Friday, 20 January 2012

Lunatic Offering Advice

The night is a spiritual time.

I deliberately use a term that is vague: it describes a concept that is necessarily indistinct. In a culture obsessed with definition, with nailing things down, with – thus inevitably – seeing only the measurable, an awareness of that which is too indistinct - too vast maybe - to be measurable, is a valuable thing indeed. The truth is too big for any of us. Facts are things we invent for our own consolation.

But I digress. The night is a spiritual time. An indefinite term for something indefinable, but something very real nonetheless. The night is a time of enlivenment, of inspiration.

I’d made some studies of skulls and old women (a couple posted here) and these visual ideas had been knocking about wherever it is that such things happen. I’d also been looking at the Zurburans in Auckland Castle. There’s a rather magical quality to them, I think: iconic and metaphorical. They look out from their walls with a weight of implication, like a dealing of tarot cards loaded with the gravity of character archetypes, ancient and relevant, moving as shades behind the plot of ones life…

Late at night, in my studio, the studies seemed to take life in the shadows, and I saw her and painted her. I knew what this lunatic was offering; I’d met her kind before.

So here she is: Lunatic Offering Advice. Oil on canvas. 100 x 60cm. Looming from the darkness.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Winter seascapes, storms and gulls in watercolour

Gulls and the sea in winter. A season of potential and of magical flight. Both these are available as originals from Southampton City Art Gallery, 7th Jan - 17th March.

Winter Gull
 Winter Gull, watercolour, 46 x 61cm

Gull and Winter Storm

Gull and Winter Storm, watercolour, 46 x 61cm