New Collection Coming 13th November...
The new collection launches both online and at the North Down Craft Collective Showcase at Kylestone Nursery, Groomsport on Saturday 13th November.
I am excited to finally release a collection of new original paintings and prints. A selection of oil/acrylic paintings, plus some one-off monotype prints have emerged over my first month back at work, and although I didn't necessarily plan them as a related set, each (although different) is linked by a story of my journey from home to home.
It's now over 15 years since I left Scotland, but my family is still firmly rooted there as well as my oldest friends. When I left it all behind to move to Northern Ireland, Comber was the home where I settled, started my adult life and put down roots of my own. All at once, in 2021 everything solid suddenly shifted as we welcomed baby Aidan, moved house to another town, and now, basically I feel like I'm starting again in almost every respect.
The thing is, it has given me a wide and ranging notion of home. When I go back to Scotland, I tell people I'm going home. When it's time to come back, I wave cheerio to Scotland and tell them I'm off home to Northern Ireland. The stretch of water in between is the artery that provides a connection between us all so we can keep flowing from one to the other. But now home is somewhere new; somewhere that we're only settling in to. It still looks all sparkly, and we are delighting in exploring each new place and shortcut, building our new memory maps. I see everything through my son's eyes as well as my own. We don't have that long-settled family feel here yet, but it feels a bit odd when we go back over to Comber, even though it's only 10 miles away. It feels a bit foreign like I'm a visitor in "my own town" and it makes me feel a bit strange. I guess it must have been time to go, although it was home for so long and there is still a thread there.
Anyway I've gone off on a bit of a rant there, I think I mostly figured that out as I was writing. I hope you see some of my journey in the new pieces, there are more to come and I really hope I can get my last few planned bits done in time to release with these on 13th November. Below is an introduction to the pieces completed to date.
Making Waves, 20cm square, acrylic on aluminium. View over the side of the Stenaline ferry.
Making Waves 2, 10 x 12" acrylic monotype on Japanese paper, embellished with turquoise pouring medium and copper gel. This print was made by lifting an impression of the structural first layer of the Making Waves panel. The embellishments helped to envisage the structure of the final painting, but as well as being a functional planning step, I enjoy it as an abstract piece in its own right. I think it complements its painting sibling well.
Bangor Rocks, 12 x 16" oil on board. We live a short walk from the North Down Coastal Path and I'm endlessly fascinated by these fabulous jagged, layered rocks. A smooth board with layers of smooth oil paint, laid down with a metal knife, is the ideal medium for me to recreate their effect.
Passing, 65cm square acrylic on aluminium. Those observant followers will point out I painted this a while ago. But it never did get finished and framed until now and it fits so well with the story, it belongs in the collection.
Ballyholme Bluster, 8x10", acrylic on aluminium. This painting was having a bit of an awkward boring stage, before I decided to approach it more from the point of how it felt to be there. We were caught out by the calm looking bay, leading out to a sunny Co Antrim in the background. What we actually encountered on the esplanade (ooh er) was some grubby, petulant waves at high tide, throwing the occasional heavy, jagged spray at us. I let some more abstract marks come out to illustrate the difference between the level background and spiky breakers at the front. I think it tells a much better story this way! And it was fun and freeing to make, which I sometimes forget to allow.
If you've made it this far, well done, you've earned a cup of tea now. Thank you for reading, I just wanted to give a full and honest insight in to what goes on upstairs when I'm creating these pieces. I'd love to hear from you if you have any thoughts, questions or have enquiries about a specific piece.