Author: Zoe Cameron

Family shopping .

Detail from a painting entitled Family shopping -It shows a person with a paper bag on their head wearing yellow rubber gloves to open his wallet while his partner beyond wears a mask made from a kellogg's  cereal packet and black bin liner while shopping during the Coronavirus Pandemic 2020.
Detail. Family shopping .Oil on board. 2020

This Pandemic has been life changing for everyone. Many people have suffered very badly, and it continues to be a difficult time on so many levels .

As a painter and visual narrator , one of the more curious sights to emerge over the last few months has been the very inventive masks that people have made, using the most unexpected materials. Modifying and adapting whatever is to hand, in an attempt to keep safe when leaving home.

The result has been an amazing array of videos and photographs on line, which record the unusual as standard or somehow ordinary now.

With this in mind, I wanted to celebrate our inventiveness in an emergency, and mark that moment in society when the eccentric became quite ordinary.

Auction of Cornish art.

These paintings from an estate, are coming up for sale at Lays on June 11th 2020.

The paintings I have made over the decades have become a visual diary and a record of life . Those below were owned by a dear friend , who often came to my studios . When I see them, I am reminded of the original influences and inspiration for them.

This is a painting I made of John in 1987. At the time, he was the harbourmaster when I had an Acme Studio in Porthleven. He was a man of few words , out in all weathers organising the boats and keeping the place tidy. His office was next to the stone steps that took me up the second floor studio that I shared with my dog Ruby.

Painting of the harbourmaster Porthleven. Man side profile in a cap with nets beyond.
Lot 214.

The painting below, is all about a tiny black cat that we rescued when we lived in a cottage in Gloucestershire . He was a scraggy little thing , very under fed, the vet had told us he had kidney damage from rat poison,  so he had ongoing health issues, anyway, he lived out the rest of his life happily with us. Although, he never grew , he was always like this , affectionate, and shy, with wide eyes.

Lot 214A . Girl with cat by the sea

In the 1980’s we had visited family that lived in Spain. While there, we took the opportunity to go to Madrid to see the wonderful Goya paintings in the Prado . That day, we came across a flea market in a square, and I bought a rustic painted and carved wooden duck . Sadly, I think it was originally intended as a decoy. But back in the studio , the carving inspired this colour palette and a new narrative .

Lot 215. Figure with Ducks.

These paintings and many more by Cornish artists can be found at – https://www.davidlay.co.uk

Spring.

While walking along a Cornish lane near home, I saw a Swift swoop and glide over a tall green hedge ahead of me. The arrival of these beautiful birds who have flown all the way from Africa is a welcome sight, as they bring with them spring and summer days.

In this poem by Keats , he expresses his love of nature , the joy it can bring, and reminds us to enjoy it while we can. The line, ‘when all the birds are faint with the hot sun’, reminds me of childhood and empty summer holidays exploring the countryside. I’d take myself off to watch crickets, and discover other strange and fascinating bugs and beetles in some wild spot.

On the Grasshopper and Cricket.
A poem by John Keats.

The Poetry of earth is never dead:    
  When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,    
  And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run    
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;    
That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead      
  In summer luxury,—he has never done    
  With his delights; for when tired out with fun    
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.    
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:    
  On a lone winter evening, when the frost     
    Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills    
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,    
  And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,    
    The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.

Hans Hoffmann.1580. Museum of prints and Drawings, Berlin, Germany.

Thank You to all frontline workers.

I would like to join in thanking all of those good people who risk their own wellbeing to help others during the Corona Virus pandemic. Their acts of selflessness are the building blocks for us all when this difficult time has passed.

Artists over the years have naturally been inspired to record their experience of the medical profession.

I have chosen a few favourites to share with you .

Keep busy, take care of those you love and stay safe x.

Stanley Spencer tea in the Hospital Ward,zoe cameron blog
Stanley Spencer. Tea in the Hospital Ward . Sandham Memorial Chapel .1932.
Dame Barbara Hepworth. Concentration of the hands II.
Dame Barbara Hepworth. Concentration of the hands II. 1948. Hepworth Estate.
Dame Barbara Hepworth, study for a Surgeon robing.
Dame Barbara Hepworth, study for a Surgeon robing . Barbara Hepworth Gallery Wakefield.
Dame Barbara Hepworth .Prelude II.
Dame Barbara Hepworth .Prelude II. Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge. Hepworth Estate.
Sir John Lavery. The First Wounded London Hospital 1914 oil.
Sir John Lavery. The First Wounded London Hospital. Oil . 1914.
Van Gogh Hospital Ward in Arles
Van Gogh Hospital Ward in Arles. Oil . 1889 .
Zeng Fanzhi, Hospital Triptych no.1, 1991. Oil.
Zeng Fanzhi, Hospital Triptych no.1. Oil .1991.

