Taken at Marble Hill Park, Twickenham, Surrey

 
 
 
I can hardly believe the date of 2007 of this photographic work of mine.  How time flies.  I have so much photographic work which I am not doing anything much with, so I will try and sort out some prints to sell at my next solo exhibition at The CornerHOUSE Community Arts Centre in Surbiton. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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graphite on cartridge paper

 

I love looking at sunflowers at this time of year.  Above a very freestyle drawing in graphite carried out earlier this year.

Ah, the light, it really bounces off this paint!

Another example of work from this year.  “Goethe’s Delight Liquor Silicium” was painted with Keim Soldalit silica-sol mineral paint on board, pigment added as necessary.  A real joy.

Now is a time for me to look back on work carried out over the year.  This painting “Break Out/Promised Land” was interesting to paint.  I concentrated on bringing texture and different surfaces into play and it was quite nice to let the textural information inform choices in colour and the direction of the next marks or brushstrokes.  I let the painting grow naturally, so I didn’t have an idea from the outset of how it would develop, but seeing it at the end it rang true.  I have learnt through it, which is my main objective.  It would be nice to do some more of these,  and it is the case that acrylic paint is just the right medium to use for paintings like this.  I always feel slightly disappointed with the colour intensity of acrylic paint, though adding pigment of course is always an option.   I have not painted with an acrylic underpainting and oil on top yet… so maybe this is something I might explore next.

 

Digital C Print of Lino Print produced at West Dean College in January as part of a relief printmaking course led by Dale Deveraux Barker.  Great course, highly recommended!  I used a mixture of lino, rollers and paper cut outs for the work I carried out on this course. 

Looking back and reviewing work this year.  A lot of experimenting with texture.  And pigment.  A lot of painting done from an uncertain beginning but somehow finding itself in the process, and other paintings with a clear design, which only have a small element of unpredictability.  This painting “Sack Of A Great House” came straight from the unconscious into being, and rang true, which is pleasing.  However, I hope to spend a little more time soon with a clearer idea of subject matter from the outset…Not so much as to ruin the important role of the process, but I think the painting I have done so far suggests that I can trust myself to express what I want, and with that knowledge, I feel confident to set to the business of painting with more assurance than I have so far demonstrated.  There is always a strong sense of direction, even in the most spontaneous painting.  Maybe I should create more of an environment for the imagination, pull things in a little tighter, and see what happens with that?

You cannot see the white border around this central part, as it has merged with the website surround.  Quite apt really!

I am hoping very much that my application for the AA2A Artists Access to Art College Scheme which is hosted by Kingston University School Of Fine Art will prove worthwhile.  Today is the deadline.  That could be the beginning, or the end line I suppose for me.

I went to Kingston University many years ago, studying  Literature  and some History too. Wow, it would be great to get into the Library again, amongst other things.  The Printmaking Department looks great. 

I wrote a poem recently.  Haven’t written one for ages, so here it is:

 The hen
 
I feel the structure of her wings – an
oily smell – an apparently disconnected neck.
 
Alive?  Yes… With red, floppy, external tongues…
Clapping a throaty, inner, sound.
 
She struggles to get out the clucks,
out of my hands, and flaps air 
around us.
 
The strained express; We try to fly,
but gravity pushes us down.

Well, it is finished!

John T Freeman selected some of the children’s work and arranged the composition of the cartoons on the mural.  He copied the children’s work closely so it retained the original’s quality, and we agreed to add a cat and a rat to bring a little movement into play.  Keim Contact Grobb was used under the cartoons to bring a little texture to the surface, though at this point the uneven nature of the surface did seem quite a challenge!  (Unfortunately I was not able to get permission for the wall to be rendered, which would have been the ideal scenerio).

Keim Contact Grobb was then coated with Keim Soldalit in a very light grey, and John used the same Keim Soldalit in Charcoal Grey for the linear parts of the cartoons.  I had previously busied myself with the thicker lines, which I opted to give a slightly fuzzy edge to, as it wasn’t workable to try and achieve sharp edges on such a rough wall, and optically, there was very little point in doing that anyway.  The soft edges worked very well with what are radiant, and yet gentle colours. 

 The colours are getting a lot of comments already;  people do seem to pick up on the particular quality of the mineral paint used, even though the surface changed from totally matt to a very slight sheen  after coating with the Keim Anti-Graffiti Coating.  The cartoons are also providing a lot of enjoyment, and the children will be having a competition soon to come up with a name for the mural.  John T Freeman and myself will enjoy looking at those I am sure. 

Some of the children are working on mural and mineral paint related activities at the school with the Art Co-ordinator, who I hope is taking some photographs which I can post up here later on!  Keim were fantastic in providing some very interesting information about Keim mineral paints, the history, and technical information, and I was also able to provide some materials on colour theory and design which should come in handy. Though I worked on this project voluntarily, I have to say, as an experience, it was well worth the effort and I hope to do something similar in the future.

It’s so important that our children learn about different kinds of materials and what the advantages and disadvantages are…I do think that through the project they have been able to experience using natural paint in a very relevant and creative way.  It’s been a great project, and I only wish I had more time available to do more of this kind of thing.  I do have another mural on the horizon,  and it will be very good to use what has been learnt through this one for the next.  I am also making a short video of the whole process to pop up on You Tube.  It hasn’t got anything that isn’t common sense on it, but it might prove helpful to another school who maybe would like to work with mineral silicate paint for an ecologically friendly mural at some time. 

John T Freeman’s website:  www.johntfreeman.co.uk

Jenny Meehan’s website: www.jennymeehan.co.uk

Video of Mural Project:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je8SouQNIs0

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