Thursday, September 30, 2010

Three Graces - 83

started work on the gravestones today. I'm purposefully hanging back on finishing this too soon because I'm exhibiting all next week and I usually demonstrate what I do whilst I'm there.Meanwhile, I'll also be working on sketches for the idea I had whilst walking the other week!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Three Graces - 83

I'm now moving into the final few days of work on this. today I penciled in the details for the Space Shuttle's wings which I will finish once I've added in the gravestones. I added more detail to the maids face and costume and developed shades on the centre Grace.

On the kitten front: both surviving kittens are feeding well.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wilba does it again!

 So...I took a break in my work to come downstairs to make a cup of tea...whilst the kettle boiled and I munched on a biscuit, I went into the front room to take a look out onto the street...however, there upon the sofa was Wilba cleaning two new born kittens! I knew she was pregnant, but the sooness surprised me. I then went into the back room to find the phone and let Jan know. but as I entered the room, I became aware of a mewing sound coming from somewhere behind the dining table. I investigated and found another kitten...I picked it up and oticed it had no tail.Wilba is a Manx cat, the most notable feature of it's breed is the oftenn lack of tail.I took the kitten and returned it to it's mum where it began to feed. If I'd not taken a break just then, the kitten would have quickly lost it's heat and died!

Of the other two, I was extremely concerned to see that Wilba had not yet severed the umbilical cord to one of them. however on closer inspection it became apparent that the poor little mite had been born with it's intestines on the outside of it's body.The kitten was not moving and sadly soon died. I felt so helpless.

Wilba is now at home in the box (above) with her two surviving kitties.I'm so ignorant it appears, I should have had Wilba spayed, I intended to but I foolishly didn't learn that a female cat can become pregnant almost within weeks of giving birth to a litter.Now I know, I can get her done soon!

I'll update you on ' 3 Graces' tomorrow!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Three Graces - 82

Back to work on the grass and Lamb today...I'm hanging my next exhibition on Friday which will last a week. I have a distinct feeling that I'll be finishing this by then if not sooner. Today I passed the 300 hour mark!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Three Graces - 81

I grew up thinking I was an anomaly.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Three Graces - 80

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Three Graces - 79

Today I've worked on the was interesting working out how the skull would look partially obscured by blades of grass. Tomorrow I will also begin work on the lamb.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Three Graces - 78

So I've sorted the skull and started work on filling in the grass which if you look closely is really styllised but I like the effect.I want the lamb to look healthy and happy...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Three Graces - 77

Back to work today on Graces. I've been wondering how to fill the space you see above.The answer you can see is a two headed lamb and a skull.(the skull needs some work before dotting's the wrong shape) You might be puzzled as to why I'm including the two headed lamb.Basically it symbolises how anomalies are, although unusual in the eyes of the man on the street,  actually (as far as this anomaly is concerned) quite common. More about it relevance to the composition another time.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Teddy he the Starman?

Here are a couple of wonderfully dated and to be honest, funny British Pathe News clips from the 1960's. They feature some wonderfully curious and daring items of ladies tennis apparel and each feature the rather rackish and at times creepy Teddy Tinling, (Don't you think he looks like The Starman?...purely coincidental!!) the designer responsible for all you'll see! Have fun !



*Remember I mentioned yesterday about The White Ladies' ? they are!(see below)


Saturday, September 18, 2010

A little peek into my sketchbook.

I thought I might give you another little glimpse into my sketchbook. I'm not always sure this a good thing to do, but I have so many people ask me how I come to concieve the ideass for my composisitions. Regular readers of my blog will have seen the development stages I go through before begining a piece. So here are a few ideas that have yet to see the light of day.
The face above was part of the preparation for 'Three Graces'. I have recurring themes dealing with religion, and this chap is a clergyman who was to double as the Starman..he was originally going to be standing looking at the Graces. In his hands he would be holding a model of the
Space Shuttle. In the end, there wasn't room in the composition.But you can be very sure that he'll reappear one day!

