Taking Flight

Back in spring 2015, I painted my first seagull. In fact I painted a flock of seagulls. That year, the seagulls of St Ives, long believed to be particularly aggressive, were getting a lot of airtime about their viciousness. Surpassing pasty and ice cream theft, they were now attacking our children and pets. I was reminded of a book I’d read many years previously – Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach – about a bird determined to be more than ordinary. My subsequent paintings of seagulls are all dedicated to Jonathan Livingston Seagull and his antics and beliefs. Jonathan Livingston Seagull lives within us all. We all have the ability to be Jonathan. Most gulls don’t bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight – how to get from shore to food and back again.  For most gulls it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight. Jonathan is a seagull frustrated with the meaningless materialism, conformity, and limitation of the seagull life. He is seized with a passion for flight of all kinds, and his soul soars as he experiments with exhilarating challenges of daring aerial…

Trinity 3 – Blow

The final of the 3 women artists is Sandra Blow.  I was privileged to go on a tour of the studio she founded at Bullans Court in St Ives given by Jonathan Grimble and Denny Long (http://www.sandrablow.com/index.htm). Jonathan really brought Sandra back to life and gave us a peek into her extraordinary life. She sounded a blast! Before settling in Cornwall she travelled before teaching at the Royal College of Art. Jonathan told us a few anecdotes of her life and loves that were very amusing. A fly on the wall in the Chelsea Arts Club in the 60s would no doubt have a few tales to tell. She worked and lived at Bullans Court until her death in 2006. Not the prettiest of buildings but she saw beyond that to its potential to form a live/work space. And what a space! In the heart of St Ives where most things are much smaller scale than elsewhere, she created a fabulous studio for herself. To see where she lived and worked and the vast canvases in the studio was an inspiartion. It also made me wish for a space like that. It must be so liberating to be able to…