Thursday, October 28, 2021

How these pieces came in to being


When I went to Ireland last time, my wife was in meetings for a few days so I was on my own. I saw that there was an exhibit of paintings by Sean Scully. He is not high on my "like" list but I always go and look as you never know when something will surprise you. As I stood, trying to "get" his work, I was again disappointed in the lack of vibrancy and life in the large colour bar paintings. I must have had a disappointed look on my face. One of the guards came over and said, in a low voice "Yeah, we have to come here every day". I almost burst out laughing. Then he said "but go see the photos!"" He pointed to the end gallery. I walked down and saw where all his paintings came from, the stone stacked fences and walls made of slate. His paintings were a coloured interpretation of those stone patterns.

I had a good camera with me, and in my usual obsessive way, I spent 2 weeks photographing stone walls, monuments, and everything made of stones.

I had no idea what I would use them for, but the exercise made me more aware of the patterns and how they changed throughout Ireland.

On the last day before returning to Dublin we were walking down the street in Limerick and when I looked down the ally at the city wall I saw where someone had crashed into it and that it had been repaired with brick. The contrast between the red brick and the grey stone was dramatic, and it had a vaguely human shape to it. 

That's IT! I had taken a number of studio photos of various models for an etching project I was working on and when I got back to the studio I began matching them up. The results were my first "Women in Stone" show. I had several shows of the work and sold many pieces. I had a show at a local photography show and sold a few but put the rest in my storage area of the studio. The brick one was very large and I enjoyed having it in the studio. One night I was using an English red oil paint that was almost exactly the colour of the redist brick. I painted it on one brick.

At about three in the morning, I had painted the entire thing in a mix of colours and to my delight, I loved it!

And so the journey began. I have now painted most of the original series on metallic paper painted with oils, watercolour, pens, wax, and a variety of other mark-making tools.

I have expanded the collection of work to include tree barks, desert landscapes, and water. All work was then rescanned and printed as face mounts on plexiglass. The effects are quite stunning. 

I do hope you enjoy the show!

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