoyed long after I am dead.

Being an artist, the only job where people talk about you dying and being successful!

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If you would like to come to my upcoming exhibition here in South Lanarkshire, please do email me to be put on the invitation list.

A Bit Medieval

I have been making art to fit frames as the picture framer is closed and I had some antique frames in the studio.

Medieval tapestries were the initial inspiration for these paintings and it struck me whilst painting that everything is a bit Medieval at the moment.

We are living in the time of a ‘plague’ and the only option for toothache, which I have, is extraction and then only if my face has swollen up like a sheep’s bladder, which it hasn’t! The skies are blissfully silent of metal and bird song is a wonderful to listen and paint to. Getting into the Medieval vibe has been creative time travel this week locked in my tower!

The owl is a symbol of change and intuition and the unicorn a Medieval symbol of purity and grace.

‘Pensive’ is for everyone living alone. ‘Beak to Beak’ and ‘Good Friends’ are about respect and equality. Gosh we need that in the world! Have we progressed at all?

Painting ‘The Tree of Life’ is a contemplation about my place on the tree of life and my continued determination to plant trees whilst I am here. There are over 30 birds as well as other animals in the painting. I slightly regret that I didn’t have a better quality board to paint on, but needs must, so I used what I had. I hope it lasts the tests of time as I loved painting it.

The frame used to house a painting of my great grandmother so have subtitled it ‘The Great Grandmother Tree’ and hope she doesn’t mind that I have pinched her frame! I have a matching frame, and plan to do The Great Grandfather Tree next …

Stay safe!

With love, Kirsten

Art work painted on hardboard using chalk paint and wax…

Walking into Ideas

My art has become increasingly about ideas! I guess I’ve spent the first large number of years of my life learning how to paint and draw and now I want to express ideas and do more with my art.

So where do the ideas come from? Truthfully, I walk into them in the field. The ideas for drawings, projects or blogs just pop into my head. I do the same walk most days. The fields behind my house have become my source of inspiration.

For a little while in the summer the farmers cows live there and out of respect I don’t go, but for the majority of the year I am the only human visitor. It’s my own private wildlife sanctuary, my source of inspiration, my talking woodland, my stream of consciousness, my flowing viewpoint.

I love these fields with all my heart. They are ancient fields, many of the beech trees are dying and reeds are taking over the ancient paddocks. Remains of wire, where fences once were, have grown into the trunks of many of the beech trees. Victorian clay drains lie on the surface having been trampled to destruction by the cattle. The ground is rough underfoot testimony to Scottish wet summers. And the fields are full of wildlife. It is perfect habitat – a shallow stream, grassland, trees. Deer, badger, moles, woodpeckers, hare, duck, wrens, owls, duck, geese, wildflowers. The fields are alive.

This is ‘my’ remote island retreat in central Scotland. A burn more or less surrounds the area making it inaccessible to the casual visitor and a stream and stone wall separate it from the far end of the next farm.

These fields are my heaven on earth. They teach me, give me ideas and restore my soul.

In my big abundance manifestation fantasy dream heck why not think big vision, I buy these fields and create a wildlife sanctuary, allowing re wilding. With no cows eating the young saplings as they start to grow the re wilding happens quickly. I restore the ditches so that the beech trees no longer sit in floods causing them to die and pull up any ragwort that has blown in. And beyond that I surround the land with love and give it to nature and the animals.

Four years ago I was in the field admiring a dandelion clock when my mother phoned to say dad had died. Time stood still. The fields took on a whole new resonance.

This past year I have hobbled around the fields with a torn plantar plate in my foot, needing to walk despite pain and it’s never failed to be worth it. Then, returning home nourished, spending the rest of the day drawing or writing ideas that I have walked into in the field.

And these days as I walk I dream that I will manifest the way to buy the land and be a custodian of a wildlife sanctuary. Ahhh! It’s good to have ideas!

And tomorrow I will draw…

A few of the thousands of photos I have taken in the field!

