Post by Category : Seascapes

Framed for £100!

Do you want to collect art, but don’t know where to start?

Do you want to give someone a really amazing present for Xmas, a wedding or special birthday?

Do you already collect art and want to add to your collection but are running out of wall space?

 

  

Here is a solution –

  • This collection of small seascapes framed for £100. They are like windows to the beach. An attempt to portray a feeling that looking out to sea the view is unchanged … I am seeing what the cave people saw. Our distant ancestors of the neolithic, the bronze age … Perhaps when I paint the sea, I am connecting to my inner cavewoman! Looking inland at the landscape it is changed probably beyond all recognition from that distant past, but gazing to the horizon of the sea, there is a sense of the infinite and the timeless.
  • Small paintings are ideas being worked out, emotions explored, a passion for the sea and the sky – the moving elements captured in paint. Small paintings are intimate and personal.

If you are interested in any of these treasures washed up by the tide of 2017, you might want to check out my blog too.  I wrote over 40 blogs called ‘Diary of an Exhibition’ this year about painting the sea

 

I LOVE THE BEACH  AND I LOVE THESE SMALL SEASCAPES 

All paintings are oil on canvas or oil and sand on canvas and are £100 each, framed with a white frame and gold slip and signed on the front.

 

 

SMALL SEASCAPES GALLERY – FRAMED FOR £100 Click this link to see what is available. 

 

Email me if you see anything you like …

kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

Postage worldwide will be charged at cost.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art, Bamboo Glasses and a Foul Mouthed Pub Landlady

Last night at the exhibition opening of Seascapes at the Old Chain Pier in Edinburgh, stories were told about the eccentric landlady who presided there in the 50’s and 60’s. Her family had owned the pub since the turn of the century.

 

My friends mum and dad, revealing how they went on their second ever date to the Old Chain Pier 55 odd years ago, reminisced.  Last night was their first time back…

 

Apparently Betty Moss was a character and a half, always resplendent in oriental costume and bamboo glasses. She swore like a trooper, shot a gun to the ceiling to call last orders, swung a cutlass over her head to deal with rowdy customers and told everyone to ‘fuck off children’ at the end of the night. It was a sailors pub and she was in charge! 50 years later she is still talked about, her photo, found by the present owner in the cellar, hangs above the bar.

 

 

(Betty Moss – check out the earrings!)

 

Back then every inch of the pub walls were covered in postcards from all over the world. There was no picture windows to the amazing sea view! I guess sailors don’t want to look at the sea whilst drinking a pint and a nip. In fact everything about the inside is different, yet the memory of Betty Moss lives on.

 

Later in the evening my friends gave me ‘how to’ instructions on a contemporary kind of postcard,Instagram, wondering why as an artist I hadn’t made use of this ‘postcards to the world’ form of communication to show my paintings.

Um, no answer apart from not knowing how to do it! Dah!

So I was given a brilliant impromptu masterclass from a professional marketeer, the art director of an ad agency and someone who has 1000’s of followers on the said platform… WOW! Thank you guys, I hope it all went into my brain. Brilliant stuff.

 

I wonder what Betty Moss would make of the social media conversation? By the sound of her she would have embraced it long since, have made big ripples in new medias and be talked about all over the world!

 

Hmmm ….. where are my bamboo glasses?

 

 

 

 

Exhibition on until the end of January.

Framed seascapes from £100

check out my website… www.kirstenharrisart.com

 

‘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

Punctuation and Painting

I am lucky to have a friend who is punctuation and spelling goddess. Or as she would describe herself, a pedant. My ability at both p. and s. is OK but I always seem to make silly mistakes: often the same one. Habitual grammar gaffes. Dah!

 

Looking through a piece of writing and finding your own apostrophe catastrophe is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Impossible to see. Fiendishly good grammar pals are a blogger’s godsend, although she tells me that writing about punctuation is bound to invoke Muphry’s Law: that’s the one where you will inevitably make a punctuation mistake.

 

Today I have been going over seascape paintings with fresh eyes looking for the missing brush strokes, the tiny blob of paint that can make the painting flow and sing. Punctuation for painters!

 

My question to myself as I look for completion is ‘Can I add brilliance?’  Highlights and lowlights to add meaning and drama; black and white paint are on my palette.

 

This is a very different and more considered process in comparison to the one described in my blog: ‘How to do a Truly Terrible Painting and Have a Totally Terrific Time’.

 

Before every exhibition I set aside several days to look at my paintings and ask whether I can add an apostrophe-like dot or dash of paint in just the right place to complete the painting’s flow or link a passage of paint. A painterly full stop. Sometimes the full stop might be just a completely random contrasting flick of colour, or simply realising I’d forgotten to sign the painting.

 

Historically, the Royal Academy of Arts in London had a day called Varnishing Day. The artists would climb ladders, brushes in hand, to their already framed and hung paintings, and make these tiny finishing touches.

 

Framed and signed paintings on a clean wall look different from unframed canvases in the studio. The frame and space reveal another dimension to the artwork.

 

A painting is never really finished until someone buys it and takes it away. Until then there is always the chance that I will see another missing comma, which can lead to a whole new passage of painting – even a total repaint. Looking for grammar mistakes can be a dangerous business!

 

If you miss the full stop because you didn’t listen to the voice that said ‘Stop Now’ but instead keep going enthusiastically, you then have to keep on painting until another one reveals itself. That can be quite frustrating. It’s easy to miss the ‘Aha’ moment: that moment of completion.

 

So, here are some thoughts on painting and punctuation. If you too need a proofreader then I highly recommend you employ wordsmith Woodstock Taylor. You can find her on Facebook. I will be asking her to check my punctuation for this blog, so any mistakes you spot are indeed Muphry’s Law in action!

 

Below are some seascapes that have been checked for visual punctuation today.

 

I always have small framed paintings available on my website for £100, plus p&p worldwide – a great way to start collecting original art or a fabulous gift.

I love doing my small oil paintings and as for a gift –  who doesn’t love the sea?

 

www.kirstenharrisart.com

 

 

 

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 : )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solo

I have just been offered another solo show. It will be my fourth this year and I have said yes.

Solo – alone! Yup, that is true! Me, my paints and my animals. But somehow when I am working I am not alone. Painting definitely bridges the gap between here and there and keeps me present moment present tense aware and in the flow. And so I work. No point being addicted to worrying about the future. Best just enjoy the journey as I have no idea where I am going, but it is probably to the studio!

 

Filling four galleries, plus organising a group exhibition and doing an open studio event has made me think of the expression ‘rising to the challenge’, as I crawl into bed for an hour with my computer before going out to teach an Alexander Technique group class this evening!  Rising?Perhaps a bit of sinking for now!

 

Alexander Technique –  Forward and Up! FUP! Why not rise to the challenge? FUP It!

Life wouldn’t present the opportunity if I couldn’t do it surely! So just show up and paint. Let the challenge rise me!

 

The breath breathes itself, we can consciously control it, but we don’t have to think about our every breath.  My breath breathes me, why should the art not paint itself? Flowing like the breath onto the canvas. If I get out of my own way enough something interesting happens and the strange thing is that the more present I am to allowing painting, the more other people can recognise an undefinable but palpable quality. It sounds pretentious I know. But the reverse is also true, we can worry the paint to becoming an ugly muddy mess.

Allow painting, allow breathing, allow flow, allow solo …  or resist – think the work is not good enough, that there is not enough time, hold the breath, lose trust, worry about lonliness …

Choices …

Do I live life or does life live me?

 

Solo! So High!

Can’t wait to start painting again tomorrow …

 

 

 

 

 

Hope at Sea

How to do a Truly Terrible Painting and Have a Totally Terrific Time …

To do a good painting you have to be prepared to do a really, really shit one.

So here is how to do a truly terrible painting in oil paint and have a totally terrific time

 

  1. Put on some rubber gloves, yup a bit kinky this ‘art thing’ darling, and if your lungs are sensitive like mine you can don a face mask too. Sexy, not!
  2.  Squeeze a good worm of scrumptious oil paint directly onto the canvas
  3.  Smear the paint on with your fingers – give it a good old enthusiastic rub and enjoy the sensation of colour and the tactile give of the canvas, add a few more colours and play
  4.  Sprinkle sand onto the painting. ‘Sand should surely look like sand in a seascape’ you think to yourself.
  5.  Get a palette knife and push the oil paint and sand around – crusty!
  6.  Blob some thinner over the crusty, lumpy oily paste, ‘oh heck it can’t get any worse!’
  7.  Mess about with a brush and realise using sand on a paint brush is going to wreck it really quickly …

 

Your painting should have gone through several truly terrible stages by now

 

8.  Keep thinking about the thing you want to paint (seascapes for me) and imagine being on the beach and wonder why you are working in the studio today? Promise yourself a trip to the beach asap, you need a holiday! Art is a tough business!

9.  Scrape paint off, squeeze more paint on. Repeat process. Repeat again. Try to forget how expensive oil paint is.

10. Start to wonder what the heck you are doing?! How on earth can you make such a terrible painting and wonder how this is ever going to come together? Totally embarrassing!

11. Be appalled by the fact that the horizon isn’t even straight!

12. Beat yourself up mentally a bit more and wonder if Van Gogh had such problems and then remember that he did and feel a bit better.

13. By now you have probably got oil paint on your face, your arms and your bum if you have been for a pee during the process.

14.  Oh well ‘keep calm and carry on’ and then you think ‘What calm?!’ Art is about suffering and passion!’ Suffer baby suffer, feel the passion, go for it and paint some more.

15. Somewhat desperately you wonder if you could call on the dead for help and try psychically channeling Turner and Rembrandt to paint for you …

15. ‘Oh! Maybe that worked’ …. suddenly something starts to emerge from the flotsam and jetsam of smeary colour, a beautiful brush stroke, a delightful colour combo that is ‘talking’ to you and then suddenly – AHA there is a seascape!

