Beachcombing Blog

New work and Update.

December 16th, 2016 by

imageI haven’t posted anything for a while which has been the result of being very busy making pictures and meeting deadlines for commissions. So let’s have a look at some of them.Above is an idea for a cd of “covers” of a friends songs. That friend is Ben Mason, rising star, and the cd will be out just before or just after Christmas, can’t remember which. It’s a great bit of music as well.I also took part in the first Breaking Out of the Gallery art trail( in July ) and the picture I made got sold at the show afterwards. But I had made a t-shirt of the image which you can see below.
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There are only two ( both XL size ) left of the run of 10 I had made. Signature can be added if you like, only £10 per shirt.The picture on the shirt was called ” The Future of Haverfordwest ” and it’s sale made me think I might do a series on the town’s of Pembrokeshire. So far I’ve only managed to do ” Tenby ” which is below.image
I’ve also made several new pictures, some inspired by the awful events in Syria and their consequences rippling out into the world, some inspired by things or people much closer to home.image
The picture above is entitled ” Oh Aleppo ” and I’m trying to portray a city destroyed and in flames with the consequent destruction of human life. All too awful but the world has to acknowledge what has happened there, so drawing attention by whatever means is needful. I’m horrified by what is reported to have happened and I’ve deliberately made a horrific picture. The ramifications of the Syrian civil war have included mass migrations of desperate people. Their attempts to get to Europe have been afflicted with tragedy as well.image
The picture above is entitled ” What’s Going on ?Marvin said it 1st “.Looking at the top left corner we see a mouth crying out in terror. Below, in the bottom left corner we see a gun from behind which people now look outward in fear.In the bottom right corner we see the hands of a refugee child reaching out of the waters at the side of a boat, beseeching rescue.We cannot see the parent standing on the seabed below holding his child up. The whole scene is spotlit against the side of the boat. Above this in the top right corner we see drifts of people huddled against the fences we have erected. The last time Europe saw mass migration on this scale was during the Second World War but we seemed to have been much readier to take them in and help them then.These four vignettes are surrounded by the meaningless roaring babble of people ignoring what is happening.
Turning from these unhappy thoughts, the next picture shows how one single find can dictate a picture. The find in this case was a small black case which when turned on its side had an eye like circle in just the right place to suggest a fish head seen side on. In particular the head of a barbel, a fresh water fish found in many British watercourses and capable of growing quite large, well into double figures of pounds weight. I had all the other elements of the picture at home and the most difficult thing was to cut a realistic barbel body to fit both the head and the the tyre frame.
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The next picture is a bit of a departure for me in at least two ways. Firstly it has a recognisable person in it. This is a first for me. Secondly it’s the biggest picture I’ve ever made. I had been thinking of a series of pictures featuring a local character who busks on the street in Haverfordwest. I found the red plastic piece which represents the guitar neck on the firing range beach next to Freshwest. It was quite big but perfect so I had to make the rest of the picture at the same scale. Going large(r) has been in my mind especially after my successful exhibition at MOMA, Wales in which I sold three out of seven pictures.Thats quite a boost to the confidence and I feel able to be more ambitious with the scope and size of my work. Here’s the picture.
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It’s called “Stuart the Busker-an example to us all.” I hope to do a couple more pictures featuring him and his guitar, but first I need to find the right bits.
At the A gallery which I mentioned earlier, one of my fellow exhibitors is Guy Manning, a very good oil painter, who had set himself the discipline of doing a picture postcard sized painting every day for a month. Seeing the resulting work on show at Narberth made me think of attempting something similiar.image
The idea was that I would go to a single beach and use what I could find to be the ” picture ” in a postcard made from oyster netting. They would be a series called “Postcards from the Beach” and the one pictured above is from West Dale.image
The one above is from Newgale.The one below is from Pen-y-Cwm, near Newgale.image
The next one is from Freshwater West beach. Hope you like them, they’re on display in A gallery Narberth.image
It’s been a busy tiring year and I will be glad when the Midwinter solstice comes and the year turns. I increasingly dislike the gloom and dampness of our Welsh winters so the imminent prospect of growing day length is very welcome. That’s probably me done for this year so I will take this opportunity to wish all my readers Nadolig Llawen-Happy Christmas and to hope for Peace on Earth in the New Year.