Stay Safe x.

These are difficult times, but some will be finding life much worse because of the lock down.

This painting sends a message of love to those courageous children, men , women and animals who suffer the ongoing torment of living with a member of The Dark Triad, who demand their daily abuse fix. 

Dark Triad, Oil Painting, Still life, Woman artist, Angels, Sea view,Cornwall, message of love, flowers in a jug, gallery, collectors,

First Light.
Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Service

Helpline: 0300 777 4777
Professionals’ Enquiry Line : 01872 241 711
Non-secure emailsaferfutures@firstlight.org.uk
Secure email: saferfutures@firstlight.cjsm.net

The little Nurse.

It looks like we may have to do a bit of this , and take extra care of one another for a while x.

Nurse, oil painting, child and pet dog, Cornish painter, women artist,  collectors
The little nurse. oil on board. 2003

Holocaust Memorial day.

Holocaust Memorial Day is the anniversary of the day in 1945, when allied troops entered the largest concentration camp Auschwitz.

Today I wish to add my respects to Holocaust Survivors , and remember all those who suffered and perished.  

This day is a reminder that reasonable people rationalise poisonous words of hate, to dehumanise and justify inhumanity.

Better to harness the positive power of words to build bridges, to create and not to destroy.

Holocaust Memorial Day. Auschwitch ll Berkenau. Hungarian Jewish Children 1944,Prayers.
Prayer Painting : Holocaust Memorial Day 2018 . It records
1944, Auschwitch ll Berkenau where the images I used at the top of this painting were found on the walls of the concentration camp, drawn for the children. The figures I have painted below are of Hungarian Jewish Children and an Elderly Woman on their the way to the Gas Chambers .

Printing

This week in the studio I spent an hour or two , playing with my little boxes of mixed typefaces, images and quick drying black ink . I used a very simple relief printing method to make a few thank you cards, something I began many years ago when I was unable to find the cards that I liked in the shops.

Christmas 2019.

At this time of year , we give thanks for the good people, family and friends that are a part of our lives and remember the happy times spent with those no longer with us.

Wishing you happiness, peace and good health in 2020 x.

With family watching a Cinderella panto. Oil on board.

And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.

For in the Dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed .

Lines from the prophet.

It’s Halloween.

When “All Hallows’ Eve”  or Allhallowtide is celebrated, it is a time to pray for recently departed souls who have yet to reach heaven, and a time to honour the saints. As in many traditions, it follows natures calendar, a time of dying back. 

Below are just a few of the 80 etchings and aquatints, made by Goya, entitled ‘Los Caprichos’, they were made in 1797 & 1798 and are just as relevant and awe inspiring now . 

In this series he recorded the true horrors of war and life . Not only did he interpret how base human nature could be, but how a persons grotesque fantasies could lead them into an abyse, lost to this world. 

So ,don’t forget to light your lantern, to keep those evil spirits at bay.

Goya. Los Caprichos 68. ‘Pretty teacher’.
Goya. Los Caprichos 47. ‘A gift for the Master’
Goya. Los Caprichos 61. ‘They have flown’.
Goya. Los Caprichos 49. ‘Hobgoblins’.
Goya. Los Caprichos 80. ‘It’s time’.
Goya. Los Caprichos 74.’Don’t scream Stupid’.

This wonderful work by Goya is at the Prado Museum, Madrid.

Sharing time together .

Talking to friends and family members during the Coronavirus, they say one of the most difficult aspects for them has not just been the isolation, but the fact that they don’t spend time with their loved ones.

For close families, the lost weeks and months, without that shared time has been painful .

I made these painting about family events some years ago . To trace the fragments of shared love , friendship and respect between the generations, that I found so valuable through my own childhood.