16. Feeling really rather proud of your masterpiece you reward yourself with a sink full of washing up, because your hands are now so covered in paint, despite the rubber gloves, that they need a jolly good soaking even after several scrubbings. This is no problem for you as you have a terrible habit of using a new mug every time you have a cuppa so there is a tsunami of crockery waiting for your attention …

17. You go to the kitchen, feel appalled and uninspired by the total chaos at the sink, (I thought I washed up this morning) make another cuppa, decide not to wash up and go do another painting instead!

 

She paints seascapes …

www.kirstenharrisart.com

 

.

Dreaming of Love

Oil and Sand on Canvas

23 x 30 cm

 

Beautiful Old Grey North Sea

Oil and Sand on Canvas

23 x 30 cm

 

 

How Far to the Other Side?

Oil and Sand on Canvas

23 x 30 cm

 

 

The Moon is Falling

Oil and Sand on Canvas

23 x 30 cm

 

 

 

The Light

Oil and Sand on Canvas

23 x 30 cm

 

Fire Ball

Oil and Sand on Canvas

23 x 30 cm

Early Light, Oil and Sand on Canvas, 23 x 30 cm

 

Oil on Canvas

40 x 50 cm

Rain on the Beach

Oil and Sand on Canvas

 

Rain, Oil and Sand on Canvas, 40 x 50 cm

 

A Strange and Beautiful Place

Oil on Canvas

 

Stealing Clouds

Oil on Canvas

40 x 50 cm

 

Life is Beautiful

Oil on Canvas

40 x 40 cm

 

Early Evening

Oil on Canvas

40 x 50 cm

 

Light Rain

Oil on Canvas

40 x 40 cm

 

 

 

 

Waterfall

Water falls

From heaven to earth

Nourishing

 

Waterfall

Symbol of transformation

Release of energy

Power to harness

Infinite possibility

 

Fluid yet immutable

Ancient yet brand new

 

Sound of water

Breathing

Flowing life force, subtle energies within

 

Ever changing yet permanent

Each drop gathering force

Making the whole

 

Illusionary manifestation

Paradoxical like life itself

 

Waterfall, an entity

Yet never the same

A continuous evolution

Changing its mind moment by moment

 

Down flow of water

Upthrust of earth

A body in movement

A living impermanence

 

Waterfall –  healer of mystic tradition

Teaching place for spirit renewed

River falling, bending, moving, flowing

 

I learn to change my mind too!

 

 

The Field of Intention – What is it?

Maisie and Me in the Field!

 

What is The Field of Intention, other than the name of my next  painting exhibition and workshop that I will be giving at The Findhorn Foundation’s Moray Art Centre later this year.

 

The Field of Intention is my name for the magical creative IT!
It is not only an internal direction – that is a psycho-physical direction that profoundly effects all of you – bringing you into ease but also a simple clear focus.

 

The Field of Intention is to do with time, amongst other things. Time is magical – infinite, limited, cyclical. The Field of Intention is a magical place that creatives inhabit. Being in it is part of what drives artists to create. We want to be there, because it feels great, mysterious, exciting and wonderful …. and the results are surprising. The creative buzz lives in the Field of Intention.

 

You can inhabit it too …
Because I completely believe that EVERY BODY IS CREATIVE.
You live in a miraculous creative body and any lack of creativity is just caused by blocks, habits, old stuff. Simply put if you are not feeling creative you have got in your own way!

 

My 30 years experience as an explorer and teacher of FM Alexander’s discoveries and career as a selling artist has led me to being asked to bring the two together and teach how Alexander Technique and the flow of creativity work together. I have began writing about creativity and my own creative process over this last year. This is a work in progress, challenging and exciting!

 

Simply put, to activate the Field of Intention, first you set your direction then you cast your attention forward in time like a spell and allow things to start to line up. Time opens out and the space of The Field is available to you. Then you just show up and get on with it. You give yourself a spell of time to be creative.

 

It is so simple yet difficult too!
A dichotomy and a bit of a conundrum that takes skill and awareness.
On the one hand it is a lifetime practise and on the other totally available to you right now! It is intriguing, beguiling, bewitching and bemusing and befuddling at times too but totally worth exploring and activating.

 

Deciding what you want to do can be tricky. We have so many choices that sometimes we simply forget to choose or can’t decide or won’t commit or are scared to.

 

Another problem is that many people are not living in a way that they can line up with the flow. The psycho-physical mechanism of creativity is out of balance and they have no idea how to activate it.
The magic wand of manifestation, the spine, is out of tune …
Not functioning correctly …
This is where deeply understanding the brilliance of Alexander’s discoveries comes in and why training in the Alexander Technique helped me.

 

Alexander Teachers can help you tune up your ‘magic wand’ and things start to work again. For me the creative tap completely turned on during my three year Alexander Technique training course with the late great Don Burton. It has not turned off since. Learning Alexander Technique activated my art.

 

By learning to trust your Field of Intention you open to being a visionary, a seer – a focused flowing creative thinker.

 

The world needs creative thinkers right now  ….

 

Forward and Up!
Kirsten
kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

www.kirstenharrisart.com

Field of Intention

All winter Crazy Maisie Cockerpoo and I have walked around the field behind my house. I walked, she ran and ran and tirelessly chased her ball.

 

‘Be more Maisie!’ My new motto since she came into my life!

 

All winter I have had the thought that I could do an entire exhibition based on this one field. Every day it changes – the sky, the clouds, weather, light conditions, plant growth, colour. I love the trees – old beech trees, gnarled scots pines, a little stream running down the side, sometimes deer, hare – old land.

 

Today I was meditating on ‘father time’ before my walk.

Have I enough time to do all the paintings I want to do in the amount of time I have? Of course … I decided!

Time is magical … set your direction, cast your intention forward in time like a spell and it will all line up. Time opens out and the space is available.

Then you just do it, show up. A spell of time to paint.

 

In the field this morning seeing the first dandelion clocks of the year I remembered I was walking amongst them last year when mum phoned to say dad had died in hospital in Portugal.

Time passes …  Ethereal clocks.

 

The just completed seascape exhibition has been an incredible healing journey.

An emotional voyage.

The emotion palpable in the paintings.

I know it and visitors to the exhibition commented on it.

 

Today I have decided that I will base my new work for my next exhibition on the field and call it Field of Intention. It will be an exhibition of landscapes and seascapes.

Perhaps metaphorically I have landed on earth again after the voyage of grief.

 

Intention set, the new work can begin … time to see what happens next!

 

Field of Intention

Exhibition of Landscapes and Seascapes

Moray Art Centre

Findhorn Foundation

Morayshire

 

Exhibition runs from 29th August – 1 October

 

 

 

 

 

Travelling the Seven Seas for £100

Directions, Oil on Canvas, 21 x 26 cm, framed.

 

Below are some oil paintings that I love that are available for £100 each!

 

I don’t know about you, but I love to travel and so do my paintings …. they are adventurous creatures!

 

Here is my choice of little gems who want to launch themselves onto planet earth and travel the seven seas for a few hundred years!

 

The beauty of the internet and wold wide shipping is that art can travel in search of new homes easily …

 

Anyone who knows me will know that I love selling original oil paintings at affordable prices …

As well as being unique, originals have endurance and longevity …

They have a life force of there own …

In fact I have a bit of a bee in my proverbial bonnet about the joy of owning real art rather than commercial prints!

 

And if you are looking for something bigger to make a statement and create some wow factor in your home please follow the link here …

 

 

fullsizeoutput_1093

Ice Cream Seaside, Oil on Canvas, 21 x 26 cm

Framed

 

 

fullsizeoutput_1094

Mysterious Forces, Oil on Canvas, 21 x 26 cm

Framed

 

fullsizeoutput_1086

Tidal, Oil on Canvas, 21 x 26 cm, Framed

 

fullsizeoutput_f52

The Rock and the Sea, Oil on Canvas, 21 x 26 cm

Framed

 

fullsizeoutput_f53

Directions, Oil on Canvas, 21 x 26 cm, Framed

 

16830899_2122634161296216_2697916171750807985_n

The Moon Cometh, Oil and Sand on Canvas, 21 x 26 cm

Framed

 

16806721_2122627467963552_7661983439696595977_n

Fire and Water, Oil and Sand on Canvas, 21 x 26 cm

Framed

 

16830883_2122628184630147_7979279794076618909_n

Morning Mood, Oil and Sand on Canvas, 21 x 26 cm

Framed

 

16807001_2122627841296848_6629291608100237664_n

Tidal, Oil and Sand on Canvas, 21 x 26 cm

Framed

 

For more £100 paintings CLICK HERE

These paintings can travel world wide and are only £100 each. (with a little additional cost for shipping)

 

 

Collecting Treasures

I have been painting a series of small paintings

Small treasures  … I love my small paintings.

 

Small paintings are a place where an artist develops and works out ideas …

A chance to really experiment and play …

Creating a depth of field in a limited space …

A place for the imagination to linger ….

 

One buyer of my work who owns a couple of small paintings, told me she often sits with a glass of wine in the evening and stares at the paintings, letting her imagination journey.

She told me it amazes her that she never gets bored looking.

 

Another collector told me he hung a small painting bought at another exhibition at the end of his bath and meditates in its space as his body floats out in the warm water. Again he said he never tires of drifting in the painting, and that fact kind of baffles him. How can the same image continue to reveal ideas and inspiration? The magic of art!

 

I am selling small framed seascapes and shell paintings for £100 each at my forthcoming exhibition in Edinburgh next week.

I always have £100 paintings for sale on my website.

Why don’t you start collecting small treasures?

 

Intimate small paintings are a great way of starting an art collection and discover why owning a real and original piece of art is different from owning a print … Why a real painting in the house does something for your imagination, your soul,  on a daily basis.

 

Actually I could have a rant about why real art is better, but will save that for another blog. Tee he.

 

I hope you like these small treasures as much as I do.

 

I can ship world wide by arrangement.

 

Look forward to seeing you in Edinburgh if you can make it, or get in touch with me the website. I will be putting up more examples of £100 treasures later this week …

 

Here are a few from the treasure trove ….

