Fragments and reflections…

Struggling to put thoughts into words over the past few months… fortunately not struggling quite as much to put brush to paper (or canvas) though. It’s been too long (again) since my last post so I’m going to give you a quick recap on what I’ve been up to, just to get myself started writing posts again.

After the tulips artworks I created back in May (here) I went on to develop a very satisfying small series of garden abstracts which proved very popular. One featured in Artists & Illustrators Magazine (October 2020), others were snapped up by galleries. All my love and appreciation of the sanctuary of my garden is embedded in these works. I relished this luscious limited palette; note that green! I rarely used green much before in my paintings, but this series just called out for it’s freshness.

‘Abundance’, mixed media abstract painting on paper. © Mari French 2020.

’Abundance’ (above), acrylic/ink/gouache on paper.

When I was eventually able to get back to the North Norfolk coast my love of the salt marsh and reed beds emerged again. I was back in my element and the lush berry colours of the abstract garden series developed into a more subdued bruised version, influenced by the turning colours of the Autumn – all green-greys, grey-purples and bronze.

Earlier in the year, feeling unable to paint, I’d spent time creating calligraphic papers for collages,with roughly written words relating to bird flight, reed beds, reflections, light etc in inks on tissue. Some of these were perfect for adding to these mixed media abstracts, adding a kind of fragment of message to the image.

‘Equivocal’, mixed media abstract painting on paper. © Mari French 2020.

And below are a few of the on-the-spot sketches at Thornham, Brancaster Staithe and Burnham Overy Staithe, that inspired the above…

“The early stages of a painting are not the time to engage your critical thinking. Let the work show itself”

and finally, I can’t remember where I read the above quote, or who wrote it (sorry), but it has been invaluable to me lately in allowing myself to rely on my intuition when starting a painting (although I sometimes forget!). It’s now stuck to my easel as a reminder. I ignore it at my peril, the painting never works when I try too hard.

12 thoughts on “Fragments and reflections…

  1. I’ve just discovered your website. Your work is fabulous, the colours the atmosphere, just love it and so inspiring.

    • Thank you Gaye, it’s great to get such positive feedback of the work. If you’d like to be kept in the loop for exhibitions etc (when we can have them again!) and other news, just leave me your email for my art newsletter. (It only comes out every few months and I promise not to pass your details on). Many thanks, Mari

  2. Marie – just love these colours you are using. Super palette! The roses are scrumptious and I like your words about painting them. Glad you are feeling more like painting now – was really moved by your thoughts and glad you felt able to share them. My garden has been my saviour too during these strange times( It IS my complimentary passion to painting. Not used Twitter for quite a while so nearly missed this post. So glad I found it! Happy painting always🎨❤️

    • Thanks for your lovely feedback Mary, so pleased you enjoyed the post and didn’t miss it. I enjoy gardening too, I think many artists do (and have, over the centuries of course). Enjoy your own painting x

  3. Great to see you back in paint again. It’s been very hard to feel free, able, to get in the creative zone, for so many artists, it seems, whether musicians, writers, painters … a kind of trauma, disconnect, paralysis.

    All credit to you, for pushing into it, whatever way you could.

    I am drawn to the Norfolk sketches, and works resulting … they feel so light, vast reaching horizons, meandering creeks.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks so much Phil, pleased you enjoyed the post, and the moody salt marsh sketches. In the resulting works you seem to see exactly what I was after, which is very gratifying. best wishes, Mari

  4. Great to see your process, love the colours in your Spring work and the quote is now stuck to my easel too!

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