Welcome Message

Thanks for stopping in! Please leave comments or links to your work in the box below the post.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Point of Departure

Headland K Howell 14 cm x 21 cm Charcoal
     Playing with charcoal and oil pastel. The sticky oil pastel collects the charcoal dust in rich deposits, allowing you to scratch it away again if you choose. I love the variety of marks you can make with charcoal. I forget about the distinct lack of colour.
      I'm building a collection of sketches to use as a Point of Departure. Strange to see my table covered in shades of grey, but every few years it happens. I pick up a piece of charcoal and wonder why I ever bother using anything else.
     Also strange that this study is a Landscape. I mean, I'm playing by the rules. There's a foreground, a midground and a distant horizon. This is unusual. I'm not sure what to make of it.
     As you can see, I'm still a little in love with those stone-cut graves. But there are Others coming...

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Ups and Downs

Moon is Downstairs K Howell Charcoal on board 6cm x 13 cm  
     Stairs always give a space a lift. This set is incredible. Worn by time, this staircase is reverting to an organic, natural shape. The carefully cut stones have been hollowed by footsteps and collecting rainwater, the sharp edges lost over the years. I talked about an old painting of a new staircase-in-progress here. These stairs are nestled in a ruin dating to the 8th or 9th century. Some contrast.
     The stonework I've been looking at is amazing. Red sandstone hewn by Anglo Saxon tools and weathered by the elements. I've lots of development work to do, but it's satisfying  to be en route.
     Do you have a favourite flight? 

Exhibition at the Lancaster Environment Centre is on until 16 June 2012. A thumbnail gallery is available to view on my website .

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

At the Edge

Memory (a study) K Howell Pastel on Paper

     Some places are so hauntingly beautiful it's impossible to articulate the experience and equally impossible to not attempt... I spent some time on the headland at Heysham, Lancashire . The sort of place you stand and see Forever. Chill-inducing and unforgettable.
     Under the constantly changing sky and just beyond the reaching tide, there are these Human Memories carved in the stone of the headland. More like space left behind than graves, these shapes set in stone fill with rain water and reflect the sky.
     Some 12 years ago, there was a brilliant artist's residency in Heysham; Andrea Gregson took clay casts of these stone graves, also producing mixed media pieces using fabric, with shells and found materials filling the void shapes. Beautiful.
Anyway, the memory pulled at me, combined with the fact that the Human Void shape kept cropping up in my tree trunks.
     So very glad I went back. The visitor's Centre was closed, but I'm hoping there might be some photos on display from Andrea's residency. I'll check on the next visit...
     I seem to be thinking about time and memory, and look forward to playing with this Edge of the World landscape. If you've never been, I'd highly recommend dropping everything and going.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Blue Skies

Split Beech K Howell 2012 Pastel on Paper 14cm x 21 cm
      Catching my breath. I'm working on Other Things right now, but this tree caught my eye. It's remarkable. I enjoyed the shapes it gave the sky and the push/pull nature of the split trunk.
     Spring seems to be the right time for messing with new ideas, trying things out and playing. I'm preparing a few canvases as well as boards for variety and have spent more time than I care to quantify looking for the extra staples I'm sure I had. I've decided I like the look of nails better anyway, even if it's labour intensive because I hate shopping that much (Except for shoelaces, paint and books. Obviously.).
     It's a strange relief after preparing work for exhibition and dealing with it as product to go back to the raw material and start from scratch with the vaguest notion of what might happen this time. Like packing a bag for a journey and leaving, without actually buying a ticket anywhere, just thumbing a lift and hoping you don't get picked up by a psychopath. So where am I going? Well, I'll have something to show for myself sometime soon. In the meanwhile, this tree. Call it continuity.