 

fullsizeoutput_f4e

‘Movement’, Oil and Sand on Canvas

 

fullsizeoutput_f53

‘Directions’ Oil and Sand on Canvas

 

fullsizeoutput_f55

‘Transparency’ Oil on Canvas

 

fullsizeoutput_f52

‘The Rock and the Sea’ Oil on Canvas

 

16806721_2122627467963552_7661983439696595977_n

‘Fire and Water’, Oil and Sand on Canvas, Framed

 

 

fullsizeoutput_d42

‘Iridescence’, Oil and Sand on Canvas, Framed

 

 

fullsizeoutput_c77

‘Three Sisters’, Acrylic on Canvas, Framed

 

 

fullsizeoutput_c48

The Space Between Sounds, Acrylic on Canvas, Framed

 

IMG_6463

 

 

 

 

Diary of an Exhibition – My Motivation and Intention

‘Stress Puppy’ by Kirsten Harris

 

I chose to paint seascapes for my upcoming exhibition partly because I have sold every seascape I have ever made and I hope to increase my chance of success!

 

The reason I desire to sell well is to fund my next project, which is likely to take many months to complete and be a ‘gift to the universe life mission’ project.

 

The project is to finish illustrating an Alexander Technique book for children and teenagers that literally downloaded into my head about three years ago.

Strange but true!

 

It is a monster, fun, quirky, piece of writing.

 

The high school kids I teach love it. (I don’t think they are just being polite and kind!)

I have tried it out on them, and they are determined for me to ‘get it out there’ as they are sure it will help other kids get through school and life as the Alexander Technique has helped them.

 

My next art job is to hone my inner cartoonist!

All about letting the line flow simply to tell a story ….

fullsizeoutput_f33

 

I am writing about my motivation behind my up coming exhibition to boost my confidence and strength of intention to sell and so the ‘angels of abundance’ know what the plan is!!

 

And because, to be honest, I am feeling a bit like this cartoon at the moment. A Stress Puppy Artist!

A bit of fear creeping in at the last minute. Not helpful, but human!

 

Time to transform fear to excitement. To be confident having put my heart and soul into painting all winter.

 

I keep waking up in the morning thinking maybe the big paintings are all too grey and blue, and then the next thought is that grey and blue are bang on trend for interior design and I loved painting them so TRUST! TRUST! TRUST!

 

Time to let it go and focus on THE BOOK manifesting after the exhibition ….

Let it Flow …

 

Original seascape oil paintings from £100 – £2000

Many are available to view on my website Click Here

 

Please email me for more information or come to the exhibition, it would be wonderful to see you.

Sea and the City, 26 – 30 April 2017, Dundas Gallery, 6 Dundas Street, Edinburgh.

 

fullsizeoutput_d87

 

img_3316

 

fullsizeoutput_cff

 

IMG_6463

Finding my ‘Fuck It’ by painting the sea

Last October when I committed to painting a seascape exhibition I was in two minds as to whether it was a terrible idea adding so much potential stress on top of the grief of losing dad to cancer in June.

 

Anyone who met my dad knows he was a force of nature much like the sea itself. Irrepressible and indestructible, or so we thought. Ex para and special forces, Dad called himself Chamanooka, the Rain Maker, a name he was given in Zimbabwe. My dad was highly intuitive and psychic, though he would never willingly reveal that side of himself being a product of his age. I cheekily called him Radio Francis, because you could turn him onto any subject.

 

One of the last things I remember dad saying to me was ‘Don’t forget you are fire proof!’ Military training for his daughter!

 

So, I decided that a focus of seascapes was not only a good idea because it was a great excuse to go the beach often over the long cold winter months, but also a positive focus and direction was better than being unfocused during the darkness of a Scottish winter, alone in Middle Earth, as my friends call rural South Lanarkshire.

 

So I have painted about 70 paintings and written many blogs and I am sitting in the garden feeling somewhat unwell this sunny spring afternoon thinking that perhaps this virus thing that feels like it is trying to get a hold of me is in fact grief pushing its way out of my system. Another layer letting go. Two weeks to the exhibition, the journey of healing from the sea still underway.

 

I committed to a process wholeheartedly and I have tried to be honest and truthful with the journey, and if truth be told I would love my dad to be proud of me what ever dimension he is now on.

 

And why did I call this blog finding my ‘fuck it’. Because ‘fuck it’ there is nothing you can do when people die apart from find your way forward the best you can.

 

I have used painting as my vehicle for the journey of loss and grief and although very tired from the craziness of painting in an unheated studio in minus conditions all winter I do feel that the tide is shifting somewhere deep inside.

 

Although I am writing this in tears thinking about dad I am hoping the sea will wash me up on a different shore as I let go into the vulnerability of hanging an exhibition.

And hopefully the virus thing will clear out of my system too!

 

Tears like rain, healing and life giving!

 

Strangely feeling better already just writing these words.

 

Love Kirsten

 

IMG_6463

 

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Love Guides Me Forward and Up!

I took this photograph driving home over the Lang Wang from Edinburgh on Saturday, April !st.

 

April Fools Day!

 

Driving towards this angelic cloud was so amazing I had to stop … a watery formation, an energy shifting…

A moment to listen for the message from The Fool!

 

It is time for an energy shift for me  … time to let go …

Time to put down the paintbrushes, let the oil paints dry and do other aspects of the job of hanging an exhibition i.e. marketing!

 

I used to find marketing relatively easy, but with the advent of social media have found it increasingly difficult. Weird but true!

 

I have had to learn to overcome my shyness and fear of Facebook and put myself out there. Be prepared to make a fool of myself …

That is what this ongoing blog has been about …

Letting social media be part of the art process …

Widening the creativity …

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing. A revelation!

 

I haven’t written about art since art school, and I have loved the start of this new journey.

First writing my free creativity course – link at bottom of this page

and then keeping a diary of an exhibition …

 

So April – time to let a new energy guide me forward and up …

Spring up and out of the dark cold winter months …

The exhibition will be of wintery waves, grey and cold … dramatic and stormy …

 

The benefit of painting in freezing conditions is that the oil fumes have not effected my lungs! Thank god!

Now it is warming up, the fumes are becoming harder for me.

It would be foolish to continue …

Time to STOP …. let my bones warm up, my energy increase, my body spring up into spring and BREATHE!

 

I have worked hard over the winter …

I have enough paintings!

 

(Anyone who knows me will know that is a very difficult sentence for me to believe, as an artist never gets it done … an inner drive always pushing, pushing, pushing!)

 

Time to look forward to five days at the end of this month meeting real people in the real world at my exhibition.

 

When another person looks at my artwork, I see the painting differently …

 

I look through your eyes …

You teach me and I move forward ….

When you love a painting the painting transforms …

We become connected in a magical way …

It is a strange thing …

That is why I like hosting an exhibition in person, meeting people is a huge part of the process for me. The audience informs the work. I love the connection.

 

I paint with love and passion, I never know what the work will look like.

When you find something you love in the work it always amazes me.

Passion connects us.

 

Love Guides Me Forward and Up!

 

I give myself permission to stop … to let go!

Art – a state of trusting the process – no matter how weird!

 

I have started previewing some of the paintings for sale in the landscape and seascape section of this website. Click here

 

Love

Kirsten x

 

Hopefully see you at  the Dundas Gallery, 6 Dundas Street, Edinburgh

April 26 – 30th

10am  – 6pm

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Spring

 

‘Rainbow Wave’ Oil on Canvas, 40 x 50 cm

 

Spring is Spinging – Hooray!

 

The warmth of the sun is reaching Scotland …

Welcome welcome golden yellow rays!

The palette changes immediately …  Warmer, brighter, the days have colour again.

 

 

The change of light heralded by a rainbow being caught in a wave at Dunbar, East Lothian … Instead of a grey sea the sea was green as the brighter light filtered through it.

 

fullsizeoutput_e9e

Rainbow Wave

Oil and Sand on Canvas

40 x 50 cms

 

I am so glad to see the warm sun again as was thinking my up coming exhibition was going to be too many shades of grey with only the blue light of a Scottish winter.

 

However grey is a very ‘on trend’ colour for interiors at the moment.

 

Hopefully the winter palette has hit the Zeitgeist as I have thoroughly enjoyed the subtleties and lessons of grey all winter.

 

Now a new colour phase begins …

 

A different palette – a light less filtered by clouds, by water in the atmosphere!

 

Long days to paint ON the beach

New adventures …

Excited!

 

 

 

NEXT EXHIBITION – SEA AND TH CITY, DUNDAS GALLERY, DUNDAS STREET, EDINBURGH

26 – 30 APRIL 2017. ALL WORK FOR SALE. Price on Application

 

Stay in touch here …..

(Link to my free creativity e-course below the first form …)

 

[ [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

How to Create Movement in Paintings

I often get asked – How do I create the feel of movement in my paintings?

So I thought I would attempt to write a ‘HOW TO’ blog!

 

How to create movement in a painting –

 

  • Keep your body and your eyes moving at all times. A key is not tightening your own body. A free neck equals a free arm equals a free painting! Alexander Technique in action – the other great love of my life!
  • Don’t sit and paint –  stand! Work at an easel not at a table.
  • Dynamic action, including making sure you are breathing and your free body movement, is revealed in the paint. Dance with the paint. Move your body and the paint will also move.
  • The paint is a vehicle for your thinking. Be quick in your decision making. Don’t over think it! Allow the next thought and the next to guide you with an urgency.
  • To create action in a physical object, such as a painting, let yourself just go for it! Art is a journey not a relaxation!
  • Paint fast. Action and activity again. Cover the white paper or canvas with paint as fast as you can. You WILL have a dynamic painting that way.
  • Connect your arms through your back all the way down to your feet. Each step of the painting is a step over your feet. Move your feet as you paint. Let the painting keep you on your toes!
  • Respond to the paint. Let the paint take you forward… now this colour, now a bigger brush stroke here … here and now, now here ….enjoy not knowing. Let yourself feel and flow your way forward.
  • Trust your intuition. Let the painting paint itself! Listen to inner guidance. It is there, I promise!
  • Fast sweeping brush strokes portray action. Use the whole arm not just the wrist and fingers.
  • Let the brush strokes do the work, don’t try and hide them. Each stroke is a gesture and therefore energetically loaded.
  • Let the brush stroke travel in the direction of the movement you are describing.
  • Throw and flick the paint at the canvas, allow random marks, the happy accident. It is a great technique for portraying movement – action painting.
  • Don’t worry about going wrong! That will slow you down and you will lose the dynamic movement. There is no wrong in your painting. How can it be wrong? YOU DID IT! It is a representation of your life force!
  • Paint big, so your artwork doesn’t get restricted by a small scale. Be bold, paint bigger than you have done before!
  • Don’t ‘worry’ the paint. Paint doesn’t like to be worried, it goes muddy. Paint likes to spread and flow, bleed and run, merge and blend, drip and spread. It likes to be trusted, not worried over!
  • Apply the paint with confidence.
  • And most of all, enjoy yourself. Let yourself get taken over by the activity of painting. Your present moment enjoyment WILL be revealed in the finished artwork whether you like it or not!

