May. 9th, 2008

helenic: (what's the matter lagerboy?)

I have a whole bunch of new art to post! I've had a successful week, artwise, although it doesn't feel it, for some reason. I spent Tuesday evening having dinner at Straylight and finally getting round to play with ink with [livejournal.com profile] steerpikelet and [livejournal.com profile] cyrus_ii. Then Wednesday afternoon was spent painting with Simon, although sadly not for long enough as I was late arriving and he had to head out at 4pm to each his evening graphics class, and on Wednesday night I decided to stay up and see how many of the half-finished little paintings I have lying around my room I could finish by the morning, when I was finally going to hang some paintings in the Pembury Tavern, in honour of which I am using my Real Ale icon. This has been on the cards since the start of the year, but given my own disorganisation and [livejournal.com profile] timeplease's hectic schedule, I didn't manage to get the paintings there until a few weeks ago, and it took us until yesterday to find a morning when Steve and I could both go into the pub before opening, drill holes in the wall and hang everything.

However, this is now done, and the Pembury is pleasingly colourful :) A lot of the artwork in there is for sale, which is the first time I've had a long-term exhibition space in London. The paintings are all a bit mismatched, including several unsold works from K~nesis, and collaborations with both Stef and Kristen alongside my own paintings. It's basically everything I've had sitting around in my room unsold, apart from the two nude paintings from K~nesis which were deemed NPS (non-Pembury-safe). Not exactly a coherent body of work, so I'm not calling it an "exhibition" and there's no exciting launch party or anything. Just a space for me to hang art, which makes [livejournal.com profile] timeplease happy because his pub is bright and happy and he gets free decor. And I'm hoping that maybe the people who visit the Pembury might possibly include people with money to spend on art, and perhaps, even, more money than the clientele of the Foundry. (Etsy is, sadly, not as helpful as I'd hoped, mostly due to the exchange rate.) Lovely and generous and supportive as my friends and friends-of-friends are, I think most of them who could afford to buy one of my paintings already have, and lovely as you lot are, I should really have expanded my customer-base beyond you by now.

Not all of the art now taking up space in my favourite pub is for sale. Two of them are the property of [livejournal.com profile] hairyears, who has failed for about ten months to collect them from the Foundry or my house, and if he doesn't take them home from the Pembury by August 21st (the anniversary of the K~nesis exhibition) then I think he'll have missed his chance, after which I will feel perfectly within my rights to offer them for resale. [livejournal.com profile] hairyears - consider yourself warned :)

Two others are the property of a friend of Denny's who paid for them via him, but whose life circumstances have since changed, meaning she's not able to come to London to collect them. Denny will be keeping them for her at his place on a medium-long term basis, but until he has a car and can pick them up I thought I may as well show them off.

Staying up all night to paint on Wednesday was a huge success. I completed three new/old paintings, had a lovely time pottering around listening to music, and managed to chat to my parents for the first time since they moved to Belize by dint of being online at 5am when they'd just finished dinner. I crashed out at 6.30am and had a 90-minute powernap which was eerily refreshing; despite only having had an hour and a half's sleep, I felt pretty much normal and awake for all of yesterday. I was expecting to have to sleep lots today to catch up, but after crashing out at 11pm last night I woke up at 9am and feel absolutely fine. Win! I'm not sure if the sleep dep is going to land on my head at an inconvenient moment, like during my shoot on Sunday/Monday, but I'm going to have any late nights this weekend, so I think I might actually have got away with it. I'll post the new paintings in a separate entry, for the benefit of any unfortunates who don't drink at the Pembury. The rest of you can feel free to skip it :)

helenic: (Default)

Three recently finished pieces which are now hanging in the Pembury:



Underwater Lights
(with Stefania Bounajuti)
Acrylic on canvas, 16" x 20"
For sale (£90)

details )




Sea Flowers
(with Lizzie Louise Sudbury)
Acrylic on canvas, 8" x 8"
For sale (£50)

details )




