We’re so over skirting boards!

Over night, the picture fairies came in and magically hung my paintings on the vacant wall. Where I had nothing to attach them to, the means of attachment appeared; and where dizzying heights would have dizzied me off the ladder, a sure-footed goat of a helper hung two paintings by barely visible fishing line. Some others had to sit this round out but they’re in a drawer nearby and, like the burglar’s mate, I can spring them any time.

I’ll most likely be there 11-2 on the 28th-30th and 4th-5th, with the very experienced Caroline and Andie picking up in the afternoons – their work is on the other walls.

If you spotted that absolutely beautiful clock in the first picture above – well that tells you what the room is like. The rest of Sakala? Full of parasols, wraps, skirts, tops, bits, bobs, and trinkets in the most vibrant colours you can imagine. I won’t get out of there without at least one thing I never knew I needed, and that will be every day!

How many paintings can a painting propper prop ..?

As many as there are skirting boards in a room!

I was ill-equipped, it turned out, to hang the kinds of paintings I’d taken. I’ll have several yards of transparent thread and a roadie who’s good on ladders next time.

Propping works though. It has an air of the Left Bank – laissez faire with a hint of Disques Bleu and an inscrutable shrug.

There are some more to come, but for now I give you – Strayfish Arts at Sakala, on the art trail with Caroline Darke and Andie Armstrong*:

Steyning Arts Trail; August 28th – 30th and September 4th – 5th. Free shrug unless I’m holding a coffee.

*Yes, from Sky Arts Portrait Artist series, that one! Jamie Ampleforth, another Steyning Sky Arts Portrait Artist contender is at venue 2, Church Cottage, Vicarage Lane.

Strayfish Arts on the trail

Sometimes you just have to give paint and water the day off to play together. Left to get on with it, these have made some fine little labels and business cards in earth and sky colours. All very abstract although I’m sure I saw a rabbit in one of them!

Now, remember those rubber stamp printers where you fiddled around picking up individual letters or numbers with a pair of eyebrow tweezers and stuck them in rows on a little platform to make an address? Well I need the 21st century version of that!

#labels #businesscards #handmade #homemade #steyningarts #arttrail #sakalasussex

Steyning Arts Trail – what else is coming to Sakala!

I did some more unwrapping today. This piece was part of the batch I unwrapped a couple of days ago but which had somehow wangled a trip out in the van and made a bid for freedom!

It’s the very divvil to photograph because it’s under glass so you get the whole kitchen in there as well and that really is NOT in the painting. Part paint, part collage, this is acrylics on paper mounted and framed. Definitely best seen in person! Red frame though …

Approx 26″ x 19″ mounted and framed.

Steyning Arts is never too posh for cats! This is based on a photo of one of mine.

Acrylics on canvas. 14″ x 18″

I found this remarkable woman during a search for faces when, as part of the course, I was required to make a portrait and I was heartily sick of painting my own face. The photo was black and white and uncredited.

Acrylics on canvas. 14″ x 18″.

There’s a long tradition of men painting naked women, sometimes in the company of clothed men. Degas didn’t do that so much but he did hang out backstage around young girls – the Petit Rats as they were called – and painted very many of them. This painting is based on (‘after’, as they say) his ‘Woman on a Balcony’. She is quite haughty and may have been a person of importance, unlikely to strip off for an artist. My young woman though is giving the artist the side-eye, I doubt he’d risk any unpainterly moves.

A painting within a painting; acrylics on canvas. 14″ x 18″.

Next – the box with the smaller stuff in it!

Strayfisharts at Sakala, Steyning Art Trail August 28th – 30th and September 4th – 5th. Sakala is also normally open every day.

Steyning Arts Trail – what’s coming to Sakala

I’ve been doing some unwrapping today and i absolutely can’t wait to get these on a wall! With many, many thanks to Frames at the Golding Barn industrial estate, these are ready to meet their public.