 

Hope that helps  : )

 

Bottoms up

SOLD

 

 

IMG_1305

SOLD

 

 

Even Field

SOLD

 

 

fullsizeoutput_e9a

‘The Moon Woke Me’

Current work

150 x 100 cm

To be exhibited at Dundas Gallery, Edinburgh in 26 – 30 April 2017.

POA

 

img_3316

Wind and Waves

120 x 100 cm

Current work

To be exhibited at Dundas Gallery in Edinburgh in 26 – 30 April 2017.

POA

120 x 100 cm

 

IMG_1285

 

The Race

Oil on Canvas

For Sale (click here.)

120 x 100 cm

 

fullsizeoutput_e9d

 

Forward

Oil on Canvas

80 x 100 cm

Currently available on website (click here)

 

  • Free creativity e-course link below(8 days of inspiration delivered into your inbox)
  • I am offering Skype tuition for artists or creatives who would like help finding a freer creative flow from the beginning of May. Email me for details.
  • Upcoming workshop tuition –   ‘Any Body Can Paint – Let Go Make Art’ at the Findhorn Foundation in September

Please contact me for more details …

kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

 

Diary of an Exhibition – I’m in Two Minds!

How come some days I paint well, easily, in the flow… some days I surprise myself and paintings show up, arrive into life and other days painting is clunky, the paint goes muddy, the image unformed, lack lustre?

 

I have been thinking about it as I am running out of time to paint this exhibition and this is what I have come up with… I recognise that it is when I am in two minds about something that art struggles!

 

I took yesterday afternoon off to stop and tune in to myself Alexander Technique style as carrying on painting rubbish is not an option!

 

We have our everyday habitual chitter chatter mind and we have inspiration, a higher state of conscious flow … (for want of a better description).

 

If there is something bothering me in my everyday thinking it clouds the inspirational mind, it clogs the flow … just as much as a sore neck might ruin the day, a nagging annoyance does so too, and if we keep ignoring the white noise of our chitter chatter we lose the flow and become uptight anyway!

 

We have to deal with stuff, and that takes courage!
The artist as warrior not worrier!

 

This is harder than we may think … it takes self awareness, listening skills, honesty, vulnerability, trust …

 

We dismiss the background noise as unimportant –
‘I am just being silly’ …
‘There is no need for me to get worked up by that nonsense’ …
‘It will go away if I ignore it!’.
‘So and so will think badly of me if I make a fuss!’ ….
‘I can’t decide whether it is a good idea or not … I am in two minds’

 

Yet it persists, like an annoying tune, the persistent irritation sticks in our head for days, it gets louder and more distracting, more disturbing …
The art, whatever the form it takes, does not come through as a clear signal …
We are trying to paint when the mental receiver is out of tune …
An old fashioned image, but we become like a radio picking up two radio stations at once, the thoughts of our two minds come in and out of focus …
It is exhausting, confusing and uninspiring …
I get grumpy when I am like this!

 

No wonder the poor paint gets muddy, the image ugly!

No wonder I can’t find completion of the piece!

 

Learning to paint, or any other creative endeavour, I truly believe calls for us to listen deeply, not only to our higher self but to the sometimes white noise, chalk on a black board, chitter chatter of our thinking.

 

When we become consciously aware of the background noise, we come into tune and can decide whether we want to listen to that station and respond accordingly or chose something else …

Now we have choice!

Now we have action!

 

When we truly listen to the everyday mind and get clear, then the inspirational mind seems to tune in and delight …
Creativity as one mind …
Yup, I don’t mind that … That is work in progress!

 

16806721_2122627467963552_7661983439696595977_n

 

‘Fire and Water’

Oil and Sand on Canvas
A little painting that arrived quickly, in he flow and took me by surprise!

 

Free Creativity course – link below ….

Diary of an Exhibition – Painting, Stress and Death

Somehow I have to find a way through the grinding pressure I am feeling today and get myself out into the cold and paint …

 

I don’t have – to I want to …

I have committed to paint an exhibition by the end of April …

It is a clear intention!

 

I can’t let blinding, distracting, deathly boring, unfulfilling, monstrous stress get in the way – all that pressure can F**K off!

There is plenty of everything, including time, and I am claiming it for art.

 

I remember after surgery nice people telling me I would be able to paint while I recovered. ‘You’re having a laugh’ I thought as I smiled sweetly back.

 

Painting in oils is not a polite activity, a genteel pursuit. It is demanding, grimy and difficult.

 

If you want to fast track to self awareness, warts and all, pick up a paintbrush and let it be your magical wand of transformation! I am not kidding, give it a go – paint!

 

Today I am simply tired, yet I have the space and time to paint. I have freedom to paint. It is a gift. All that is required is that I stretch my energetic direction and find the wave that will take me forward…

The flow thrown up by the sea that I can surf for the rest of the day without having to do any more than show up, be present, balance on the wave and allow ….

 

How difficult can that be?

 

Die stress!

I choose to paint … watch this space!

 

fullsizeoutput_e5d

‘Separated’

Oil and Sand on Canvas

 

 

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Despite Myself I Paint the Sea

Painting the sea … It all comes back to flow

 

This watery world we live in

Surrounded by water … in the air, the ground, our bodies …

Little Britain, our island

 

We are destroying our clean waters, our clean seas

We are destroying our bodies

Beguiling sea – you are destructive and dangerous … beautifully calm

 

The theme of the sea for art gets bigger, and more overwhelming, like the sea itself

 

Despite my fears and inadequacies I will paint the sea

Even the word ‘despite’ has it’s roots in water – spit, bile …

Green water, jealous of other artists brilliance …

Harmful thoughts, totally unhelpful

I fall over on the rocks, slip on the seaweed and jar my back thinking that thought!

 

Despite myself I paint the sea

The wave of my life has value too!

 

How to capture a wave, a drop in the ocean?

It feels impossible.

Wave upon wave as my arm freely swings up to the canvas

Brush reaching the shore of the image

A sweep of intention, of colour

Free like the sea

Or not?

Be the ocean not a rock!

 

The sea just keeps rolling in, flowing, does the sea get tired?

 

Each wave different, inspiring, gone …

Each wave like a heart beat … precious

Just show up … get up and go out to the cold studio …

Let the wave of desire for the sea roll over you and carry you forward

 

Despite myself I paint the sea …

 

 

16830883_2122628184630147_7979279794076618909_n

‘Morning Mood’

Oil and Sand on Canvas

8.5 x 10 inches (framed)

 

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Love on the Beach!

Love on the beach … What does that say to you?

 

Feeling high from the salt air and the great vibe

Eating fish and chips and ice-cream

Romantic images hand in hand

Your dog or kids going mental with joy

or

Sand in your smalls?

 

A few years ago it was sand all over my nearly completed oil painting …

 

Lucky, my darling dog at the time, ran up to me at high speed and sand skidded all over the image nearly obliterating it.

 

Disaster or a very happy accident?

 

Making art is often about the happy accident …

Turning disaster to your advantage …

Realising that perhaps there are no accidents.

 

So I have been having fun with sand in my smalls!

(My apologies,  I love a ‘Carry On’ type pun, British humour and all that!)

 

Here are some examples …

Small paintings that l I will be selling framed at £100 each at my exhibition.

Affordable works of original art …

I am loving painting these small paintings with sand.

 

Love on the beach!

 

16806721_2122627467963552_7661983439696595977_n

‘Fire and Water’

Oil and Sand on Canvas

8.5 x 10 inches

Framed

 

16938582_2127529284140037_2730418070752178003_n

‘The Sands are Shifting’

Oil and Sand on Canvas

8.5 x 10 inches

Framed

 

 

16830883_2122628184630147_7979279794076618909_n

‘Morning Mood’

Oil and Sand on Canvas

8.5 x 10 inches

Framed

 

16830899_2122634161296216_2697916171750807985_n

‘The Moon Cometh’

Oil and Sand on Canvas

8.5 x 10 inches

Framed

 

16807379_2122634094629556_4296411220026718026_n

‘Man and the Moon’

Oil and Sand on Canvas

8.5 x 10 inches

Framed

 

16807001_2122627841296848_6629291608100237664_n

‘Tidal’

Oil and Sand on Canvas

8.5 x 10 inches

Framed

 

fullsizeoutput_d42

‘Luminesence’

Oil and Sand on Canvas

8.5 x 10 inches

Framed

IMG_5660

 

The framing I am using …

 

(If you see anything you like please message me to reserve … all paintings currently for sale)

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Paint Over

 

‘Influence’

Oil on Canvas

80 x 100 cms

 

Yesterday I decided to look at old unresolved canvases and see if I could do a paint over.

 

This canvas has two under paintings – hidden ghosts.

 

First incarnation was a kind of fantasy landscape done about 3 years ago, with hare filled fields and hares flying in the sky! Um, no it did not work!

 

Paint over number two – I attempted turning the crazy green harescape into a seascape a few weeks ago, at the same time using up what ever old paint was on my palettes.

 

The result was no more landscape and the beginning of some sort of seascape, inspired by my trip to Catterline and visit to the Joan Eardley exhibition at Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.