How to Paint my Camouflage Style, for 5 Year Olds

I received a request this weekend from a primary school teacher wanting –

 

‘to focus on a particular artists art and produce a similar sytle with a school art gallery and parental showcase to promote education through art. I love the camouflage style look with animals and cars and was wondering if you can tell me what  your inspiration is for them and how I can teach the style. Most are 5 year olds.’

 

So I thought I would write a blog to answer the question as I know from the past that children relate to and love this style of painting. I have never been an art teacher so here is my third ever ‘how to’ blog. (Links to first two   How to Portray Movement in Paintings  and How to do a Truly Terrible Painting and Have a Totally Terrific Time

 

HOW TO PAINT MY CAMOUFLAGE STYLE, FOR 5 YEAR OLDS

by Kirsten Harris

 

  • First decide what you are going to paint? If it is an animal, how many animals are you going to paint in your picture. Are there going to be baby animals hiding amongst the legs of the adults? Or too many fish to count? Get excited about painting, you are creating an adventure.
  • Where does that animal live? Does it live in water, or the forest or amongst long grasses? Or maybe it is a cat or dog camouflaged by the pattern or colour of a sofa or rug? Look outside, can you see any birds hiding in the trees? How are they camouflaged?
  • Choose one main colour for your painting. It can be absolutely any colour you like. What is the one colour that most speaks about that animal to you?
  • Or what is the colour of the place the animal lives? It can be any colour you want to choose.You can choose a colour because it is the main colour of the animal i.e. yellow for giraffes, pink for flamingos or for a mood you think the animal feels. I have done blue, purple and red for elephants and pink leopards. Or it may be the colour of the time of day or the place the animal lives. This is your main colour, so you will need most of it.
  • You want people who look at your painting to see a big block of your chosen colour first, then to see the animal or car or something else that is hiding in your painting.
  • Now make some other colours that are similar to your main colour. If you have chosen blue, how many shades of blue can you make, by mixing other colours with your main colour. Make little puddles or pots of paint. You can use paint, and then crayons or pencils on top when your picture is dry to get more colours and variety. The more shades of one colour the better. Look around the room you are in, you will see lots of different types of blue all around you.
  • If you want to paint lots of blue elephants for example, you may want to team up with a friend and make a big painting with lots of elephants in it.
  • How many different names for the colour you have chosen do you know? There are lots of different names for every colour. You can also make up funny names that describe the colour.  i.e. elephant stomping blue.  One of these colour names might become the title of your painting.
  • Now paint and have lots of fun. Use brush or fingers or flick or dribble paint or sponge your main colour, lots of different patches of the different shades of that colour that you have made. So if the main colour is yellow make the surface of the paper really interesting, kind of messy! Make lots of different types of that colour and lots of different brush marks and textures.  Messy is important. As you paint, think about where your animal is going to start to appear. Any minute you will start to see your camouflaged animals appearing in your picture!
  • Paint the animals in a similar shade to your main colour, not a different colour. So if you have chosen yellow, paint the animal in a slightly darker or lighter yellow, so that it is camouflaged.
  • Sometimes the paint will start to look like an animal on its own and you can turn it into something. It is brilliant when that happens, a bit like join the dots.
  • Let it dry out a bit and flick or paint more paint on the picuture, this time use some different colours, so you get some little specks and details of something different on top of your main colour. You can let the painting dry in-between or you might like it if it runs and the colours bleed together on the paper.
  • Your job as the artist is to make it look as though the animal lives in a really interesting colourful place that you would want to visit and that the animal has somewhere to hide too.
  • If the animal has a pattern on its coat i.e. scales or stripes or spots , you can paint some of the pattern both on the animal and in the background. This will make it look camouflaged.
  • Let flicks of colour be long grass or ripples in the water. Splash a bit more paint on and see what happens. YOU CANNOT GET IT WRONG. That is the magic of art, anything is possible. 
  • To add detail you can chose different contrasting colours. Paint an eye peeking out, a bit of the head, a bit of the body, some legs with a bit more detail. Just enough so you can see the animal, but not so much that it is sitting on top of the background. It has to be hidden and part of the layers of paint.
  • Imagine there are lots of animals hiding in the picture. Can you give the suggestion of more than one animal. You might just paint some more eyes hiding in the trees for example.
    • It is your painting, you can do EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT TO DO.
    • THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL – HAVE FUN! HAVE FUN! HAVE MORE FUN! PAINTING IS FUN!
    • ENJOY THE COLOUR AND PAINT SOMETHING THAT YOU LOVE.
    • I LOVE ANIMALS, THAT IS WHY I PAINT THEM. 

