Monday, 28 May 2012


This past week has been so fragmented, with the builders requiring that we move all the potted plants into the centre of our patio area, so they could re-paint window frames and whitewash the walls, and I have not been able to continue my large canvas or finish several that need more work. Added to that was a diagnosis of Tennis Elbow, which has slowed me further! But on Saturday I went out into the land and painted. My husband kept saying, 'Go carefully, you are only making two paintings,' as he was worried I'd over-exert my arm, but it was a delight to work in situ and on such a glorious sunny day. My watercolours are always a bit different in character to my studio work, but I see them as a gathering of visual elements, which then get digested and absorbed into my inner world. Then when I start one of my 'Paintscapes,' these elements re-emerge, though not always with a direct connection.  At that point of departure, the colours and forms become a re-invention, and I find myself surfing on meanings.
(Top: 'Summer Colour,' watercolour and gouache, 16ins by 12ins. Bottom, 'Shadows,' watercolour and gouache, 16ins by 12ins)

Monday, 21 May 2012


In the same way that matter has an attraction to matter, there seems to be a similar magnetic force to events, dates and situations. Why is it that dates so often collide, or form sticky groups within an otherwise unworried filofax? An artist friend suddenly found two Private Views of exhibitions his work is in have popped up on the same day in different parts of the country, necessitating a choice of which to attend. Random groupings seem to have their own underlying energies and life. (It's something I like to think informs my artwork too.)
For the first time ever, I've found myself preparing paintings for delivery to two separate exhibitions in the same week. The dates for delivery to the Not The Royal Academy Exhibition (London), are 21st, 22nd and 23rd May. Today my 10 paintings are being collected for the Kings Hill Project, and on Wednesday I have to fit delivery of my watercolour in between other obligations in a busy week. I'm hoping the attraction of these growing numbers will increase, and pull more opportunities my way!
As I will have more room space, I began a larger canvas (120cm by 80cm), hoping to expand my approach and challenge myself as an artist. I love working on the smaller canvases, but the large ones demand a lot of consideration and 'holes' show up more. In the past I have painted very large canvases, but space restrictions prevented this for a few years. I hung the new, untitled canvas in the bedroom, to surprise my husband on his return from Cyprus.
Top photo: My new in-progress canvas, on the right, with a Blue Baths painting. Below, a close-up. The colours are deeper - but I'm looking forward to tackling it further this week.

Friday, 11 May 2012


I was delighted to receive confirmation of my inclusion in the Kings Hill Project exhibition. This is one of the paintings going on show, probably from 21st May. (That is also the date I have to take my watercolour to London, for the Not The Royal Academy Exhibition.)  Meanwhile, I have been unable to do much painting this week due to scaffolding going up very noisily around our block of flats. My tiny patio area is now full of fat metal poles, which straddle my pots of plants and stretch up four floors to the roof.  The three foot wide planks have blocked most of the light into my bedroom and living room. This, in combination with days of torrential rain and continual greyness, made it impossible to judge my colours.  When I lie on my bed, I am now looking out onto a forest of grey poles. I look in vain between the chinks for the unfolding spring leaves I know exist in the outer world.
Today I will try to paint, as men walk past the window carrying more metal poles and planks.
('The Hill,'  Oil and acrylic on canvas, 80cm by 80cm )

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A Viewing.

     I was up at 6.20am, as usual. I helped dress Alice (my niece) and took her up to her waiting school taxi at 7.15am. A group of men arrived to put scaffolding up around our block of flats. As the clink of heavy metal poles echoed outside the window, I was running around with canvases in my hands, placing them in positions around the room, in preparation for viewing by my art agent, June. I assumed that the three hours I had before her arrival was ample time, but it was scarcely enough! I selected 25 canvases, and after trimming off rebellious strands of canvas, labelling them, whitening a few unprimed edges, and displaying them against tables, on sofas, and in front of the TV, it was with a few minutes to spare.

June chose 10 paintings. We made a list of the titles and measurements and prices. I realised that I need to paint more large canvases, as June likes my larger paintings and feels that they really suit a corporate environment. I am also very happy working large, as the scale suits my use of colour. I felt rather awkward explaining why I couldn't part with the two huge canvases on the living room walls. One is about the memory of Nicosia and my late partner Tom, and has huge sentimental value. The other, a large (140cm by 140cm) canvas about women in the Turkish Baths in Nicosia, I had promised my husband I would hold on to!  But the positive aspect is that June knows I will be painting some more 'biggies' soon.

Now it is a matter of waiting for confirmation that the work will go on show at the Kings Hill Project.
(My paintings, scattered around the living room this morning!)

Sunday, 6 May 2012


Life is incredibly busy right now! My art agent is coming to select paintings for the Kings Hill Project on Wednesday. The selection will be awaiting approval from the people at KHP, and I hope my work ends up going on display. But it's one step nearer to exhibiting. It's also very positive as it means I will clear some space and have a place to start the large canvas I'm about to stretch up.
I have found two more galleries which are interested in viewing my paintings, so I will be preparing the images and my statement, and emailing them this week. I'm also submitting two paintings to the Cork Street Open exhibition, again an online submission. Last year I was turned down, but I feel more confident about the paintings I'm submitting this year. Of course, it all depends on the selectors.
Then at the end of this month I have to deliver my watercolour to the Llewellyn Alexander gallery in London, for the 'Not The Royal Academy Exhibition.'
I've also found out that I can publish my Cyprus novel on Kindle, once I have formatted it and prepared it digitally and met their requirements. I have tried to get my novel published, but nowadays Publishing Houses are not the only option. The internet has opened up many more opportunities for artists and writers. It has immense creative potential and means that there will be a wider range of talent on display.
So, I am approaching this week with a lot of optimism and energy.
('Square Choices,' oil and acrylic on canvas, 45cm by 45cm, 2012)

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

It Goes With The Job!

I'm still waiting! Silence is never good. From past experience, when you are accepted for a show, the answer usually comes quickly. In this case, the selection is not up to my agent, and it's some comfort to know that she likes my work enough to put me forward  for this exhibition. It's often a case of selectors choosing work that 'fits' together within a theme or style. When I lived in Cyprus, I helped set up shows, so know how important the positioning of paintings can be. Also, in exhibitions which are narrowed down to a few artists, it's important that the works complement each other.
It all goes with the job, of course! Recently I read an interview with an artist I admire, and I was jolted by his remark that if you weren't getting at least 15 rejections in a year, you weren't trying hard enough! Being restricted by time and commitments is a familiar cry, one I made on reading this, but you have to keep sending off applications, waiting, and trying over and over. To any other artists reading this, who are feeling disheartened, my advice is 'don't give up!'
So, with this in mind, I found some more links to galleries on my friends' Facebook pages, and re-wrote my art statement (a good thing to do regularly, as one's work evolves), and photographed my latest work. Three more applications will go off this week. Only another ten until I've filled the year's quota.
('Symphony of Choices,' 2012.  Oil and acrylic on canvas, 80cm by 40cm)