I first came across this painting years ago.  It was on the front cover of a book of short fiction stories; stories which inspired me so much I ended up doing a degree in Literature a few years later.  Starting to read fiction led to a lot more than I had ever imagined it would!   This painting was the reason I picked up the book initially, and how lovely to see it in the flesh at the Tate Britain recently.  What a masterpiece it is!  It was painted at the height of the First World War by Gertler who was a conscientious objector.  To transform a merry go round into a military machine is a masterstroke in itself.  He explained, ‘Lately the whole horror of war has come freshly upon me’.

 

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Indulging in a little memory today, a wonderful trip to Tate Britain last month with two delightful artist friends.  We laughed and chatted so much we very nearly got thrown out…It’s so hard to be quiet and funeral like when there is work to discuss, responses to paintings and other creations, good company, and the extra bonus of having a wheelchair for one friend, which I have never driven before, and of course I took great delight in various maneovers and variations in speed. 

 What is this dowdy silence, sobre hush;  is this a funeral parlour or an art gallery?  Yes, some moderation is always a good thing, but I just don’t get the lack of discussion…Apart from those official talkers, why is there so little talking going on?  Are people afraid to make themselves look uninformed?  What is this cerebal matter, this dominance of educated discourse? 

At least the text which accompanies the work at the Tate Britain is clear and straightforward.  I am still reeling with a recent traumatic reading experience endured when hoping to find out about an artist’s work to be exhibited in a local University’s gallery.  The text was a creation in itself, for sure, but a completely seperate creation from that of the work, because it was so dense in concept that it didn’t really need the work, and the work seemed much better without it too.  Sometimes it’s interesting to know what a piece means to the artist, but do I really need to know?  It seems to me that we are infected by a scientific approach to visual expressions which murder the eye before it has opened. 

Like that….”Words Which Murder The Eye Before It Has Opened” 

LOVE this painting “Casement To Infinity” by Leon Underwood.  I have not come across him before.  The use of colour is excellent, and as I toy with the idea of trying out some more figurative painting myself I read about the artist:

“…he felt, and would feel increasingly, that a neglect of subject matter was to the detriment of art, and that the embrace of abstraction for its own sake simply led to greater and greater differentiation between art and artists and an ordinary life as lived by the majority.”

 

 The problem with painting is its possibilities.  Limitless. Powerful. This scares me.  But as long as it doesn’t scare me enough to stop me stepping over the cliff every time I pick up a paintbrush then it does not have to be a problem.  As for the ideas…that’s another issue.  I have too many, I can’t realise them all.     

I went to the Tate Britain on Friday.  Loved watching a Henry Moore video….and glad a of comfortable chair to watch it in.  Spent most time looking at a painting by Peter Lanyon and also another by Sandra Blow.  I have not come across their work up until now, so I enjoyed this, and did a little research looking at more of their work and life afterwards.

Oh, how pleasing. My painting  (Apple Orchard)  has been accepted for the Surrey Artists Network 1st Anniversary Exhibition! After quite an adventure getting it to the gallery ( which involved me and one child on one train to Guildford, and my husband and other child on a different train)  I am particularly pleased.  There is so much wonderful artistic talent in Surrey; it is exciting and interesting to see what other artists are exploring and the vast variety of their work. Do pop along to the Otters Pool Studio in Guildford and take a look at the work on show if you are in the area. I think they may need to rotate the exhibition, as there is more art than space, but what a great problem to have, eh?!  Image is of Apple Orchard.

My pottery course is coming to a slow and gradual end…I have to stop it soon (for a while)as my painting is the main focus at present. It has been a revelation to me…it’s achieved its mission, which was to bring me back to a greater sensitivity with a physical material…necessary because of several years spent with manipulating images digitally. It is also interesting to me with regard to the type of forms which seem to flow from me…shell-like, fossil-type sculptural objects. The next image shows one in progress.

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