Saturday, 31 January 2015

Francesco Guardi

Francesco Guardi A Young Girl of the Gradenigo Family with a Dove c.1768–1770
Oil on canvas, 149.5 x 98.7 cm
Collection: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales
I like the fact that it connects with my own work. But I was also fascinated by the fact that the two paintings, this one and its partner, a boy portrait, are separated. One in Wales, one in Massachusetts, where my daughter was living at the time, and both painted in Venice, where she will be next year.

Steffan Jones Hughes


My drawings began quite tentatively. I love the weird dog in the bottom left, almost looks like a teddy, that might lead me somewhere…
You can see that I started to get interested here in the theatrical framing of the figure. I love the tree on the right, reminds me of one that I’ve seen before in Ken Kiff’s paintings. The confidence of looking at the subject matter, rather than the source material, and just drawing is beginning to happen here……


I did a quick drawing of a pattern I found on the dress. I really liked it, so I began to think about how it would look in repeat. Like most things for me, I like to really explore ideas that might at first seem completely unrelated to my final pieces, and I don’t usually work from another artwork in this way, so it’s been a really important process for me to keep returning to the original piece in order that I feel I’m really looking and really aware of what is going on. Interestingly, in the gallery in Cardiff, it is really quite hard to see any of the detail, the work is hung high on a wall and has a significant amount of reflection, there is also a wall that prevents you from viewing the work from further away.

I like the way the trees frame the work, something I’ll return to later……….

Continues on my page..

Monet's Rouen Cathedral

I went down to Cardiff last week and managed to get started on the project at the National Gallery. I did sketches and notes over two days, based on Monet's Rouen Cathedral painting and have attached some here. The Museum staff were really helpful and it was a really good experience. On the way down I stopped at Oriel Davies in Newtown and Clare Woods had done a very similar project with work in response to Paul Nash and Manet paintings and a Vietnam war photo by Philip Jones Griffiths. It would be a great exhibition for any other tutors to see.
I'm not sure yet how to continue with the project but as the Monet had a very strong texture which does not show up in reproductions, I would like to make a series of textured panels using encaustic, plaster, sawdust, tapestry, collage etc.

Huw Jones.

Posts continue on my page.

Ernest Zobole Mutates into Karel Appel

Horribly early it was, feeling like the small and terrible hours of the night, as the Cardiff train passed through uninhabited moon country on the dark side of the earth, while an unmildly irritating man hollered constantly into two mobile phones and thumped the table.

I'm on my way to the Museum of Cardiff, to choose a painting to rework/retake/reinvent/re-anything.

I'm thinking about the painter Ernest Zobole, particularly about his interiors that include himself, perhaps in the act of painting, falling,angsting. The artist's stride in a confined space. The way the outside comes inside, and the thoughts impose on the outside through ordinary windows.

I'm hoping to see a Zobole today, not sanguine but hoping.

I want his wrong perspective, his bung-everything-in-ness, his moonlight streetlight colours, his hint of that terrible villain, veridian green. How useful yet how awful it can be. I like Zobole.

This is a lovely train if you don't mind it having a mission to stop at every conceivable benighted opportunity. Nearly 6 hours later I arrive at the grand doors of the museum, on the dot of 11am as arranged. How cool was that?

'To unravel a torment you must begin somewhere'
Louise Bourgeois said this apparently. It's surely wise?

I'm not easy to please. I'm a grumpy old woman. I spend a long time in the supermarket deciding between 2 different kinds of fishcakes when I don't even like fish. I like art to mean something. Really. I don't mind if it takes effort. There's art and there's Art.

Gilly Thomas

Posts will continue on my page.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Thomas Jones of Pencerrig

Thomas Jones of Pencerrig

Since seeing the paintings of Thomas Jones in the National Gallery in 2005, when I first really looked at his work, I have always sought them in different collections and galleries. The ones particularly striking for me are those painted in Naples of walls and buildings viewed from across the street or from a window; simple images to do with light and form. They struck me particularly because they seemed familiar in reason and intention. I think Jones painted these, more or less for himself, from just looking over time and looking again at the same views, what was close at hand, as available. He was interested in light on buildings, the time of day, the holes and empty windows and perhaps how they changed in appearance during the stages of the day. I am intrigued by these particular paintings that command time to look at them and look forward to studying them closer and finding out why they seem to resonate so profoundly.

Continued on my page. Project posts will be made to my page as the project develops….