Mounted and framed under glass. Size approx 27″x21″.

This piece, impossible to photograph so it definitely needs to be seen in person, this is a work of gloss on gloss on gloss. Acrylics on glossed black card and echoing in abstract some of the gilded work of Klimt.

Mounted but not framed. A1 size.

Born of a lockdown bus trip via webcam from Lancaster to Keswick, this piece is made from strips of mirror foil, painted with dilute watercolours and acrylics, some allowed to drift downwards by gravity and find its own way to the bottom, some blown onto different courses using a handheld air blower. There are so many reflections here, again it’s a monster to photograph. It does have its own video though, and there’ll be a QR code nearby for visitors to access it.

These were made as a pair, the one on the left a print of the one on the right. But they carry different textual elements; one from the I Ching, the other the Tao Te Ching, both Chinese philosophical guides. I chose the first source for text from a page opened at random in the I Ching (on the right) and then mirrored that page for the Tao Te Ching text on the left. They work well as a pair or as standalone pieces.

I think I need another house with nothing in it but white walls. Oh right – that would be a gallery, wouldn’t it!

Steyning Arts Trail August 28th-30th and September 4th-5th. Sakala, High Street, Steyning.

Haiku to Klimt

A small piece arising from an exercise in the Studio Practice module of my OCA painting degree. This is gold and silver acrylic on black cartridge primed with gloss varnish. The thin dark marks are scratched texture made with a pen.

Gold; leafed and shaped to
the wish of a painter's hand
in the longest kiss.

Haiku to Klimt - SCH 2021

Its journey, along with some other pieces, is here.

Blue Bus to Keswick

Painting on mirror foil as part of the OCA painting degree course requirements. Based on a lockdown bus ride via webcam from Lancaster to Keswick on damp, dark day. The painting analysis, if you’d like one, is: tiny green/blue strip at the top – roadside trees and foliage; dark strips beneath – the road; wild blue/grey swirls beneath – the leaden sky; and the wide, geological strip at the bottom – the brown and green rolling hills of the countryside.

Blue Bus to Keswick

Blue bus to Keswick; Sodden greens under a biscuit tin sky.

Ambleside is tourist rammed, and Keswick is a black-stoned webcam terminus, dotted with bright visiting anoraks looking for lunch.

The masked passengers stretch their legs and join the rain-bowed pedestrians hopping puddles through the streets, while the driver breaths out a safe arrival and turns the rest of us off.

SCH 2021.

Strayfish Arts at Sakala!

I’m so pleased to be exhibiting at Sakala in Steyning High street. I knew this shop when it was barely more than a cupboard in Cobblestones and when my sister saw a photo of it, she wanted to move in. Everything is directly sourced and the makers paid properly for their work; this is where buying local means buying from local communities of small scale makers, often women, helping them out of poverty. Take a look at their Instagram account and prepare to be swamped by colour!

I said earlier that I’d be taking mostly small pieces, the kind you can carry home under one arm or slip in a shopping bag, but I might have a couple of bigger pieces hot off the easel by the time we get to the end of August. Those would be unframed and a bit unwieldy in a half-decent breeze so you’d probably need transport.

Trail dates are August 28th – 30th and the 4th and 5th of September although Sakala is open during regular shop hours too. Hope to see you soon, COVID, as ever, permitting!

Steyning Arts Trail 2021

COVID permitting, this will be happening over the August Bank Holiday weekend and the weekend following; that is the 28th-30th August and the 4th-5th September. So the paperwork is in and I’m waiting to hear where I might be exhibiting. It’s a bit like Clearing.

In the meantime, I’m putting together a selection of easy-to-carry-home paintings that either hang from their box frames or will come with a little self-adhesive loop to stick on the back. Nothing bigger than 14″ x 18″ or 12″ x 16″.

I said nothing bigger but this girl might be there and she’s a big lass …

From an original photo by Gerard Ufera. Scan with Artivive for an AR experience.