Venice Biennale 2017 near the Giardini

Venice Biennale 2017

Venice Biennale 2017

A great trip to Venice in October to catch the 2017 Venice Biennale in the Giardini and the Arsenale.  The Giardini is a long established exhibition site and many countries have a permanent pavilion here.  There is also a major site for selected artists in the Giardini.  The Arsenale (“arsenal”) is the old dock area of Venice, and a further  exhibition featuring selected artists is staged in the spectacular long building once used for rope making.   The year the exhibition was curated by Christine Macel, curator of the Pompidou Centre,  Paris.  The focus was on community and communication.

I liked the fact that in the Venice Biennale 2017 the human body was  acknowledged as  medium of expression.  The extraordinary anatomical constructs of Piny are one example.  The stitched and padded “skins” by Touloub is another.  Marwan paints huge distorted portraits and Firenze’s semi abstracts show the human figure in a specific space.  Eileen Quinian photographs her own body and creates abstract and fragmented images.  Zec’s installation in a nearby church was a moving example of how traditional figurative art can be very relevant today.  Tracey Moffat in the Australian Pavilion has an installation of 10 large photographs entitled “Body Remembers”.  A woman returns to an isolated ruined house in the Australian outback.  The title is inspired by the poem “Body, remember” (1918) by Greek poet Cavafy – “an exhortation to remember the power of desire and passions to do with forbidden love”.

Many of the exhibits focused on hand made work, such as Lanceta and Walther, who respectively work with weaving and stitching as forms of expression.  Other makers such as Mark Bradford, in USA pavilion, made his huge pieces mainly from the papers used in hair salons to dye and tint hair.  Bradford worked as a hair stylist before becoming an artist.

 

Venice Biennale 2017 Piny

Piny

Venice Biennale 2017 Lanceta

Lanceta

Venice Biennale 2017 Walther

Walther

Venice Biennale 2017 Touloub

Touloub

Venice Biennale 2017 Tracy Moffatt

Moffatt

Venice Biennale 2017 Marwan

Marwan

Venice Biennale 2017 Firenze Lai

Firenze Lai

Venice Biennale 2017 Zec

Zec

 

Venice Biennale 2017 Mark Bradford

Bradford

Venice Biennale 2017 Eileen Quinian

Quinian

Assembly Rooms Christmas craft fair, Edinburgh Diana Hand stand

Assembly Rooms Christmas Craft Fair, Edinburgh – what a pleasure!

Assembly Rooms Christmas craft fair, Edinburgh Diana Hand standAssembly Rooms Christmas Craft Fair, Edinburgh  – a resume

This weekend I have been at the Assembly Rooms Christmas Craft Fair, Edinburgh with 120 other artists, makers and designers for a great creative gathering.  There is nothing like a busy fair, with friendly stall holders and an enthusiastic public. My painted ties and my digitally printed silk scarves were particularly appreciated.  I also sold many cards, calendars and scarves. I really enjoy meeting the public, particularly after long hours spent in the studio.

3d2d craft, art and design fairs and the West End Fair

Edinburgh company, 3D2D, is the organiser of the fairs.  This firm has long experience of running excellent craft fairs The emphasis is on introducing fresh talent as well as providing a reliable outlets for established artists and maker4s.   The city of Edinburgh has a thriving and ever changing community of artists and intellectuals. It is very exciting and stimulating to be a part of this environment.  Next year it is hoped that the famous West End art, craft and design fair will reopen after a much missed absence for the past two years.  This event involves building a mini-village in the grounds of St. Johns Church in Princes Street.  The venue is a great focus for shopping during the Edinburgh Festival.

These fairs provide a major networking opportunity to get feedback from the public and  to exchange information with colleagues.

Alan McGowan class

This week I shall be working on the portrait with Alan McGowan, the Edinburgh-based figurative artist.  Alan works works in a free and expressive style.  This apparently improvisatory style is actually based on a rigorous knowledge of anatomy.  Such knowledge”gives  the freedom” to improvise, as Alan says.   Alan McGowan teaches all over the world, so I am especially fortunate that he is able to provide workshops so nearby.  This week the focus is on the portrait, but he also teaches life painting and drawing and specialist anatomy workshops.  Highly recommended.

I hope to build my knowledge of the human head and the face, and to learn more about the use of paint and colour.  The week will be an opportunity to share time with a group of dedicated artists in a great environment near the Old Custom House of Leith Docks.  The experience will complement my work based on the time with Martin Campos earlier in the year.