 

I wanted texture and looseness. Old drying colour is good for getting lumps, bumps and crusty surfaces. I also threw sand onto some areas of the foreground.

 

The result was quite messy but with some interesting bits emerging.

 

I then dumped the painting in the pony field shelter and forgot all about it for weeks. I wanted it out of the way as there was a lot of paint on the surface and did not want to be breathing the fumes as they cured and had no idea how to proceed.

 

A couple of days ago I spotted the canvas again, amazed that Walter hadn’t knocked it over and trampled it under hoof. He is a very curious and fearless mini shetland pony! But obviously respects art! (Check out link –  Angus and Walt Horse Artists on FB!)

 

Yesterday I wondered if I could resolve the image.

 

I cut open the remains of a big tube of buff oil paint and decided to pull the image together with one colour whilst using up the dregs of paint.

Waste not want not …  So my granny told me!

 

Then I scratched into the paint and wiped away to reveal bits of the under painting and added a bit more colour and detail.

 

The result is a  textural surface and a fairly abstract image.

Today I feel happy with it.

Will I do more?

Who knows…

 

I am blogging about over painting as encouragement to not throw the crappy paintings away. You never know what they will become if you have the courage to do a seemingly destructive thing and paint over!

 

(The title – Influence – the moons influence over the sea and the tides in our bodies and our influence over each other, often positive, sometimes destructive.)

Postscript –

And then a couple of weeks later, I painted over it again – and it became this

fullsizeoutput_e73

 

‘The Old Man and the Sea’

The new title that came to me today

 

IMG_5899

Detail

IMG_5898

Detail

IMG_5901

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Releasing Art Flow

 

Releasing art flow

Muscles as water

I paint the sea and become the ocean

Body 70 percent water

Frozen body freeing to a flowing tidal wave of art

 

The heart my art

Muscles releasing – contracting to release again

Melting

Finally bouncing like the brush on the stretched canvas

 

Spring is springing

Warming my heart, earth

Love and art

 

Flexing art’s muscle

Tight or toned?

Held or free?

 

Lengthening muscles into the art

Releasing art muscle into the flow

The heart of all that is matter

 

Muscles flowing as spirals

Tight muscles tight art!

 

Long free ecstatic muscles flowing into art

Paint brush spiralling freely from my back

From the energising out breath

 

Loving the feel

The way I feel

A tidal wave through my body onto canvas

Energy in motion

Emotion

 

Given away, no expectation of return, just explored right now

I am free to dance the paint

Luxury …

 

fullsizeoutput_d4a

Egg Morning on the Beach

Oil on Canvas

40 x 50 cms

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Everyone Else is Taken

‘Sometimes there are Rainbows’

Oil on Canvas

40 x 50 cms

 

‘Be yourself everyone else is taken.’ Oscar Wilde

 

This is great advise for any artist and I found myself saying words to that effect out loud in the studio a couple of days ago.

‘This is MY painting’ I exclaimed!

 

The reason for my outburst was that other artists had got into my head and it was NOT helpful.

 

Looking at art is great, being inspired is fantastic, but when it comes down to it we need to turn up in the moment and be ourselves.

Just let go and make art!

How hard can that be?

 

So simple yet a work of conscious awareness.

 

I know when I am making art and when I am just making pictures – there is a difference, it is a lot to do with my thinking.

Am I right here right now responding to the colour and canvas?

Or am I interfering by ‘watching’ myself doing the painting, trying hard to do something good rather than simply enjoying painting, feeling it, being it, judgement and everything else suspended for now.

fullsizeoutput_d45

This painting caused the outburst ‘It is my painting!’ and that outburst was me claiming me.

The painting arrived.

I wanted to paint a rainbow seen at the beach at North Berwick on Sunday.

Could I paint a rainbow without it being naff or cutesy?

The title came too …

‘Sometimes there are Rainbows.’

 

Sometimes there are rainbows in our thinking …

In other words like the clouds, rain and sun that creates rainbows, a combinations of emotion, flow and energy creates gaps in our habitual thinking that allows something magical and unexpected to happen … rainbows out of the blue, delightful always.

This is a painting that seemed to paint itself because I got out of the way and let it happen.

No matter what we think of our creative results – these rainbow moments of surprise in our creativity methinks are to be honoured and cherished.

 

As Edgar Degas said

‘Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.’

 

*****

Try letting go to make art … just be you!

You might surprise yourself with some rainbow moments in your creative passion.

Find a link to a free 8 day based creativity e-course –  Let Go Make Art –  Link below.

Written to free up your creative thinking combining art and Alexander Technique. It’s fun …

Diary of an Exhibition – Not Good Enough for What?

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.’

Pablo Picasso

 

I have been struggling with that ‘not good enough’ habit!

A habit that I am convinced for many of us started at school when we were told, as some kind of weird encouragement, that our work was ‘not good enough’ or to ‘try harder.’

Words that for many of us result in instant neck tightening tension habits.

Can you feel tension or tightening right now if you think about being ‘not good enough’ or ‘trying harder’?

 

My up-coming exhibition in April is in the ‘best’ street in Edinburgh for art, the Edinburgh version of Cork Street in London, and because of this daft value judgement a nasty little insidious voice in me has been taunting –

 

‘Your work’s not good enough!’

‘Who do you think you are?’

‘You are going to make a giant fool of yourself.’…  and other horrible scary jibes.

 

Do you recognise any of these getting in the way of your art making fun, destroying your creativity?

 

So I have been asking the question – not good enough for what?

Not good enough to play with paint on canvas or paper?

Is that true?

Obviously NO!

NOT TRUE!

 

Little children don’t worry about paintings being ‘not good enough!’

It is when ‘grown ups’ start to teach them to ‘keep paint within the lines’ and ‘be neat not messy’ that the ‘not good enough’ starts to set in.

 

‘If you find a voice within you that says you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.’

Vincent Van Gogh

 

So my thought for silencing the ‘not good enough’ habit is to paint paint paint …

Cover canvas as fast as I can …

Any way I like …

Music on, dancing with colour …

Playing with feel and pressure of brush stroke …

That is all …

Like a child!

 

Picasso again ….

‘It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.’

 

To paint like a child!

 

Art is a worthwhile journey – we can get out of our own way, let go of thinking habits that do not serve us and paint like a child.

Simple joy!

So easy and yet so challenging with our ego based comparative habits rearing there ugly little heads and ruining the fun.

 

So my question now, when I hear that creepy ‘not good enough’ thought form, is to ask the rebellious childlike question – Not good enough for what?!

 

****

photo – Yes, I am a very messy painter!

Hmmm, good enough or not good enough? Who cares! It is the way I work! : )

 

Perhaps you would like to try me free Alexander Technique inspired 8 day creativity e-course? It’s fun. Link below …

Diary of an Exhibition – Stealing Clouds

‘Good artist copy, great artists steal!’
Pablo Picasso

 

I want to steal the clouds, capture them, own them, trap them on canvas …
I am obsessed by clouds.

 

My friend it turns out is jealous …

‘I wish the the clouds did it for me like they do it for you. I don’t even notice them.’

 

There was silence between us for a while as we drove along contemplating each others experience of life – mine wowing and ooo-ing at the clouds, each journey or day experienced through the sky, her assurance that most people don’t bother noticing!

 

It is my new obsession … to learn to paint the clouds … and my head has felt cloudy and foggy for days thinking unhelpful thoughts such as I don’t know how to do this … how is it even possible …how on earth can I express what I feel and see?

 

I must let go of any thoughts about not good enough for how can the clouds be wrong – they are all about change.
Time for me to change my thinking …

 

So I think about Picasso’s wisdom – “Good artists copy, great artists steal!’

 

I will learn to steal the clouds –

 

  • Learn the rules and tricks of the cloud painting, such as clouds get smaller as they get further away – a great metaphor!
  • Look at artists I admire and study them …
  • Take even more photographs …
  • Be grateful for cloudy old steely wintry Scotland …
  • Draw little cloud thumbnails from my kitchen window, set up a mini kitchen studio today for gathering morning clouds.
  • Play and play with the clouds in paint
  • Think up up up – head in the clouds, feet on the ground, heart open – stay free! It follows the art will freely billow in like a fantastic clouds formation too!

 

When I expressed my cloudy thinking and doubts about my ability to paint the clouds a dancer friend suggested I reread my own free creativity e-course – Let Go Make Art! That it would unblock me as it had unblocked her. I love my friends who won’t let me get away with foggy thinking! (link below)

 

I know what I want – a clear intention is a good start.

 

I am on a cloud stealing mission …
I will be like an art thief planing to steal a masterpiece …
Strategising, preparing, pouring over books and plans, trying out different versions until I have the perfect crime …

Despicable me I am planning to steal the clouds!

Diary of an Exhibition – Abandoned

 

‘Art is never finished only ever abandoned’

Leonardo da Vinci

 

Last week I revisited abandoned paintings …

Paintings that hadn’t been resolved but had something going for them that was worth a relook.

 

A week of attempting to reconnect and find resolution with abandoned ideas.

 

Sometimes we all need time to restock, reboot and recharge – paintings are like that too.

 

Time gives us a perspective and a fresh eye on things.

 

I have another theory about time and paintings – that paintings ‘gather energy’ over time. The more that they are looked at and appreciated the more alive they become. It is a long standing thought and although it sounds vaguely bonkers, I believe it is in alignment with current theories in quantum physics. Who knew?!

 

fullsizeoutput_cb5

‘Rising Tide’ Oil on Canvas, 80 x 100 cms

 

My paintings of horses gathering dust not energy in the studio – reconnected with, more energy added, possibly to be abandoned again or more time spent together?

 

I am thinking about sea horses, attempting to add a feel of this element to the work –  big breakers seen last weekend  –  wave upon wave of power, force, rythm,flow …

 

Standing on the beach looking out for the really big wave to come rolling in, waiting for it, the breakthrough.

 

The sea horses are a bit of a side track from pure seascape.

However it’s a good studio discipline, attempting to resolve everything started.

Learn the lessons to break through to something new.

 

Each separate one a relationship, a dialogue and a journey with a possible surprise, a happy ending, a resolution in store.

