I am currently working on a tapestry design based around the theme ' A Sense of Place '
What draws an artist to respond to ' a place ' somewhere or something that gives a sense of peace, familiarity, ease or a sense of refuge in our busy lives? It could be a response to a natural place, music or familiar objects.
The first picture may become my next large tapestry?? I have titled it ' A Quiet Evening ' It is a still life of a jug that belonged to my mother, a jug that she used almost every day. The embroidery that it sits on is the only piece that I have of my mothers that was made especially for me. The painting in the background is one of mine and the plums are from my garden. I love the light and the fact that the picture is out of focus. It takes a long time to 'know a house' and the different times of the year that the light inside changes.
My work has for many years been based around domestic themes and often swaps between the simple and the complex. I love pattern and have a self confessed background obsession. But there are definitely times when less is more and a simple approach is the best. The white jug contains limes from my tree and I love the way that they appear to spill from the jug onto the dresser. My red teapot features in a lot of my work, I love the colour and shape. Jugs are a definite favorite and feature often. There is something about a jug, it's shape and offerings.
Drusilla Modjeska in her fabulous book
' Stravinsky's Lunch '
talks about the use of a jug as a symbol in art. The book is about the lives of two early Australian female Modernist painters. Stella Bowen and Grace Cossington Smith. Modjeska talks about the jug and the way many artists accentuate it's shape often depicting it as a ' pregnant belly ' The jug like the mother has the capacity to 'pour' and 'contain'. This tea set is one of my favorites it sits on a piece of my mothers embroidery and the background is my favorite dress.
I plan to make this still life into a hand coloured lino cut at some stage.
These four small paintings are from a series of twelve and swap between the simple and complex.
I highly recommend reading the book Stravinsky's Lunch it is a fascinating look into the very different lives of two women artists and how they were able to practice their art.