Talks, Demonstrations and Mini Workshops

As well as running several workshops in my studio and in Bungay, at the wonderful art shop and creative learning venue: The Art Trading Company, I have been visiting art groups and societies in both Suffolk and Norfolk.

It's good fun to meet like-minded people interested in art.
I suppose it is another way of using my skills as a maker and as a communicator. Let's face it, anyone who knows me, knows how I like to talk...!
The point is that I love to share my enthusiasm for my practice - the processes and materials involved.

I wondered recently whether members of an art group might gain better understanding of my practice by actually having a go at the way I make art.
Hence, I have offered two short talks with mini-workshops so far, which went down really well.

The mix of informative (and I hope a little bit inspiring) talk and then relaxed small-scale making was successful - and fun

"This Still Life Is Dead"...

...That's what one of my students said this morning about the big eclectic still life set up in the middle of the studio that they're all working from.

I could not help myself and had to share my favourite still-lifers with the group:
Chardin and Morandi.

As I have a workshop coming up in February at:
I thought I'd indulge in a few beautiful images of still life:

I adore how Chardin's rich dark tones invite us into dimly-lit corners, creating a secretive indulgence in the ordinariness of eighteenth century domestic things. 

The succulence of fresh food compliments the sheer joy in the application of paint; to render glass, pewter, copper and ceramic surfaces was apparently as sweet a pleasure.

For me, Chardin's work places emphasis on the 'life' in still life.
Conversely, I find the gentle quiet paintings of Morandi are more about the 'still':

Yet, there's an intimate tension in the way his items keep recurring painting after painting.

Their placement is often central to the canvas and generally items sit huddled together, like a close-nit family.

I especially love how the edge of the table or a shadow becomes as prominent as the items themselves.

Where Morandi embraces the pleasure of the picture plane, the simplicity of one beautifully observed colour, tone or shape next to another, is where the work meets abstraction in a masterly manner.

Good Things Happen In Threes

This time it's the turn of the triangle to get all the attention.
Contemporary and historical juxtapositions of graphic art and surface design and the joy of shape play is the link across these pieces I've chosen here.
I enjoyed mixing the order of placement for the images below.
See how they impact on each other, making uncanny connections:


Inaluxe is a favourite - a creative design duo of two artists; Kristina Sostarko and Jason Odd and work in Australia.


Erwin Kho

I included Erwin Kho, an illustrator based in the Netherlands, as I love the low poly technique (triangles used for those pale orange trees) and his dreamy floating landscapes.

Lygia Clark


Sonia Delaunay

Lygia Clark


Erwin Kho

Sonia Delaunay

Full Circle

Thought I'd show some examples of art and design work that I enjoy - with the motif of the circle (simple and complex) as an underpinning force:

Your Paintings - Ben Nicholson paintings:
Ben Nicholson - Painted Relief - 1934

Lucas Grogan - Just Quietly Babe - 2011

Alexander Calder - Cercles - 1964

Agnes Martin - Untitled - 1960

Lisa Congdon - Sketchbook - 

Sonia Delaunay - Fashion Plate - 1924

There's something really wholesome, stable and reassuring about a circle. It goes off but comes back round again and as it closes up it is full - complete
It seems natural, being a shape we see in stones and the sun and moon. 
It's also easy to make - a stick in the sand and a 360' turn will draw an almost perfect circle.
Did you know that Giotto was asked by the pope to demonstrate his 'artistic genius' by drawing a perfect circle freehand in one stroke?
There is a Rembrandt self portrait that shows him in a somewhat defiant pose - hand on hip - in front of two circles on a wall. Could this be a reference to Giotto as he 'proves' he can paint?

Tuesday To Saturday

So, the exhibition - Portmanteau - is on until Saturday 19 November - but be aware please that Anteros, Norwich is closed on Mondays.
If you can't make it - here's a taste of what you'll miss..!