Detail. In search of Butterflies . Oil on board.
Detail . Missing from Piano class, found up a tree . Oil on board.
painting of Cinderella on the stage .The ugly sisters fight over the prince and family laugh in the audience
Enjoying the Pantomime Cinderella . Oil on Board.

Stag Beetles .

Because of the Coronavirus , those fortunate to have access to a garden or outside space, may have had some quiet time to get out there and to see what’s been going on with all the beautiful birds and bugs that share our world.

This weekend we are encouraged to look out for Stag Beetles. It seems they need of our help, along with a lot of other endangered insects, on whom we rely without knowing it.

The beetles larvae live underground for a few years growing and eating old wood, so if you have a tidy garden they are less likely to visit , this is my excuse!

Stag beetles look prehistoric , wonderful , harmless and are one of the many amazing insects on the endangered list, that we need to nurture not kill.

This painting is one from series of a hundred, that I made over a number of years until 2019, to mark events, both personal and worldwide, that matter to me .

painting- Scientists warn that our insects could e extinct in a century-3 rows of 16 insects painted to represent a victorian display case of dead insects.Includes beetles, butterfly-moth-spider-stag beetle
Scientists warn that our insects could be extinct in a century. Oil on board . 2019

V.E.Day. 8th May 1945.

On VE Day the country woke up to the news that the war in Europe was finally over.  The crowds in London celebrated, singing Land of hope and glory as Churchill in his boiler suite made the victory sign . A time for us to celebrate , but for some families and friends it was a time to remember their loved ones, who had paid the ultimate sacrifice, and would never be coming home. 

Many artists and their families who until the outbreak of war had been living in London decided to leave . Some came to Cornwall and established, what was to become a new artists colony. Artists like Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Christopher Wood, Naum Gabo. They and their group went on to influence the second generation of artists such as Peter Lanyon , Terry Frost , John Wells, and Patrick Heron. Heron was living in Cornwall because his father Tom Heron managed the fabric printing company Crysede . The influential nieve painter Alfred Wallis, lived in a cottage in Back Road West, St Ives . The story of these artists can be found in Denys Val Bakers lovely book ‘Britain’s art colony by the sea’. A copy of which my grandmother gave to me when I first came to live in Cornwall ,  before Tate St Ives was conceived . 

So it was with this in mind, I thought today I would celebrate this special day with two Ben Nicholson paintings, in which at the time, he marked this historic day , adding the Union Jack Flag into his still life paintings .

Ben Nicholson . Still Life 1943 - 45 (St Ives, Cornwall). tate.org.uk
Ben Nicholson . Still Life 1943 – 45 (St Ives, Cornwall). tate.org.uk
Ben Nicholson. Still Life 1945. Celebrating VE Day(Bonhams .June 2016.)
Ben Nicholson. Still Life 1945.(Bonhams .June 2016.)

On Good Friday

The Stations of The Cross below, were made for All Saints Chapel in Truro Cathedral . They depict The Passion. The ten paintings were first on view, on site, in 2013.

At this important time in the Christian Calendar , we reflect on human frailty , injustice and corruption. And yet we witness the strength of the human spirit and astonishing kindness in people, as the world struggles to cope with the coronavirus.

