Sunday, 10 July 2016

Painting people

Here are two pieces I did at a recent portrait painting workshop with Alan McGowan in Edinburgh.

More horse drawings

Here it is  - done for now
Going towards abstract
And more   Thinking shapes  tbc
I am a week or so into preparing for my exhibition in Edinburgh in early October, and am warming up  by making large charcoal drawings and sketches straigh from my collection of favourite images.  I have more understanding of anatomy now and it is fascinating to draw with that knowledge  It gives a freedom and confidence and helps me to express my passionate admiration for horses.  It is fairly early days, and I will see how the process develops.
I sometimes like to start by looking and making studies before then stepping into drawing from memory.

I like the "yellow jockey"picture - composition and the lines formed by the reins. Starting to explore abstraction, I think it is my natural home, but still difficult to make the leap.  It feels daring but results are quite traditional-looking!

Jupiter Artland Edinburgh

Here are a few pictures from my visit today to Jupiter Artland, near Edinburgh.
The owners of this beautiful estate were inspired by Ian Hamilton Finlay's Little Sparta, not far away in West Lothian, to make a sculpture park in their land.  They have just been pipped for Art Museum of the Year 2016 by the Victoria and Albert Museum (no shame there!).

I enjoyed the landscaping, a wonderful mixture of cultivation and wild planting and managed woodland, .  For me the art pieces were interesting and added piquancy and interest to the landscaping, but I prefer Little Sparta, which is the unique and original statement of one artist.  Other sculpture parks I have liked include Belsay in Northumberland and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Toby Brown's portraits

Toby Brown

Alistair Campbell by Toby Brown

Amy Winehouse by Toby Brown

 Toby Brown paints striking portraits of people who suffer from depression and forms of mental illness.  For more read the following article

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Marcel Griaule, Anthropologist

Marcel Griaule (1898-1956) was a French anthropologist.  I spotted this quotation by him.  It applies to creating art as well as to anthropology.

 "The threshold is the knot separating 2 enemy worlds.  To cross a threshold is to traverse a zone of danger where invisible but real battles are fought"

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

George Martin 1926-1916

Martin mentoring the Fab Four

Check out this link for tributes to George Martin by other musicians.  Here is his obituary written by Adam Sweeting of the Guardian.

It is 3 months since Martin's death. His story was remarkable.  At the time an Arena programme was re-released, outlining his life.  What was remarkable was his association with the Goon Show.

Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secome
 I can remember this show, but I never "got it".  My loss.  They were all brilliant people.  Martin did a lot with Sellers in particular.

In the interview for Arena, Martin talked about the relationship between visual art and music, how he gained inspiration from looking at paintings.  Sorry, I noted this down at the time but cannot remember more.  If I find my notes I will add to this blog.

Roberto Anfosso, the riding doctor in Piedmont

I read this article in Guardian Travel at the weekend.  It is about a doctor who rides his horse to reach remote areas in his practice in Italy.  It ticks so many boxes for me - the horse and his relationship with it, the experience of riding off-track, the gifts of beautiful food that his patients give him, Italy....  Read and enjoy.