 

Sometimes it takes months, even years to find resolution.

Other paintings arriving quickly and seamlessly, barely remembered … The ease a result of the journey, struggle and time spent on the abandoned works in progress …

 

(Incidentally, discovered if the temperature is cold enough in studio the oils have no fumes, Scotland in Winter!)

 

fullsizeoutput_cc9

‘See Horses’ Oil on Canvas, 80 x 100 cms

 

fullsizeoutput_cdb

detail

 

fullsizeoutput_ce0

 

‘Wave upon Wave’ Oil on Canvas, 100 x 120 cms

 

IMG_4668

detail

 

 

 

Diary of an Exhibition – The Joy of Stuff and Clutter

Diary of an Exhibition – The Joy of Stuff and Clutter

 

The last couple of days  I have been thinking I want to write something about the joy of clutter and stuff, in response to the many articles around that are advocating clearing out and living in empty spaces as some kind of new years resolution!

 

I am an artist  – I make stuff!

Stuff to last into the future, hopefully investments into and for the future.

 

I love rummaging in charity shops and car boot sales finding interesting and inspiring stuff…

My philosophy is that all my stuff is only ever borrowed, loaned to me for a while, until it finds another home either in my lifetime or after I die  …. so why not enjoy your stuff while you are here, instead of feeling like you are less spiritual or less evolved than those who have fengshui-ed their environment to live in a white space!

 

Lovely – give me your white space to fill with paintings!

 

Stuff and clutter are ideas made manifest, mine or other peoples … how wonderful!

 

fullsizeoutput_c38

 

I want to live a life where ideas are inspiring me on a daily basis, not one that is sanitised and empty …

 

Nature abhors a vacuum anyway … Bring on the stuff and clutter!

 

Buy it … make it … enjoy it … give it away … sell it … give to charity shops … support other peoples needs …buy some more … let the stuff and clutter flow … transform it .. up-cycle it … recycle it… it has a life force too!

 

Enriching, enlivening, enjoyable stuff!

 

One of the interests I have in my painting is how to make a busy surface unified …

Creating chaos and clutter is part of the process  of finding the image, the way forward…

 

The painting surfaces are full of stuff … paint stuff, pigments from all over the world –

scratched and dabbed

scumbled and brushed

flicked and poured

applied in impasto smears with a palette knife or finger or back of a fist

 

I am having fun playing with stuff, making stuff, creating stuff, making a mess and making some kind of order at the same time.

 

Anyhow there are only 2 ways to make a living either

  • create something – make more clutter and stuff in the world
  • provide a service

I do both, I make stuff and I teach Alexander Technique.

 

But back to stuff and clutter –

 

For a start an artist can NEVER have enough brushes  – bring on the clutter, bring on the brushes!

Make me joyful and buy me brushes, any shape or size or quality will do, they all have

stories to tell!

fullsizeoutput_c36

 

The word clutter, comes from the medieval root word clot as in blood clot …

 

Clutter and flow belong together, they are linked!

 

Paint in a tube or even squeezed onto a palette is like a clot waiting to flow…

Add enough medium and it will flow …

The medium is your intention, your thinking, your action plus water or other carriers …

 

Your blood life force energy, your heart, is revealed in your painting.

I learned that in Japan – the more present you are the more present your paining is.

‘Unclotting’ a painting has nothing to do with physical stuff and clutter and everything to do with present attention.

Can you be present despite …. ? Despite a less than pristine clutter free environment .. despite ideas about perfection?

 

I guess everything comes back to water in the end …  A blog about clutter and stuff and I am thinking about water … the carrier of my watery ‘un – formed’ feeling onto paper and canvas … manifesting seascapes …

 

Today a day of creating more clutter and stuff for the world  – I set my intention to paint small seascapes in gouache and acrylic paint.

Minimalistic clutter free living?

No thanks, I am going to paint!

 

img_4127

Detail – ‘Energy Vortex at Sea’ Oil on Canvas, 100 x 120 cm

 

fullsizeoutput_c3c

 

‘Energy Vortex at Sea’ Oil on Canvas, 100 x 120 cm

 

Diary of an Exhibition – A Line in the Sand

 

A day at the the beach

Walking the spine

Drawing a line in the sand

Sea air

Waves

Shifts in energy patterns

 

I have been looking at the wave patterns on the beach seeing bodies … body consciousness … body maps on the beach …

 

I am lying in semi-supine a lot

Coming back to my back

For inspiration, release, rest, renewal and because it is cold and dark and winter and my Alexander Technique table is warm and rejuvenating

I can imagine lying on a warm beach, letting go, feeling good …

 

When I lie in semi supine, my realising muscles let go like grains of shifting sand, changing my perceptions and my feel …

 

Waves of my breath and the waves of my thinking effecting my muscles

Allowing change …

Expansion …

Allowing shifts in form and consciousness …

 

There is time to find freedom …

 

fullsizeoutput_c01

Angels, dancing being

fullsizeoutput_bfb

Ribs, a spine, connective tissue…

fullsizeoutput_c05

Female forms, a circle dance, rhythms

 

fullsizeoutput_bfe

The embrace – a madonna and child

 

fullsizeoutput_c08

Walking the ribcage..

Diary of an Exhibition – When you are Dead…

When you are an artist people regularly joke ‘You will be rich when you are dead’ or

‘I have to wait until you die, then my painting will be worth a fortune!’

 

Is there any other job where folk anticipate your death for monetary gain, even if it is in a jocular fashion. I guess it is quite flattering really!

 

I painted this seascape today, in oils, wearing my new vapour mask, and my lungs still hurt.

 

I don’t know whether it is spending the day breathing in condensation from the inside of the mask, or the fact that it is practically impossible to completely avoid fumes in the course of a day, but I realise that I have to STOP painting in oils.

 

It’s 33 years since art college and I have painted hundreds and hundreds of oil paintings. I can’t say I haven’t followed through. I have. But enough is enough..

I get the message…

NO MORE FUMES or it will be an earlier than necessary demise for me and all the jokers will be cashing in!

 

I didn’t expect this blog to turn into some sort of bad soap opera…. but there it is, my apologies!

 

I accept that the time has come to give up being an ‘oilpaintaholic’  and I want to swear a lot about it!

 

Going to battle with oil paints and brush has been challenging, exciting, interesting and fun and oil painting has been my love but I get the message…STOP HURTING YOURSELF!

 

So, if you own one of my oil paintings….look after it!

Looks like there’s not going to be any more!

 

One door closes, another door opens…

 

fullsizeoutput_bf5

‘Sea Air’

50 x 60 cms

Oil on Canvas

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Ego Gets In The Way

I have had the intention of writing a follow up to my free creativity e-course experiment – Any Body Can Paint, whilst working towards my exhibition. It has been bubbling under the surface.

 

On Monday i decided to get up early, 5am, and wait for daylight 8am, to go into the studio to be brilliant! Yes rational behaviour on a freezing cold late November morning I know…..but I was excited as my new water soluble oil paints had arrived.

 

Things did NOT go according to plan AT ALL!

The water soluble oil paints do NOT behave like ordinary oil paints. I couldn’t work them…

The paints are NOT odourless, they had a horrible smell that made me feel distinctly queasy..

and my feet got freezing cold – mid winter Scotland, unheated studio – durr!

 

I was back in the house by 10am feeling miserable as sin and wondering what on earth am I doing?

I climbed back into bed to get warm and watched art documentaries on I-player, feeling really unwell – big sob for the suffering artist!

Later i lay in Alexander Technique semi-supine on my fabulous new infrared heat mat, a gift from a pupil.

The thought came to me  to doodle with no need of the end result…no ego… not to make anything finished…. just play….just dream a bit on paper…

 

More semi supine….the infrared heat is great

More doodling….

and looking at this photo of sand… meditating on the way it looks a bit brain-like…

The way it shows tide and flow, yet is not regular…

 

Gradually I was gettng in a better mood…

I had returned to present moment, present time….not ego time!

fullsizeoutput_b76

 

And then it struck me – a great big light bulb moment!

I was going through the process I want to teach in my body of art –  Alexander Technique and Art book.

Meeting my ego, my frustration, my resistance, my judgement, my desire to be good, failing…and working my way through it…

 

I have been typing furiously ever since and have got the first chapter and an outline of the book sketched out….

 

Art has a funny way of teaching us…

Showing up to paint is facing yourself in many unexpected ways.

My ego got in the way because I was excited to paint another big painting, to repeat the fun I had with ‘Wind and Sea’.

Trying to repeat something NEVER works.

‘Wind and Sea’ arrived out of the moment.

 

Somehow we have to bring ourselves fresh to each canvas and sometimes we get in the way by thinking it is going to flow in a certain way at a certain time.

By trying to control the outcome…

My outcome for Monday was unexpected and exciting and absolutely NOT what I thought it was going to be!

 

(Yesterday my new vapour mask  arrived so I can get the PROPER oils out

again! Yippee!

 

)img_3312

‘Wind and Sea’

Oil on Canvas

122 x 92 cms

Diary of an Exhibition – Boundaries

 

The incident of the mask has made me think about boundaries

I thought I had a strong boundary in place by wearing a mask

Yet I still got hurt…

 

How often do I think my boundaries are strong when they are not?

How often do I think I am doing the right thing but in reality I am doing it in the wrong way?

How do I know?

 

Wise friends are needed

Filters on reality…

 

The shore is a boundary

The boundary shifts with the tide

Out and in breathing the moon

Eternal rhythm washing

The boundary can be shallow deep

Cold warm

Safe dangerous

Harsh gentle

Undercurrents pull

Storms bring debris and treasures

 

The boundary between life and death

Breath

Breathe the wind

 

My dad died this year and sometimes I feel like I am drowning

 

I have time

Let go

Allow feel again

Oceanic

Boundary less

Formless

Flow

 

Trust depth breath thought … the direction of the tide

Go go go, float away, let go … be brave – glide

The water is too cold for me to swim!

