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.

Cornish Celtic Way

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.” 

cornishcelticway.co.uk


https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/feb/18/cornwall-celtic-walk-coast-path-trail-hike

Welcoming Autumn.

Looking out of the window in the studio, with the cat and some mellow music for company, I welcome autumn and its colours.

‘Summer flowers’.

 

The old fighter

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.

Have a FAB Christmas!

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.

 

Candy Atherton

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.

 

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.

detail from a Matisse painting of three bathers feeding a turtle on a green and blue background

Matisse.

‘Bathers with a turtle’. 1908.

I came across this beautiful and tender painting today in a book on Matisse, and thought I would share it with you. It hangs in Saint Louis Art Museum.

Detail of bathers face
Detail of turtle

I hope that you have had a great Bank Holiday, bathing , feeding a turtle or however you have spent your time …….

“Don’t be afraid of change”.

“Don’t be afraid of change”. Oil on board . 2009 . From the series of paintings , “How to live a good life”.

 

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 .

 

 

All Saints Church, Marazion ,Cornwall

If you are going to be in Marazion or planning to visit during the Cornish Celtic Way Walking Festival, you might like to join with friendly company at All Saints Church Marazion . On the following dates projected images from the Pilgrims and Shrines painting will be used as the basis for their Sacred Space Prayers.

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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.

“The Way It Is

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

Remembrance Sunday.

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.

Uncle Coyte.

His Poem.

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

http://www.chorleys.com

Seaside beauty.

The base. Title date and signature.

St Breaca Church, Breage. Summer 2017

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.

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