Jesus praying, an angel, lamb of god, oil painting, gold leaf, woman artist ,Gallery , religious art, Gethsemane,Truro Cathedral, All Saints Chapel, Cornwall. Stations of The Cross. Easter. Christian Calendar
Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane
Jesus with Pilate, Pilates wife, oil painting, gold leaf, woman artist ,Gallery , religious art, Truro Cathedral, All Saints Chapel, Cornwall, Christ is condemned. Easter. Christian Calendar, Stations of The Cross.
Jesus is Condemned
Jesus carries the cross, bullying,children play with guns, oil painting, woman artist ,Gallery , religious art,Truro Cathedral, All Saints Chapel, Cornwall.Stations of The Cross. Easter. Christian Calendar
The cross is laid upon Jesus.
Jesus as a baby,Mary mother of Jesus, oil painting, gold leaf, woman artist ,Gallery , religious art,Truro Cathedral, All Saints Chapel, Cornwall.Stations of The Cross, The Passion.A Mothers love and suffering. Easter. Christian Calendar
Jesus meets his mother
Christ carries the cross,  oil painting, gold leaf, woman artist ,Gallery , religious art,Truro Cathedral, All Saints Chapel, Cornwall.Stations of The Cross.The Passion. Grief, kindness of strangers. Easter. Christian Calendar
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Christ carries the cross,  oil painting, gold leaf, woman artist ,Gallery , religious art,Truro Cathedral, All Saints Chapel, Cornwall.Stations of The Cross.The Passion. GriefEaster. Christian Calendar
Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
Christ on The Cross,Christ calls out to God the Father, the sky goes black, angels,  oil painting, gold leaf, woman artist ,Gallery , religious art,Truro Cathedral, All Saints Chapel, Cornwall.Stations of The Cross. The Passion. Easter. Christian Calendar
The Crucifixion
Christ is taken down from the cross, Mary suffers,Christ ascends to God the Father, angels,  oil painting, gold leaf, woman artist ,Gallery , religious art,Truro Cathedral, All Saints Chapel, Cornwall.Stations of The Cross.Easter.Christian Calendar,
Jesus is taken down from The Cross
Jesus laid to rest in the tomb,Mary magdalene, oil painting, gold leaf, woman artist ,Gallery , religious art,Truro Cathedral, All Saints Chapel, Cornwall.Stations of The Cross.The Passion. Easter.Christian calendar. Death.
Jesus in the tomb
Christ saves souls, angel,  oil painting, gold leaf, woman artist ,Gallery , religious art,Truro Cathedral, All Saints Chapel, Cornwall.Stations of The Cross.The Passion, Easter. Christian Calendar
The Resurrection

I stretched out my hands and approached my Lord: For the stretching of my hands is His sign: My expansion is the outspread tree which was set up on the way of the Righteous One. And I became of no account to those who did not take hold of me; and I shall be with those who love me.

The Odes of Solomon, ODE 42.

Wait Without Hope

By T.S.Eliot

Finch, Bird,Oil painting, Cornish artist, women artists,  galleries, bird in art, illustration of a finch,
Finch.Oil on wood.

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.
The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,
The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy
Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony
Of death and birth.

T. S. Eliot, East Coker

Old friends at Market House Gallery.

I was reacquainted last week with two paintings I made many years ago, recently acquired by Paul Longthorne, the Director of Market House Gallery, Marazion.

Oil painting, child with ducks, Zoe Cameron, Gallery, art for sale , Modern art, art collectors,Cornish artist, women artists.Children in art.

The earlier of the two is this oil painting, ‘ Girl with Ducks’ dated 1984. 

In the 1980’s, I made number of painting exploring the theme of relationships between children and animals … cats and ducks in particular. This painting was made when I lived in a rural cottage between Gloucester and Ledbury. There I had a small studio with a window that overlooked a few dwellings and fields towards the town. During those years, I was selling work through, what was then, Rooksmoor Mills Gallery, Nailsworth and the Arts Centre Cirencester.

In 1987, we moved to Cornwall, and for many years I rented an Acme Studio in the Old Net loft at Porthleven. The new studio and location naturally influenced my work in many ways, and it also gave me the opportunity to have people to model for me, like Paula, recorded in this oil painting below, at the time she had begun the male to female transition .

oil painting, male to female transition, porthleven artists studios, Zoe Cameron, Gallery,
Paula.

If you wish to contact the gallery about either of these paintings, here is the link – http://www.markethousegallery.co.uk

Painting of Porthleven 1987.

Lot number 662 is an oil painting I made in 1987, when for many years I rented an Acme Studio in the Cornish fishing village of Porthleven, in what was the old Net Lofts. I used to go there with Ruby, my little dog. I would paint for a bit then we would take a break and walk along the cliffs. The views from the second floor studio window were spectacular as the building is positioned right on the harbour side. The Mens Institute with its clock tower has been the subject matter for many an artist and photographer especially when the storms come in .

When I rediscover work that I made some time ago its like being united with an old friend, and all the memories associated with that time come flooding back . This is coming up for sale at David Lays Auctions, Penzance, Cornwall on Thursday 31st January 2020.

Porthleven harbour, Cornwall. Oil painting . Seascape with Mens Institute Porthleven. Cornish harbour village .

Stay cosy.

As the nights draw in, its the perfect time to get ourselves cosy and warm, with some good music and company , here are some of my companions in the studio at the moment.

Putti. Detail from Archangel Michael weighs souls.
Detail from Archangel Michael weighs souls.

