Feb 13

Review of Plough Show

Review of Plough Show: I was delighted with my recent exhibition at The Plough Arts Centre and thought it looked great as an ensemble of paintings. I'll include a few photos of it

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Jan 12

Polite reminder

The Structured Landscape' exhibition. A gentle reminder that you are cordially invited to the Preview at The Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington, tomorrow 7-9pm - see Home Page for more details.  Perhaps Friday the 13th wasn't the most propitious of dates to choose but there we are.  It would be lovely to see anyone near enough to attend, if not for the paintings then to sample wine, kindly supplied by Mij.  There have already been some good notices in the local press.   Click on "Read More" to view

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Dec 3

The Plough Arts Centre

The Structured Landscape - a forthcoming solo exhibition occupies The Plough Art Centre gallery in January.  If you are not  a supporter of The Plough you won't have received a programme but if you click here you can download a pdf with details of this and also a workshop "Textured oil painting" which I'll be running on Friday 20th January (if there's enough support).

The day before the workshop Britain's favourite soprano Lesley Garrett is here.  So I'm hoping that between us we can make 

the walls rattle!  

The exhibition runs from Friday the 13th (slightly worryingly) through to the 28th, with a Preview on the 13th at 7pm where some of Mij's delicious wine might help the evening along.

While you're here please read the new entry below, and if you can contribute a view on whether pictures should talk or not I'd be very grateful.  Either way, many thanks for reading.

Dec 3

Talking Pictures

Talking Pictures - a wonderful term a correspondent used in response to comments made in the last entry (Layers). She didn't want to contribute personally but I found what she had to say so personal, moving and instructive that I asked her if I could share it. She wrote:

I thought I'd pass on my reactions to an afternoon at Tate Britain earlier this year.

A whole room was given over to the works of John Craxton - his paintings really grabbed me and I spent a long while looking at them. I then wanted to know more about the artist - perhaps because I'm not an artist myself I don't know so much about the technique and skills involved - I just get a gut feeling when I look at a painting - does it touch something inside me?

Fortunately David Attenbrough was a fan and...

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Oct 28

Layers of meaning

Layers of layers

In Stephen Gardiner’s biography of sculptor Elisabeth Frink, a recent article about David Hockney, also in Andrew Graham-Dixon’s film about the spectacularly marginalised English painter Edward Burra, mention is made of layering, and I felt that this is what non-superficial painters do (I can only respond to sculpture as a viewer because I know very little about its methods).

By 'non-superficial' I mean painters who do not rely on slick surface image...  (click Read More)

– of which there are plenty – but who get beneath the skin either of the subject (that which is depicted) or object (the very painting itself, see also comments under entry Surfaces on the next page.

So can we agree that depth in art has a lot to do with layers? Layers of layers; three genera: i. the thought which inspired the work, ii. the processes involved in its evolution, and iii. the viewer’s response - ‘eye of the beholder’.

In connection with this, a big question which occupies many is: ‘Are the words of painters of any interest?’ or should we shut up and let the pictures speak for themselves à la Edward Burra? Should we give our paintings titles or discuss their conception?

I’m afraid for me, as I say elsewhere (Biography), “As a writer too (12 books and >100 articles not to mention a 100,000 word thesis) I'm intrigued by the images and ideas carried in words too (hence often the importance of titles)” so I admit that I love reading about other painters’ methods, their ideas and inspirations also of course their letters.

Your own take on this would be of great value to me, please contribute if you have time.  Thanks.