 

Once I was held upside down in water

I drowned and was reborn

My body flowed like never before

I was grateful to be guided there

The water was warm

I loved the people who showed me the water

 

Little by little I let go

The sea helps

 

I chose to paint the place where sea meets land

To really see the edge of the world

My island

 

Painters paint not because they want to

But because they have to

To understand

It sounds pretentious right? But it is true

Why would you do it other wise?

 

‘Painting is with me but another word for feeling.’ John Constable

 

img_3316

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Flow is a Wavy Line

Diary of an Exhibition – Flow is a Wavy Line

 

I walked on the beach yesterday thinking about painting seascapes and really hoping the sea air would clear my lungs

I was in a great flow of painting these last two weeks, then I messed up my lungs by having the wrong filter in the mask
A high followed by a low
Flow disrupted

 

But it has got me thinking about breathing again – to breathe, to be inspired

 

Inspiration
Breath
Tides
Flow
Wind
Waves
Seascapes

 

Breathe out, breathe out, breathe out, let go….
I have been doing lots of Alexander Technique whispered ah’s and it has helped a lot

 

I started to think about flow as a wavy line, the ups and downs of it
Flow is certainly not linear
Trying to control flow doesn’t work (well not for me)
But in such a linear wold it is easy to forget that, and bang our head against a hard wall

 

Flow, as in inspiration, being in the flow and letting artwork flow, just happens…
Like breathing
We don’t have to think about every breath
Yet we can bring our breath under our conscious control

 

Painting or drawing is like that
We make a conscious decision to show up to paint
To organise the art materials
To be present
Yet we don’t have to think about every brush stroke
We can let it flow
Not know where the next line is gong to go to
Be surprised by the journey of hand and eye on paper or canvas
Arrive at a new place, a new painting

 

Breathe and draw
Breathe and flow
Breathe and be delighted

 

Moments in time
Lines
Moments of breath
Inspiration

 

Flow surprises us
Flow is changeable
Ever changing
Limitless…

 

Flow is shifting and shifts
Present moment present time
Flow is present to oneself and more
Flow is getting out of the way
Flow allows…

 

Flow is a gift
Whispers of intuition
Barely heard ideas murmmering in the back of our mind take us there
Ignoring what comes in as intuition on the breath stops or limits the flow
When flow arrives it feels great
Flow is timeless
Flow is unpredictable
Flow is interesting
Flow cannot be contained…

fullsizeoutput_b75

‘Flow take me over and bring grace’ – a prayer, a meditation….

 

I visited the bridge in the sea yesterday
The starting place for this exhibition
The tide was out again
I will keep going back until the tide is in…

 

Breathe out, breathe out, breathe out, the tide is out
Just keep breathing out
Allow it out
Take your time
Release slowly, softly, calmly, consciously
Waves come in groups of seven I believe… the seventh wave the biggest…
Breathe out…the in breath will simply flow in

 

Someone had graffited a message onto the bridge
Scrawled the words EASY on it’s structure

 

Flow is easy
Yet finding flow can seem tricky
In reality it is never more than a few breaths away
Maybe it is always there, just our perception is clouded, our breath held, fear masking the flow… breathing can be the bridge…

 

Flow and courage
A brave heart to be that vulnerable
Breath massages the heart

 

This week I chose not to worry or nag the flow but to let it take me….
Breathing my heart

A few conscious inspired out breaths are all I need to bring to the drawing board
Awakening tides
Awakening the feel
Awakening drawings with my breath
Drawing breath

 

Let flow take me up or down, into light or shade, let flow be a wavy line
A wavering line
Uncertainty is Ok

Trust
Breathe
Show up

 

This week I choose to flow into drawing with no expectation of outcome, which is just as well as I have only ever painted the sea in oils so far…

‘Forward and up and over the bridge’….
A title for a painting perhaps

 

For more about breath and inspiration CLICK HEREimg_3650

Diary of an Exhibition – Vapours, The Incident of the Mask!

Diary of an Exhibition – Vapours, The Incident of the Mask

 

GOOD NEWS! I am more an idiot than a lunatic!

 

Turns out that the mask I have been wearing had a dust filter and not a vapour filter in it! Who knew? Not me!

 

But my brilliant 80 year old retired biochemist friend, listened to my woes and thought something was odd, so took down the details, researched the mask and told me of my mistake.

 

No wonder my lungs have been hurting!

An artist with the vapours, Victorian melodrama scenario, light headed damsel in distress. and my very own Miss Marple… plot solved.

 

However, I AM going to experiment with other mediums for a while, and a couple of wonderful folk have pointed me in the direction of water soluble oil paints which I have NEVER tried. So something new waiting to be discovered.

 

I have been thinking about relationships – lungs, air, the sea, breathing, waves, Alexander Technique, wind, form… and getting ideas for paintings. So am turning a depressing blip of a few days into something positive in my mental sketchbook.

 

Meantime AHA, the incident of the mask over and note to self lots of Whispered AHHHHH’s – releasing out breaths to clear my lungs deeply.

 

I keep mentioning the whispered ah – if you want to find out more and why the school kids I teach call them ‘get out of jail free cards’…Click here

 

to a go to media download BREATHE, lessons in the Alexander Technique

 

Today am feeling a huge sigh of relief and blessed to have the Alexander Technique and clever problem solving caring friends in my life!

 

 

img_3601

 

Detail from ‘Luna Sea’

Oil on Canvas

80 x 100 cms

 

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Luna Sea

Diary of an Exhibition – Luna Sea

 

A grumpy two days of thinking oils and me are OVER! Not because I am not totally in love with oils, but because my lungs don’t like them anymore

 

This morning I decided to go into the studio and pack my oil paints away for now and let the atmosphere detox

The drying paintings can be locked into a contained space where the door can stay firmly shut until they have dried out!

 

I couldn’t help it…. once I was in there I just had to attempt to finish the painting started 2 days ago ‘Luna Sea’, painted over the couple of days of this super moon

 

A girl can’t help herself….Oil paint addict or something?

 

Here it is unfinished and finished

Waves and wind and rain

 

They photographs look like 2 different paintings, begging the question is a painting a physical object or in this digital era just an image?

 

I HAVE packed my paints up for now, to let my lungs recover, and am sitting wondering how to move forward with my seascape exhibition

 

Draw, draw, draw – the anatomy of a wave – seems to be the answer

 

I have no idea what kind of drawings I will make or what they will look like but it will be interesting to get clearer about the anatomy, if that is the right word, of wave energy, chaos or structure?

 

So that when I have a sneaky paint in oils sometime in the future….

 

img_3571

unfinished

 

img_3603

‘Luna Sea’

Oil on Canvas

80 x 100 cms

Diary of an Exhibition – Lunatic

Diary of an Exhibition – Lunatic

 

I have been busy – painting like a crazy loon

Well it is a super lune

Super moon

 

This painting has been hanging around my studio all summer – unfinished, unsure how I was going to move forward with it…

 

Today I started working on a seascape and as I did my usual, madly attempt to cover the white canvas as quickly as possible, I had an idea to work on this canvas too. That the super moon had awoken a new horse power….sea charged!

 

As I painted the words ‘The Moon Woke Me’ rattled around my head, a title…

 

img_3564

img_3563

img_3562

‘The Moon Woke Me’

Oil on Canvas

152 x 100 cms

 

 

img_3565

(detail)

 

It is a huge painting…

 

Then I went back to the seascape… thinking about how the moon affects the sea, affects bodies, waves of energy emerging and subsiding..

Wishing I lived closer to the sea to go there tonight..

 

 

img_3571

Oil on Canvas 100 x 80 cms – unfinished (?)

 

So why lunatic?

Because my lungs hurt, even though I have been wearing the crazy spectacle steaming mask!

 

I feel like an utter crazy lunatic – a super loon indeed!

 

I know I have breathed too many fumes from oil paint over 30 years of painting

I am sensitive to the fumes…. worse luck!

Yet because I love oil paint best, like a loony, I persist for it’s feel

 

I am feeling mega cheesed off and wheezy

Maybe the super moon is illuminating my super stupidity!

 

So tonight I keep going outside to breathe fresh air, working my lungs, hoping for the prickly feeling to GO AWAY!

 

Lots of Alexander Technique Whispered Ah’s…..

Waves of life

Breathe out, breathe out,  breathe out – let go…

Allow the fresh and new in…

 

And out there – not a super moon in sight

Just a dank dark cloudy Scottish night and a lunatic stubborn artist who probably had better give up oil paints!

 

So, what happens next? I don’t know…A new moon!?

 

But one way or another, I am going to have to pack up my oils for now, to clear out the gunk of fumes that is hurting me and experiment with other mediums for a while…

 

(William Blake has come into my life in weird ways twice in two days – so maybe it’s a signpost forward… Time to look at William Blake again… I love his work… tomorrow….)

 

 

 

 

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Lost Moments in Paint

Diary of an Exhibition – Lost Moments in Paint

 

As soon as you start a painting it becomes an attempt to find resolution to a problem

An ending
A visual solution

An idea unformed trying to find form
Each start is a commitment to the relationship
You are undertaking a journey
There is no turning back

 

The dialogue between colour and canvas, paint brush and intention

 

It’s no good stopping a painting before it is finished, no matter how hard the journey

If, by it’s completion, it is not your best painting, there are lessons to be learned

The next one will be better

 

I love oil paint because along the way you can change, change, change
Oil paint allows change in a way no other medium does

 

However lost moments in oil paint are the result
Sad sacrifices
Brave goodbyes (hankie moment coming up – sob sob..)

 

These images are some of the lost moments this week
Paintings that have emerged briefly

Moments of thought

Moments of almost resolution
The paintings that lie beneath are waiting to emerge another day
Glimpses of potential

 

I learned a word this week form my singer songwriter friend Woodstock Taylor – palimpsest
– a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed
– something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form

 

These images are some of the painting that lies underneath

 

img_3349

The painting hidden within my paintings this week

 

img_3300

 

The moments that existed – were enjoyed and now are gone

 

img_3341

 

Paintings surfacing briefly now hidden under the surface

 

img_3330

img_3352
Thank goodness for a camera!

