Monday, 30 June 2014

Doors and balconies revisited

Balconies are now an integral part of Maltese architecture, though this hasn't always been the case. Enclosed balconies only became fashionable in the 18C. Coming in all shapes, sizes and colours, most seem to be like a sort of conservatory tagged onto the outside of houses. 
On my first trip to Malta I was struck by the vibrant and often crumbling balconies and doors and painted a series of works using them as inspiration. I am now revisiting photos of my artworks done a few years ago and find that I am again being drawn into the wabi sabi ness of the architecture.
I have stacks of driftwood found on local beaches and will utilize this in my painting.

The Mill Room Gallery is hosting another weekend showcasing local artists and craft makers on 11th - 13th July. I will be there so come along, there will be lots to do and see. Check their facebook page for reminders and times,

The boxed in balconies offer a bird's eye view of the street below.

Some works I did a few years ago after my first trip to Malta. Some are on wood and some are large mixed media paintings incorporating newsprint and tissue to give texture.

A corner in Marsaxlokk,

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Out and about

My visit to the UK was a real mix of emotions. The excitement and joy of seeing my daughter’s degree show, followed one of the saddest weeks of my life. A very dear friend lost his fight in a terrifyingly short battle with a very invasive cancer. As always, a confrontation with death like that is a sobering reminder of how fragile life is.

AMB Jewellery is in it’s infancy , but I have great hopes for Alice’s ability to capture one’s imagination with her striking designs and use of contemporary materials. She is coming out to Gozo for the Summer, possibly longer, to gather inspiration and maybe find an outlet for her jewellery. You can read her Blog here and view some of her work.

James was a very talented photographer and his work can be seen here. His personal work was always very much a diary of his life and that of his family. He will be greatly missed but lives on through his photographs and the work he did for charity. He has produced a book -amongst others- for the Neonatal unit at Colchester Hospital you can buy it here. He lived his life through Buddhist principals and as such this poem is a nice reminder that all of life ....and death... only happens in this moment.

Breathe and you know you are alive.
Breathe and you know that all is helping you.
Breathe and you know that you are the world.
Breathe and you know that the flower is breathing too.
Breathe for yourself and you breathe for the world.
Breathe in compassion and breathe out joy.
Breathe and be one with the air that you breathe.
Breathe and be one with the river that flows.
Breathe and be one with the earth that you tread.
Breathe and be one with the fire that glows.
Breathe and you break the thought of birth and death.
Breathe and you see that impermanence is life.
Breathe for your joy to be steady and calm.
Breathe for your sorrow to flow away.
Breathe to renew every cell in your blood.
Breathe to renew the depths of consciousness.
Breathe and you dwell in the here and now.
Breathe and all you touch is new and real.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

It is wonderful to back in Gozo.  The scenery has changed yet again while I have been away and we are now fully into Summer weather.  I went out for an early morning walk to San Lawrenz with Raffi today, just as the sun was rising and casting a wonderful light over the Giordan Lighthouse. If I had been a better photographer I may have done it justice. It was beautifully cool at 6am, it’s much too hot later for Raffi to dash about as he likes to do.

I’ve had a lovely morning in the gallery, some interesting and generous people have been in. Not many folk venture down the cobbled back streets of Victoria. Most day tourists over from Malta don’t have the time to explore and tend to stick to the well known routes. It’s a shame because they miss so much of the old city with its many hidden secrets. Artisan workshops and interesting craft makers lie beyond the tourist market in the main square and really a whole day (at least !) should be devoted to exploring. Sadly many don’t bother.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Back to Blighty

I'm back to the Uk for a short while. Partly to see #1 child's degree show and partly to sort belongings and visit reli's. Before I do, I managed to fit in a couple of driftwood paintings.

Raffi is a great help.

A few finishing touches on this one , then into the gallery.

Raffi has found a new place to view the goings on in the bay. He will be in good hands while I am away, it's a shame it's such a palava to move animals around Europe.

If you are in Victoria this weekend, try and visit the new Mill Room Gallery, lots of art and crafts going on. Click on the link for info.