Above is a sketch I drew a couple of weeks ago. As you know, I'm fascinated by the fashion worn by female tennis players of the 60's and 70's. Teddy Tinling was a British fashion designer who in 1952 became famous for sewing lace edging onto the knickers of 'Gorgeous' Gussie Moran for her Wimbledon appearance. The furore caused by cameramen trying to catch an opportunity to photograph her 'Gorgeous Gussies' as her knickers and the frilly knickers of subsequent players were affectionately referred to, was enormous. Teddy became a very sought after designer for a whole group of female tennis stars including Billy Jean King, Anne Jones, Maria Bueno and Virginia Wade. He affectionately referred to his group of clients as 'The Ladies In White' and even named his Autobiography by that title. I decided I'd like a group of 'Ladies In White' to appear in one of my pictures.I will in all likelihood return to this idea again soon!

I've always (as you've gathered by now) had a fascination for all the voluminous layers or frills and ruffles seen on my favourite lady tennis players , but non more so than those worn by the girls of the French Can can. Recently my study for 'Can can dancer; has been wonderfully well received by visitors to my exhibition who have asked for more on that theme. So the following two sketches and the previous one are quick fire attempts to explore a few ideas.You can be very certain they will develop into full blown works at some point.
People often remark at my apparent enduring patience regarding my work. I agree..I do have the ability to envisage a picture and spend numerous months bringing it into being.But the opposite truth is that when it come to developing ideas, I like instant sketches on a small scale.Detail is often the last thing I'm thinking of.I hope you can see in the sketches I've shown you here, the way I begin an idea..then at some point in the future, I'll return to it if it still resonates with me. It will be interesting to see which of the above ideas make 'the cut' and go on to full development............meanwhile, I will have filled another sketchbook with a hundred other ideas which will never see the light of day!

So what do you think?...what would you like to see?..

Friday, September 17, 2010

Three Graces - 76

Completed the grassy area shown above ( by the way,the little boy is me! )..and you can see it in context for the rest of the picture below.( I'm going to use the above image as the basis for a poster advertising my coming exhibition.)
The yawning gap to the left is where I'm going to turn my attention to next.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Three Graces - 75

Once again it's been a day of grass and flowers..I started darkening the areas around the Grace's feet and carried on to the rest of the grass etc...I have yet to finish the area to the extreme right of the picture then carry the work left of the Maid.I've managed to slowly increase the time spent during each day this week.I usually aim to do 5 - 6 hours a day...I managed just over 4 today. I'm aiming to complete the piece by the end of the month, currently I've spent 283 hours and 25 mins on it !

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Three Graces - 74

Here you go Tys !...more legs! I've been working on the detailing for the grass and flowers again today...lots more of that yet to come! I'm also constantly aware that the centre Grace's legs are rather insipid...more work needed there too!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Three Graces - 73

Maid's legs nearing completion!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Three Graces - 72.

Blurred for some reason...I worked for a little while on the Maid's legs today.But I aways go through a 'come down' after an exhibition no matter how short it is. The wonderfully encouraging comments seem a million miles now that the dish washer needs emptying , the garden is massively over grown and there is a hole in the bathroom floor.Feeling very tired and in need of inactivity I did just that..It was also my daughter's 10th birthday. When she got back from school we all went for a celebratory meal.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Three Graces - 71. Wirksworth festival day 2.

What an amazing weekend I've just experienced!...financially disastrous as I only sold three prints, which seems odd seeing as I had 850 visitors to my show.However, nearly everyone commented on how they loved three Graces and similar works...many loved the Can can girl and many encouraged me to make sure I concentrate on my surreal/symbolist work.
One comment however totally took me by surprise and has changed my level of confidence in what i do. A lovely woman who was Iranian spoke to me after studying my pictures and said that she loved the way I depicted my women as I had depicted them in a  feminist way...she told me that I showed my women's sexuality in a way that women would identify with and like.I don't pretend to totally understand what she means, but perhaps someone might (if you agree) explain .but I have been amazed that the majority of those expressing admiration for my B/w works were female. I have always worried that my work would be seen as sexist or exploitative, and the real meaning be overlooked.
Finally here is a photo of me with Mary Gray whose home I exhibited in. I couldn't have asked for a more supportive and encouraging host...!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Three Graces - 70 Wirksworth festival day one.

