2017 - my year of expression
Throughout 2017 I've decided to commit some time to exploring the art and techniques of the Expressionist and Abstract Expressionist art movements.
My hope is that by December, I'll have discovered something new, grown in confidence and be painting large scale works.
Experimenting with storytelling, I was inspired by the Cubist and Futurist painters of the early twentieth century who capture a passage of time by either walking around their subject and drawing from several given positions, or by drawing their subject at key moments during a range of motion. It creates an unusual image as the drawings are placed on top of one another.
Here I've used a combination of resist techniques with straight forward drawing with acrylic paint pens and paint.
Back in February, I started a series of experiments inspired by the Blaue Reiter group of artists (namely Klee and Kandinsky) attempting to paint music. The notion being that colour can stir the soul in exactly the same way that music can. I love this idea and have spent some time exploring ways to express my favourite music through paint.
Last year I visited Alcatraz prison in San Francisco. It effected me in an unexpected way. Every prisoner was given a rule book and they were expected to know and follow those rules, not only to keep order, but also keep them safe. I stood inside one of the solitary confinement cells which were preferred by the inmates. Not only were they larger than the regular cells, they also had a clear view of the beautiful ocean and of San Francisco. For me the view of the coastline was tantalising, but I couldn't help wonder if it would be more like torture for the occupants of the cells who could witness freedom and life happening yet be unable to take part themselves.
As I tried to imagine what living inside that cell would be like, I was met with a familiar feeling. I was struck by the notion that I already live in a self-imposed prison. I give myself rules that help me avoid danger, discomfort and humiliation; yet often force me to be one of life's observers, restricted by my own fears.
These pieces and sketchbook pages are part experimentation of layering and mixed media techniques, but also in expressing the revelation I felt in that cell.
It's fair to say March and April were something of an enigma, but you can read my blog post where I try to explain what I'm encountering.
In May I'm taking a different approach to the process of authentic expression. I have a series of canvases, each representing a facet of my emotional life. They are work, mind and relationships. Each day (or so) I'm adding to each canvas, expressing my mood, thoughts and feelings through colour, shape, lettering, collage or any other form I choose.
begins with Stage one: a memory of visiting the Art History Museum in Vienna back in 1998 - a visit that reignited my love for making art - motivated by a need to hold on to that love.
Stage two: Catching glimpses and pieces; unable to articulate.
Stage three: Reconnecting with inspiration at the Royal Academy of Art, London - the building blocks of expression.
and the finished canvas: Connecting with the teachings of Wassily Kandinsky at the Lenbachhaus in Munich, who urges artists to express their inner world and use colour as a window into the human soul.
began stage one: as a portrait of a crazy venetian bookshop hidden in the labyrinth of narrow, shady Venice streets. It was filled with stacks of second hand books, postcards, maps and magazines, piled high; a gondola in the centre of the shop filled to overflowing with stock. A wonderful treasure-trove or an overwhelming, unfathomable maze?
Stage two: frustration
Stage three: A visit to the Berlin and the Stasi museum makes me wonder about the influences on my own behaviour. Thoughts of order and disorder, fear and naive obliviousness.
finished canvas: A building of five floors. A lot going on inside, but the activity is organised and managed. And it's all bathed in sunshine and brightness. (7th June)
is seven days into the process. My mind has been filled with memories of an Italian vacation with my husband and concerns over family as we grieve the loss of a loved one.
Relationship: stage one
Relationship: stage two
Connecting with strangers
This month I began experimenting with the concept of Painting Music.
For the story behind these pieces read my February blog posts.
All paintings created in February are £20 + p&p. They are all acrylic mixed-media on unstretched canvas, so are ready for mounting or framing. To purchase one of these original artworks at this limited time offer, email me.