Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Crossing the equator

The artist Zoe Leonard was born in 1961 in Liberty, New York. She lives and works in the city. I came across one of her pieces, ‘Crossing the equator’ in Art Review recently.

It was part of a show called In the Wake at Hauser & Wirth New York, which ran from in September and October last year. Using old snapshots of Leonard’s family from the years after World War II as her starting point.

Here are my pieces based on Ms Leonard's piece. . .
Oil on Canvas 28 x 20 cms

Gouache on paper 40 x 58 cm

This picture really got its hooks into me. It is loaded with  secrecy and ambiguity. I was compelled to turn it into a painting. And have done, twice now.

Crossing the Equator, 2016
Original image: Crossing the equator © The artist. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth

Tuesday, 30 May 2017


The  peony is a remarkable bloom. This year we appear to have a grand showing. 
An herbaceous perennial, once in and established it is a real show stopper.

Ancient Chinese texts mention the peony was used for flavouring food.
Confucius (551–479 BC) is quoted to have said:
"I eat nothing without its sauce. I enjoy it very much, because of its flavour”.

Peonies are also a common subject in tattoos, often used along with koi-fish.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Das neue Buch

Here is the test sketch in a new book, a present from dear Toronto friend Peter.

Whilst out in Canada in early April he treated me to this magnificent book, as we toured the Aga Khan Museum. Link to that

So before leaving for Germany (30 drawings soon to be 'up' here) I need to make sure it worked - so, a 'field test' literally. A quiet field near Penn. All good and off we go.

Thank you Peter!

A gorgeous confection and much appreciated.

Booked out: using Peter's book in Berlin Airport at the end of the second Elbe River journey

Friday, 26 May 2017

Beach time soon?

What wonderful weather this week - any maybe it will be with us for a little longer?

Oh! I do like to be beside the seaside!
I do like to be beside the sea!
I do like to stroll along the Prom, Prom, Prom!
Where the brass bands play, "Tiddely-om-pom-pom!"
So just let me be beside the seaside!
I'll be beside myself with glee
and there's lots of girls beside,
I should like to be beside, beside the seaside,
beside the sea!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Venice St Marks Square

The square outside the Basilica of St Marks is a place to which I return so often, although the last time I was there was twenty seven years ago. 

This time my visit was in oil paint. This place is special, one senses the the press of the crowds waiting to enter the church and small groups of people seemingly oblivious the cut and thrust of tourism.

St Marks Square    Oil on Paper  
38 x 57 cm15 x 21 in

Monday, 8 May 2017

Cairo captured

Cairo crossing the street      Oil on paper
57 x 38 cm21 x 15 in

At least twenty years ago I snaffled a snap shot of a Cairo street scene from a friend. She was sharing it with us, one of many pictures from a recent visit. I immediately wanted to make a painting from it so she kindly handed it over. 

The painting never materialised and now it has, inspired by my course earlier this year at Central St Martins and my journey with oil paint.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Aga Khan Museum

Toronto a couple of weeks ago.

Courtyard    ...Architect Fumihiko Maki used light as his inspiration.

Exquisite treasures in the Aga Khan museum

The Aga Khan museum is a museum for the modern age. Opened in 2014 it is thrilling in its design and layout.

Every inch of it is so peaceful, presenting an arresting collection of Islamic art and modern pieces from Iran. All are thoughtfully curated and accessible!

A real treat.
I was luck enough to actually be working there, a thoughtful client has booked us into a lovely room which the museum hires out for business meetings and such.

This is a house of treasures and so incredibly calm. Strikingly absent were the noisy throngs, intent on buffeting their way to the gift shop, common in London's museums.

When you are lucky enough to be in Toronto . . .

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Hare's breadth

Another idea for Daisy Siggers and her team at Frank and Grace.
The idea might be for a piece of jewellery or another lovely silk scarf.

Across the field   Acrylic on paper  21 by 29 cm