What is Abstraction?

The following  article featured  in the St Ives Times & Echo about the current exhibitions in the Penwith Gallery. I found it very interesting and it made me think about my own journey to abstraction. Whilst I was already on the exploration pathway,  together it was St Ives and having my first child in 2005 that propelled me to abstraction and to my ‘hard edged’ bounded style. It suddenly seemed natural for me to abstract from the landscape in St Ives in a way it hadn’t elsewhere. Also, I needed to work in short bursts of time around a baby.  I was suddenly bounded – by time, by responsibilities. But in between those boundaries I was free! And it was then that I realised this was “my thing”.  Throw in text and textures and this was the way I was meant to express myself. Abstract art is not for everyone – but it is for me. The author of the newspaper article clearly believes that where art is purely decorative it has no meaning and is somehow lesser than work with meaning. And of course Picasso claims that; “there is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward…

Penwith Associates Show

I’m delighted to have Sanctuary 1 selected for the Penwith Gallery’s Winter Associates Exhibition. I helped to set up the show and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Sanctuary 1 is from my recent Vessels series inspired by boatworks in St Ives Harbour. The artworks meld the natural and man-made landscapes I encountered on my daily walks at that quiet, strange time in lockdown 2020. They reflect what remains of the fishing industry and the almost eerie sense of stillness and calm that descended upon St Ives. This one is the first entitled Sanctuary and is an abstraction of weathered boats in the Harbour.  By the time I painted this, the town had filled up with tourists over the summer and was just starting to empty again as the second wave of Covid-19 began to strike. St Ives was becoming my sanctuary again. It is acrylics and mixed media on canvas board, mounted and framed in white frame, 60cm x 60cm (image is 40cm x 40cm) – £500 The show runs from 7th November 2020 – 9th January 2021

New Studio in St Ives

Late summer was taken up with me taking on a space in the centre of St Ives for my new studio, and preparing it for its new use. Whilst I’ve got a great studio at the top of my house – with great views over St Ives Bay, I was running out of space. My tendency to do series or larger paintings was being hindered so it was time to venture out. It also means I can escape the house and concentrate on my painting with few distractions. The studio is now fully functional and I’ve already created a new series. I’m delighted that I made the move. It’s something that I’ve been planning for about a year now. I just needed to find the right space. I can now much more readily turn the ideas, photographs and sketches created en plein air or in my studio at home into big, bold paintings and series.  

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