Two Portraits of My Mother

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI drew these two portraits when my mother was in her nineties.

The top one is pencil and the bottom one charcoal.

You can click on each to enlarge.

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Self Portrait

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I painted this self portrait in 1966 when I was 20! At the time I liked Stanley Spencer’s self portrait with its full frontal stare! If you look closely at the right shoulder you should be able to see a fly. I added this in the year 2000 to try and suggest the transience of life- a kind of momento-mori!

This is my 100th blog.

As you can see, I’m still unearthing old paintings I still have. There may be more to post.

Flower of Life

The “Flower of Life” can be found in many different cultures. The most usual representation is a circle divided up into intricate shapes. Alan Moncrieff is an artist/craftsman who works in Gateshead producing stunning mosaic-mirrors, many based on the flower of life. Alan uses recycled materials. Some of his intricate mosaics change colour to the sound of music. This is where it is easier to see patterns within patterns. Without getting too mystical about it, this phenomenon is found repeated in nature. Nature after all, is the supreme example of ‘creativity.’
I’ll let Alan’s work speak for itself. Here is one of his videos:

 

His website is at: http://www.cotfieldmirrors.co.uk

Mallorcan Day Trip

This is an extract from my diary.

Mallorca: 27/04/13 – Pollenca, Rain, 14 centigrade.
Heavy constant rain; think of the Lake District on a rainy day! I got the coach to Pollenca and visited the municipal museum where there was an interesting collection of paintings, pottery and sculptures. The highlight however was a Tibetan mandala sand painting. In this traditional Tibetan/Asian art, coloured sand is channelled down tapering hollow pipes to draw incredibly detailed shapes. Usually the images are destroyed after completion, presumably to emphasise the impermanence of life. This relatively permanent example was displayed under gIass horizontally. I spent about half an hour absorbing the ‘presence’ and Buddhist symbolism. Most of the few visitors gave a cursory glance at this supreme work of art and walked out of the small room. Everyone to their own taste; I’ve done the same when looking at some paintings! This work of religious art was donated to the museum by the Dalai Lama.
Of the paintings an Antilio Boveri (early 1900s) had a room to himself. Some were pale Van Gogh-influenced landscapes but others captured the Mallorcan seascape/landscape vividly. According to the notes he also wrote short stories and was Argentinian.
After seeing round the museum and photographing the building which was a former monastery I walked to the main square and went inside the Lady of the Angel’s Parish Church. A visitor from another planet would no doubt get the impression that humans gain some sort of pleasure from gory crucifixtions and gloomy alcoves. The main altar was very ornate with predominantly dark gold colours. The much vaunted rose window looked poor in comparison with Durham Cathedral’s
It however, was the only bright, uplifting, redeeming feature in an otherwise dismal display of baroque over statement. The English version of the tourists’ leaflet provided some unintentional amusement, for example: “There are two graceful piles of holy water and some objects. . . remembering different events.”
From the church I headed to the 365 Calveri steps which I climbed in the steady rain. From the top the panoramic views were swathed in low cloud and drizzle. As the small chapel was closed I retraced my steps and stopped for a latte coffee in the Café del Calvari which provided welcome shelter. In the guide books a popular walk along the Ternelles is recommended; this was not much of a temptation for me considering the weather! Re-reading the guidebook on my return I realised I could have visited another museum/art gallery; the Marti Vicenc.
The coach back was punctual, as was the outgoing one and cost 3 euros return. A worthwhile trip for a rainy day!

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