 

( I would advise that you use as good a quality of paint and paper or canvas that you can afford. Children’s art is amazing and free and it always seems a shame that they are given rubbish quality paper, paint and brushes to use! Kids produce masterpieces that can be kept for ever, framed and hung as contemporary art, if only the materials were better at the outset! I have supervised very young children using oil paint on canvas with stunning results.)

 

Link to my colouring book for children and adults Here 

 

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www.kirstenharrisart.com – ART

www.kirstenharris.co.uk – ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE

‘My Walls are Too Small!’

‘My walls are too small for a big painting!’

 

It’s a comment I hear a lot and it always makes me laugh. I look at the person and think, ‘What a load of rubbish, you don’t live in a hobbit hut!’

 

So here is my low down on why ‘my walls are too small’ is not true!

 

  • It may just be a matter of education, you may never have tried a big painting on a wall and so have no idea how amazing it will look, so are possibly assuming your walls are too small.
  • Did you know that a big painting in a small room will make the space look bigger?Breaking up the space with lots of small paintings can actually make a room look smaller.
  • A big painting adds wow factor to a room. It can save decorating. Just hang a big painting and bobs your uncle, you have impact. I am not a fan of rooms with a TV a sofa and white walls, the so called minimalism. Add a big painting and your room will suddenly have a heart!
  • Most ceilings are much taller than you! (I will make an exception for very tall folk entering low ceilinged ancient cottages) Most big paintings won’t be taller than you. Therefore your walls are definitely not too small!
  • If you buy directly from an artist most artists will be more than happy to let you try before you buy. I am like to hang a painting for someone who is interested in my work and try different wall positions to see if the painting is going to work in the space,  with absolutely no obligation to buy. So do ask. In fact my sister would say I should come with a warning as I will probably help you rearrange the furniture too!
  • On the subject of redecorating – if you are redecorating think about choosing the art work first then the wall colours after. It’s logical if you think about it!
  • A big painting can add structure and cohesion and flow to the look of a room, pulling all the elements together. By the way you can hang oil paintings in bathrooms.
  • And here is a radical thought, it is ok to take paintings down and put new ones up. I rotate my paintings all the time creating a new vibe in the room instantly!

 

So, go on … I dare you, think about being bold and buying a big painting. A big painting needn’t be more expensive and your walls are probably certainly not too small!

 

 

Wind and Sea and my hair being buffeted by the weather! – SOLD

A Falling Romance – SOLD

 

 

A big painting and some handsome men!

SOLD

Michael Douglas and a big giraffe painting … Genius me, I managed to get both him and the painting out of focus! I think I was too excited by having him at my exhibition! What an incredibly nice man. He loved the giraffes ….

 

There is another big giraffe painting hanging at the Tolbooth in Lanark this week.

 

Two upcoming private views – this week

 

 

and now for something completely different here is a link to my colouring book – I love it! Xmas pressie idea …

The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods  Colouring Story Book HERE

 

Wonderful World

Imagine an art gallery in an industrial unit?
The sort of place you might go to have your car MOT’d!

This is Resonate Arts House in Alloa and I love the space!
An artists dream in fact – big wall spaces, well lit, run by art historian Clark, whose passion and knowledge of the visual arts is contagious.

 

Mini Rant coming up! …

To be truthful a gallery run by an art expert IS totally wonderful to me! One of my gripes over the years is that most gallery spaces are basically shops, that you the artist hand over free stock to. Usually run as a second ‘nice wee income’ by the wife of an accountant or such like. There is no real interest in the thinking behind the art, the process or the artists development, just how much money are they going to be able to make selling your work! Yes that is commerce, I get it, but it is very limiting for the artist in many ways and not at all exciting. OK moan over!

