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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 .
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.”
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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 .