Thursday 31 March 2011

Joan Snyder: A Year In The Painting Life

High on Pink 2004

Joan Snyder is a painter not hugely well known in the UK, I don't think she has ever had an exhibition here which is a great shame. I stumbled upon her work a few years ago when I saw a painting of hers used as an illustration for a book cover, liked it and decided to find out more about the artist. Initially the internet was lacking in information but over the past five years things have improved and she even has her own website.
Joan Snyder has worked extensively since the 1970's mainly showing in New York. She is recognised for making expressive paintings imbued with narrative, symbolism, politics and gender, and for her luscious vivid colours and use of collaged elements such as fabric, dried flowers, herbs, beads and paper mache. As well as using acrylics, oils and pastels she also slashes stuffs and sews her canvases.

Cherry Fall 1995  

Her most recent exhibition of paintings " A Year In The Painting Life " was held at the Betty Cuningham Gallery in New York. The exhibition is of paintings completed in the past 365 days, there are 15 in total.
The largest painting and centre piece of the exhibition is almost 18 feet long, which I think is an amazing feat for someone who is 70

The Fall With Other Things In Mind 2009

Some of her other recent exhibitions have intriguing titles such as: Women Make Lists, Seeking The Sublime, The Nature of Things and In Times of Great Disorder. Often described as feminist Art which is clearly important to her but it goes beyond this and encompasses a lot more, her family life, her Jewish heritage, love, sex and the cycle of life and death.

Rosebuds/White Field 2009  

Women Make Lists 2001

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Kurt Jackson

Badger  path through the hay up the field

I have long been a fan of the painter Kurt Jackson. I remember the first time I came across his work, I was on my art foundation course and doing research for my end of year project, looking through an art magazine I saw an advert for an exhibition by Kurt Jackson called The Long Field. The painting used in the advert was Badger path through the hay up the field. I loved everything about this painting, the colours, it's abstractness, the composition and the drips giving it a great linear quality. A few years later on a trip to Cornwall I visited the Lemon Street Gallery in Truro, it was their summer exhibition and there were a few of Kurt Jacksons paintings in the exhibition. One was a very large abstract landscape that was a deep orange and browns, the colour and depth of the painting was wonderful, two others were mixed media paintings of vases of flowers that had been collected on a walk with his family, I thought these were particularly lovely.

Zinzi's Flowers

Caroline's flowers

Currently Kurt Jackson is one of Britain's leading painters. His subjects are mostly the places he knows well, that he visits over and over again sketching all the time, and sometimes completing paintings outside capturing a specific moment in time. On his website you will find all the most recent exhibitions he has had and also some great videos which follow him on sketching trips out at sea and along river banks, a really good interview in his studio and a painting en plein air.

Saturday 26 March 2011

The Studio Part 6

Another artist working at the Porthmeor studios in St Ives Cornwall is Richard Nott. Prior to his exhbition "Cipher" at the Millennium gallery in Penzance he made a short video about how he makes his paintings. There are some fabulous studio shots and it is an interesting and open interview on how one artist works and the methods he uses. I was particularly interested in the painting being the work table with marks and stains from other paintings on top.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Last Days of Winter

Last week I spent an afternoon at a local National Trust property, Tatton Park. I took some lovely photographs but was especially taken with one particular plant that was growing on one wall and around a small window. It was very similar to a hydrangea with new growth and old on the same branches, it looked like winter was still clinging on but was rapidly being taken over by new vibrant green growth and the onset of spring. It was quite difficult to photograph but I think I managed to get some good shots.

Thursday 17 March 2011

Jennifer Durrant

I first came across the work of Jennifer Durrant when browsing the Art First website, I had not heard of this artist before so did a quick search on her name and was even more surprised I had not heard of her because she is a Royal Academician. A non-figurative painter who was made a member of the Royal Academy in 1994 known for large canvases of brightly coloured abstract forms. In 1999 she moved to Italy and there followed a period of inactivity due to family circumstances and no studio space. When she started to work again it was in a small space, work became smaller, circles, dots, lines and collage in gouache and acrylic. Inspiration came from her observations of nature and the landscape and notes made of visits to churches and museums. There is a new exhibition of her work at the Richmond Hill gallery which starts on the 8th May.

Monday 14 March 2011

New Project

I have set myself a project to do and have decided to take a photograph a day which I will post on my other blog between roses and shadows. I am going into this with no pre-conceptions of what I will photograph, I just want it to develop in its own way. So far horticulture seems to be very prominent, this is probably because the sun has been shining these past few days and there is a greater desire to be outside. I am quite excited about doing this project as I feel it will give me something to focus on and so far I have enjoyed just looking and looking at things in different ways.

Thursday 10 March 2011

In The Storm Of Roses

Wherever we turn in the storm of roses,
the night is lit up by thorns,
and the thunder of leaves,
once so quite within the bushes
rumbling at our heels

Ingeborg Bachmann
In The Storm Of Roses

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Retrospective 1

Looking at Trevor Bells work last week reminded me of some old work of my own, before I started painting embroidery was my passion ( not hand stitching I am far to impatient ) I loved my Bernina sewing machine which I still use from time to time. The last real piece of machine embroidery that I produced was inspired by a day trip to the peak district in autumn, it was a very sunny day the sky was a brilliant blue and all the trees were a bright orange. I produced a whole body of work from this starting with small sketches in pastel which then moved into designing accumulating in a machine embroidered piece, all the fabric I used including the felt was hand dyed or painted. The piece of work no longer exists in its original form which was originally a metre long but has now been cut up to make smaller framed pieces, maybe this work is still evolving and hasn't finished it's journey yet.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

The Studio Part 5

Another artist that I admire is Trevor Bell, a British abstract painter and one of only a few living artists to have had a full Tate retrospective. His early career was spent in Cornwall, from here he moved to Florida were he spent 25 years teaching at the Florida State University. In 1996 he moved back to Cornwall, and soon became a regular feature at the Tate St Ives exhibition programme, with a full retrospective in 2004. His large paintings are very sculptural,( developing his own method of making stretchers of unusual shapes ) and incredibly vibrant in colour and form. His studio looks amazing very light and airy but at the same time dramatic, in fact very similar to his paintings.

Trevor Bell