2 June 2010

In the beginning...

So, here we are at the very beginning of it all. I suppose I should start by listing the projects I have on the go at the moment so that weekly updates have some kind of history - is it new? or is it something that has been hanging around for a while? As you can see, there is a certain lack of focus and an inability to actually finish anything!

  • The Paradise Triptych: This is my "current" painting project. It consists of 3 canvases (dimensions: 80cm x 40cm each) and is intended as a decorative, fantastical piece rather than anything realistic. It is done in acrylics, rather than oils, because of the decorative intention - and not because acrylics are my 'safe' medium.

    The idea for the middle panel came from a dream (not the usual starting point for my work) and the overall design was developed from that. As is my habit, I have started focusing on the detail far too early: the middle panel is almost complete whereas the outer two have not yet been started. I intend to work on these remaining two together, and to tweak the middle one as I go, in order to try to create something that works as a whole. Anyway, this is what it currently looks like so that I can document what happens from here.
  • Parc Turó, Barcelona: Sitting in the park one glorious day in late winter, over two years ago now, there was just something about the quality of the light, the branches of the bare trees obscuring the buildings behind them and reflecting in the water of the pond that seemed absolutely magical. Photographs were taken and a painting, in oils, was begun. And is still just begun ...
  • Crimson II: A copy of the painting Crimson II by Andres Garcia Ibañez has been underway for quite some time. We saw the original, along with a host of other amazing paintings by the same artist, in a gallery in London about 6 years ago, but this one was probably my favourite. We almost bought a print while we were there (although we could ill afford it) but instead I decided I could do a good enough copy myself. It seemed in the spirit of the artist who spent much of his youth copying the works of the great masters. It was, and is, my very first attempt at oils but it is not finished!

  • Wedding dress designs: I have produced a number of designs for a 50's style wedding dress for a friend in Barcelona. These are now awaiting her thoughts and feedback. The challenge will be to actually make it, and make it so that it fits, given that we live hundreds of miles apart. The deadline is a year away so there is still time...
  • Tapestry: This is something I have not tried before. It is definitely not going to be one of those standard, pre-printed tapestry kits. Possibly a little ambitious for a complete beginner but I like a challenge!
    The music studio (not mine - I am tone deaf) needs deadening. Currently it is very stark and reflects too much of the sound, or so I am told. A 40th birthday present is required (besides the much-longed-for Taylor guitar that has already been given - 9 months early!) and so this project will be to produce a music-themed wall-hanging to help soften the room and reduce the 'noise'. I am currently awaiting the materials which are on order from Lucy Winter. I just hope I've ordered enough wool!

  • The Colourful World of Violet Bloom: I have written 5 chapters of a book (intended for children) in which the theory of seeing and colour, and the practicalities of painting, are explored. I feel it has lost its way, but I know what needs to be done. I just need to sit down and do it! Anyway, here is the synopsis:

  • "Violet Bloom is a very serious little girl who only believes in real things, in scientific things, in facts and figures and logic. From early experiments into what colour things are in the dark, with the help of her friend Bear, she learns all about how colour works and why things look the way the do. Along the way Violet also discovers that people aren't always quite what they seem on first impression and that making friends can be as simple as just being yourself."

  • Publishing: One of my other, regular, commitments is to assist with the website maintenance, typesetting requirements and graphic design needs of Clutag Press and its literary magazine Archipelago. This is a family affair and is something I am delighted to be involved in, even though there always seems to be something that needs doing! Currently I am working on two typesetting projects and a cover design. These need to be completed in time for publication in October. And then there is issue 5 of Archipelago to start setting. It is also required for publication in October!
    I also need to figure out how to introduce PayPal onto the websites - something that should be easy enough to do, it just requires time for me to sit down and do the research!
  • Website: And last, but not least, there is my personal website. It is woefully out of date and really needs some attention. I'm hoping that this blog will give me the incentive to keep producing and that, as a result, there will be more completed work to post on the site.

There are many other projects that are started and not yet finished, but for the time being these are the ones I'm prepared to own up to and which I can see some chance of finishing! If I do manage to finish something, it will be recorded here first...

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