Sunday 29 June 2014

On walls in six of the seven continents...

I WAS RECENTLY SENT a picture of my Weed Wife print framed most exquisitely, and thought that it deserved to be shared with you here. This picture (above) was sent to me by Stacey Carroll whose father made the amazing wooden frame to fit the Weed Wife perfectly; it sits on Stacey's altar as an honouring of her herbalism work. 
It always excites me to see photos of my paintings in other people's homes - the many ways people choose to frame them and the different places and ways they display and use them. As I address envelopes to send print orders to places with unfamiliar street names and postal codes across the seas, I wonder about those doormats where the envelopes will land, and the walls on which the prints will hang - what kind of places are they? What kinds of people live there? And of course, it is always delicious to get a little glimpse into these worlds! So I thought it'd be fun to share some of the photos of my work on far away walls that people have kindly sent me. 

This one (above) showing my calendar hanging in a cozy kitchen is from book artist Abby Nolan in Missouri, USA.

And this one (above) is from artist Lynn Hardaker in Regensburg, Germany. You can see the roofs of the city through the window beyond my Picking Up Sticks and Väinämöinen Sings A Ship.

Here two of my pictures - Soup & Pipe and Telling Stories to the Trees flank an oval clock in the magic-brewing kitchen of Michelle Bergeron-Martin in Ohio, USA.

This cozy nook (above) harbouring my Atching Tan print in the Highlands of Scotland is in the home of jewellery carvers Geoff & Fuggo King of Woodland Treasures.

Here (above) my Dark Mountain print, framed beautifully, hangs in the inviting Prague hallway of David Binar.

A mask watches over the walls of Burnard Burns in London, UK, where a few of my works can be seen.

Here (above) my calendar hangs sweetly in Suzy Davies' kitchen in Herefordshire, UK.

This wonderful studio wall, where a couple of my images share the inspiration-space, belongs to sculptor Jason Parr in Norfolk, UK.

Very pleased to show you this one (above) - sent to me by Cherlyn Simpkins, a teacher in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK - here my rendition of Roald Dahl's words about magic hangs on her classroom wall: "And above all watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, for the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."

This one (above) comes from the home of woodcarver Martin Hazell - as well as my calendar, you can see two of my original pieces amongst other wonders.

These two (above & below) show my prints and calendar displayed in Rebecca Elwell's shepherd's hut in the New Forest.

Here (below) my cards sit amongst small creatures in the home of Sally Mineur in Tasmania:

This lovely tableau by the phone (below) is from Kate Duerden in Surrey, UK.

And these next four lovely pictures are from shamanic healer & drum-maker Suzi Crockford's cozy cottage in Devon, UK:

Here below is a photo of two of my prints in the home of artist & ceramicist Marieke Ringel in Halle, Germany.

And this intriguing bookshelf (below) belongs to artist Jericho Moral in the Philippines:

I was excited to see this photo (below) - it shows the original of Soup & Pipe, framed beautifully, on Rebecca Wilson's wall in Ottawa, Canada.

In this one (below), we can see the Dia de los Muertos celebration altar of Anna Björkman in Sweden; there are two of my pictures - Anja in the Horse Chestnut and Sova Slova - amongst the other magics in there.

This one's from Aurélie Hesse in Romans sur Isère, France, and shows my calendar hanging on the wall of her jewellery studio where she creates fruit for her L'Arbre aux Abricots d'Argent (tree of silver apricots):

And here (below) my Smudge Fly sits in an art corner in the home of Becca Chapman in Pennsylvania, USA:

This is the hallway of Earthlines Magazine editor Sharon Blackie in Donegal, Ireland, where visitors to her home are welcomed by my Weed Wife:

These wonderful pictures (below) are from Carrie Osborne in Frome, Somerset who blogs her art and writing at Windsongs & Wordhoards. Here in her home my Alchemist is framed beautifully beside a box of wonders, nests and shells and skulls.. and my calendar hangs there too.

This one (below) was sent to me by Professor of Folklore and Mythology Ari Berk - you can see on his myth-filled Michigan, USA walls the original of my little oil painting on wood A Mountain Song to My Wordless Son.

And here (below) are two of my pieces on the creature-full walls of felt artist Charlotte Hills, in Nottingham, UK.

This one makes me smile, and is delightfully out of keeping with the rest. This is the home of a lovely man named Doris who lives in Norfolk, UK. Here my Sova Slova owl woman shares a wall with Lady Gaga!

