Friday, 4 November 2016
A new painting for the Albany Gallery Christmas Show which starts next weekend. I should have produced more but work has been slow with a few distractions. I need to get busy before I'm overtaken by Christmas.
Sunday, 9 October 2016
For me it's hard to think of a more beautiful place. I want to capture it on canvas but my father, a water colourist, did it so much better. I am not sure I even want to try.
Friday, 16 September 2016
Watching and Waiting. Oil on canvas.
The Evening Walk. Oil on canvas.
www.maryjolley.com has a new look and in the course of cataloguing the paintings I picked out these two very different pieces of work. The early canvas, Watching and Waiting, was painted in my studio in Cardiff Bay. The Evening Walk was painted much later in France where, at the end of the day, I frequently took a walk around the village. Work over, the day cooling and glow worms just visible in the dusk, it was a good time for reflection.
Thursday, 14 July 2016
France buzzed with the success of Wales in the Euro championships. Up to London for just the weekend I stayed on for two weeks to celebrate with the family as the team moved through the stages to the semi-finals. The remainder of the time I became a politics junkie as I followed the fall-out from the EU referendum on the radio and TV.
Meanwhile work went on with two new paintings for the Albany Summer Show and a painting for SHELTER Cymru for their auction in September.
Monday, 20 June 2016
A Place in the Sun. Oil on canvas
The Welsh are in Toulouse but I am in Wales.
Two weeks ago my sons and I were just over an hour away in Montcuq. We left London the day French strikers were blocking motorways and causing long queues at fuel stations in France. In Paris we picked up my son who'd travelled by train from Frankfurt. Everything seemed quiet, no queues, no hysteria at petrol pumps. We carried on driving South.
When we made the return journey we drove through torrential rain towards Paris, were turned away at motorway junctions because of roads closed and took a couple of hours doing a detour. A stop for a leisurely lunch at Angerville (it is a real place) hardly mattered since trains had left without us and we were now on a different schedule. Finally, Gare de l'Est and goodbyes before continuing on to the tunnel and more queues. And still it rained!
But this was a road trip and one of many we've made together. By it's very nature it's unpredictable, liberating and unforgettable. I wouldn't want it any other way. How else would I have had lunch at Angerville?
Back home I watched the flooded streets of Paris, the trouble in Marseille between Russian and English fans, heard the rousing singing of the Welsh fans in Bordeaux.
Now I'm sitting at home waiting for the start of the game against Russia in Toulouse, happy to be in Cardiff knowing that my sons in London and Frankfurt will be watching along with practically everyone in Wales. It's a great feeling.
Friday, 29 April 2016
I'm struggling with work. Now back home in Wales I can think of a dozen things I want to do and none of them include painting. I'm making excuses to myself and I avoid the studio where the unfinished canvas sits on the easel waiting for me. I sit by the window drinking tea with the sun on my back, listening to the radio, planning the evening meal, I'm happy. But that little niggle is there - OK, OK, OK, a couple more days and then I'll start back in the studio.
Reasons to be Cheerful. Oil on canvas
Reasons to be Cheerful. Oil on canvas
Friday, 22 April 2016
The Small Pictures Exhibition ends tomorrow and in a few weeks I'll need to send the gallery images of new paintings for the Summer Show. With some welcome afternoons of brilliant sunshine over the past couple of weeks and strong evidence in the garden that Spring is here - anything seems possible. If only the temperature didn't keep taking a dip downwards I could truly feel that hiberation is over! For now I need to carry on working and take comfort from the painting on my wall where the sun always shines.
Monday, 28 March 2016
The route from Pontypool Road Station to my home took me through Bluebell Wood.
Over the years this walk through the woods came to symbolise quiet contentment. I played there as a child, and later the many journeys I took through the wood often marked a milestone in my life.
No phone at home, I returned home from France, where I had been working as an au pair, to surprise my parents. I can still remember the excitement.
In the early hours of an Autumn morning, heavy with mist, we formed a small single file to walk through the wood to the station. My father helping to carry suitcases, my mother pushing our 10 week old son in a borrowed pram whilst clutching the hand of our 2 year old. The train to Newport was the first stage of a long journey which would end, later that day, in Helsinki. It would be a year before we returned.
As the boys grew up they came to know the wood well. Over time the single file down the path extended to include the dog, the cat and the cockatiel. They all became regular travellers with us on the train.
The wood is no longer there; houses stand where the bluebells flourished.
I have no reason to return. It would be painful. Instead I look at the bluebells in my front garden and remember.
Long Ago and Far Away. Oil on canvas.
Thursday, 17 March 2016
The boys are back in town!
It's time for the bi-annual ritual with my sons so it's Friday night at the Principality Stadium soaking up the atmosphere of Wales vs. France with cold beer, warm feelings and the sweet taste of victory.
We fight the crowds in town on Saturday to re-visit favourite places and then it's a Balti celebration at the Paramount back in Penarth.
Sunday morning we eat Scottish kippers from Ashtons, a fish market to rival any in Marseille.
Later on I cook a classic Sunday roast before the goodbyes as my sons head off.
We're talking about Paris next year.
Tuesday, 8 March 2016
I feel guilty complaining about the cold weather when refugees in their thousands are camping in the most appalling conditions. Their situation is dire and it only seems to be getting worse.
Sunday, 28 February 2016
Thursday, 18 February 2016
Back to Wales and rugby. It's bitterly cold but the sun is shining and Spring can't be far away. I'm impatient for the cold weather to go and then I can stop feeling that I'm in a state of hibernation. In eight days time we'll be at the stadium to watch the Wales-France game and the excitement is growing.
Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Saturday, 30 January 2016
Today I am painting in London; a week ago I was back in Wales. I know the M4 very well and even the cat is complaining less at the journeys we take. But it hardly matters where I am when I'm working. I have two paintings finished and a new canvas on the easel.
Coming or going?
Monday, 11 January 2016
I'm working on paintings for the Little Picture Show at the Albany Gallery in March. This is going to be a bit of a challenge. Small paintings take as much work as larger canvases - sometimes even more so it's not surprising that I've avoided them up to now. 15 inches has to be the maximum size of the finished picture so that's the canvas facing me now on the easel. I'm up for the challenge!