In need of a brain pause 

Is there such a phrase? But ‘in need of a brain pause’ summed up perfectly my need for some R & R.

It’s been a summer of involvement in lots of local projects as well as making my art and with a house full again, lots of motherly angst over my children as they take risks and face challenges in making their lives.

So when Summer appeared to be over and we were having to turn the lights on in the daytime, I started scouring the net for a quick break away.  After two days, it was booked.  A week in Majorca in four days time.

I did take my paints and loved making some watercolour sketches in the warmth of the mediteranean sun.  With perfect temperatures at day and night, it was incredibly relaxing to stroll around the marina, lie on white sandy beaches and bathe in turquoise seas. Eat local fish and drink local wine with the biggest gin aperitifs ever!

With no car, the week felt like a week and at the end  both ready for home with the added bonus of coming back to October sunshine. (We discovered the week had been glorious here too.. oops).

So with an empty clear head I’m ready to take on the next challenges. Exhibition for next August booked, two commissions, two lovely charity pieces to do in the next month….bring it on. 🙂

Cruel and Curious Sanctuary

It started out as a journey exploring a beautiful part of this area in North Cornwall  depicting it in paint on aluminium with the theme of Sanctuary, but my cruel and curious foray this year but took a new direction towards the world of abstraction.

I took photographs, made sketches and spent a lot of time dreaming how Coombe Valley has felt over the centuries as a place of Sanctuary.

But as I started working on the aluminium, it became more an exploration of my personal experience with paint and colour.  As I looked for inspiration from my notes and photos, the lines started to blur and it was all about the colour.

I discovered that the best time of day was twilight, when the golden rays of the last sun shimmered up the valley clinging onto the branches and treetops of the woods and creating deep shadows down the hillsides and over the sea.

There was a depth to the colours and layering, as if the colours had been laid down over the centuries too, filled with the spirit and emotion of the people that had passed through.

I looked to the American Artist Rothko for guidance. I listened to lectures and really started to connect with his art.  It was an emotional response tied into what I saw; it connected straight to the heart.

As I painted I could see how the colour was reaching for further space. It wasn’t about looking into the picture to grab on to reality but letting the colour come out as the rich layers took on their own resonance.  Given the golden light it was also an ideal opportunity to embrace the metal and metallic and burnish the surface with gold mica powder.

I don’t think I had enough time to fully prepare for this and finish my pieces, but they had a great reaction from viewers which has instilled confidence in me to continue and look to the sea which is where my heart truly lies.

The exhibition of over 20 artists in the National Trust barns at Stowe Barton was incredibly atmospheric despite the heavy rain on Saturday. People piled into the car park on both evenings to soak up the conversations, diverse art and general ambience of what is becoming a highlight in peoples calendar. It’s certainly in mine although I think there is a break next year with plans to come back with an even better experience in 2018.