Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring is Sprung

Daffodils 2010

Spring is here, screaming its song and steam-rolling its way directly towards summer.  It's turmoil out there: the birds are desperately nest-building, while trying to control their patch, defending it from rivals, predators, high winds and torrential rain storms; and then there is a lull... the sun comes out and its so beautiful - full of promise.  I love this time of year, the earth has been cleared and stands black against the gaudy  colours of the  newly planted  bedding plants.  The grass is beginning to intensify its dense greenness, and the daffodils reign supreme.    Gathered up and crammed into vases, they help to cheer up the dark corners and north -facing windowsills inside the house.  I always find myself painting a vase of daffodils around this time of year, I find them a painting challenge, and they continue to evade me, so I will continue to try and capture in acid yellow, their startling beauty.
Daffodils 2009

Daffodils from my student days 1980

Daffodils in my studio

Daffodils 2013

Daffodils 2012
Recent Daffodil painting

Monday, March 10, 2014

Painting Heroes - Sir Matthew Smith 1879-1959

Matthew Smith Nude, Fitzroy st.  
I can never get enough of Matthew Smith's paintings, and his work is frustratingly under exposed, very rarely will I see a book or postcard or anything that gives this master colourist a mention.
It was way back in 1983 that I made my way over to the Barbican Centre in London to see his major retrospective and it was a wonderful experience and still lives with me today.  It is no surprise to me to find out that this painter spent a short while at the Matisse Art School in Paris, and was very influenced by the Fauvist and Post-Impressionists that were working in Paris before the First-World War.  This painting Nude, Fitroy St. No.1 1916, was obviously painted when he was back in London.

As can be seen by this landscape painted during his war years, how influenced he was by the Irish artist Roderic O'Connor who would have been living and painting in France at the same time that Smith was there.