Friday, 29 May 2015

Great News!

'Paphos Lighthouse Remembered,' oil and acrylic on board, 91 x 61cm

On Wednesday morning I heard the post drop through the letterbox and ran to see what ghastly bills etc may have arrived. I saw an unusually large white envelope on the carpet, covered in chinese lettering and with some kind of official stamps. I thought it must be a mistake but then I saw on the outside 'The 6th Beijing International Art Biennale.' THEN I realised that it was a reply to my submission back in December; I assumed it was a polite rejection and to my amazement I read that I have had a painting accepted for this wonderful exhibition in Beijing in the Autumn! The painting above is the one they accepted, which was my favourite of the 6 I submitted (via huge photos). Two days on, I am still beyond words!

It was quite a lengthy submission process and one to be done with much care, and when I posted the package on December 6th I had a feeling the Christmas post would delay it from arriving by the deadline of December 24th. I did not think much about it again!

The theme of the exhibition is DREAM AND MEMORY, a wonderful and very appropriate theme for my work! My painting has to be packed and will be shipped via a shipping company. I am hoping to go over to Beijing for the Opening. I am submitting a speech/dissertation outline in case I might get invited to the Symposium, which is something I would love to take part in - I'm sure many artists will be submitting these so it has to be extra good and I have already started writing it.

The letter of acceptance is a thing of beauty and something I will keep forever. I am very impressed by past catalogues (works of art in themselves) - the range of art acceptable is very wide and there are no 'Western' modes of vision when it goes to selecting work. (Time and time again here it is the same type of work that gets in, the same kinds of abstract or figurative, never anything that steps outside). After having read a lot of information on their website, I have much admiration for their aims and for their view of art as having a very high importance for both man and the world. More soon.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Doorways into Magic (part one)

'Tom's Midnight Garden,' (2) acrylic on board, 60 x 40cm

How does an artist find a doorway into their particular world when painting? Having spoken to many artists and friends, it became obvious that each of us has our own special entrance point. For me, painting is a form of magic and if I work with it passionately and with attention, I can catch some of that magic and give it form on canvas. I love the material quality of paint and like to explore that line between references to the world around and my inner images - the kind of pictures that stories threw into my mind as a child.
'Tom's Midnight Garden,' oil and acrylic on board, 60 x 50cm

One of my latest series of paintings is based on images associated with a favourite childhood book, 'Tom's Midnight Garden.' Though I did not seek to illustrate this theme, I have explored elements the title suggested to me as a child and let the paint evolve them into a parallel for my internal visualisations. I like to work in this way. A word or title can be the springboard for a painting and I will do a lot of drawings to get some ideas down, then that language and sets of forms filter through into the paintings. But I always like to be surprised and spontaneous, and to let the painting suggest elements and lead me into a new place.