Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Print of the day

I visited Gloss gallery in Exeter today, which is a sizable commercial gallery tucked away 2 minutes from where I work in town. Marc Chagall's "Paradise" from the Jerusalem windows of 1962 was my favourite print that I saw today. The extensive range of Lithographs and etchings on show spanned a number of decades which Chagall created during his lengthy career. I have always admired Chagall's work for his ability to blend religious iconograhy with folk imagery whilst adding fantastical colour into the mix.

Born a Russian Jew, he moved to France to develop his artistic style. Chagall did not wish to associate himself with a particular movement, however his work (certainly influenced by Cubism and Fauvism) went on to inspire the Surrealists. His work had it's own unique vocabulary and reminds me in many ways of the work of William Blake, with his natural depiction of Christian messages.

Obviously, the Nazi's didn't like him very much, even though only a few years earlier, his work had been heralded in Germany. He was extradited to America just in time, and had a lifetime of success.

I enjoyed this print particularrly because it shows muted tones uncommon in most of Chagall's work. This is a side of him I had never seen before today. I also personally find the trope of a woman with red hair cast as the sinner a time-withstanding one and always have a chuckle to myself when I see it.

I am working on a series of prints at the moment based on my own favourite folk tale. It is early days, but here is a picture of a few sketches I did today for it. They will be linos with a few colours.

I will be illustrating the Hans Christian Anderson story of "The Wild Swans". It is something I have been dying to do for a while, and I am looking forward to getting stuck into the project.

Monday, 7 May 2012


RAMM is back, and I love it!

My wonderful Mum came to visit me in Exeter from Reading last week. We went on a trip to Royal Albert Memorial Museum as it opened back up recently after about 5 years (!) of closure. I did go with my partner Darryl, a month ago, but we didn't get to spend much time in there, so I was eager to get back and have a good look around.

Wow, there have been working hard!

The ethnograpic collection has been totally modernised. The displays are cleaned up, decluttered and informative. The Victorian desire to collect is still tangible, by being informed throughout how vast the collection is, and being able to see the vaults behind glass. Yet, what is on show leaves nothing lacking.

I was most impressed by the new gallery wing. Garry Fabian Miller is a photographer I have not had huge dealings with in the past, yet his exhibiton "Home Dartmoor" was very well placed in Devon's wonderfully refurbished museum.

His large scale prints were beautiful and mesmerising. Miller takes all of his inspiration from Dartmoor, having lived there most of his life. Dartmoor is his nexus. His works have evolved from looking into the heart of Dartmoor and using it's history and it's beauty to inspire work that is thought provoking and very contemporary.

I bought his book "Home Dartmoor" from the gallery shop and read it in a couple of days. the prevailling theme throughout the catalogue, which is a discussion between Miller and his contemporary agriculturalist Tom Greeves is that Dartmoor is a history book and should be respected.

I looked at the collection of flint tools, prints of leaves and the "camera-less" photographs and felt that the exhibition perfectly mirrored RAMM's aim of chronicalling Devon's history. Garry Fabian Miller just went the next step and showed us how we have always and will always respond to Devon.

Been too long

I'm back!

I have been away for a long time! I didn't really think it was a good time to be blogging as I had a lot going on. It has all settled down now, so I am going to get back onto it!

I will write a few posts before I publish this blog anywhere just to get the hang of it again.

My aims from this blog are to show off what work I have been doing lately, what books I have been reading, what exhibitions I have been going to, and generally vent my creative side.

In case anyone doesn't know, I work as a Manager of a jewellery store in Exeter and I love my job, as I work with and meet amazing people every day. However, I have been settling into my new house with my partner and saving the pennies a bit which has meant that I haven't given much attention to my Art. This is all changing, and I will document my revival as I go, on here.

I recently went on a little trip to st Ives, and here is a lino cut I produced when I got back. Let me know what you think.

Porthleven is a wonderfully dynamic place. I practically grew up there, and I only have fond memories. It is an acive fishing port, with a healthy respect for the sea. I always wondered how that church is still standing....

My Dad used to take us right up to the wall even if there was a hurricane going on, and I wanted to recreate that tumultuous weather with this print. It is simple, but I did it at home and mainly from memory.

To sign off, here is a picture of Darryl and I doing exactly what I was doing 20 years ago, exploring!