On the plus side, I enjoyed the presence of 380 visitors to my exhibition today . I met some wonderfully encouraging people and I've learnt such a great deal. I seem to have misread what I'm doing in so many ways it only goes to provide a deep and growing frustration with in me as to the nature of what I do. You see my hear beats quicker when I produce the images that arise in my imagination. I am finding it difficult to express what I'm trying to convey, but I think the essence is that I have spent so much time producing 'nice' pleasing pictures of Derby/parks? trees and countryside in the belief that these are what will earn me an income that will therefore enable me to do my black and white and symbolist pictures. I WAS WRONG! The majority of people who see my work now tell me they can buy Derby pictures and nice landscapes anywhere...but what I produce from my heart are unique..there is nothing quite like them....and that ladies and gentlemen is what people want!Today I witnessed people actually becoming enthusiastic and excited by my pictures!

Today many people asked for prints of 'Cello' 'L'inattendu' 'Quintadagio' and I wasn't able to let them have them...because I have nice pictures as prints. This is something I'm going to have to address in the next few weeks before my exhibition at Cromford in October.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Three Graces - 69

Julie's comment yesterday was absolutely correct. To that end I have decided earlier that before I headed off to hang my exhibition, I would make sure that i had the Maid's legs and feet correctly drawn. you can see that having sketched in to my satisfaction, the legs. I will work on this picture durng the exhibition and need not to have to worry about any planning or resource gathering .I will be able to work on legs and grass without ( hopefully ) problem.

We drove my selection of pictures up to Mary's in Wirksworth this afternoon an set about hanging them. The nature of the Arts Trails is that artists are featured in amongst other venues, people's homes. Therefore the choice and amount of pieces is dependant on the room available and the host.In the end, I am exhibiting 33 pieces covering a wide range of subject matter.

I'll post more photos over the weekend, but below you can see 'PWM' hanging above my prints for sale boxes.My apprehensions are not yet fully dissipated, but my host is such a lovely life filled lady, that I'm sure the weekend will be a positive experience.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Three Graces - 68

A lot of work yet to do on the legs here to achieve the correct depth of shade...I hate doing feet almost as much as I hate doing hands....but it's a job that has to be done.Speaking of jobs that have to be done, I've got to hang my exhibition tomorrow afternoon..I'm feeling nervous.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Three Graces - 67 & preparing for the Wirksworth Festival.

I've extended the grassy area too include the middle grace's feet...incidentally, what am I to call my 'middle grace'?...I'm sure I'll get round to explaining the various concepts and meaning behind the picture eventually...but for the time being, it might help to think of her as 'the link'.

For the last three years, I've been honoured to be accepted as an exhibitor as part of the Wirksworth
Festival. An annual event which attracts artists from all over the place including internationally known artists , sculptors, performers...street drama..and arts based events over the 10th - 26th September. This weekend See's the Arts Trail which See's artists linked up with a wide range of venues across the town. So far I've exhibited in a Railway Locomotive shed, A cow shed, a large Victorian house. This year, my venue is in the centre of the town in the home of Mary Gray. (see below the house with the brown door). I went to visit her today and take a look at where I will hang my work.
As always I feel very apprehensive about baring my soul on walls in front of a discerning public...but if things go as they have done the last three times, I'll have a great time, meet lots of interesting people and hopefully sell prints.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Three Graces - 66

Kids back at school today! Except for eldest son who's off to Uuniversity in a couple of weeks.I had the time to work and concentrate. I've hardly worked at all during the last six weeks, so it was good to spend around six hours dotting. I've concentrated on Tennis Girl's legs and feet...the grasses around them too.The photo below shows the work from further away..there is yet more to do on Starman,Tennis Girl's hair and hairband, the base of the tree and eventually a whole spread of gravestones in the background.

At the weekend I'm exhibiting at the Wirksworth Arts Festival and have to visit my venue tomorrow to gauge what and how many pictures I'm going to show. I should find time to work later in the afternoon...but now I'm back, you'll see me pushing on to the end of this piece with a renewed energy!