The Art of Remembrance

Since 2015 I’ve devoted some time each year to painting a few poppy designs around remembrance time. In previous years the designs have evolved a little, while still following the same basic look, as in these examples.

Poppies : 2017
Poppies: 2016

This year – I decided to take some different approaches. My first attempt is a very traditional design, reminiscent of a Victorian era botanical drawing.

Victorian Poppy: Pencil and Watercolour

I followed this up with a vinyl junkie project design.

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And finally, I gave the poppy a Japanese feel.

Oriental Poppy

Even though the poppy motif in these designs is very similar, each piece is distinctly different, and I’ve really enjoyed shaking things up a little this year. The poppy vinyl will be hidden as part of the free art project.

The Free Art Project : European Adventures

The Mayor of Sutton recently hosted a reception to bring together local artists and representatives from Sutton’s twin towns. The four towns that Sutton is twinned with are: Gagny, a suburb of Paris in France; Gladsaxe, a suburb of Copenhagen in Denmark; Minden in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany; and Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf in Berlin. Sutton town centre has a permanent artistic celebration of these twin town relationships, in the form of a mural.

Sutton Twin Towns Mural
Sutton Twin Towns Mural

I was fortunate to be invited to the reception, it was a lovely evening full of friendship and cooperation. As a way of strengthening the important cultural bonds between our towns, I offered to share some art prints with our guests, which they have kindly agreed to take back home and hide in their towns. Two copies of ‘Moon Over Telegraph Track’, and two copies of ‘Good Fortune’ will soon be making their way overseas. Both of the designs are connected to our local area, the first represents the river Wandle, and the second is a track which goes over some local smallholdings.

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Good Fortune
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Moon Over Telegraph Track

I’m very grateful to everyone for agreeing to take part in this European extension of the free art project, and if I receive any photographs and/or notes about the art works from their new locations, I’ll be sure to update this post.

Art is community : Community is art.

 

Pressure Drop

I’ve been working on the next free art drop, and I can’t seem to shake the excellent song ‘Pressure Drop’ while I’m painting. Originally by Toots and The Maytals, I’m aware the song has also been covered by The Specials and The Clash, and doubtless many more bands too. The version I hold in my head is the performance by The Clash (and/or a live version by Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros).

The song got into my head this week during a period of mindlessness. I’ve had a busy, productive week and as a way of release/relief from a busy schedule I’d been seeking to do something which didn’t require thought, something I could just…do. That something arrived in the form of a run yesterday morning. I’d not run since April 2017 and I knew that doing so would quickly utilise my resources and take me to a place of no thinking, just doing. The run started and so did the beat. I huffed and puffed my way home and at every step along the 2.67 mile jog, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Topper Headon and Paul Simonon accompanied me.

Back in the studio, I couldn’t shift the song, so I decided to abstract it out of my head, onto paper.

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Part of this work harks back to my earlier Elemental Art series, something I thought I’d left behind, but it turns out I am enjoying letting it sneak back into my thinking and making again. This piece will be hidden soon.