To have someone who is actually interested in the work itself in it’s own right is flipping fantastic and very unusual! That is Clark and that is Resonate Arts House, putting the development of the arts right into the heart of the community. It is so much more interesting to be able to discuss your work with the public and get critique and comments good or bad, than just to hand it into a gallery with no feedback whatsoever.

 

Wonderful World, is an exhibition of oil paintings and drawings on show at Resonate over the next month. The name was chosen not only because Louis Armstrong’s Oh What a Wonderful World is one of my absolute favourite songs ever, but to describe the passion I have for painting. In fact I seemed to have rather ‘over egged the pudding’ for this one as I have somehow managed to make rather a lot of work.

 

This week is wonderful week.

Romance of the Falls exhibition also opens in Lanark. My first go at organising an ‘artist led’ group exhibition at the fabulous 15th century Tolbooth. It makes me smile as, recently refurbished, the Tolbooth now describes itself as ‘community arts hub since 1590!’ Love it …. um, amongst other things it used to be a prison!

 

Here are a few of my favourite paintings for the Wonderful World Exhibition in Alloa

 

 

and Romance of the Falls

The White Elephant and Treasure

The White Elephant, Oil on Canvas, 150 x 100 cm

 

I remember as a 5 years old at a village fete being totally fascinated by something called The White Elephant Stall. Where was the white elephant? And why a white elephant? It was the best stall as it was full of interesting stuff and weird objects.

 

I have just googled the origins of the expression and so it goes – the Kings of Siam gave such animals as a gift to courtiers they disliked, in order to ruin the recipient by the great expense incurred in maintaining the animal.

 

The title The White Elephant came to me towards the end of painting this huge canvas when I added a tiny calf. Despite the fact that the painting is mainly magenta, purple and cerulean blue, the focal point of the painting is the tiny white elephant lit by the moon and the river.

 

I have painted the theme of elephants at a water hole before (see blog ‘Why Do Artists Repeat Themselves?’) inspired by seeing a huge herd at the river in Chobe, Botswana on a camping trip with mum and dad. An amazing wonderful never to be forgotten sight that I love returning to in my imagination.

 

So to collecting treasure – art and stuff …

Art is subjective. As well as elephants, you would definitely have to love magenta and want to make a big statement in a room to own The White Elephant. A painting you love may not appeal to someone else. One person’s treasure is another persons white elephant. Exciting.

 

Car booting is a favourite Sunday morning expedition. Treasure hunting in a field, Maisie gets lots of attention and dog biscuits from kindly fellow treasure hunters, who like me are gleefully clutching their new white elephants.

 

This summer I seem to have been making a collection of wooden boxes, I even found one with an elephant carved onto the lid. I don’t know why I am drawn to collecting boxes at the moment and I don’t really care, stables for white elephants perhaps, new treasures yet to be found.

 

Time to get up and go to the car boot, a walk at the Falls of Clyde then back to the studio for the rest of the day to work on a huge waterfall painting ….

 

Link to The White Elephant painting here

 

Looking Through Your Eyes

The process of painting is fundamentally abstract – colour brushed onto surface.

So why are artists driven to abstraction? What is the motivation?

And does a painting gather energy – become real, gain a life force, by being seen by you?

Does a painting actually exist if no-one looks at it?

 

I have a theory that paintings gather energy over time by being looked at, until images, take Van Gogh’s sunflowers, become part of our consciousness. The dialogue that Vincent had with oil on canvas becomes a time and space that we share with him and part of our own visual language. The past act of painting becomes our present. It is simply there in our minds. Images to fall into. Spaces to contemplate and inhabit and mind about.

 

It is all a bit quantum and no science based arguments here … but I believe the act of looking at art has something very magical in it. Do paintings exist if no-one looks at them? (Sorrow for all the paintings locked in vaults and museum basements and not sharing their soul with people!)

