Bruges and Brussels visit

Bruges fountainJust got back after a great break in Brussels Bruges staircase 2and Bruges. I stumbled upon a wonderful little Picasso exhibition of the master’s drawings and prints which I found inspirational especially as I’ve been massively influenced by him recently, no change there! Here are a couple of sketches and some other shots. Don’t forget to click on the images to enlarge.Picasso two figures sketch BrugesPicasso drawing Bruges no 2Bruges staircaseBruges walkwayBruges sculpture

Solitary figure, indian ink on heavy watercolour paper

I made this study last Tuesday as I have come to a natural pause in my Norse exploration as my Freyja drawing responses seem to be done. This may not be a permanent state of affairs as I seem to be listening to Swedish singer/songwriters still which is interesting, so not quite sure what is going on there! Just staying open. The single figure was made before we reached our target for the Indiegogo campaign for our collaborative venture with Artipeeps on Tuesday. I suppose I was feeling a little fearful and isolated and wondering if we could actually pull together as a collective and do this thing. We did, and it certainly felt good! It kind of tied in with my thoughts and feelings on community as I’ve been exploring the Norse realm of Vanaheim. Anyway, here’s the drawing. Don’t forget to click on the image to see the marks in close-up.Solitary figure 19 may 2015

Freyja wearing the necklace after Picasso

Picasso hommes et femmes nus smallerSuzanne et les vieillards 1 1966The two Picasso pieces above are, ‘Hommes et femmes nus’ 1967, first piece and

‘Suzanne et les Vieillards 1’ 1967, print.

I made this study on Tuesday after a period of studying Picasso monochrome prints on Artstack. One of Suzanne and the elders particularly drew me as it seemed very in keeping with my Freyja explorations. The male figures looked like dwarves as they stare voyeuristically upon Suzanne who is surprised. Picasso may not seem the obvious choice for a piece based on Norse myth. However, his unabashed depiction of more intimate moments between men and women seemed fitting. He explores sexuality and sensuality like no one else and I’ve always been a great fan. I kept looking at images all week and decided to take one of his seated nudes and transform her into Freyja wearing this necklace. The first stage was pencil, then ink and wash. Do click the images to see the marks more clearly. I’ve also added the inspirational Picasso pieces. Whenever you bring Picasso energy into work it changes the dynamic completely. His nudes are not conventionally beautiful. He created his own rulebook. I love to see his work in the flesh as it were!Freyja after Picasso wearing the necklace 2Freyja after Picasso wearing the necklace with ink wash

Freyjr’s Disappearing Necklace, follow up study acrylic on paper

I made this third follow up study last Tuesday in response to the painting I made of the same title that I have recently shared on this blog. It was for the challenge of interpreting the Vanaheim realm for the Norse myth collaboration for Artipeeps arts group from Cambridge England. This recent study really explains itself, and has become a somewhat darker response to the story of Freyjr’s greed for the necklace and her need to have it at all costs. It has also become something of a metaphor for feminine sexuality and sensuality. It has a universal quality that all can relate to which is what makes the story so compelling. Do click on the image to see the marks and colour more clearly. I’m not sure if this is the end of this series, we’ll see. However, I do want to go back to Eskdale to draw another Viking cross at Irton near the church. So watch this space!Freyjr's Disappearing Necklace 4 may 15

Freyjr’s Disappearing Necklace, follow up study acrylic signed and dated

I made this follow up study last Tuesday as another response to my large A1 painting in response to the collaboration on Norse myth with Artipeeps that I have recently shared on this blog. It happened very quickly in the late afternoon, as so much of my work seems to do! I seem to need the day to let ideas mergle away with me. I may do another painting responding to the Viking presence in Cumbria all those centuries ago. This time it would be for myself and would require another field trip to Eskdale so watch this space folks! Do click on the image to see marks and colour more closely!Freyja's disappearing necklace follow up 2