A few weeks ago I took the opportunity to meet the very lovely and talented Kerry Darlington at Rennes art shop in Liverpool. I hung about long enough to get to meet her and she was gracious enough to sign my rather meagre portfolio that I had thrust in front of her while most other people were buying her work (ranging from about £600 to £3000 or more) and getting themselves a dedicated signature in the process.
Kerry signing at Rennes 28/01/13
Kerry’s work is influenced by the likes of Arthur Rackham and the Pre-Raphaelites (two influences for me too) as well as Gustav Klimt and varies from very colourful pieces to duo-toned images to her more recent and muted Pre-Raphaelite style of works. I’m guessing she uses some kind of enameling technique, though I can’t be sure. I told her about Rebecca Guay, another Arthur Rackham and Pre-Raphaelite influenced artist (I think of her as a colourful Rackham) so I hope she got to look at her work at some point.
Anyways, here’s a few of her paintings to give you a taste of her wonderful work:
Tree of Life
Wild and Free
I particularly like these last two; the colours are just beautiful and there’s a mystery and solitude about them that’s right up my street :)
Has it really been a year since my last post? No, it’s been 4 months, but that’s waaaaayyyy too long :) There are things I’ve wanted to put up here but, for one reason or another, I haven’t. My October trip to Dublin to see Dead Can Dance will have it’s own post but, in the meantime here’s my subtly gothic version of J.W. Waterhouse’s Boreas. I prefer this to the winter one I did, though I am pleased with both. If anyone is wondering why there’s no raven in the winter version as there is in the original and the gothic versions, it’s just for aesthetics. I think a black object like a bird would draw the eye too much.
Well, Happy New Year to anyone who has strayed from the path and ended up here. There will, I promise, be more entries upcoming and I will have a presence on Facebook, Deviant Art & Etsy (which, if you haven’t looked at yet, is as cool as you like!) in 2013. You read it here first :)
Here’s an image I did for the recent exhibition at Neston library. I was asked to do a pic to help represent our art society (SWAS) for the Jubilee earlier this year. As I’m no particular fan of the royals, I couldn’t get enthused doing a painting of any of them and I’d had a song in head by The Occasional Keepers called If the Ravens Leave so, I decided to do something around that idea. For those not familiar with the superstition surrounding the ravens that frequent the Tower of London, it basically says that if the ravens leave the Tower, then the kingdom will fall (which is, surprise surprise, what the song is about).
I knocked the picture up in Photoshop in about an hour and, though I didn’t sell a print of it at said exhibition, I did sell it not long after at the Hoylake exhibition (mentioned below in previous post). Unexpected, but welcome all the same :)
Just a quick note. If anyone happens to be in Birkenhead over the next month, the Williamson Art Gallery is showing three pics of mine as part of the Spring/Summer exhibition. I entered three and they all got accepted, so I was really thrilled :)
One (Edge of the World) is in the painting section and the other two (Winter Prayer and Rose Garland, the former of which got a commendation) are in the photographic section. The exhibition runs from 30th June – 9th September.
I’ve also got 5 pics at the Hoylake Community Hall but that is this weekend as part of the Wirral Festival of Firsts. Bit late with mentioning that, I guess :/
I’ve been doing some paintings lately that have just been copies of work from other sources and for that reason, I haven’t put them up. But, as my blog doesn’t get updated too frequently, I thought I’d pack it out with some of said pictures. I didn’t take photo’s of them all, so some are missing. But here’s a few anyway:
The latter one is actually a wedding card which I partly designed, though the main idea comes from traditional Irish Celtic knotwork.
As I say, I’ve done a few more so hopefully I’ll get some proper images of them and add them to the blog :)
I was in an inexplicably miserable mood over the bank holiday weekend, though lack of sleep and a sore throat (that’s still lingering a week later) probably contributing their fair share. I just couldn’t get motivated to do a damn thing as far as my creative life went, so mostly I was in Halo 3 mode (a guilty pleasure of mine at the moment!). Anyway, that all changed when I watched for the umpteenth time my favourite film EVER, and that film, as you’ve probably guessed by now, is Beetlejuice, Tim Burton’s weird and wonderful 1988 release starring Michael Keaon, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and, for me, the star of the show, Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz.
In truth, it’s kind of bittersweet to watch the film again after not having seen it for a few years. Sweet because I love it so much and have done so ever since I first watched it on it’s release back in 1988 at the old ABC cinema here in Birkenhead (now sadly gone). Bitter, because it reminds me of those days that were, for me, a time of awakening when everything seemed alive and filled with magic but now are gone. Sad, I know, but true.
I’ll confess to not being bothered that much about watching it when my friend, Dave, suggested it back in the late 80′s. The name didn’t inspire me and I just expected a ho-hum comedy that one day in the future I’d vaguely remember having gone to watch to fill in an otherwise empty Saturday night. Of course, I loved it and (another confession) I went on my own a second time to watch it in Liverpool when I was over there picking up my usual reading diet of Spider-Man and The Sandman comics. It was more on a whim that I decided to go and I struggled with the teenage blow to my pride of going to the cinema on my own for the first time in my 18 years, but the memory of the morose, Gothic character of Lydia and her stark loveliness were too much of a draw. Yes, I had a crush on her, but so did so many others (judging from all the YouTube comments I’ve read). Come to think of it, that 18 year old part of me would still marry Lydia at the drop of a hat! Red wedding dress, please :)
Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz
The upshot of all this is that I’m feeling all motivated again, quite simply because watching Beetlejuice again reminded me of being young and inspired like I was in 1988. There’s no little sunshine in those memories and that can only be good, though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel an ache for those carefree days.