This one's from Emma Welsh in York, UK - here my Weed Wife forms part of her Winter Solstice altar mandala:

Here (below) my Sova Slova print nestles on the walls of jeweller Miriam Boy of Silver & Moor, in Devon, UK:

And this one, taken at wintertime, shows my Feast of Fools wreathed beautifully for the solstice on book artist Abby Nolan's walls in Missouri, USA:

Here my calendar and The Alchemist framed beautifully adorn the home of Natasha Burge in Saudi Arabia:

And this one (below) is from Nathalie Desoil in Angreau, Belgium. The lovely frame was made by a French craftsman, and houses two of my works - Lodka and A Song to All Our Sorrows:

This group of photos (below) showing various works of mine in different settings is from the home of Teresa Interlicchia in New York, USA:

Very excited to show you this one (below) - it was sent to me by Amy Bogard in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, and shows my Concertina Eggcup Song print on display at the workshop where Carroll Concertinas are made - a more perfect setting I cannot imagine!

And these artful walls of magic and inspiration, where a good few of my works dwell, belong to writer and wonder-weaver Sylvia Linsteadt in California, USA:

And lastly, a whole wall dedicated to my work in the home of Adam and Rhen Garland, in Suffolk, UK, guarded by Cernunnos and a boar. Adam and Rhen visit my stall every year at the Weird and Wonderful Wood fair, and each year buy a picture. What a lovely thing for me to see.

I hope you've enjoyed peeping into other people's homes with me! If you have any photos of my work in your homes, do send them along, I'd love to see, and perhaps we'll amass enough for another of these blog posts! And if you don't yet have any of my work - come along and buy some here! It really warms my cockles to see the fruits of my paintbrush-and-soul adorning the lives of folks far and wide, and reminds me why I do it in the first place. Thank you all so much.

Wednesday 18 June 2014

To The Great Tree-Loving Fraternity We Belong

AN IVY BRANCH hugs a tree with fierce love, its arms and legs making us believe it is almost a person. All over this ivy-person's body are painted people: bird-people, plant-people, animal-people, insect-people, fish-people and human-people, reaching out and loving the tree too, in the symbiotic way that forests demand of us all: we would not be here if it were not for trees, holding together the stories of our ecosystems, feeding us, housing us, giving us air to breathe, water to drink and swim in, and holding together with their roots the very earth we call our home. And yet, there is also a crack - threading through the tree into the ivy-person. How long can we hold on? The tree has been cut too, and in its beautiful, now-visible rings, we can read the words: To the great tree-loving fraternity we belong...

I have just finished painting this piece and it is already winging its way to the gallery where it will be on display from tomorrow(!) I was asked to submit a piece to the latest exhibition at Brighton's ONCA gallery (One Network for Conservation & the Arts) which is an artistic celebration of trees. The 100 Project, as it is called, will last for 100 hours, and the aim of the project is that ONCA will create two forests: one in the gallery of 100 tree-related artworks, and one outside in the London Road area of Brighton where they will plant 100 trees! The artworks are all less that 20cm square in size and will all be for sale at £100 - half the sale price going to the artist, and half toward the tree-planting. Artworks are by professional artists as well as local school children and youth groups, and the whole project is in association with the Earth Restoration Service, which seeks to rectify environmental degradation by working with small local communities to enhance the integrity of local ecosystems. Green Party MP Caroline Lucas will be opening the tree-planting event on Saturday, and the special guest at tomorrow night's opening will be a lime tree.

Inspired by this project I agreed to make a piece to go in this art-forest, and had the very piece of wood waiting to be used. This was given to me by someone who thought it reminded them of my work, and for me, the tree-huggingness of its shape begged to be made into a three dimensional painting about tree-love.

I worked fast as the deadline zoomed towards me, and gradually covered the ivy-person with smaller tree-loving people of varying species...

It became quite a thing. It is still very fresh in my creative eye, so I can't really see it now as I know I will in a few weeks, by which time it may be sold! I can see why flat paintings took off! - this was immensely fiddly to achieve, but I nevertheless enjoyed it - a combination of three and two dimensions. 
The quote, by the way, is by Henry Ward Beecher, and I found it after completing the painting because I felt it needed words too, and these seemed to sum up what I was trying to say perfectly (although I of course do not exclude any sorority in the Great Tree-Loving!)

May this painting and all its fellow art-forest works go some way to re-entwining all the tree-loving peoples with their great green-armed beloveds.