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Monday, 27 February 2012

Under the Skin

Grove K Howell 2012 Acrylic on Board 40cm x 61cm
     In view of the weather - strangely tired of the ubiquitous grey, lovely as it is - I've been working on a piece based on a study from last spring. There's a wood I frequent that has some clumps of very young trees. I love visiting this little grove because the sinewy trunks are electric and crackling with growth. Still spindly, they are finding their feet. So to speak.
     This piece is not dissimilar to a polarised light micrograph of human skin with hair follicles. (See here at the Science Photo Library, credited to Dr Keith Wheeler.)
     The landscape we live in gets under our skin - but maybe it was always there? Do we recognise design similarities on some level?
     I'm working on another tree portrait now and a winter take on a nearby grove that are both much darker, so this was an interesting sidestep in anticipation of spring, and the world refreshed.

Monday, 20 February 2012


Lightly Here K Howell 2012 Acrylic on Paper 36cm x 26cm
      In slick February mud, a crater-basin  collects the rain and grows a flat forest...
       One of the advantages to having an unadopted road nearby is the infinite capacity for puddles. They constantly change shape and colour. Each one contains its own shifting microcosm, a small reflection of the surrounding world.
     Trees don't move around much, being rooted in the earth the way they are. But they can turn up in unusual places.
     Puddles are transporting! Even without wellies.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Sum of its Parts

Oak Queen (Detail)  K Howell 2012 Acrylic on Board 61cm x 92cm
     In any creative endeavour, we're looking for synergy, aren't we? We want to make something that proclaims itself Complete and more than the materials, time, energy, inspiration and technique that go into the making. Greater than the sum of its parts, as the saying goes.
     Well, I'm posting a detail of a finished painting. For a few reasons. It's large and will probably look ridiculous reduced to a thumbnail. Looking at something as a reduced, flat image, rather than 'life size' in a large space can be dispiriting. I don't want to see this piece reduced right now. I enjoyed the process, and need to take the real thing by surprise a few times to see what's there. 
     So, there it is. I hope the part is indicative of the whole, and I hope one day to see the whole and make an assessment of its state of completion in view of the sum of its parts.

Monday, 6 February 2012


Before the Snow K Howell 2012 Pastel on Paper 28cm x 28cm
     Please check out the sidebar of blogs to visit. Hopefully it will grow as I find my way about, but it's a start.
     In the meantime, my Lego duties continue. I don't want to boast about how I'm spending my time whilst four-year-old is poorly, but I know the names of all the Octonauts. And today, it seemed he had turned a corner and was properly recovering. When I ventured to get paints out, he was aghast. What are you DOING? WE are playing cards!
     After a stack of books, he decided we must watch a knight film. A knight film? We watched Henry V. He loved it. He has decided he's still very unwell. He's pretending to sleep now, but I know he's organising tomorrow's agenda...