Category Archives: Artists

Reviews, biography, comments, in fact anything to do with artists past or present.

Out of the box

Perhaps Pandora was only ever meant to be the counter-impulse to a world that became so fixated upon compartmentalising everything that it was missing the point (or denying) that there is so much more than that which can be defined or pigeon-holed by the mind. Perhaps she was our safety-catch, primed to spring apart at just the right moment to save ourselves from our own self-defeating, self-limiting intellects. Perhaps many of us have experienced the unleashing of our own internal Pandora in recent years or decades and it is the combined effect of all these boxes springing open as one (mimicking many breakdowns and disasters in our lives…but, all of them, evolutionary in their nature) that is manifesting our next biggest evolutionary leap forwards. Who knows what small (or significant) part these archetypes have played, even as depicted in well-timed artworks hung on the walls of places where we spent our formative years; who know what a painting in a college full of women did for over thirty years at a key time in history (one of many drops in an evolutionary ocean). What makes a story such as hers ebb in and out of favour across the annuls of time yet never fully disappearing, even when we have tried to bury it deep in the basement under layers of dust? Yet, not to be set back by that unpromising outcome (much like many of us…) she found her way back into the daylight. Perhaps she has been pushing forwards with her message, with even more vigour than ever; the somewhat inconvenient wake-up call suggesting we might all want to let ourselves out of that mind-box once in a while. Whilst there were always going to be those that weren’t ready to hear her, I take heart from the fact there were others who were prepared to seek her out from her cobwebs and put her back in full view where she was always meant to be….(read more).

The true story of a painting lost and refound and how the way this became woven into my own life-story helped me to appreciate and understand the opening-up of my own personal Pandora’s Box as the evolutionary process that it was.

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Leading me up the garden path

The weather that delivered on the day of our long-planned visit to Charleston turned out to be nothing like what I had painted in my head; the sky was tipping water by the bucket-full. But then, of course, everything glistened; the fruit, especially, glistened as though freshly varnished and the petals hugged droplets of water like glass teardrops perfectly poised. We got to marvel at the way the bees knew how to line up with their backs to the wind and hang upside down beneath the flower heads – one on each bloom – until the rainshower was over. We got that kind of light that is clear and crisp, not washed-out and without subtlety as on a typical summer’s day. The velvet reds “zinged” and the greens looked like freshly squeezed life-zest personified; vibrant and rejuvenating to receive with all the senses. One of the gifts was the unexpected juxtaposition of a dripping-wet female form peeking out through vivid wet leaves and abundantly ripe fruit;her wet face had something to tell me and it was nothing at all about tears…”I sleep; I do not weep” were words that came boomeranging back at me later that same weekend in yet another stunning garden and the journey in between turned out to be a labyrinth of self-discovery through a landscape of universal themes. Continue reading

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When you lose something you find something

Talking about a day of two loses on a very different scale and yet all strangely synchronistic…joined together by a song lyric. And there’s nothing like the “loss” of a living artist (though their offerings live on and on) to bring their work and motivations sharply into focus as we are suddenly inundated with retrospectives of their life’s output via every cultural channel there is; its like everything they were about is suddenly distilled down into an extraordinarily potent brew that we all get to take a sip of (if we choose to). So, maybe saturation in the mentality of an artist who never feared his most obscure offerings being ridiculed or rejected is just what is called for right now in a culture where popularity is courted as a measure of artistic success; a timely reminder that our best output, most probably, lies in a dark room from which we create our own version of light in a state of oblivion as far as the opinions of others are concerned and with no sense of an audience peering in at us. Maybe true creative genius is only unleashed once we learn to please ourselves above all others… Continue reading

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Painting backgrounds – a weekend of art films

For two hours, or thereabouts, on Saturday I was held utterly absorbed by a film and, straight afterwards, held interested enough to avidly cross-reference what I had just seen with some reading until bedtime. The film was called ‘Effie Gray’ … Continue reading

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Two exhibitions: a day of unlikely marriages

This week, I visited two art exhibitions in Oxford that have been in my diary for a long time. At the first, I was greeting on entry by the immense William Morris tapestry “The Attainment” with its depiction of the … Continue reading

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When time stood still in Provence…

We knew we were in France again as soon as we started seeing the electricity pylons that look like giant cats with whiskers. The second clue was the distinctive jingle that always plays (loudly) out of the French railway station … Continue reading

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Of peacocks and dragons…

(..and of suns and moons, of archangels with swords and little silver fish); bizarre as it sounds, these things make up the main substance of the story of my week. As though intent on taking me on a journey that … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient sites, Archaeology, Art, Art in the living space, Art purpose, Art technique, Artists, Biography, Consciousness & evolution, Craft & design, Culture, Divine feminine, Exhibitions, History, Holiday destinations, Leylines, Life choices, Lifestyle, Music & theatre, Nature, Personal Development, Photography, Spirituality, Symbolic journeys, Travel, Universe, Walks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Living art

On Friday, my daughter and I set off on a day trip to Cambridge – or should I say pilgrimage since this is about a five-hour round trip from where we live – to visit a place called Kettle’s Yard … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Art history, Art in the living space, Art technique, Artists, Biography, Craft & design, Culture, Exhibitions, Galleries, History, Life choices, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The making of an artist

For some time now, I’ve had a half-formed post just hovering there without the words having arrived… All I had to build it on were some photos from the galleries taken on my recent visit to Nottingham Castle Museum in … Continue reading

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Gem-like rooms full of colour and light: in celebration of a gallery

  My favourite gallery in Paris, bar none, is the Musée D’Orsay so stepping in there is like being a child let loose in a sweet shop for me; and never likely to be a swift visit either as I … Continue reading

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