Friday, 7 November 2014

On the rocks.

Work is slow - but this one is finished.

On the rocks - oil on canvas.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Nicolas de Staël in Le Havre

When I went to see de Stael's work in the Museum of Modern Art in Le Havre a few weeks ago the day was misty and wet, the landscape predominately blues and greys. Set on the water's edge the museum windows all looked out over the sea. The setting gave great poignancy to Nicolas de Stael's last paintings of the sea outside his studio window in Antibes. The window from which he fell to his death.                                                                                                                                                                              

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The attraction of rocks and stone.

It's curious why stones and rocks have such a fascination for me. I grew up in a Monmouthshire village far from the coast surrounded by green fields and undulating hills. Later as a student in Cardiff I may have remembered the beach at Ogmore or walks at Southerndown and maybe my interest began then. It's more likely that a painting by Brenda Chamberlain in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff sparked something in me. A large painting of a stone in the centre of the canvas  - I haven't been able to track it down so I rely on my memory. The details of the painting are not important. The impact it had on me is something I do remember.

I live near the coast now and my home in France over the past 17 years has been a 12th Century stone house in a medieval village where all the buildings are made of limestone. Plenty of inspiration there but a trip this summer around Ramsey Island in Pembrokeshire was a bonus I hadn't expected. I have images stored away that I'm desperate to get onto canvas. 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Selling up.

My trips to France are shorter now. I take a flight rather than drive and there's no opportunity to paint. The house is up for sale so I use the time to see friends and sit in the sun on the terrace. The decision's made and and I'm happy with it. Life moves on!

House for sale.

Monday, 7 July 2014

One down, one to go.

Yesterday I cheered for Djokovic at Wimbledon and tomorrow I'll cheer for Germany in Brazil. With Wales not represented in either championship my support is for my grandchildren two of which are part Serbian and two are half German.
Work is suffering somewhat but there are lots of distractions. I'm pretty relaxed about it and just enjoying the summer.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

A new chapter.

It was always going to happen. The long summers painting in the South of France have come to an end. Four or five months away from Cardiff every year became a tradition that carried on for 16 years. But things change.
Deciding on the spur of the moment to leave for France, loading up my car with paints and canvases, spending the night with my family in London before heading for the coast and the ferry was exciting and intoxicating. The lure of the open road, my choice of route, my choice of where to spend the night and finally the joy of driving along the road leading to the village where I had a home. Always when I stepped into the house it was if I had never been away. I had simply been shopping in Cahors.The next morning I would start work early always bemoaning the fact that I could get nothing right. My head was full of images of South Wales yet here I was miles away in the hot southern climate with bright blue skies and constant sunshine. It's not surprising that there was some conflict of images.

Now I'm excited by more change, maybe new adventures in the future. I am ready to leave France behind confident that my paintings will act as a reminder that I was once there.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Summer on the coast.

Summer on the Coast. oil on canvas 

Friday, 16 May 2014

Juggling work with other things.

I'm trying to pack a lot in and I'm getting no-where. I've been in the studio every day this week but when I review the work, I haven't much to show for the efforts.This evening I brought a canvas and paints home with me so that I can carry on working here. If that works, then it maybe it's a solution.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Rain over the coast.

 Rain Over The Coast. Oil on canvas

I am either enjoying the warmth of the sun or waiting in anticipation for the summer to arrive bringing warm sunny days. In the meantime I content myself with memories of hot sunny days in the South of France. Rain completes the perfect weather cocktail. Parched earth and scrubby landscapes don't inspire me; give me instead landscapes which have been warmed by the sun and made fresh by the rain. Then I am inspired to paint.

  January On The Coast. Oil on canvas

Thursday, 17 April 2014

February, March and April

February passed quickly - it began with the opening of the "All Women's Exhibition" at the Albany Gallery which was reviewed in the Western Mail -
and Cardiff Life featured one of the paintings in the exhibition.

You Don't Know Me. Oil on canvas

The 6 Nations dominated the rest of February. It didn't result in a win for Wales this time but we were there for the match against France and it was spectacular.
I don't know where March went and we're well into April. I've been having a good time but I'm behind with work as a result. After Easter I need to get some paintings together for the Summer Show. I'm looking forward to getting back into the studio.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Studio life.

The studio is happy place to be especially as I see the fruits of my labour and know that the collection I need for the gallery next month is slowly nearing completion. Since I've been back at work following the Christmas break I have settled into a good routine. It's easy to lose myself in work and keep distractions away until I've finished for the day. I still feel lucky to have such a great studio with Cardiff Castle just across the road.

Friday, 10 January 2014

New Year Resolutions

I have a list but when I read it I'm struck by how prosaic it is. It's lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. It's time for help and a friend who is coming around tomorrow is intent on building in some fun this year so I'm going to revise my list.
When my husband and I met as students in the early 60's we were studying together for a year before we exchanged more than a few words in passing. I thought he was too clever and he told me he thought I was racy. I was never really sure what it meant even though I rather liked it. I wish he was around today to pass comment on my list and gently move me in the direction of raciness again.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Bring me Sunshine

I'll Take the Coast Road Home. Oil on canvas

First day back in the studio after a long break over Christmas and I'm reaching for the colours of summer. Never mind the grey skies outside the window, the strong winds and heavy rain; inside the studio I'm building up a palette full of sunshine. Maybe it's because the song "Bring me Sunshine" is buzzing around in my head, colouring the way I feel and taking me many miles away to the South of France.
I'll Take the Coast Road Home in contrast is very firmly based here in South Wales and was completed in the Autumn for the exhibition next month.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Post Christmas

High winds and torrential rain marked the holiday period and now we can expect ice! We chopped down the fir trees in the front garden, a big relief for me because I was scared they would blow down and damage someone passing by.
Now it's back to work tomorrow to continue preparations for the show at Albany Gallery next month.