painting

bottle, water, painting, Sarah Bush

Painting as thinking: Sarah Bush

“I have an idea, then the work helps me finish the thought” – Sarah Bush

Sarah Bush works quietly in her studio, which is also a quiet palette of light neutrals – her colourful clothes jump out as she moves in her environment.  Many of her paintings are also quiet: almost monochrome.

There is depth in her work – she uses layers to represent time and memory and space.  As a mixed media artist, she literally puts in delicate slices of nature into some of her work.  Text is also important, too.

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Sarah Bush at work in her studio

As always, my curator’s eye was caught by a visual throwaway, briefly featured – the bottle and water.  It was one of many still photos of her works, and then was in the background in her studio.  I love it so much, I made it the feature picture for this article, so you can’t miss seeing it.

 

Creative Takeaway

What are you thinking about today?

Try taking it into your artwork (of whatever medium) and see if that process develops the thought.

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Watching paint move

There is something beautiful in simply seeing colour move – the following videos are closeups of abstract art being made on gigantic canvases.  If you are interested in colour, the making is beautiful, seeing colours move, layer, react.  And a reminder that art includes the element of play, fun and discovery.  Where will your adventure with colour take you today?

 

Delicate colour palette bigged up

When a muted palette is spread over huge flat surfaces of canvas, to form giant walls of series of paintings, the effect is somewhat like another world.  Painter Jessica Zoob is here making and looking at the remarkable size of her art.

 

Creative Takeaway

If you normally create in small-scale, try bigging it up.  If you write a short story, try the “On the Road” style of  Jack Kerouac – who apparently sellotaped huge amounts of paper together and then just began typing and kept on.  A computer screen is similarly unchallenged in length – you can type a sprawling remembered saga of adventures, keeping going as long as you can.  Then leave it for a day before reading it back and tweaking.

On the other hand, if you usually work big, try writing small.  If you usually write a full-length film script, write just one scene.  Or if you paint full-height canvases, make something very very small.

Afterwards, reflect on what you learned from the experience.

Progress of a Painting

Watching paint dry” is an English expression for a very boring experience – but when it’s watching time-lapse of a fine art painting, it’s rather more interesting.  This video shows us a few weeks’ work on a painting by artist Jean-Jacques Pigeon.  At which stage do you most prefer the picture?

More!

You can find more of Pigeon’s artwork on his website.

More videos made by production company L’arte en boite

 

 

Paul Nash – war artist

Appropriately, at this time of remembering the world wars – Armistice Day – the BBC has rereleased an excellent documentary of the war artist Paul Nash, viewable here.  This reminds me of my personal view of a retrospective of his life and work, earlier in the year.

The BBC one hour programme, presented by the great TV art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon, provides depth as well as breadth, surveying the artist’s life.

Screen shot 2017-11-12 at 17.25.23Here are summary notes on the BBC programme –

Paul Nash: The Ghosts of War

On 25th May 1917, war artist Paul Nash climbed out of his trench to sketch the battlefields of Flanders near Ypres. So focused was he on his work he tripped and fell back into the trench, breaking his ribs. Stretchered back to England, Nash missed his regiment going over the top at the Battle of Passchendaele. His regiment was wiped out.

Above all Nash painted war-torn landscapes: the mortar-scarred mud of Flanders, festooned with barbed wire and awash with pools of viscous, oily water. He left out the dead and the injured, partly because their wounds were so horrific that he believed it would have been disrespectful to depict their mutilated faces and bodies: instead, he anthropomorphised the landscapes of war, depicted scorched earth and churned up soil with a violence that implied the disfigurement of flesh.

Nash was scarred by the war and the ghosts of those experiences haunted his work throughout his life. A lover of nature, Nash became one of Britain’s most original landscape artists, embracing modern Surrealism and ancient British history, though always tainted by his experiences during two world wars. A private yet charismatic man, he brought British landscape painting into the 20th century with his mixture of the personal and visionary, the beautiful and the shocking. An artist who saw the landscape as not just a world to paint, but a way into his heart and mind.

After the war, Nash turned to Surrealism, an art of enigmatic forms and mysterious, nightmarish juxtapositions which seemed, to many, the perfect reflection of a world gone mad. His lungs had been damaged by mustard gas and his life would be sadly cut short while he was still in middle age. But Nash lived long enough to see the Second World War and become one of its greatest chroniclers in paint. Totes Meer, or Dead Sea, his depiction of a great wave of downed German fighter planes, is one of the most haunting British paintings of the twentieth century. It was also, sadly, one of Nash’s last creations.

 

Earlier in 2017, I visited the large Nash retrospective at Tate Britain and was suitably blown away by the experience.  See previous, substantial blog post on that here.

This exhibition was running at the same time, and overshadowed by, the blockbuster restrospective of the better-known artist, David Hockney.  I’ve had people who visited it saying to me “Did you see the David Hockney show?”  And I tend to reply “Yes – did you see the Paul Nash one?” Because I happen to have books by Hockney and he is well-covered by documentaries and of course, his work still appears in large shows like the RA Summer Exhibition, as he is a living, practising artist.  However, to see so much work by Paul Nash was a more unusual treat.

 

 

harmony

Laura Gill Artwork – painter

Laura Gill makes paintings which are slightly cubist/Futurist – the lines of movement are important.  I have just seen her work for the first time today – so unfortunately, I’ve missed her recent September exhibition: “New Horizons” in Edinburgh.

Her painting is almost sculptural, and her line drawings of people engaged in sport capture the essence of the movement of bodies.  She even does commissions for that very special birthday present:

Discerning Gent

Commissioned birthday card

However, much more typical of her painting style is this painting, Synergy.

Laura Gill

Syngergy (4) by Laura Gill

I am quietly beginning to set aside an art fund money so that I can buy one of her pictures – loving her work.  It’s flowing, beautifully drawn and joyous.

 

If you’d like to see more of her work, I recommend going across to her website here.