Friday, 29 April 2011

The Beast and the Beauty

I have finally emerged from the chocolate coma and the school holiday mess and distractions are finally behind me (...well almost just one little long weekend to go) , which means that it is almost time to get back to the joys of spending the days in the studio.

I am labouring away on the nectarine blossom , but I think it is a victim of the extended break and it is very hard to get back into it, and so I am thinking I need to dig in and just get it finished off as quickly as possible. It is hard to keep the momentum going on a drawing when it has sat on your desk for weeks on end and to tell you the truth I just get sick of looking at it, but I think it is worth pushing through that on this one as it is still looking as though it could be a successful finished piece. As always it is a learning experience and I am realising it is so important to have self imposed deadlines to avoid this in the future.

Inevitably though my mind has started to turn to the next project and I am torn between the obscene beauty of the rose which I photographed recently. I have quite a thing for apricot roses and am quite proud of this photo and think it would make a beautiful botanical piece, but then at the grocery shop yesterday I was seduced by the absolute mind bending freaky ugly beauty of this celeriac. I love the texture and subtlety of the colours in the vegetable and it reminds me of the pale beet that I drew last year. So it is a choice between the beauty or the beast, between trying to capture the papery delicacy of the rose, or the solid knobbly texture of the celeriac. One is a riot of colour and the other is so subtle in its colour... choices, choices!!!

Thursday, 14 April 2011


I came across Claire Basler's work about a year ago and I find myself revisiting them and marveling at the beauty of her images and the richness of these massive canvases. I would love to see them in real life and find them a constant source of inspiration. In an interview that I read she talked about how she had walked her own line and had decided to pursue her images and ideas whether they were fashionable or not, and the results of this are a timeless collection of paintings that capture nature and natural themes in her own unique and beautiful way.

I try to draw inspiration from her on many levels. Her skill is obvious and her exploration of composition and colour are exquisite, but I love her use of texture and the way she manages to achieve realism but still create movement and interest. I sometimes get frustrated with the more static nature of botanic art and I love to see the movement and life that is in her work, especially as she works on a huge .scale. The impact of these works must be amazing when you see them in reality.
One day I hope I will have the time and space to explore some of these ideas on such a large scale and on huge canvases and fill them with colour and movement, but until then I get to look at these beautiful works and feel inspired by them.