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.
Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Service
Helpline: 0300 777 4777
Professionals’ Enquiry Line : 01872 241 711
Non-secure email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secure email: email@example.com
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
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.
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 .
If you wish to contact the gallery about either of these paintings, here is the link – http://www.markethousegallery.co.uk
“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.
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.
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.
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 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.
To guide us as we enter a new year, here is Arch Angel Michael from a painting which hangs in All Saints Church Marazion .
Wishing you a very happy and healthy year .
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.
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.
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.
This wonderful work by Goya is at the Prado Museum, Madrid.
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.
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
By William Stafford
Canon Nigel Marns lovely book, the ‘Cornish Celtic Way’ had a great review in the Guardian .
It highlighted one memorable quote by Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. “Love the animals, love the plants, love everything,” it urges. “If you love everything you will perceive the divine mystery in all things.”
Raise a glass to those we love who are no longer with us.
And tell those close that you love them while you can.
Wishing you my friends good health and happiness in 2019. x
Today we remember those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for us.
Few families remained untouched by the First World War . My own Grandmother lost her beloved Father, Thomas Henry Hearder Perring , of the Devonshire Regiment . They lived at the time at the Barbican Plymouth, in upstairs lodgings which remain almost unaltered, as it is now the museum.
When I visited the house with my Grandmother before she died she explained how they had lived, where her fathers easle stood, and the yard below where the local boys played football with a makeshift ball . Thomas Perring a scenic and landscape artist studied painting under Opie in Plymouth until one day he left and never returned. A stretcher bearer killed in action on the front .
This is a little painting I made of his son , my Uncle Coyte, a man I knew and loved .He served in the second world war, and did come home. He wrote poetry in quiet moments and this painting includes one of his I discovered in his small note book, long after he too had died.
We remember them.
This Papier – mache sculpture that I made in the 1980’s, (having just left art college), is coming up for sale through Chorleys Auction house Gloucester , at 10 am on May 15th 2018 . I used to sell through Rooksmoor Gallery Stroud at that time …. estimate £60 – £80 .
Lot 361: Zoe Cameron . Seaside Beauty/signed and dated to base 1981/papier-mâché, 56cm high
This small watercolour is of my old embattled cat, once a stray. Now in his dotage, he is my constant companion . As I watch him in deep slumber, warm and safe, his paws and whiskers twitch as relives his youthful adventures .
Taken from a poem about a cat by Pablo Neruda –
Sometimes it grew so much in sleep
Like a tiger’s great-grandfather,
And would leap in the darkness over
Rooftops, clouds and volcanoes.
I would like to wish my dear friends a Happy Christmas, and a healthy & peaceful New Year x . Raise your glass to all those we love that are no longer with us, for they remain in our hearts and thoughts x.
Me and my friend Mark, playing Lady Penelope and Parker on the village green in the 1960’s.
Christmas is a time we try and spend with our families. It is also a time of year I especially miss loved ones that are no longer with us .This painting made in 2009 , depicts a small group of female members of my family.
I have placed my grandmother in the centre of this picture wearing a hat, and wings to denote her passing . She is painted as a young woman before she married and went on to have 7 children . To her left is her beloved sister Dora who died in childhood . My mother is on her right , wearing a ballet dress, she has always loved dancing, especially when she was young . I am the child on the far left , wearing an Hawaiian costume that my Grandmother made for me to enter a fancy dress competition, memorable because I was chosen to give the lady Mayoress flowers , it seems I had a nice curtsey . On the ground close to my mothers ballet shoes is a heart shaped pendent , which holds the picture of my much loved little sister who now has her own daughter . We stand in front of a distant horizon , as girls or young women , before starting on our adult life journeys .
Film maker Buttz and I spent time this year, on a warm summers day at St Breaca Church , Breage , Cornwall. It’s a beautiful ancient Cornish church that houses some wonderful early Christian murals. This space holds for us all, a peace and tranquility, that for me can only be found in nature or other ancient churches.
I was sad to hear the news about Cornwall Councillor Candy Atherton . I met her many years ago when I painted a her portrait .
We met the first time at her home in 2002 , and I remember there was some excitement, as she was about to be married, and showed me her pretty wedding dress. I then began working on ideas for this painting, and felt at the time, it was important to include her engagement ring within the final portrait, to mark that happy time in her life.
