Green Silver-lines

Where do good ideas come from? I often make art with a title or a theme in mind. Often, and not always…

I’ve been busy this week and my free art will be placed a little later than usual, it’s going out on Sunday this week. I’ve been experimenting with my elemental art theme again – and been looking at and thinking about Spring. I made these two small sketches, slight variations on previous designs, and once complete – I wasn’t sure what to call them.

Googling the words green and silver, I learned of a moth called Green Silver-lines. This woodland moth is green with three white lines crossing its wings. I have three silver lines on my green design – so now I have a title for this work.

I haven’t yet decided which one to place, have you got a preference?

The Art of Trust

I recently attended the ChangeBoard Future Talent conference. This was my third or fourth year at the event – and for what it’s worth, I found it the most interesting and enjoyable one so far. A really interesting, artful day – I’ll cover the event content in a little more detail on the Stop Doing Dumb Things blog soon.

The central theme for the day was ‘How we can evolve as individuals and organisations to meet the challenges of the future workplace?’ The word trust hung heavy in the air beforehand, and as part of my preparation for the event I asked people the question, ‘When you see and hear the word ‘trust’, what images come to mind, please?’

The answers were plentiful and varied. Several folk commented on trapeze artists, mountaineers and the like. I drew something similar to represent trust for a client back in 2016, though now I look again – you could just as easily title this piece ‘foolish’, depending on your point of view!Trusting

A particular idea which caught my imagination was the connection between trust and risk, and of the need to give trust.

Tim Casswell wrote: ‘Trust and risk are interrelated. Trust is the most efficient form of human relationship. Trust is something you dare. Something you choose. It changes everything about the way you relate to someone else. It tends to be transformative. People who are trusted find it very hard to break that trust. We are taught to fear and we learn to fear. So most relationships are based on fear and caution. “Trust is a pure transparent sea too deep to fathom cautiously” Trust isn’t something earned. It is something given. One of the most wonderful affirmations in the world. Once upon a time it was how we all lived. Trust is a revolutionary act. And as for images? Some words are worth a thousand images. Maybe trapeze artists?’

Usha Chadha responded:I relate to this strongly Tim. You give trust to strangers as much as you do to people close to you. Every time I buckle up on a jet plane my life is entrusted in a complete stranger to get me to my destination safely, but I trust in the system that the pilot will have been through training and passed his/her qualifications. We all have to blindly trust and depend upon societal elements to function, and when there’s a problem we get frustrated (or die if in a plane!!!), because our trust & faith in them gets broken. So the image of being blind-folded is one I see when we talk of trust.’

Usha was not the only person to offer the idea of being blind-folded, and I found this really struck a chord, and stuck with me. I made several sketches – and as you can see, I struggled to illustrate the idea of being blind-folded as a positive/trusting thing!

Sitting in the auditorium on the day, the following sketch emerged. It signifies trust as a symbol, in this case I was thinking of my own wedding ring.

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Part of what interests me about this trust work, is how people respond to an invitation to think in pictures. I never cease to be impressed with the diversity and richness of responses people kindly offer to seemingly simple requests. More to follow, soon…

Egyptian Goose

Recently I’ve begun tuning the free art project to more closely reflect what is going on around me, both locally and seasonally. I had a couple of failed attempts drawing some blossom related pictures this week, and with time running out, I started to panic a little. What to draw? Then I remembered – there is a family of Egyptian Geese in Beddington Park, two adults and four young.

This small group of birds has attracted a good deal of attention among people in the community, with regular photos appearing on Facebook. I’m not very good at drawing – it’s something I need to practice much more, so as part of that practice, and in a departure from my usual style of work – this week I’ve drawn an Egyptian Goose.

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I started using a very muted palette of pencils, and the drawing was just too feint. I’ve worked in some ink (fineliners) and some heavier pencil work. Is it any good? I’m not sure. It was a challenge, that I do know, and that’s part of what this project is about, the challenge.

The Free Art Project : Week 52. Anniversary

This week marks the one year anniversary of the free art project, I’ve been making and hiding art in the local area, every week for a whole year. Time flies when you’re having fun. This week I’ll give away the 76th art work, and this is what it looks like.

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The work is titled ‘Anniversary’. The painting represents a Chinese red envelope – traditionally used to contain money as a gift for a celebration. We’re looking down onto a carp fish, a symbol which represents abundance, and the characters on the left hand side of the painting represent the word anniversary.

Thank you to everyone who supports this project. I appreciate your ideas, feedback, participation and encouragement more than you know. I’m grateful to Carole and Keira for the many good ideas they share with me, and most recently, thank you to the poet Adrian Thirkell who has started writing verse to accompany some of the recent art works. I’d love to experience more collaborations as the project continues to develop.

I’m really excited to confirm that the free art project has recently been awarded a grant from Arts Network Sutton. This grant will help me develop and extend the project through some community events. Watch this space!

 

Edge of Glory : Revisited

A few weeks ago, I made a piece of art titled Edge of Glory. I painted it in response to this invitation:

Get to the highest point you can, either in your house or office or school or outside, wherever you are. Look as far as you can. Draw what you can imagine there – be as fantastical as you like. Or realistic. Look out and imagine who might be standing there looking back towards you.

Edge of Glory became part of the free art project. It attracted a lot of attention at the time, and I was pleased to be commissioned to make another.

As you can see, I made two versions, and invited the person who commissioned the work, to choose their favourite. They opted for the one on the left.

I had intended to sell the one on the right too, then I met someone after my recent talk on the Art of Resilience, who spoke very movingly about the recent death of his father. I had the painting with me at the time, and felt compelled to offer it as a gift. It was accepted.

I’ve recently had some calling cards made, and I chose to include the original Edge of Glory in the set.

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This is a design I enjoyed coming up with, and I enjoyed reprising it too. I can see this being revisited in different colour palettes too.

 

In Motion

Last Friday was a very special night. I was at an event at the famous revolving restaurant on the 34th floor of the BT Tower. After enjoying an excellent dinner, we had the opportunity to make art while the restaurant obligingly did its thing, offering us an ever changing view of London. I couldn’t resist the opportunity and took a wide panoramic canvas (80cm x 30cm) and started work.

I painted what I saw, as it appeared in front of me, and as the view moved, so did what appeared in the painting. I ended up with an abstraction of the view over London at night. This is the painting in situ, just after the restaurant stopped moving.

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Here’s another view, looking straight at the canvas. I really enjoyed making this art work, it has real pace and movement to it, and I quickly realised I had to go with the flow, and let London appear, and appear, and appear. I am really enjoying scaling up my work.

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Japanese Cherry Blossom

There’s a tree outside my window, currently full of blossom. On Sunday I went for a walk in the neighbourhood and saw blossom everywhere. On returning home, I remembered I had a winter tree sketch made a few weeks ago, sitting in my ‘unfinished business’ pile. I mixed up some pinks, whites, and reds, and carefully brought the winter tree into a new season.

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I shared this new Spring tree on Facebook, then put it in my Etsy shop, where it sold about fifteen seconds after I’d listed it. Head spinning stuff! I’ve since listed a short run, limited edition print of 30 which have started to sell too. Maybe it’s just the timeliness of the image, but whatever it is, I’ve not experienced such a strong and fast positive reaction to my work before now. Thank you to everyone who has shared this image online, and given such encouraging feedback. I appreciate your support.