Friday, 31 August 2012

Windrush and Westonbirt

Despite the huge burden of AFAS show preparations I have managed to get out a few times in the past month.  I went to Sandford Lock in late July and did this 8x10 with the light behind me:

Sandford Lock 8x10

Michael Worthington and I then had a day stooging around the Windrush Valley and Burford before returning via Minster Lovell.  The Windrush painting was not very happy but after a long lay-off it was nice to do something:

The River Windrush near Burford 8x10
Minster Lovell proved to have lots of potential with both the river and the ruins available but we were running out of time and light:

The Minster Ruins 10x8

Each year we take my severely disabled brother-in-law Charlie away on a house-party-type holiday to Westonbirt School, originally the seat of Robert Holford, founder of the Arboretum.  I love painting there.
This year I tried to avoid the pull of the Italian Garden and concentrate more on the house:

Late Afternoon, Westonbirt 10x8

Before Breakfast, Westonbirt 10x8

The window with the shutters closed was our bedroom.
The Orangery End, Westonbirt 10x8
 I went into Tebury once but wished I hadn't because while I was there I was the victim of a minor accident.  A very old lady wanted to park her car in front of me (I was in the gutter on some double yellow lines)  I carefully moved all my kit back 10 feet so that she could drive in easily and she promptly ran over it!  I now have a crushed digital camera covered in the contents of a large Titanium White tube! The joys of plein air painting - but I bet nobody does that to Peter Brown.

Tetbury 10x8

I finally succumbed to the Italian Garden, repeating an exercise I did last year:

Arch in the Italian Garden 10x8
On my last afternoon I just had time for a 6x8 and was half way through this when a wedding party arrived to liven things up:

Wedding Reception Westonbirt 6x8

On the trips up to London to hang the AFAS show I invariably started early so had time to do a couple of sketches.  The second one was in front of Buckingham Palace:

Victoria Monument 10x7
I hope that I shall be able to get out more in the next 2 months and then we will be running rapidly towards the Venice trip in November.  In between are the ROI submission target, the Woodstock Art Festival and the Army Arts Soc show in Salisbury.

AFAS Summer Show - The Regular One

I am the publicity officer for the Society and also on the hanging team so this is a very busy time.  However I did manage to get my 6 paintings ready and mercifully all were selected.  Two have sold so far, one of which is another, much larger version of Old Harry Rocks, shown here with 'Crown Mines, Botallack', painted alongside David Pilgrim in May:

A little 'Sennen Against The Light', also painted on the Cornwall trip in May, was also sold.

Some more of the contemporary stuff included Francesca Bex's Butterfly Bomb series:

and Karl Hamilton-Cox's 'Skin Deep':

Karl's is acrylic on leather and very gothic!

The team has worked tirelessly and here are some shots of the weary bunch:

plus one of the hanging being done in the main gallery:

Next time I will report on the few excursions I have made with the pochade box in the past month, including a productive week at Westonbirt School.

Armed Forces Art Society Summer Show

I should say 'shows' because for the first time this year we are running a contemporary show - Out of Line - alongside our regular one in the Mall Galleries.  Everyone who uses the new Threadneedle Space is meant to put only really contemporary work in there.  We in AFAS have risen to the challenge (others, sadly, have failed) so I am really proud of our members, many of whom have worked well outside their normal zone to produce interesting and thought-provoking work. Katie Tunn, John Ashton and I have curated the new show.  It has consumed vast amounts of time and energy but we feel that it has been worth it.  It has expanded our range of media, styles and subject matter and encouraged our younger members to pursue their own artistic goals rather than 'fitting in'' with the perceived club requirements.

We had to plan the new show more carefully than our regular show, so that members did not waste time on concepts that were not going to be accepted.  We wanted a very spare look to the show and you can see that in this photo, which shows my mini-installation 'Figure Eleven' as well as John Ashton's 'Khe San Approach and Richard Salter's 'Tree of my Conscience'.

My piece has earned the epithet 'Tim's Tomb' and as it took me 25 working hours to make it certainly buried everything else.  It is a C4th limestone tomb lid with Victorian cast brass 'knight in repose' mounted in place of the original carved Ogham script (C4th Irish).  The face is that of the classic Figure 11 Target - used by armed forces worldwide.  I think I have posted more details elsewhere.
My favourite piece is probably Anna Poole's 'bleeding boot' video  actually called Footprint of War, with a soundtrack of Queen that we can't play because of performing rights issues.  I like it better with no sound actually.

It starts quite innocently like this:

There is blood everywhere at the end.

Katie's 'Fin' series is also very interesting as she is better known for her 'beautiful boys' but is now concentrating on marine conservation issues:

John's 'Khe San' is the most popular of all the Out of Line pieces - and at 16 feet high the largest!

In the next post I will include some pictures of the regular show.  Both finish tomorrow at 4pm.