 

In the abstraction of the act of painting, me the artist, sometimes stops clearly seeing the art work. This is why many of my paintings take years to finish. And I mean years. To work out the answer to the problem started. To find the end of the abstract story for the painting to become its own compete presence and have a ‘soul’ and talk to us in a way that I believe only real paintings can! A place for you to contemplate the abstract –  that place that motivates me to show up and paint day after day, year after year. A kind of other world.

 

Computer generated art undoubtedly makes fantastic images, but the direct bodily relationship, that physical human transmission in the act of painting, I don’t really think is there. That undefinable presence.

 

This is why we still go to galleries and look at real art.

Standing in front of a painting we are able to talk directly to the artist.

Seeing through the artists eyes – seeing the surfaces, the images, the ideas.

What you are looking at is what the artist looked at, the very thing.

You can feel their soul, their life force, their physical energy.

Their hand and heart and thoughts transmitted through marks and colour, line and form onto canvas.

Their presence in time. That moment then, this moment now.

It is a gift. If you don’t live with a real painting, buy one and see what happens to you (I sell original oil paintings starting at £100 because I really want people to own real art. Small framed gems to contemplate) or go to galleries and be awed. Listen to the artist speak to you across time.

 

For me it is a two way passage –  the mystery returns to me when you look at my art and talk to me about it.

By the time you are looking at it, the painting has its own life force that has nothing to do with me …

I was just part of the abstraction making it …

I showed up and used some of my time on planet earth doing it …

Now when you look at it – your dialogue, interpretation, desire or dislike for the work means I start to see it differently again.

You become part of it’s story too …

 

Is it talking to you?

Are you held, captivated as I was in the dialogue of paint and colour on canvas?

Is it finished?

Are you seeing things that I haven’t noticed?

Does what you feel about it mean you just have to own it?

If yes, the journey of the painting into the world begins …

How many years, centuries will it be out there?

How many people will look at it?

Will children grown up with these images and colours as part of their psyche?

How many hands will it pass through?

How many conversations will it provoke?

What will the painting witness?

 

This weekend a friend came to visit and the helpfulness of his eyes over my work was profound.  His eyes just looking and honest feedback really helped me see my own work more clearly. I saw through his eyes. Paintings are meant to be a dialogue after all …

 

So PLEASE KNOW when YOU look at my work and have a response, you are adding energy to the painting.

I don’t need you to be nice and say it is good, JUST honestly look. The paintings have a life force of their own and your energy adds to it, our consciousness becomes shared.

A painting at its best opens a window onto another dimension that is really hard to describe in words …

A dimension that hopefully lasts over time and becomes part of the visual dimension of your life.

 

OK enough musings on art, back to the studio ….

 

 

I painted ‘Darwin’ about 15 years ago and kept him as I love his soulful eyes.

Might however put him into the next exhibition details below.

Exhibition starts this Friday …

In fact he may become the new poster boy as I sold the elephant on the flyer yesterday : )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooked Art!

When you have been painting for years you, the artist, are inevitably left with a pile of ‘also ran’ paintings …

The ones that were just not that good, the ones that no-one snapped up, or the ones that you turned to the wall because you couldn’t resolve the problem you set yourself by starting!

 

It is part of the process …

 

Last week I decided to go through the pile of  ‘iffy’ paintings and see if I could finish any and find the magic wow factor.

 

There was a bit of logic in my decision to do this …

I have two one woman shows coming up and need a lot of work …

I am also curating a group show locally …

 

Revisiting the also ran paintings is smart art, as the majority of work is already done … it is just the illusive finishing point that needs to be found.

 

I got into the flow of reworking and achieved a lot …  thoroughly enjoying myself, I think it shows …

 

It is almost as though some paintings have to cook in the oven of your mind before you can see the way to resolution. This cooking process can sometimes take years! This batch of paintings are the slow cookers and I am really pleased with the result.

 

All currently available on my website from £100 upwards, click on titles … I hope you like the results?

