I’ve been playing with various poppy designs for about three years now, and I am in the habit of making a batch of poppy images around the time of Remembrance Day in the UK. As well as a piece of remembrance art, these pieces also speak to me of the blood and tears of war. This year I’ve decided to offer the poppies for sale, and donate some of the proceeds to the Royal British Legion poppy appeal.
Each artwork is painted using Winsor and Newton professional water colours on Aquarelle Arches satin grain 300g/m2 hot pressed 100% cotton paper. Each piece is 10cm x 25cm and will be signed then mounted using 100% acid free tape into conservation grade mount board. I’m selling these for £45 plus £5 P&P each, with a donation of £10 for every sale. The second and sixth in the series have already been sold. Number three has been given away as a free art drop and I destroyed number five, it just didn’t work! Contact me if you’d like to buy one of the remaining artworks, and in so doing, help support a good cause.
Poppies are a design I enjoy painting, and with time for remembrance approaching, I’ve started to think about interpretations for this year. What I am sharing here is very much work in progress. I’m not yet sure if I’ll continue down this path, but part of the ‘deal’ with this blog is I often share my work as I go – so here’s where I’m currently at. These are made with spray paint, stencil and acrylic. The spray paint I am using is scarily unpredictable, from dribbles to full on paint explosions. I quite like the randomness…I think!?
Approximately 10 million soldiers died in the First World War. As a kid, and again as a young man, and again as an older man I have visited the site of The Battle of Vimy Ridge. Since my first visit I felt the desolation and despair of the place. It’s important to remember the high price of war, or ‘organised murder’, if you prefer the description given by the late Harry Patch. 10 million lives.
Approximately 7 million civilians died in the First World War. They did not sign up to fight, nor were they conscripted. Rather they were unceremoniously blown to bits, shot, burned, starved, diseased and destroyed. 7 million lives.
I choose to remember and I choose not to wear a remembrance poppy. I increasingly find myself in a minority. Even though we seem particularly bad at learning from it, I still think remembrance is vital. And I don’t wish to offend, but I choose to unite my remembrance of all the war dead from all conflicts, military and civilian alike. Whatever you think about the poppy as a symbol, it does not currently stand for that united remembrance.