Anyway, here’s my fave part of the movie (no prizes for guessing why).
There’s also news that there may be a Beetlejuice 2! Tim Burton said he’d do it if he found it interesting. Michale Keaton is up for it and it’d be great to get the original cast back, though two of them would definitely not be appearing; Glenn Shadix (Otho) and Jeffery Jones (Charles Deetz). The former is dead and the latter is on probation after he was arrested for failing to update his sex offender registration. Both sad to hear. Whether a new movie would work even if they were in it, I’m not sure. The original film just reflects a certain time and place in my life and that’s part of the meaning of it for me and everything about the film seemed to fall into place. But if Burton directed and at least Keaton and Ryder were on board, I’m sure it’d be well worth seeing. Watch this space!
Well, I also dug out my Danny Elfman scored Beetlejuice soundtrack the other day and I can’t get Harry Belafonte’s Jump in the Line (Shake Senora) out of my head. Great fun! :)
I’m outta here,
PS. Why oh why is there no proper ‘special edition’ of this film!? Y’know, with commentary and extra’s? It’s the only film that I’d really bother about as far as such things go, but such a thing doesn’t exist (the American 20th anniversary release is poor). I might start a Facebook campaign!
Here’s my ‘updated’ version of the Christmas card I mentioned in my last post. I’m quite pleased with it, truth be told and though there’s a few things I’d like to change, watercolours can be quite unforgiving. Once something dries, it’s not an easy thing to get rid of (nigh on impossible, in fact!).
I’ve toyed with the idea of adding ‘Christmas’ in the title but I’m a bit wary of that. ‘Winter’ feels the better option at the moment. If there’s anyone out there reading this, what do you think? I’m trying to steer away from anything too tacky.
I’m intending on getting some giclee prints made of my picture and selling them anywhere I can. A percentage of any sold will go to the restoration appeal for the grave of John William Waterhouse (who, of course, did the original). There’s a Facebook page set up for the appeal which you can find here. Must say though, I’m a bit miffed the original urn that has been there since he was buried will not be a part of the restoration. I really liked that urn!
Anyway, hope you like the painting. My ‘gothic’ version is up and running too, so keep watching this space :)
A few posts ago, I mentioned that I’d joined Unity, the official forum on Enya’s website. I’d joined in good time to hear about a special event that the organisers run every year, and that’s the Christmas Card Event. Basically, any or all members of Unity can send a Christmas card to any or all of the three people who, it has to be said, are what we know as Enya (Enya, composer and singer herself; Roma Ryan, the lyricist; and Nicky Ryan the producer). The idea of a card of mine (apparently, they do read them) sitting on Enya’s mantlepiece in Manderley Castle got my creative juices flowing and I thought it would be fun to try.
I knew that Enya and Roma were fans of my favourite artist John William Waterhouse, so I thought it’d be nice to do something ‘Nino’ inspired. The result? I did a ‘Christmas’ version of Waterhouse’s 1902 painting Boreas. It’s subtle (no fairy lights or holly, I’m afraid) and I didn’t take a great deal of time on it but it’s got something I like and it was fun to do. So much so, in fact, that I decided to do a bigger and better one that I’m not far off finishing.
But in the meantime, here’s my 2011 Christmas card to Enya, Roma and Nicky…
Well, there you go, hope someone likes it! I’ll post the newer version soon :)
This is just a little post today and applies only to an Irish girl I met (come April) 20 years ago in a hospital I used to work in. So, as it’s an anniversary of sorts (it feels like yesterday, it feels like a lifetime ago) I’ve been remembering and wondering.
So, Grace, if you somehow happen, against all the odds, to be reading this, I’d love to hear from you and know how you’ve been and what you’ve been up to since last we spoke all those years ago.
A few posts back I featured an Enya song called Flora’s Secret and one of the lines in the song mentions ‘the one the moon loves’. This, according to Enya herself, refers to the story of Endymion and Selene from Roman mythology. Endymion (pronounced En-dim-ion) was, depending on which story you read, either a king, a shepherd, a hunter or an astronomer or maybe even a mix of the four. It was whilst studying the stars that he fell in love with Selene, the moon. Selene was so taken by Endymion that she asked his father, Zeus, to keep him in an eternal state of youth. Zeus granted her wish and cast his son asleep forever. There are variations to the story but overall the theme is the same.
Endymion is represented by the Bluebell and one of the synonyms for this flower is Endymion non-scriptum. The Blubell is associated with sleep. This is why there is mention of it in Flora’s Secret, Flora being the Roman goddess of flowers.
Anyway, I went to visit my aunty in the care home where she is housed a few months back. She was having her tea, so I sat in the quiet lounge and waited. Flora’s Secret was in my head constantly at that time and so, as I’d happened to have pen and paper with me, I started to write a poem about Endymion. I finished it off at home after a little research on the myth and the result is below.
Endymion and Selene
The days of springtime
When Rome adored her
Beneath a sky of daylight blue
Scattered in fields
The song of Flora
The joy of her love in bloom
Where grew her flowers
In midnight hue
Endymion stood in starlit gaze
Therein that sky of nighttime blue
Gazed back Selene
Her silver heart ablaze
In his youth
In his beauty
When the leaves whispered her name
He slept ‘midst blubells in meadow fair
Slept ’til dimmed the daylight flame
Was his heart so taken that eve
To the moon, his heart, bequeathed
Well, there you go you lucky people! Poetry for free :)
You'll find all kinds of things on here. Whatever is going through my head, I suppose (if I'm willing to share
it that is). I have that many things going on I've no idea how often I'm gonna keep this updated, but
I'll certainly try.