6 Gins was a temporary project space at The Royal Standard, Liverpool running June - December 2016. http://liverpool6gins.wixsite.com/project I was invited to participate by James Worley to show various works of my choice showing different approaches and materials used in my practice. I also made a new large site specific cardboard work with the help of James Worley, Meg Brain and other recent graduates. I was 7 months pregnant at the time so grabbed the opportunity to make something large as it would most likely be a long time until I would be able to again. (I wasn't wrong!) It was a really fun project with some great company.
Although I regularly use water based paints and inks in sketchbooks and observational drawings, I haven't used gouache for years, probably not since school. I was lured in after seeing box sets on sale at the counter of Cornelissen & Son. There's nothing like working with a new material (or revisiting) to give current ideas a different approach. Working with gouache is fast, light, extremely refreshing & satisfying - a welcome break after working with oils for so long.
Cactus Garden 2013 gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Cactus 2013 gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Cactus #2 2013 gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Palms 2013 gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Network 2013 gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Mesh 2013 gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Large Orange Structure 2013 Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Teddy Bear Cactus 2013 gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm
Puddings & Pies is another ongoing series that I started last year. The subject matter is the perfect excuse to combine quickly applied strokes of oil paint with thick and creamy masked off areas.
Tall Trifle 2011 oil on board
The trifles and the summer pudding in particular have thinly mixed colours that run into each other. They have been left to dry with the painting propped up so encouraging the merging of colours/layers, mirroring the nature of the puddings themselves where booze and fruit juices soak into sponges and breads.
Summer Pudding Cross Section 2011 oil on board
The layers are then masked off and contained within a more opaque background and creamy thick topping or a dividing wall of bread or pastry. As with the net series, the backgrounds (painted in last) and the toppings act as framing devices for the areas of colour and mark making.
Massive Meringue Pie 2011 oil on board
When thinking of puddings (and pies) I think of pleasure and extravagance and also of over indulgence and potentially leading to displeasure! It's all about knowing when to stop! And I think this balance of pleasure and self control verses over indulgence is evident in the paintings. A love of materials is shown in the fast, excitable application of paint and seeping colours of the fillings that are then contained by a controlling background and topping.
Ever since I can remember I have always cut things out of magazines, catalogues, programmes etc. I think my love of shape probably stems from this. I have made collages alongside paintings for a while now. Usually very playful in approach and focusing on positive/ negative shape/ space and materials.
Sky in the Woods 2012 collage on paper
This recent series of collage have been made from luxury fashion and lifestyle catalogues. My attraction to this material is the quality of paper (very nice thick matt paper) and the catalogues for expensive goods seen to have a lot of pages of good photography and not much to sell.
Shape Shifter by the Sea 2012 collage on paper
Swimming on the Steps2012 collage on paper
So by cutting out and disposing of the subjects I am left with interesting shapes which happen mostly by chance- particularly when cutting out the subjects from both sides of a page. The shapes then become more ambiguous. I usually cut these pages out until I have a pile of negatives and then start playing around with them and layering up pages. Sometimes only 2 pages sometimes up to 4 or 5. Pages/layers are flipped, turned and arranged until I am happy with the composition and am left with something that is both familiar and ambiguous.