In one of the Swallows and Amazons books I read as a child an uncle entitles his book of memoirs ‘Mixed Moss by a Rolling Stone’ alluding to the saying ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss’. This has always tickled my fancy so I thought over the next few posts I would like to share some of my visual mixed moss.
The first is little painting which is slightly smaller than A4, by New Zealand artist Nathan Rose which was acquired when we in stayed in an artists village in the Napier area in 2004/5.
I like this work because Nathan has captured in his strange hybrid little figure a sense of excruciating shyness and embarrassment which draws out a sympathetic response from me bordering on fondness. I can’t view this painting without thinking of Nathan and wondering what he is doing now as all the lovely memories of my time as an artist resident in the Waiohiki Arts Village come flooding back.
The next item is two mounted swatches of Henry Moore fabric which we framed in light oak. Moore is better known for his sculpture but he produced a number of textile designs which the Ascher company printed for him. My swatches are from two rolls reprinted from Ascher’s original blocks and used to refurbish Henry Moore’s House. With the left over fabric 50 mounted squares of each were sold by Pallent House Gallery where an exhibition of Moore’s textiles and sketch books was held. I couldn’t resist as they were reasonably priced and now I have two little bits of Henry to remind my of my student days when he was all the go.
The third Item is a painting entitled Blue by artist Pat Bell and bought as a birthday gift for my husband. I first met Pat on Flickr and friended her when I joined facebook. Pat has done a series of sheep paintings which have proved popular and blue is one of them, She also has a stream of wonderful abstacts based on stones and tangled landscapes.
Pats website address is: – www.pat-bell.com
Fourth is a large Zambian pot used for brewing the local Chibuku beer in villages. Real village pots have different shapes depending of their function. A beer pot always has two handles. Different members of the family had their particular shapes. This is a coil pot made without a wheel and I particularly like the charred patch where it was in the fire pit. The incised decoration has some of the ash from the fire rubbed into it. We didn’t bring much in the way of artifacts back with us from Zambia but this was well worth the effort.
The 5th item is also from Zambia and was sent to us out of the blue from someone who bought some of my paintings over 45 years ago whilst we lived there. She had searched for me on the internet and renewed contact and as she was downsizing thought we would like this little naive painting of St Anne’s church in Mazabuka where we lived. It was done by a local man on a piece of ply using house paints.
Number 6 is my indulgence and is a painting called ‘In All Directions’ by Fran Donovan, part of a series with same title. I went to a preview of Fran’s exhibition in the Russel Gallery in Bournmouth with my daughter and fell in love with this colourful painting. Fran works in oils using raw pigments applied over a soft ground and the result has a wonderful glowing quality. This painting has elements of a wide landscape but only hinted at and the suggestion of an upward path seems to lead one over a distanf hill top horizon. In the foreground hedgerow plants and a fence are just suggested. To me its very positive work and I love the bright orange.
Egged on by my daughter I took the plunge and bought the 90x90cm painting and today it cheers me every day in my kitchen diner.
Number 7 is a painting by Sussex artist Sue England entitled ‘Can you hear them, can you hear them coming through the vines?’ which is inspired by Sue’s visit to friend’s vineyard.
My husband and I bought this as a Christmas gift to ourselves last year as it reminded us of a walk amoung the vines in Cyprus many years ago but also because we like Sue’s work and fell in love with it.
Link to Sue’s website: http://www.sueengland.co.uk