Thursday, 22 December 2011

When Life Begins - encaustic collage

Scientist might have discovered how human life begins, how it grows, how to do in vitro fertilisation and countless other amazing things. Even in times of overpopulation the growing of a fetus and birth itself still seem like an unbelievable miracle.
Thinking of Christmas, the catholic belief of a virgin giving birth to baby Jesus seems an even larger miracle - but what would religion be without faith in things which can't be proved scientifically?

I'm also very intrigued by Ginkgo leaves. The Ginkgo tree is a phenomenon, an object of veneration, a sacred tree of the East, a symbol of unity of opposites, by some seen as a symbol of changelessness, possessing miraculous power, bearer of hope and of the immeasurable past, a symbol of love. Because of all its properties it is associated with longevity.

"When Life Begins" - encaustic collage on board (30x34cm)

Monday, 12 December 2011

Secrets of Life and Death

"Secrets of Life and Death 1" - encaustic collage including Leonardo da Vinci's "Fetus" (70x50cm)

Birth and Death - enigmatic events which science never will totally decipher I think.
And there is no day without us being confronted by both ( more by death when you watch the news...), and no day without me thinking and fantasising about these topics.

I have been fascinated by the genius of Leonardo da Vinci for a long time.  Two years ago I visited a brilliant exhibition in his manor house in Amboise (Loire/France), where he lived until his death. They reconstructed many of his engines and inventions, and huge semi-transparent posters showing his drawings were hanging from the trees in the surrounding parc.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) was an Italian Renaissance genius: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer.
As a successful artist, he was given permission to dissect human corpses at the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence and later at hospitals in Milan and Rome. From 1510 to 1511 he collaborated in his studies with the doctor Marcantonio della Torre. Leonardo made over 200 pages of drawings and many pages of notes towards a treatise on anatomy.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

This green winter - encaustic collage "Across the Fields"

Last year we had snow and very low temperatures at this time of the year. This year's winter is more English: green fields and fertile dark brown, freshly ploughed soil, surrounded by rows of bare oak trees and hedges - this all gives the undulating Norfolk landscape such a harmonic and gentle atmosphere. It feels like spring, walking under glorious sunshine and surreal blue sky.
"Across the Fields" - encaustic collage (100x70cm)

Monday, 5 December 2011

Being Creative - but how?

"Mate o'Mine" - encaustic collage  on board (30x25cm)
I found an interesting post about being creative today on Terry Holliday's blog. Although I might not agree with all her details, it is encouraging to read this list and make myself aware of things which typically impede creativity.

"When it comes to art and being creative, there are no rules. Here are 6 things that every creative person must know about.

1. Aim to be different.

You can either aim to be “better” than all the other artists out there or you can aim to be “different”. Stop comparing yourself to other people. There will always be things that they can do better than you. Likewise, there are also things that you can do better than anybody else. You are in a class of your own. Embrace your uniqueness. Dare to be different. Look at Lady Gaga. When she was in grade school everyone would laugh at her for being weird. For being different. But it is because she has embraced her uniqueness that she has become the best selling artist she is today.

2. Challenges are what push you to be better.

No one likes having problems. But instead of thinking of them as problems why not think of them as challenges? Every time you are challenged you are pushed to become a better artist. Why? Because it is when you step out of your comfort zone that you learn and grow. There is more to art than what you already know. Be willing to discover new horizons.

3. Trust your gut.

We artists have gut feels. We know instinctively whether a piece of art needs something more or is just “right”. Yes, we should listen to what other people have to say. But in the end we should trust our instincts.

4. Simplicity is beauty.

A piece of art does not have to be complicated in order to be beautiful. More often than not, simplicity is the key to beauty. Remove distractions. Get rid of clutter. Decide what your main subject is and let everything revolve around that.

5. Make mistakes.

Making mistakes are the fastest way to learn. Don’t be afraid to go wrong. Make mistakes and learn from them. Avoiding failure is pointless. Sooner or later we’ll trip up. After all we are only human. Instead avoiding failure, learn to look at it from another perspective. Look at each “failure” as a learning experience.

6. Real artists create.

There are many kinds of artists. But the bottom line is real artists create their own stuff. Sure you can get inspired by the work of other artists. But don’t copy it. Make your own. Create your own mark. Try new stuff. Use old materials in different ways."

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Encaustics & mixed media - "Decreasing Moon"

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom” ~ Victor Frankl
"Decreasing Moon" - encaustic collage on canvas (70 x 55cm)
My work I think is hardly inspired by the outside world. Despite my daily dog walks through beautiful fields or along the beach, my paintings don't seem to draw from these images. Never mind - as long as the creative juices flow!

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters to what lies within us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
... and painting is one great way of becoming aware of what lies within us. It is often surprising (and sometimes even shocking) to see what emerges during the creative process. To me it seems like another form of dreaming.
"morning chill" - encaustic collage (20x15cm)

I quite like this encouraging quote from Georgia O'Keefe:
"I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”
What a strong woman... I can see this strength in her art which is grand, brave and strong.
My paintings are more like playful jigsaws or mosaics, I'm always trying to put little pieces together which may or may not fit.
"Tuscan Autumn" - encaustic collage on board (40x30cm)