Fire Dancer
Acrylic on canvas, 8" x 8"
For sale (£50)

details )

Many, many thanks to the three artists who contributed to the above. They are as inspiring and talented as they are lovely, and making pretty things with them has been one of the best parts of the last year. More of that please :)

helenic: (Default)

So last Tuesday I finally sat down and did some drawing with my good friends [livejournal.com profile] steerpikelet and [livejournal.com profile] cyrus_ii. They're both accomplished inkers and line-artists, and because my medium is paint and my previous collaboration experience has been limited to thick squidgy messy improvisations in paint, we didn't really feel that compatible, and I've never done art with them before. These days I'm gradually opening up - I may not have a huge amount of shared creative ground with [livejournal.com profile] steerpikelet and [livejournal.com profile] cyrus_ii, but they're very close friends, which does help. I'm still sufficiently self-conscious that I felt uncomfortable starting work while their housemate, who seems lovely but who I don't know at all, was around.

This is very much not my normal style. In future I'd be interested to split the process, with one person pencilling, one inking and another colouring, comics-style; I'm not sure that line drawing lends itself naturally to two people working on something simultaneously. They were fun, though. With [livejournal.com profile] steerpikelet I used Chinese ink and she a series of different pens, which she uses far better than I ever will; [livejournal.com profile] cyrus_ii inks a lot, so we both used that. We didn't spend particularly long on either of them - much of the evening was delightfully spent in chatting and giggling before we got round to the serious business of making pretty things. I'd really love to spend longer on something with these two, not least because their styles are both about the intricate details, and there's a limit to how intricate you can get in an hour. I'm also getting the urge to work on something big with these guys. Get some paper that covers the floor, cover it with swathes of watercolour and then work into it with layers of ink and pens, get lost in it, trace a path around the paper and spend ages immersed in different bits.

I can see far more of either of them in these two pieces than I can of me, but perhaps my own influence is invisible to me, in the same way that we can never smell the mild, distinctive smell our own house has, but guests will notice it immediately on coming through the door, and lovers will be reminded of you every time they smell it. Are all artists chameleons? When I'm collaborating I seem to adapt to my co-artist's style far more than I bring my own style to the table. But then, my own style isn't very well suited to spontaneous improvisations. Perhaps if I worked in oils with someone else it would look a lot more like one of my paintings (and, in fact, the K~nesis paintings that include oils do look a lot more like the rest of my art).

belatedly cut for b00bage, which I always fail to notice as NWS when it's drawn rather than photographed )

Untitled (figure)
(with Laurie Penny)
12" x 16", Chinese ink and various pens

Note: The pens probably have all sorts of cool professional-sounding names, but I'm not sure what they are because I don't know anything about pens. Ballpoint? Fibretip? There were colours and everything, it was very exciting. Laurie did all of the pen stuff. I used ink and brush.

This is quite silly and comic-book but I like her anyway. I particularly like her piercings, and the ambiguity as to how much of the decoration is tattoos/body art and how much is abstract decoration. I like how the figure is stylised as well, although I think the anatomy leaves something to be desired. I happily accept the blame for this as I think I did most of the initial blocking out and I'm terrible at doing figures from imagination. I tend towards the unrealistically skinny unless I check myself, and that bothers me. Sadly I'm not very good at drawing curves either, unless I've got something to copy. More life-drawing clearly required!




Repose
(with Andrew May)
16" x 12", Chinese ink


To my eye, this looks like an Andy-painting with some silly Helen doodles over the top, but Andy reckons I did more of the figure than I'd thought, so clearly his distinctive brush style is contagious. This is a very quick sketch but I love it. Andy's style is compelling and moody; to me this looks like an illustration of a scene from an unknown myth. Even though we were making it up as we went along and the lighting isn't accurate, I like how it looks like light is falling onto the figure through a rose window. To me, the figure looks like a mystic, spirit-walking on other paths while his body gathers dust. Or perhaps it's a male version of the Sleeping Beauty story. I don't draw male nudes very much. I should do. Men are purty.

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