 

The sacrificed teaches – You have got to be brave, be prepared to lose and still move forward

You have to be prepared to change
So, my palimpsest paintings are starting places for the next paintings to be made

 

Ideas to come back to and reclaim

Diary of an Exhibition – Triptych

 

 

img_3436

 

40 x 40 cms

 

 

img_3434

40 x 40 cms

 

img_3435

40 x 40 cms

 

 

 

img_3437

 

‘Hope at Sea’

by Kirsten Harris

Triptych 120 x 40 cms

Oil on Canvas

 

I woke up this morning brooding on my triptych and whether I could resolve the problem of bridging the three images or not…
So I have been working on it…

 

The painting needs to dry now, the oil is so thick it is becoming unworkable and then I will decide if I have made 3 separate paintings or a triptych.

 

Hanging them on a big wall with space between each picture is the next step when the paint dries. But I am happy to leave the painting alone for now, and maybe I will decide it is complete.

 

 

 

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Triptych or Not?

I have been working on a triptych

 

The triptych started colourfully but the snowy light of the day seemed to influence the paint robbing the colour to a more subtle scheme

 

A triptych – 3 individual paintings becoming one

They have to work alone and together

 

I started to think of the painting in terms of relationship

 

Me

You

And the thing between us – the relationship

 

Alone and connected, all of us

 

The thing between, in this case the middle painting, has to connect from both sides and make sense of the other paintings

The middle painting is a bridge

From one place to another

 

With this thought the painting started to develop a narrative…

 

Two boats on the horizon

The viewer is seperated

Hope lies far out to sea…

 

A heavy cloud has gathered over the small boats

Light is needed

A way to reach the boats…

 

The boats are alone

Connected only by waves and sky

Are the boats going away or coming towards?

 

img_3422

 

 

img_3422

 

img_3420

 

For me, the painting works as 3 individual images

 

Do I stop here?

Or sacrifice the individual to make a cohesive whole?

Is it possible in this painting?

 

Finishing a painting is a little bit like correcting spelling mistakes and punctuation in a piece of writing

It doesn’t necessarily need much to bring it all together

To make sense of the structure

But often we need to look for a long time to find the missing comma

The missing brush stroke

 

Finishing a painting is finding a full stop.

 

Perhaps the full stop for now is the separated triptych

The bridge may not be possible in this work this time

A problem to solve another day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Mask

Diary of an Exhibition – Mask

 

I allow myself to fail…. it’s a good strategy for success with oil paint, oil paint allows change

I am wearing a mask in the studio thinking about choices

Wear the mask and paint, or chose another medium?

I love to paint in oils

 

So today I chose to paint, and I will paint big and go for it

 

I will put my mask on and paint for the day….I will be disciplined and not breathe in any fumes

 

Painting the sea, I decide that it is easier to paint form than the formless

Painting the sea and the wind and the feeling of the beach is a challenge

Painting a horse or a lion feels easier

I stand at my easel and stay with it

 

The job is to feel – feel the movement, feel the space, feel the wind, feel myself there

A photograph is always going to be 2d and flat, no matter how beautiful

A painting has a chance of expressing something of the multi dimensional experience of being on the beach

Painting might seem old hat, but it does it for me!

 

When painting, it is best not to judge the progress of the painting

Stay present to every brush mark

Be in the painting

 

I am painting a large seascape

Evoking the beach

Disciplined about wearing my mask

The day is cold and sunny and bright, the door is open

Maisie dog is being undemanding

 

I woke this morning thinking about chalk pastels

The perfect medium to take to the beach

Instant colour

A solution for sketching

I am happy with that thought

 

I must make every brush mark count today

I can’t afford to waste my lungs –  too many years painting in oils and breathing in toxic fumes

Now I have to limit the amount of oil paintings I make

 

Today I painted the sea

 

img_3312

 

Wind and Sea

Oil on Canvas

80 x 100 cms

 

 

 

img_3306

Tools of the trade

The aftermath

I am a very messy painter!

 

 

Diary of an Exhibition – Chasing Light

Diary of an Exhibition – Chasing Light – Day 2

 

I am chasing light

Obsessed with clouds

Tormented by the sky

 

I visited the bridge again today

The tide was out

 

Driving towards him  – a weather front

Torrential rain for the last few miles

But I could see clear sky in the direction of the bridge

I was excited

 

These are painterly clouds

 

The stream was bigger today, much bigger

She had a new energy, the rain had filled her

 

I painted the bridge before I left for the sea, getting to know him

He interested me more than I thought he would

I thought I would be scared of his structure, but I am not

Though I don’t yet know how to describe him

 

The oil sketch was terrible

My lungs started to hurt even though I was wearing a mask

I think the culprit was a ‘fast drying white oil paint’

I have thrown it away

 

But I have started

Better to start than to be scared of starting

Scared of making a fool of oneself

Who cares about that – only me –  and that is a hindrance

Let it go – be the fool

 

There were more rainbows over the sea today

I ran towards them

 

I took many photographs and wondered why I would need to paint

But a photograph is always inadequate

The grandeur is lost

No-one would chose a photograph over a Turner sea, a Constable sky…

 

The sky and sea of the last two days –  the paintings of August Strindberg

 

Homeward a grey sky with greyer pig clouds – they really did look like pigs, lots of them

Should I just continue painting animals?

i can paint animals!

Why am I wanting to paint the ethereal…the not there?

 

The sky is incredible today

The sky has wow factor

 

A giant leopard sky accompanied me home across the moor stretching her orange light body across the horizon, small clouds her spots

A horse appears next to the moon

The sky is mocking me

I should be painting animals

Another doubt thought

Who am I kidding.. wanting to paint like the great masters of paint

 

An expanding circular rainbow opens around the crescent moon lighting a lonely hill… Samuel Palmer would know how to paint this mystical, yet very British landscape..

I want to paint the night

 

Paintings in words

 

I had a strange vision of light and colour at the harbour

Steely graphite grey sea contained by the harbour wall

A richer deeper coloured sea beyond the limitations

I have set myself up to fail

Is it safe to leave the harbour?

The sea is rough

 

A moored red fishing boat

The horizon turns pink

Singing steel grey and pink – it’s a great look

The harbour sucks in the pink light energy

The rose tinted ease of sunset glows

The enclosure is suddenly circled by a large flight of spiralling white gulls

A painted vortex of light moving

Everything will be alright

Hunger is making me strangely visionary

 

It changes fast

It all changes too fast

 

I am questioning mediums…

My love is oils

How can I paint an entire exhibition in oils if my lungs hurt after an hour?

 

A painting is an object as well as an image

My lungs object to oils!

What kind of object am I making?

 

 

 

Diary of an Exhibition – The Bridge in the Sea

Diary of an Exhibition – Day 1

The Bridge in the Sea

 

A bridge on a beach crosses a stream
When the tide comes in the stream is immersed by the sea
The bridge is stranded in the middle of the ocean
No one can cross to him
He is useless… a bridge from nowhere to nowhere

 

Little stream flowing out to sea, you will become changed forever
You will become salty

 

Today the bridge is useful –
A crossing place from one shifting sand to another
A connector

 

The tide rises and the stream disappears
The little stream is consumed by an energy bigger than herself
There is nothing she can do
She merges and becomes one with the sea
She hasn’t reached her destination but the sea has claimed her

 

Is she lost?

 

Incoming sea,  my emotions rise high, I too must wait
There is no bridge for me
The bridge is unreachable

I am at sea
Wait for the tide to go out, there is nothing to do
Wait –  the flow of the little stream will reappear
Trust

 

Little stream will you take me forward into my flow?

Now you are here again… up and over the bridge I can go

 

Up and over the bridge…a whisper to my ankles… up and over the bridge… a whisper to my legs …. up and over the bridge….my hips… many bridges…

 

The tide has risen, there is nothing to do, be present
I cannot swim out to you I will drown
The current will consume me

 

There is nowhere for me to be but here alone

 

The winter’s night is long
Only the ocean is available
Merge and become one
I have done it before

 

The stream has been eaten by the tide
The sea has devoured her
She has lost her own path
Her course is invisible
She accepts and waits

 

The moon pushes and pulls
Days and nights will pass
The tide comes in, the tide goes out
I breathe… I must remember to breathe
Ahhhh… I whisper to the wind
Arghhh… the wind screams back
The gust is so strong, but the stream is not altered

 

I look to you, the bridge in the sea today
You with your strange metaphors
A bridge from this non place to that non place
My unmade image is in the ocean, my seascape
Help me bridge!
You are solid and structured, but strange too

 

When the tide comes in – you bridge the present invisible
When the tide is out –  you bridge the flow

 

I cannot see the flow but it is here
I wait for my flow to emerge thinking the wind
Little stream I am here…waiting for YOU
I know YOU will appear

 

I am lost staring out

The sea of uncertain change becomes a dark streak of power on the horizon
I watch white horses
I want to capture the power you have over me, but I know I never can
I am awash with choppy emotions
I will paint you to the best of my ability
It is all I can do

 

You are a very little stream but you seem confident and tireless
You are strong resolute bridge for such a little stream…the sea must really bash you up sometimes

 

My paintbrush you are a bridge
My intention another bridge

Today we are separated – the sea, the paint, the desire

 

I am clear I will paint seascapes all winter…and the spring will come again
I will paint the colour of love into the captured tide….I will let you obsess me

No-one can help me to the other side…the painting done

 

The tide goes out at a certain time, there is a rhythm to it
I paint, but I can only paint at certain times… there is a rhythm to that too…time….wait for me…I need you

 

Today I visited the bridge in the sea
The wind was high and cold
Exhilarating and freezing
The tide was out
The bridge let me glimpse the stream below to pass to the other side

I visited the sea who had pulled away from the shore
I was glad

 

The wind was in control of the day

 

‘I am here and I want to paint!’ I said
‘NO!’ said the wind ‘You may not!’
You can not capture the sea today
I am too strong for you
My force is penetrating
I will blow you away
You who are nothing’

 

 

 

 

 

View from my Studio

Moon Beach

Ruby Bay

Landscape

Seascape