Hotel

PicsArt_1530023835665

I had a nice surprise this morning. A friend messaged me to say there was an article about the hotel she works at on the Spode site in Stoke on Trent.

When I looked at it I noticed one of my paintings in the photo of one of the bedrooms! I had wondered where it had gone to because it was not downstairs in the Works canteen cafe we go to at the hotel.

I wish it wasn’t such a tiny photo, because its hard to see much detail, but I’m going to be painting a few more pictures that will be for sale in the hotel.

The buildings around Spode are very inspiring because of the industrial architecture and archaelogy on the site.

So, that was good news. Hope to have more soon.

X

Grey cat

Grey Cat, you sit and wait, for Mum or Dad or daughter Dotty.

But none come, they are gone….

Did you leave them, or they you? No one knows,

abandoned or lost, you have no home, but a brick shell, dilapidated, fusty, dirty, roof gone, open to frost.

Grey Cat, you are friendly, dusty, big head, thin….

You are white that is grey, and grey that is dark grey.

Your human Mum and Dad may miss you, but have already grieved, your loss tore apart a family.

Grey Cat, you have a territory, but bulldozers encroach.

Are you a Dad, are your kittens with their Mum. Do they rest their paws on dirt, or on old willow pattern tiles?

Grey Cat, I wish you well, may your days be long and loved.

Fare you well…….

New views of Spode. ..

Things are changing at the old Spode factory site.

Old buildings that don’t have much historical merit are being demolished and older buildings , or more architecturally important ones are being released from their imprisonment in brick, mortar, chip board, steel and concrete.

Like an archaeological dig tipped 90 degrees, new surfaces and entrances are being uncovered. Courtyards with windows newly on view. Stacks of saggars piled on shelves up at those windows, small or large,  flat or square ….the weight of the saggars must be tremendous. I wondered if the shelves are rotting and if they could collapse .

I remember seeing a film called “solarus” or “solaris” once years ago. By Tarcovski? A Russian film maker. The character’s moved through a post industrial nightmare, and I can’t help thinking Spode uncovered would make a brilliant film set.

A recent film called “jawbone” was filmed at Spode. They recreated a boxing gym in the China halls there. So many new views. ….

walking along the new pathway to the studios there, I wonder at the air we are breathing in, dust everywhere…how do we know there is no asbestos or other contaminants?

The feral cats of Spode can be friendly.  A grey and white Tom cat was hanging about next to the Hulton art pottery. We were told that someone is thinking of rehoming him. He had water and food….my partner wanted to take him home. But we already have two of our own cats. I think he will be OK. I have nicknamed him Maurice. ….

Little Devil

IMG_20180517_234604_834IMG_20180517_234737_871

I saw Adam from Hulton Art pottery today, which is based at the Spode pottery site. I bought a wall mounted bracket  (which is still wrapped in bubble wrap) but along with it he gave me a terracotta tile of what looks like a cheeky little devil..

I can’t  help liking his wide smile, the twinkle in his eyes, his spikey, possibly flaming coat, (the tile, not Adam!).

I asked if it was OK to paint this little guy, because he made me chuckle with laughter. It looks like something mediaeval that could have been a gargoyle on an old building. Adam told me it was made in about 1997, soon after he had completed his training in pottery, so it seems really special.  I feel privileged to have something that has age and character. This cheeky little devil is probably going to find a home on a window ledge somewhere.

I feel like he is related to the green men I have been painting over the last few years. Maybe they all have a feeling of spirit of the Earth in them. An old hidden life that we have lost as the world becomes ever more urban around us. I like the idea  of faeries and little people getting up to mischief.

I remember one if my favourite paintings when I was a teenager was Richard Dadds’ the Faeiry Fellers masterstroke. He was put into a mental asylum because of ‘madness’ but I don’t know his history apart from that. Dadds’ painting has amazing tiny details. If you can try looking it up on the net.

Anyway I might post a follow up picture of the little devil if I ever finish it.

X

 

Breaking the block!

Going to an arts group is a great way to start painting again when you are struggling.

I’m a member of a couple of groups so I spent a few hours today doing a couple of little paintings, a view of a hill with a sunset adapted from an old magazine photo and a green man or woman (not sure yet) from my imagination, but taking the eyes , mouth and nose from a face on a leaflet at a local fire station where we hire a room once a month.

As usual I’m concerned with colours, trying to get them right…is there too much brown in the green person painting? Is the sunset too dazzling in the  hill and lake painting (which is only about 1 by 1 and 1/2 inches).

I started discussing skies with other members of the group. Trying to think through how to render the light on clouds as the sun sets. To be honest when I get my hands on a paintbrush and paints I soon start creating again. The friendly support of the other members of the group just gave me that lift I needed.

If you can join a group I would recommend it. Each person had a unique idea of what they wanted to paint or draw. We all have our own styles, and some people wanted to use pastels, while others were using oils or acrylics. Each make marks differently. It’s wonderful to take a walk round the room and watch the progress of the artists there.

So…….the block is broken. There may be a mass of pictures coming this way soon!

Yesterdays Art

FB_IMG_1525439273446FB_IMG_1525439285999FB_IMG_1525439292885FB_IMG_1525439298921FB_IMG_1525439329470

Some paintings I have worked on and a Mini Mona Lisa. ..

The first four are recent paintings that I have worked on because I was not happy with them. Water and Earth are both part of a series (including Air and Fire) I also want to improve them.

Leaves was originally a single leaf but it was very simple and I wanted to add more to it. The leaves are from my imagination. I sometimes use art as a way of helping my memory. If I can remember what something looks like I can use the memory for other paintings and not necessarily use reference photos. I dont have a photographic memory but I sometimes describe an image to myself, like the way a gutter and drainpipe are attached to a house. If I can describe it I can draw or paint it.

Autumn pottery is based on a “pot bank” the kilns that were used for firing pottery in the past. Now they use gas tunnel kilns. The plants are roses and cotoneaster. They are to represent vegetation growing around old, derelict pot banks. The blue background could be sky, or the water from local canals.

The final painting was a quick copy of the Mona Lisa, taken from a very old book on anatomy for student artists. I know it is wrong, the face is too thin, the smile is wrong. But for half an hour’s work its not bad. It’s on a tiny canvas about 1 inch by 2 inches.

So there you are, more paintings, its something I do.

Cards

FB_IMG_152011652610120160703_111107

I have had some cards and prints done!

The top painting is of a light at Spode. I was pleased with the prints that came out. The tones are good, and the image is clear. I’m glad I used a local fine art printing company.

The second card is of a painting similar to the green man above. It was a second version I had done, without the curves at the bottom of the painting. (I don’t have a photo of it).

The green man is on a gardinere in salts mill, saltaire, Yorkshire. It was an example of Victorian pottery. I took a photo with my phone and used it to work from.

I will be trying to sell them at a few craft fairs over the spring and summer. It’s hard to judge if people will buy them, but you have got to try !