Here are some of the pieces that left my studio in December 2015, destined to become Christmas gifts.
A Portrait commission – oil on wood. This triple portrait was painted onto a pine wooden box, designed to be both useful, and a reminder in years to come of the families happy times. Inside the musical angel is symbolic for one of the family.
Two painted wooden tea boxes.
Two cases designed to hold spectacles, painted with angels.
‘An angel singing to birds’. Oil and gold leaf on board.
I was sad to hear of the death of 82 year old Cynthia Payne last Sunday. She was a real character and a sweet lady with a twinkle in her eye . Some years ago I met her at one of Lord Bath’s Do’s, at a London Embassy. Before parting she gave me her card , when I turned it over it had this message on the back …. she was cheeky !
The ancient Church of St Breaca , found in the Cornish village of Breage , is known for its beautiful medieval murals one of which shows St Christopher carrying Christ as a child on his shoulder .
Last year I made a painting for Godolphin Chapel in St Breaca Church , it depicts Mary with Christ as a child. My hope was that by hanging the painting on the wall, originally to the left of the altar , that the image of Mary and Christ might in some way welcome visitors that enter , particularly as the space is also known as a healing chapel. For that reason I did not paint Christ as a babe in arms, as to me, this is a demanding time for any mother, rather, I chose to present them more informally, Christ as a small child, wrapping himself in his his Mothers cloak, compositionally freeing Mary , to ‘connect’ with the visitor .
On 1st Nov 2015 , we attended a Sunday Service taken by Father Peter, a small part of the ceremony marked the refurbishment of The Godolphin Chapel ,( which is connected historically with the Godolphin family and Godolphin House, now a part of the National Trust) . The little Chapel now has new chairs, kneelers , an oak altar rail and wooden chest made by Trefor Bowen and I am pleased to be able to say that ‘The St Breaca Madonna, now hangs permanently in the Chapel, to the right of the altar by request. It seems the congregation wanted to be able to see her in the chapel from their seats , while attending service in the main church .
Last weekend we had to take down Ivy that had grown on the house walls. It was causing real damage . The problem was that our much loved resident sparrows had made it their home, so, after a sleepless night, listening to the rain lashing outside and imagining them clinging on to bare twigs in the dark and rain I made them these. I cut up old boxes , reassembled them, painted them up and today they have been put up in the porch ready for new occupants.
Cathy came to visit me at the studio last week and took a new selection of my paintings back to The Square Gallery. So if you feel like getting some fresh air, blow away those cobwebs, watch the boats bobbing on the sea and pop into the Gallery. You will receive a friendly welcome and get to see lots of inspiring work by Cornish based artists.
As the BBC are presenting ‘All Change at Longleat’ this evening at 9pm. I thought I would look out the study I have, which I made of the Marquess of Bath in 2002. It was painted at Longleat, in his private apartments.
He was a very sweet host , happy for me to check out his wardrobe for colours and fabrics I thought best suited him , but more than that, he was a very patient sitter and interesting to chat with as I worked away mixing colours , reworking parts of the painting as I tried to catch his sparkle and a likeness.
Back in my studio in Cornwall , I used the painting as reference for the large oil portrait I made of him with Boudicca his dog . It now hangs at Longleat House.
Having heard on the news this morning that an Abattoir in Yorkshire was being investigated for cruelty to sheep and lambs, (kicking them in the head) . I thought I would post details from two larger paintings , that honour these beautiful animals.
1.‘Cornish sheep farm’ . I painted this in January, where the lambs and sheep are happy, well cared for and warm .
2.‘St Breaca Madonna and Child’ detail, a painting made for the Godolphin Chapel Breage.
The image of the lamb is a symbol that dates back to early Christian Art , eg The lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, a sacrificial offering, John the Baptist, and many more references .
A small collection of my paintings are available from Haluna Gallery.
Last week a client and I picked up a commission that had been framed by Eat Art. Mark and his team did a super job, on this frame he used walnut and gold leaf, the finish is beautiful. It is always interesting deciding how best to frame a piece of work, on this occasion the client was a designer & maker, so between the three of us we had plenty of ideas to throw into the pot .