I started work on the Roman Fresco and shipped it (unfinished) to Rome ready to work on as a demonstration piece in the shopping mall. However…
A few days before flying, I had to cancel the trip as my terminally ill Dad started to decline rapidly. It was a difficult decision as I felt I was letting everyone down, especially as there was to be a press conference on my first day there.
It was the right decision. Dad died at home on August 2nd after a difficult 10 days.
On making the decision not to go, Gillian Taylor, a friend of mine who works in PR for the Arts, offered to interview me on video to send to Rome instead of going in person. We did this and the Romans were very happy with it!
The Fresco has now been returned for me to finish and send back to Rome. I will post an image soon…
As part of a new exhibition at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, entitled Van Gogh and the Sunflowers (June 21 – Sept 1 2019), a new collaged wall of homages to Sunflowers has been created. Today I received some images of the wall, and was delighted to see my picture included. (Middle row, 7th from right!) So many beautiful and creative ideas there…
This has been such a long time in progress but I have finally finished The Mermen. From a flat monochrome 1950s travel poster advertising St. Sebastien, to an underwater fantasy world with hidden surprises!!
I found this very different from my usual work and it took a while to get to grips with it.
I can hardly keep up with all the changes of plan! The Rome trip is now going ahead but a week later (July 24) and the exhibition will be in a different shopping mall. Apparently, the Aquaduct arch is not the logo of the Aqua group after all. Each mall (in the Aqua chain) has it’s own individual logo so the arches image (which I was looking forward to recreating) is no longer appropriate. The logo of the new mall is a red arrow – just too boring – so, after much discussion with my agent and the mall, I am going to make a portrait of a Roman woman from a fresco at Herculaneum. I am very excited about reinterpreting this ancient image with a modern twist!
Originally, the Mall wanted me to work on and finish the picture in situ and leave it there. This would have been possible with the Arches which was a simple image. However, the portrait will take so much longer – but, as a demonstration piece, is a better illustration of what I normally do.
I had to explain that the final stages of pulling off the excess glue from the glue gun and painting the last glue coat takes several hours and would be very boring to watch! And I would not want to be under pressure or leave something unfinished or of which I wasn’t proud.
So my plan (which they have agreed to) is that I will start the process here at home, ship it to Rome before the exhibition, work on it there in the mall for a day, then ship it back home to finish off, and send it back as a gift! As they are paying for my travel and hotel costs, plus some generous spending money, this seems very fair. It should be quite an adventure – though I’m a bit worried about the heat!
Well – what can I say? Change of plan. The print exhibition around Italy is to go ahead as planned but I am no longer required for the opening of the Rome shopping mall and have been told to postpone the Logo! To be honest, I’m not really sure what’s happened at their end but my trip is off!! A disappointment – I was looking forward to the adventure – but a relief at the same time!
However, they do still want an original work to tour with the prints and I’ve just completed making the close up of Klimt’s The Kiss. I am grateful that the imminent deadline gave me the impetus to get back working again. The painting is such a beautiful work and I have loved studying it’s construction and colours. I have enjoyed that wonderful feeling of losing myself and all track of time in the moment of creativity.
I was feeling a bit down about my work when I posted last time but am pleased to report I’m much more positive again! I’ve been working sooo slowly since Christmas – can’t believe I’m still playing around with the 3 pieces I blogged about in January! So here’s an update…
I finished the Monet Waterlilies. However, exactly as anticipated, the smaller size with ‘less buttons, more stuff ‘ requested by the client resulted in a more abstract final piece. As a result, the client told me that he no longer wished to buy it as he hadn’t realized he’d need to stand back from the picture to make sense of it (which you have to do with Monet’s original paintings too!) Quite a disappointment but I’ve learned from the experience – I’d had my reservations about the smaller size and should have gone with my gut feeling. Anyway – here it is (65cm x 65cm + frame) currently for sale in Words and Pictures Gallery, Teignmouth.
The Mermen piece got off to a slow start as I couldn’t visualise how to do it. However, it’s now almost complete and I’m really happy with the fantasy underwater world I’ve created. Awaiting final glue layer and then I’ll post an image.
Unfortunately, the 3rd piece – the lion – isn’t working for me at all and may end up being deconstructed. But it’s not for a particular client and can be put to one side for now…
In the meantime, the exhibition of prints has been shown at 2 venues in Poland and will continue in various European venues. Another set is being printed for 10 venues in Italy, 5 for 2019 and 5 for 2020. The first Italian exhibition will be in Rome in July, inside a new shopping mall owned by the Aqua Group. I’ve been asked to go out for the opening and to create a piece of art in situ – the logo of the Aqua group – 2 arches of a viaduct. I need a variety of interesting rectangles and squares, roughly the size of a domino tile – red/brown/black /gold/green – can anyone help?!
I am preparing everything in advance so that I’ll know exactly ‘what to put where’ when in Rome. 100 local schools are involved in Recycling Art projects at the same time and the event is to be televised – all pretty terrifying (but exciting too.) The organisers have also asked me to make one original piece to go with the prints so that people can see a ‘real one’. After much discussion, we settled on a cropped close-up of Klimt’s The Kiss – so even more rectangles needed!! Plenty to keep me busy!
I know it’s been a while since I posted any news…
My family circumstances have been difficult lately and I’ve simply had less time for Art. That, coupled with a downturn in the flow of creative juices, it feels as if my muse left me for a while after Christmas. I wrote about this to one of the kind people who send me materials from time to time. She wrote a lovely reply with the words “creativity cannot be forced”. How true! So I’m just going with the flow and enjoying playing with ideas and materials for a while.
I’ve been working very slowly on the commission of Mermen which finally seems to be coming together after a slow beginning.
I’m also about to make a commission of a mounted brooch to be given as a wedding present. Some of you will know that the collaged pictures I now make evolved from brooches which I made for my final degree project – please see the profile page on my website for more info. The original inspiration for the brooches came from religious festival headdresses from Ecuador – so quirky and blingy – I love them!
In my final degree year I developed a series of brooches entitled ‘Weathered and Worn’ using antique braids and recycled materials. These were hung on a weathered ground to go on the wall as a piece of art. The brooch can be removed to wear and replaced on the wall after use:
In the example above and right, the brooch is removed to reveal embroidered flowers underneath which mirror the colours and decoration on the brooch. (Hope this makes sense!)
Anyway, I am now playing with ideas for the new wedding brooch having found a beautiful antique Italian frame for its mount at an Antiques Fair on Sunday. I feel the muse returning …