A visual feast of African heat … animals poised in the sun or on the run …

 

 

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Pink Puddles

 

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Poised

 

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In the Same Direction

 

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Listening into the Depth

 

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Forward

 

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Watching

 

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Bedazzled

 

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Zebra Crossing

 

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Leopard Grass

 

Upcoming Exhibitions 2017

Edinburgh Festival Exhibition, Glass and Thompson, 2 Dundas Street Edinburgh. Starts 4th August …

Romance of the Falls, Group Exhibition, The Tollbooth, Lanark, Starts 12th October

Open Studio at my house – weekend of 28-29th October

Spring Greens

‘Galloping Free’ Oil on Canvas

 

Spring! This past 2 weeks in Scotland for me has been all about green –  suddenly the trees have burst into life, fabulous shades of green – bright, fresh, acid, shining, shimmering, vibrant, new green.  Amazing, wonderful, startling, inspiring …

 

I was commissioned to paint green and blue elephants

 

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‘Cool and the Pool’, 80 x 100 cm

Oil on Canvas, Commissioned

 

And then did some more green paintings for fun –

 

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The Hare in the Moon, 23 x 30 cm

Oil on Canvas

Unframed £100

 

This cute painting would be perfect for a child’s room!

 

(I love the idea of children being bought paintings to cherish and live with for a lifetime rather than all the plastic crap they are given. One great present rather than loads of rubbish! )

 

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Galloping Free

Oil on Canvas

80 x 100 cm (approx)

£1100

 

Freedom and power and nature – what more do we need in life!

 

It has been a green couple of weeks in the studio!

Enjoying myself immensely.

Golden Firefly and Red Dots

Golden Firefly, Oil on Canvas, 120 x 150 cm

 

Many years ago the famous Zimbabwean silversmith Patrick Mavros gave me some advice …

 

‘When you hang an exhibition take everything you could possibly need with you! Don’t arrive and then ask the gallery to borrow a hammer or a ladder or a pair of scissors. It is really unprofessional. Turn up and hang your exhibition with minimum fuss. It sounds obvious but the advice will stand you in good stead.’

 

It has!

 

Today I am going to rent a van and take my seascapes exhibition to town – beautiful Edinburgh.

I AM organised –

 

Paintings painted and framed

Labels printed

Tools packed

Music system loaded

Bubble wrap on stand by

Wine bought! …. One of the few jobs where throwing a party IS part of the job!

 

The only thing left to do is buy more red dots!

The red dot, the joyful symbol that a painting is SOLD!

I love red dots!

 

I am feeling happy and optomistic today as I sold 4 paintings from my website yesterday … unexpectedly!

 

And even better they are paintings that I was not taking to the exhibition including Golden Firefly. A beautiful leopard looking at a red dot! Ok, it’s a firefly really!

 

(I am fascinated by the implied movement and poise between the firefly and leopard and have painted three different versions over the years. Blog link here ‘Why do artists repeat themselves?’)

 

I hope you will come to our exhibition  … I am celebrating already!

Hooray!

 

There is real joy when someone loves your work and wants to hang it in their home.

 

I am excited about the long day ahead hanging paintings …

 

And delighted that Golden Firefly is off to the picture framers on my way into town, it is a very big painting and I can utilise the van …

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The Hug

Pig

Speed

Oil on Canvas

120 x 100

Golden Haze

Cheetah Shades

 

Young Males

Oil on  Canvas

80 x 100 cm

The Fight

Oil on Canvas

80 x 100 cm

Into the Light

Oil on Canvas

110 x 110 cm

Bush Diamonds

Oil on Canvas

80 x 100 cm

Strange Fruit

100 x 120 cms

Oil on Canvas

Dreaming

Oil on Canvas

80 x 100 cm

The Boss

Oil on Canvas

80 x 100 cm

Guy

Queen

Oil on Canvas

80 x 100 cm

Chameleon

Oil on Canvas

40 x 50 cm

Meerkats – The Line Up

40 x 50 cm

Road Runner

Oil on Canvas

40 x 80 cms

The Leopard’s Tale

100 x 120 cm

Bush Babies

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Oil on Canvas

40 x 50 cms

Chameleon

100 Project 5 055

Oil on Canvas

23 x 30 cms

Coming Through

Cool by the Pool