Auction of Art and Antiques .

On Tuesday the 16th June, Barbara Kirk Auctions is holding an Online Sale of Antiques, Art and collectors items at 10am .

I have learned that a small framed painting, one of a bird series I produced some years ago is in this sale . Lot 294.’Figure and Birds III.’ Oil on board. Signed & dated . 10 x 15cm.

Through life I have felt at one with nature, but there is something about birds , their song, beauty and fragility that has me returning to them again and again as subject matter.  At the time of painting this in 1999 I was working on the theme of figures and birds in harmony within the landscape, and I had a tiny edition of prints made of some of them.

If you take a look at the Auction , you will also discover a large collection of Bob Bourne paintings, with proceeds and commissions from that work donated to a cancer charity.

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/barbara-kirk-auctions/catalogue-id-srbar10063/lot-8ac49006-718a-4ebb-9db4-abd000a4d0d3

Lot 294. ZOE CAMERON. ‘Figure and Birds III.’ Oil on board. Signed & dated 10 x 15cm.
Bob Bourne . Lot 356

The sick child

A much loved child in our family has from infancy suffered with illness and hospitalisation, it is every mothers nightmare.

On instagram, a mother shared a picture of her beautiful child in a deep sleep, ill in bed.

These intense moments , the quiet waiting , the love, the unquantifiable beauty of a child in their vulnerability is why I made this painting.

Painting of a child sick in bed, sleeping with an angel flying above keeping watch.
The sick child. Oil on board. 200 x 250mm

The London Marathon.

For all those amazing people out there who should have been running the London Marathon this weekend to support and help charities. You inspired me to make this painting in 2018 .

Oil painting of the London Marathon  with flags and runners in fancy-dress in front of Buckingham palace and the sate of queen Victoria
The London Marathon . Oil on board . April 2018.

The Marquess of Bath.

I am saddened to hear of the death of The Marquess of Bath , taken by the Coronavirus.

Without exception, I found him to be a kind and interesting man. Alexander lived life on his own terms , colourful , creative and a free spirit , and will be greatly missed by all of his friends and family.  

Alexander Thynn portrait, Lord Bath,7th Marquess of Bath, Woman Artist, Longleat House, eccentric man. Gallery, Painting of Lord Bath.
Oil on board. 2002. Portrait study.

This Mothers Day.

Porthleven anemones, Mothers day, Cornish flowers in the window ,women artists, gallery, oil painting, still life.
Cornish Anemones in the window. Oil on wood.

To all you Mum’s out there, a special thank you !

And, we remember those cherished Mums no longer with us x .

On Valentines Day.

Valentines day.Oil painting.Still life.Summers day.Flowers in a vase.

“IT’S ALL I HAVE TO BRING TODAY” BY EMILY DICKINSON

It’s all I have to bring today—

This, and my heart beside—

This, and my heart, and all the fields—

And all the meadows wide—

Be sure you count—should I forget

Some one the sum could tell—

This, and my heart, and all the Bees

Which in the Clover dwell.

Jacqueline Sarsby

Jacqueline Sarsby , social anthropologist and photographer, has guest-curated an exhibition at the Gloucester Museum which opened on 12th October 2019 and closes on 18th April 2020, so there is still time to take a look. It is called ’The Magical World of William Simmonds, Puppets and Paintings’.

A treasured image that I keep in my studio is a beautiful black and white photograph taken by Jacqueline , called’ Catherine White and Kitty’, in it she records a little girl with her black and white cat . It evokes fond memories of childhood and pets. In that photograph, at that moment, Jacqueline Sarsby captured something unspoken, the affection and shared trust between the two.

This is her latest publication

Remembrance Day.

On this important day, I share in remembering much loved members of my family and all the brave men and woman who have, and continue to sacrifice their lives for ours. We will remember them.

Narcissi in a jug.

William Blake at Tate Britain

Considered an English Romantic, Blake was a visionary painter, printmaker and poet. Through life, he explored the powers of the imagination and of creation. He questions the meaning of being, his relationship to the divine and the fundamental tension between the individual life and human condition . 

11th Sept 2019 – 2nd February 2020. 

William Blake. Songs of Innocence & Experience
William Blake. To the evening Star.
William Blake. The Ghost of a flea.
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