Wednesday 19 December 2012

Foliate Head

Foliate Head (Fired clay)

I've always been fascinated by the Green Man. Carvings depicting the Green Man are usually referred to as foliate heads and are common in medieval architecture, especially churches, despite the image's pagan origins. 

This interest was rekindled recently when I found that foliate heads are something of an obsession with Clive Hicks-Jenkins on his Artlog and that there are one or two more on Phil Cooper's hedgecrows.

A little over twenty years ago I spent the day at Newcastle University doing a clay sculpture workshop with their sculpture technician. At the end of the day I had some clay left over and decided to make something quickly. Working quite intuitively, I found this foliate head growing under my fingers.

Unfortunately, one of the head's leafy "ears" broke off in the firing and is now, if not lost, mislaid. What you can see below is a repair using Photoshop, to give you an idea of what it ought to look like. 

One day, I'll colour it. Green, of course.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

A Missing Piece

Funchal, from Hotel Sirius. 13 August 1992
(Rotring Art Pen in A5 sketchbook)

I knew when I posted the painting of Madeira that I'd missed out a sketchbook study that was an integral part of the painting. And here it is, found in the sketchbook which I've been using as my holiday travel sketchbook since September 1990.

This is where posting from the sketchbooks starts to get complicated. In the time I've been blogging here, I've posted a great deal from this Holidays Sketchbook, so I think it may not be desirable to post the same things again. But maybe I'm wrong. What do you think?

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Sketchbook No.2 (#7)

Tree Form, Devon, August 1996 
(Rotring Art Pen and watercolour in A4 sketchbook)

One of my first drawings showing an interest in plant and tree forms, inspired by the work of Graham Sutherland, which continues to the present.

This is last drawing in Sketchbook No.2 and a big jump in time from the previous sketch - 1992 to 1996. I wonder if that means there's a gap to be filled by looking at other sketchbooks. As I've mentioned before, I began to buy sketchbooks faster than I could fill them and to use them for specific subjects.

Watch this space if you're interested. There'll be more to come. There's the Museum Sketchbook, the Saltwell Park Sketchbook, the Malta Sketchbook ......

Sunday 9 December 2012

Sketchbook No.2 (#6)

Still Life, Hotel Sirius balcony, Madeira - 14 August 1992
(2B mechanical pencil in A4 sketchbook)

The day after drawing this table of stuff on our hotel balcony, I decided I'd have a go at the hills to the north of the hotel:

Hill above Funchal, 15 August 1992
(Watercolour and oil pastel on 7 x 9 in.watercolour paper)

Some time later I put the two together and made this painting:

Madeira (Oil on board, 28 x 14 ins)

Not entirely successful as a painting, but it was important at the time. It's still on my living room wall.