Three recent paintings on display at the Little Bird Gallery

Three of my recent paintings from last year are framed and are now on display at my brother’s gallery Do go and see them and all the other ceramics and treasures there if you get a chance this summer. The little village of Askham in the Lakedistrict of Cumbria England is well worth a visit. It’s not exactly New York and you’ll find the gallery easily, it has a yellow door! I’ll share a picture of the paintings on display as they have been arranged soon. Here are the pieces individually:  Ingleton Waterfall, Lyme Regis Cobb and Raggedy Plant, all oil on canvas.

Crow drawings in indian ink

I made these drawings last week using my crow’s feather to draw with. I’ve been looking at the shots by Crowtographer and Lady Corvid G and seeing which images stayed with me then tuning in and drawing from those and channelling the particular crow. I can feel the personality of the bird, and the drawings are made relatively quickly. It’s as if the drawings make themselves and I am just manifesting them. They exist already. I’m so grateful to the photographers for letting me use their images in this way. I’m still finding crows in real life strangely illusive.

Screaming Crow, close-up

The screaming crow in more detail. I used water on the drawing and it turned blue/black. That wasn’t the end though, it has now gone brown. Strange. I’ve also had blue fingers for days . They haven’t gone brown. I used a crow feather to draw with dipped in my salvaged ink. It feels like crow blood. The scratchy quality is astonishing. The feather collapses as I apply pressure, but still works and marks are made.

Screaming Crow, ink and wash

I made this drawing on Monday using ink from some cartridges I found as I’d run out of indian ink.I thought to myself as I hunted for ink, ‘If you’re meant to make the drawing you will find ink’. An image of a screaming crow stayed with me that I’d seen on twitter by ‘Crowtographer’ which is what inspired me. I’m working on a collaboration with the poet Kate Garrett, who you can also find on twitter, on the theme ‘Crow’. Tuning into crow imagery from real life and others work to get me in the mind-set as it were. I’ve talked to Crowtographer and Ladycorvid on twitter and they are happy for me to use their shots to work from, and may even become more consciously involved. Watch this space. So I’ll be exploring and drawing some more, while Kate mergles her ideas around. I’m reading Ted Hughes’ poems as well. I have a ‘crow wall’ in my studio which you can see here of archive work to contextualise it all even further. Here’s my wall:-

York Minster oil painting completed, Monday 7th July 2014

 Completed this painting on Monday that I made over the Spring Bank holiday week. I have to be careful I don’t overdo things. Did a little more on the triangles above the door, but not too much. Wanted to keep the light airy feel of the honey coloured stone and the beautiful luminous quality on the Spring day I made the original sketch. So it just needs to dry and I’ll get it framed. My son commissioned this as a wedding gift for some friends. They all went to York University, so hopefully this will be an uplifting reminder. It certainly was a magical day when I was there making the original sketch. History really does live within this stone. A few marks to delineate the characteristic blocks between the arches and I’m done. A picture is never really complete you just stop at an interesting point.

Crow Field A1 study on heavy watercolour paper

This is a large study made from the sketch made ‘plein air’ at my beloved Burngerley Park in Clitheroe that I shared recently on this blog. I’m working with feathers dipped in ink to draw with. Then watercolour washes on top of the ink. I was struggling to get the right blue in my little tin of colours, then remembered my grandfather’s box of paints. I found just the right blue there. It was wonderful painting with them, especially knowing his brush had used them all those years before. A real connection, I won’t use them much though, only for special pieces like this. It has a distinctly retro feel maybe because of these colours. Here’s a shot of the tin of paints that belonged to him.