Passing Time – in ancient beech trees, soaring clouds, rolling breakers, flowers at the height of their glory, very old vessels that were used daily long ago by people like us – people who saw the beech trees, the clouds, the breakers and the flowers and revelled in them, used and worshiped them.
Things that haven’t changed, even though there are another four billion people on the planet since I was born.
Things are about to change though – the coral atolls on the Barrier Reef could be underwater in my life time. The pleasure of flying over those drops of liquid turquoise in another dimension where it’s impossible to tell where the sky, the sea and the clouds start or end, will be gone.
The beech trees in the Misbourne valley that will be gone to make way for a train. With their twisty, willowy muscles showing thru the skin of their trunks and their delicate end branches reaching the ground, they are the most human of trees.
The con trails from the massive airports that write unreadable hieroglyphic warnings in the sky as they turn unsignposted corners.
These are the now/future.
The Camino de Santiago is the ancient pilgrimage route across the top of northern Spain. I’ve walked two thirds of it and it is truly a lesson – one foot in front of the other, living now, the kindness of strangers, baggage quickly discarded, the path as a symbol for the thread of life. This is the last unsold painting from the series I painted after walking.
Old home arts, long gone - black lace making, vessel making, fabric making.
I can’t make black lace but I can paint it, the same for the old household vessels.
Black lace was made in Amersham for Victorian mourning, so I’ve used it to cover a lovely old soup pot that belonged to my great aunt, who also lived in Amersham.
It’s also a fishing net with sea shells that I’ve picked up from around the world and a worn carpet.
The eggs – the symbol of the life force, delicate and perfect, are set on a riddle of pattern and interconnection, barely seen. The wild Australian bush is a visual chaos of plants and trees, not tamed and ordered but layers and layers of colours, light and chance.
The small pots are painted on the lids of French wine boxes, some have the stamps on the back. The connection between wine and art is as old as the cave paintings I think. They were inspired by old vessels that I saw in Central France.
The big jug is also from France, from the days when they had more gold cloth, red velvet, light and pleasure than anywhere else on the planet.
The small flowers are bred creatures – formal, perfect, glorious, a part of the history of Europe’s discovery, science and aesthetics.
The photos of flowers I’ve included because I had to show the amazing roses my mother grows in the garden.
These paintings while being about many parts of the world and many ideas they really come down to one thing - The Life Force in us all – I’m just expressing it in my own way, I hope you have enjoyed it.