LATER  in the week

These images show the work that I did in the Alan McGowan class  We began with drawing and then moved into a single study the following day.  I tried to focus on the tonal composition as suggested by Alan.  In some ways I succeeded.  During the second half of the week we had the same models over three days, so there was time to build up a more complete painting.  I was looking at paintings by American artists such as Alex Kanevsky for inspiration, as well as taking in Alan’s practical advice and wisdom  (MIX PAINT CAREFULLY      FIND THE STORY     USE YOUR EYES!).  A very enjoyable and stimulating week and perhaps quite importantly a change in routine with new people.  Thank you to everyone who was there.

 

 

Alan McGowan class painting by Diana Hand

Alan McGowan class painting by Diana Hand Alan McGowan class drawing by Diana Hand Alan McGowan class painting by Diana Hand

Martin Campos demo

Painting with Martin Campos

In July I went to Cork in Ireland to study with Martin Campos, teacher at Philadelphia College of Art.  Martin is a figurative painter, who specialises in the human figure, and he is a wonderful draughtsman and painter.  But I like the way he places his subjects in an abstracted context.  I want to learn how to place my equestrian subjects in a different context, and that is why I wanted to learn from Martin.  But I am enjoying working with the human figure as well.  It contains so much meaning to us as a species, so different from the meaning of an animal.  We can never fully share the experience of an animal in the way that we can empathise with other human beings.  However, my passion is for drawing and painting horses

Martin also practises plein air sketches as a daily routine.  This is another great idea to loosen up  and discover one’s own interest and focus.

The workshop was organised by another teacher, Pauline Agnew.  Pauline is also an inspirational and liberating artist, and she runs on line courses and also workshops all over the world.  “Pauline is truly an art whisperer” to quote some of her students.

 

 

Martin Campos demo Martin Campos plein air painting Martin Campos painting Martin Campos painting

 

 

WP HORSE'S NOSE

Painting horses

I am exploring the use of colour in my equestrian art.  The coat texture and the colours so rich and different from our human skin.

 

Leo oil on canvas WP HORSE'S NOSE WP oil painting of horses

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WP Oil sketch on canvas

Life drawing in Edinburgh and Glasgow

As well as the portrait class, I am  practising life drawing each week at the excellent untutored sessions at Leith School of Art.

WP Figure in charcoal on paper WP detail figure in wash WP figure drawing on paper

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WP HEAD IN CHARCOAL ON PAPER

Portrait Class at Glasgow School of Art Open Studio

WP PORTRAIT CHARCOAL AND CHALK ON TINTED PAPERI  am learning about the structure of the head in the Portrait Class with Cynthia Bowles at Glasgow School of Art Open  Studio evening class.  Wonderful…!!

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Watercolour sketch of horse

Drawing Horses with Diana Hand at Callander Summerfest

 

i shall be holding a day-long workshop on 29th July in St Andrews Church Hall, Leny Road, Callander, FK17 8AL  from 10 am to 4 pm.  The cost is £30, including basic materials.

The subject will be horses, drawing horses, in whatever form you like.  I will demonstrate my approach and then it is up to you to create your own interpretation, as freely or precisely as you wish.  I will guide you through the basics of proportion and anatomy and drawing materials and paper will be supplied.  Please bring along any images or additional favourite materials.

I look forward to seeing you and sharing my love of horses.

Thank you to everyone who came along and worked so hard.  We had SUCH a good day.

Here are some details from student drawings, experimenting with different media

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Palace House Newmarket

Society of Equestrian Artists Summer Exhibition, Palace House, Newmarket

The Summer Exhibition of the Society of Equestrian Artists

at the National Heritage Centre  for Horseracing & Sporting Art . in Newmarket

The exhibition coincides with Europe’s Premier Midsummer Sale at Tattersalls and The Moët & Chandon July Festival at Newmarket Racecourse
I will have two pieces in this exhibition and am thrilled to be showing work in this beautiful venue.
Silver Beauty mixed media on paper Abstract Horse oil on canvas

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The Family oil and paint on card

Cut the Mustard Summer Exhibition 10th June to 24th August, 2017

Grey Silver mixed media on paper The Family oil and paint on card

 

Cut the Mustard is a private gallery, representing 60 different artists, makers and jewellery designers.   It is owned and run by photographer Barry Young, and jeweller Lisa Rothwell-Young.  In their words

“We run 5 or 6 different exhibitions each year, alongside a gift area and our jewellery room.  Our artists sell their work in the gallery for the same as they would via their own website or studio (there are no inflated prices here) just beautiful work (ceramics, sculpture, glass, printmaking, textiles, paintings, photography, wood etc) and a friendly welcome.”

We’d love you to come and visit us in the pretty, former mill town of Langholm, approx 20 minutes from junction 44 of the M6.  We’re pretty central, about 1.5 hours from Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne, Edinburgh and the South Lakes.”

I shall be exhibiting originals and fine art prints in this exhibition.

 

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