Playing with colour

Mythago Wood (absorbing) 36pc

Mythago Wood (absorbing)

I have always been entranced by myth, and take great delight in wandering through the remnants of the vast woodlands that used to blanket the British Isles. I am also an avid reader, and occasionally am inspired to respond to works that I find particularly powerful. So last week I decided to tackle a subject that has long engaged me, and play with a colour balance that I use less often. I also thought I’d work on a different surface, having become interested in the challenge of using palette knives on an unyielding base when painting the steel utility cabinets in July and November.

Mythago Wood is a novel by Robert Holdstock, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys dark fantasy. In it, the woodland is timeless, measureless and jealous of its boundaries. Here I have shown it in it’s full power, fighting back against human encroachment, and ultimately absorbing our endeveaours – as indeed is inevitable, surely whilst we are capable of inflicting grievous damage, we will destroy the conditions of our own sustainability well before we destroy all life?

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Busy August

Skye from Gairloch

Skye from Gairloch

Only half way through the month and I have so much on. Got back from the Scottich Highlands at the end of July, after a week of fanastic sunshine while it rained in most of the rest of the UK 🙂 This painting of the North-Eastern coast of Skye was done from a plein air paint sketch I did standing outside our tent at Big Sands in Gairloch, a lovely place, and one we hope to move too.

Sadly, I got back to discover that we have lost our gallery, Gage. This has been an integral part of our studio collective for 5 years, but now the landlord has taken it back for redevelopment – the harsh reality of cheap rents in an emerging area 😦  I am searching for a suitable replacement for the gallery, and attached arts education space, but there is a shortage of run down industrial property in the area, so we may have to move.

My recent show, For Those In Peril.. was a success, and I am looking for another venue to house it. I’ve got some interest, so I hope to be able to share some more good news with you soon (fingers crossed). Meanwhile I’m busy producing work to fill my stall in our marquee at Sheffeld’s Art In The Gardens event. This takes place over the 1st – 3rd September in the Botanical Gardens, and is always a fun event. This year I will be doing a series of landscapes, and Skye from Gairloch is the first of these. In addition I’m organising a pop-up art show to help promote a local club, to coincide with Nether Edge Farmers Market on the 17th September, and then helping put together the KIAC stall at Kelham Island Industrial Museums ‘Down By The River’ event on September 24th. And I think August is busy 🙂

 

 

 

Inspired by nature

the-colours-of-winter

The Colours of Winter

Much of my energy in January has been spent trying to find a venue in the Loch Ewe area for the Arctic Convoys Exhibition. Sadly it looks like it will not be possible to stage the show near this important assembly point for the convoys, so I will probably fall back on my usual exhibiton space, Gage Gallery  in Sheffield. Other activity has included helping to set up the Midlands & South Yorkshire Art Show at Rotherhams Old Market Gallery, the first public airing of Aftermath and The Difficult Path Back To You’, and adding work to my Artfinder store.

I have found time to create one new painting, and start another. The Colours of Winter is inspired by the Apple Trees in our front garden. Staring at the last Apples on the tree in our front garden, I was struck by the way they glowed against the grey light of December. Inspired by the colours of dead dry foliage, leaves and stalks, the warmth at odds with the cold heaviness of the sky, not dead but dormant. Painted in acrylics on deep canvas, I greatly enjoyed developing the textural feel to the foreground, and generating a colour for the apples that would shine out against the sky. I love this season, there is so much going on as the Earth renews itself for the spring to come.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you too can grab those moments of joy and hope in an increasingly alarming world.

John 🙂