Saturday, 30 June 2012

Saturday evening was the celebration of Emmanuel Cooper's life, by invitation at the Royal College of Art. I was honoured to have been invited by his partner, but most of all to have been able to consider him a friend. I decided to spend the afternoon in the British Museum, and visit Harrow Students at New Designers before meeting up with lots of people who cared about Emmanuel.

I think Museums are fantastic places to find a little pool of calm, looking at objects from across centuries helps me find a sense of proportion.

I tend to wander until I find something that captures my imagination... and then if I can absorb myself in looking, I might draw... and that will be it. I really like it if I can find something I have never really looked at before, and sometimes I want to look at something familiar that I like.

This time it was marble figures made 2,500 years ago. Stunning forms carved out marble.

With a beautiful lion, paws crossed in relaxed mode.

Hewn from great chunks of rock , these monumental statues were offered to Apollo as gifts at the sanctuary of Apollo in Didyma, South West Asia Minor in the 6th Century BC.

And then just as I was leaving I walked past a wonderful frieze of birds... chickens and cockerels.

I had to draw almost as I walked past... thinking... this is where I will return to next visit.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Until the 2nd layout of my book comes back its time to focus on clay again and I'm thinking of two strands to my work... this is for various reasons... I am drawn to making bowls which seem so much more approachable than cylindrical forms. They beg to be touched and to be held, they have grace which the more austere cylinder tends to lack. I have endless conversations in my head between the rims and the bases, whilst loving the curves in between the two.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Visit to Hepworth Museum Wakefield

Today I had a lovely surprise at the Hepworth Museum in Wakefield,  a painting by one of my favourite painters, Ivon Hitchens, that I had never seen before. A wonderful subtle image with beautiful greys, and two figures which were as much part of the landscape as the trees.

The Roger Hilton painting made my pulse race just that little bit faster as I spied it at the end of one of the galleries that displayed work by many of the artists which Barbara Hepworth worked alongside in St Ives.

I sat on the floor to draw the piece made by Richard Long, in relation to a walk on dartmoor. Simple in its construct , but engaging if one took the time to contemplate the expanse of twigs.

And a tiny Elisabeth Frink maquette

The Gallery which houses many of the full scale plaster models bequeathed to the museum were originally housed in the Palais des Danses in St. Ives. The large piece at the back is six metres high, commissioned for the John Lewis flagship store on Oxford Street.

The light in the gallery in the museum is wonderful, there are great slashes in the ceiling where light floods into the space below. Barbara Hepworth was very concerned that sculpture could be sited outside, where the weather and the environment affects perception of forms.

The Museum building also takes this into account as it jostles for space along the rivers edge, overhanging the wear, with wonderful views of boats and barges and the industrial buildings which can be seen from the sensitively positioned windows.

Even the building itself, stark and monolithic seems to change colour in relation to the light, It was so much pinker when we left that when we arrived.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Making and Drawing

This is the cover of the book I have written for A&C Black, to be published in November this year!

Monday, 18 June 2012

A glimpse of my studio - today!
And here one can see the reason why I haven't been exhibiting recently... 
I've been commissioned to write a book for A&C Black - 'Making and Drawing'
to be published in November of this year.

But I have also started making again and I am very at home in my new studio... so here are a few corners of it!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

May 2012 YELLOW Fields.

Oil Seed Rape fills the air with a strong musky scent but the overriding characteristic for me is the nature of the yellow. It is a sharp acid colour that swathes the countryside in may, beginning as a gentle soft green that pales as flowers bloom reaching an intense hue for just a short time before it fades.

Friday, 27 May 2011


The light this evening was beautiful, although I was walking
in the woods it was the field alongside the beech trees that
caught my attention, layers of grasses and different shades
of green. The more I concentrated on them, the more layers
appeared, grass heads of different sizes bobbing in the breeze.