Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another Image.

Another image of the same ilk. This time the light is coming from above and she leans back with her hands resting on her ankles.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Not quite sure where this is going........

Gave myself a rest from carving today and produced this drawing on a sheet of paper, 50 x 35 cms. It is a layout of how the figures might be but the focus of the ideas seem to be undergoing a subtle change. The central figure is not so much a supplicant here as a centre of stillness. I didn't deliberately set out with this in mind. It seems to have simply gone that way.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

More germinating

A drawing of the supplicant on her own. This too is the same size as the one posted yesterday. About 14 x 20 inches in English measure.

There are about another four planned. When I did the overall design, shown a couple of days back, I had made tracings of some of the images and projected them onto larger pieces of paper with the idea of developing the images to see how they might look. They are developing into works in their own right. From the projected image on the paper I draw the contour pieces and then work them up into full drawings or paintings.

The use of projectors or optics, at any rate has been around for centuries. If you would like to learn more, get hold of a copy of David Hockney's book, "Secret Knowledge".

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Did this painting today in gouache on a sheet of 300gsm 35 cm wide by 50 cm tall. It is the goddess and supplicant juxtaposed. It went rather better than I hoped. I might make a canvas of this image.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Germ of an Idea

Fairfield Orchard is a public space developed at the turn of the Millennium. Some waste ground near the Fairfield private estate in one of the more salubrious parts of Lancaster was converted into a public park and orchard. It has developed well and the wonder of it is just how little vandalism has been inflicted on it. The people of this part of Lancaster are a pretty public spirited bunch and have made sure vandalism is swiftly dealt with. It is well policed.
I sometimes take a detour through this orchard on my daily walk to the studio. It is a bit of a long way round but it makes for a pleasant stroll along the Lancaster Canal then through fields and finally here before re-entering the built-up area.
In the middle of the orchard there is a quiet picnic area.

In the picnic area there is this semi-circular arrangement of tree stumps. I'm not sure if they are an installation or a novel form of picnic seating. A couple of days ago I sat on the centre stump. It struck me how the formation reminded me of either a set of seats for some imaginary guardians of the place or the setting for a gathering in the style of a crow court.

I have seen crow courts when I lived in the countryside back in Northumberland. The crows/rooks stand in a circle on the ground and one crow stands in the centre. Sometimes the central bird is quite clearly the flock leader and seems to be making some deliberations. At other times the central bird is one who has failed the flock in some way. On these occasions avian justice can be swift and final.

A germ of an idea formed.
Why not make a collection of sculptures to form two semi-circles, one to show a condemnation and the other to portray leadership?

When I got back to the studio I put a large sheet of paper on my main drawing board and made a series of drawings exploring the idea.

This is a layout of designs for the characters. The top row I have called "Supplicant." The central kneeling figure in grey is the supplicant being judged by her peers.

The bottom row I have called "Goddess". The standing central figure is the deity standing amidst her acolytes. The figures are coloured according to their roles. I'll explain in more detail in subsequent postings when I shall show some individual images.
It's becoming an interesting project. What started out as an idea for a woodland installation is becoming an exploration of the human condition, - social roles we all adopt at different stages of our lives.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

More culture

Theatre in the Park last Tuesday, exhibition private views including one in which Luneside Studios participated, and then to round all off, a performance in the Cathedral of Monteverdi's Vespers. With my passion for sacred music this had to be the high point.
....and it was!
A baroque orchestra complete with authentic period instruments circa 1610, consisting two violins, cello, bass, chamber organ continuo, baroque cornet, crumhorn and three saxbuts(trombones sans valves); couple that with a first class choir and four soloists,(two sopranos and two tenors), it made for a really memorable performance to a capacity audience. The strains of it are still ringing in my ears.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Theatre in the Park

Despite the rain, we had a good evening at the Duke's presentation of the Greek play Jason and the Argonauts. The play was a blend of ancient Greek high drama and old fashioned British pantomime in that audience participation was encouraged. It was done in English of course.
To give an example; when it was time for the interval, Hera comes onto the stage and annouces that the the gods will return to high Olympus for their Nectar and ambrosia while we mortals go to the cafe for tea.
Or another, in the final act Jason returns to king Pelias with the golden fleece, Jason gives the "long voyage across the wine dark sea" speech. The king repies, "Like a cup of coffee then?"
We laughed, we were moved. Brilliant.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

More Hidden Lancaster

Still enjoying the lovely weather, between showers, and it seems such a waste to go straight to the studio. So I went via a circuitous route and discovered this little gem of a street behind the Castle. It is privately owned and still retains its mediaeval cobbles. The only snag, it is an exclusive address as the number of expensive cars parked there will testify. I had to do quite a bit of manoeuvring to get a shot of this street sans cars. Without the cars you feel as though you have stepped back in time. It hasn't been developed, it is off the tourist trail so it remains pretty much the way it always was. A little gem of street.

Mediaeval cobbles with puddle. Can't resist puddles. Photographing them, that is.