New year, new energy

I have started this year with reorganising my studio. It’s a major revamp – with new shelves and new pinning boards along one wall. I’m also taking the opportunity to sort and clear out all my stacks of old pictures, doodles, sketched ideas and junk.

As a result the studio is a bit messy right now. Any art I make is squeezed between piles of stuff waiting to be moved or sorted. So it’s mostly small stuff. This 25cm x 25cm canvas was just able to fit in the space I cleared last week.

I’ve been thinking about energy a lot, what with trying to recover from an exhausting 2017 and paying close attention to what energises me and what depletes me.

Fabric of Life 1

Somehow energy is represented in my brain as these round bubbles with different textures. Some are spiky and bright, others swirling and sparkly. This “fabric of life” painting shows some of these energy representations, against a background of woven fabric.

Fabric of Life 2

Fabric of Life is painted in acrylics on a gallery wrapped canvas. The painting goes around the sides of the canvas as shown above. It is finished with gloss acrylic varnish.

 

 

 

A holiday romance

On my recent holiday in Switzerland I fell in love – with the work of Augusto Giacometti, a Swiss painter  (16 August 1877 – 9 June 1947). One of the prolific Giacometti family, he was a cousin of Giovanni Giacometti, who was father of Alberto, Diego and Bruno Giacometti.

I first found his work in the Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur where the collection includes this striking painting:

starry-sky
Starry Sky 1917

I love the way that he layers paint using small smudges of colour. According to the German Wikipedia entry, his gravestone reads “Meister der Farbe” or “Master of Colour”. In 2014 and 2015 the Kunstmuseum Bern hosted an exhibition of his work, titled “Colour and I”.

Inspired by the flowers of the Swiss countryside, he has been credited with being the first abstract painter as is wonderfully evident in this painting:

giacometti-abstract
Fantasy over a Potato Blossom 1917

I was also rather taken with this painting of a brook, in which he manages to create the foaming water with shades of grey and white and delicate foliage with tiny dots of paint. (Unfortunately I did not take down the title or the date, and have not been able to find them online.)

bach

But I was totally smitten after I encountered Rainbow, in the Kunst Museum Bern. It’s hard to do justice to this painting with an electronic picture. It’s large and the colours of the rainbow are clearer (particularly the orange layer of the rainbow). There are delicate, textured shades of grey to white around and within the rainbow. I was as entranced as the two figures in the foreground of the painting.

giacometti-regenbogen
Rainbow, 1916

Augusto Giacometti is also well-known for stained-glass work, but there is little information about him available in English, which is a terrible pity. The easiest place to see more of his paintings is at the athenaeum.

I came home with a copy of “Farbe und Ich” which accompanied the Bern exhibition, a collection of essays and prints of his work. I’ve been pouring over it, labouriously translating the German and soaking up the pictures, and its every bit as exhilarating as reading love-letters from a holiday romance.