120420 new blog launch

I am finding inks a very fast and immediate way of working; handy if you’re short of time and need quick results. I like the combination of line and wash and in the drawing on the left I worked over an old drawing hence the added richness; a good way to recycle old works. If you double click on the drawing you can just about make out the scalloped edge of an Earl of Coventry Royal Worcester Porcelain piece. As always I started slightly out of control with my left hand then continue adding in finer detail with my right hand.

I have also started a new blog; weareworcester.wordpress.com about the people of Worcester.  It involves an interview where the same set of questions are asked of people; eg what do you most like about Worcester, which living person do you most admire and why. The answers are really interesting and I hope the participants and online readers will find it revealing also. It helps us understand one another. The questions are inspired by a similar interview I read each week in Saturday’s Guardian magazine and are normally answered by celebrities; in the case of my blog the common denominator is that all the interviewees are from the Worcester area, and hopefully eventually from Worcesters further afield. Long term I’d like to open it up o the people of Worcester, Masachusetts, USA, and Worcester, South Africa (where incidentally the author J.M.Coetzee hailed  from). I hope to interview people from all walks of life, young and old, male and female. If you’re interested in participating and are from Worcester(shire) please get in touch via the blog or email. I’d love to hear from you.


treading on eggshells….

What do James Abbot McNeill Whistler, Jacques-Auguste- Dominique Ingres, Vincent Van Gogh, Piet Mondrian, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Sir Francis Gran, Edward Hopper, Robert Rauschenberg, Morandi and Ben Nicholson and Eastman Johnson all have in common apart from their splendid names and most being American?  Well, they were all artists who created predominantly white paintings at some time in their artistic careers.

There are probably thousands of other good examples too.  I’ve just  looked at these artists prior to giving a  Painting in White crit this Thursday for Kidderminster Art Society; a fixture that has been in the diary for many years and to which only now am I giving serious thought. What will they have produced, I wonder, what will I think, and more importantly – what will I say?  I’ll tell you on Friday. I am really looking forward it; lots of white on white surprises. Naturally I shall be my diplomatic self; aware that constructive criticism is the key.

Have I ever used white only? Well, I once produced a series of very subtle embossed portraits of Worcester Porcelain jugs and teapots. From the other side of the gallery there was barely anything to see but take a step closer and the shallow shadows revealed the exquisite profiles of the Worcester pots. My pen and ink drawings of the collection had been transposd into a completely different medium: embossing. They were produced on pre-dampened Somerset  paper and were created on my Harry Rochat press using plastic templates I had cut by hand. Quiet and understated they mirrored Royal Worcester’s  unpainted and unglazed white ware. Quietly beautiful, they were understated, clean.

I could quite happily paint a white painting; a simple still life with paper creased and gentle touch.

A thousand shades of white. Imagine sunshine on snow, light flickering over egg shells, dazzling a virgin bride. Brilliant yet  pale -illuminated from within; shadows cast.