rust & stone…

Rusted artefact 1, mixedmedia on paper. © Mari French 2017

Rusted artefact 1, mixedmedia on paper. © Mari French 2017

I recently hit one of those annoying self-doubting phases all artists seem to experience occasionally, just wondering where I was going with my art, and what if anything is inspiring me now. I kept nagging myself that, since I returned from my two week art residency at Brisons Veor, Cape Cornwall in the spring, I hadn’t really explored all the rich inspiration I’d found, apart from the four canvases inspired by the rocky coastal coves that I’d produced for the mixed exhibition at Artichoke Gallery, East Sussex (till 23 September 2017.

To be fair on myself, part of the reason is that I was busy finishing/framing existing work and getting it out there to galleries – existing and new, and fulfilling various art commitments such as the Norfolk Open Studios. It’s been a pretty busy year for me so far for exhibiting. Something I really can’t complain about as it’s a big and exciting part of the job, or it should be!

But, of course, like most artists I’m happiest when I’m creating. So I decided to just play for a few days – experiment with different media, collage, etc. – and try to take the pressure off myself. And, as often happens (thankfully!), something started to click (and yes, you’ll have noticed I’ve been in this situation before!)…

Rusted artefact 2, mixedmedia on paper. © Mari French 2017.

Rusted artefact 2, mixedmedia on paper. © Mari French 2017.

Lo and behold, after messing about for a few days, I became strangely drawn to a lovely gold ochre gouache colour coupled with dark blue ink and collage. The limited palette and strong shapes reminded me of something.

 

I realised that the work I was creating was not only influenced after all, by the Cornish sea coves around Penwith, but more specifically was subconsciously referencing the old rusting fishing industry artefacts I kept coming across scattered around and embedded in rocks and boulders – winches, chains, mooring rings etc. Objects that are in the process of decaying back into the elements they were formed from. Of course the large circle might also be seen as referencing (albeit subconsciously) the Men an Tol, the Bronze Age hole stone near Morven, to the north west of Penwith. Circles figure a lot in my recent work!

So this is the latest theme I’m exploring. The works shown here are medium-sized (approx 40x30cm) on paper. If you’ve enjoyed this post and you’re interested in reading more of my art progress, thoughts and adventures, why not sign up for an email notification when I post to my blog.

a safer distance …

I’ve been developing my sketch ‘a safer distance’ further (see previous post ‘passing time’). This artwork is acrylic ink and tissue on watercolour paper, approx 40 x 45 cms. 

The original inspiration was the crumbling interior of a 19th century dynamite store at Cape Cornwall, a place I’ve visited a few times this year (see my post on the art residency I took at Brisons Veor). The small austere structure, perched on the rocks above Priests Cove, was originally part of Cape Cornwall Mine. The bolts and bars in the fabric of the interior walls were bleeding rust in a very interesting way. I seem to be very attracted to industrial archaeology lately.

I like that I can see other imagery in this. It feels there may be potential for a series here.

A safer distance. Acrylic ink/tissue on paper. Mari French 2014.

A safer distance. Acrylic ink/tissue on paper. Mari French 2014.

 

Old dynamite store, Cape Cornwall. Mari French 2014

Old dynamite store, Cape Cornwall. Mari French 2014


rust and totems …

Window_clips.JPG

I am finding industrial landscapes, objects and interiors as potentially a rich source of inspiration for my abstract artworks as rural landscapes. In fact I can see a kind of landscape in some of my photos here.

The rich patina of marks, scuffs, rust, paint and general usage all bear witness to an intriguing, sometimes forgotten, history, whilst their shapes, colours and textures will undoubtedly haunt my future work.

A quiet beauty… a totemic presence…

Some people are a little bemused by my new love, others see it as a natural progression of my artwork and love it enough to buy it, for which I am very grateful.

These are a just a few of my own photos of humble places and objects, which I find I keep coming back to, so I thought I’d share them.

grinding mill 1. digital photo. Mari French 2014

grinding mill 1. digital photo. Mari French 2014

 

grinding mill 3. digital photo. Mari French 2014

grinding mill 3. digital photo. Mari French 2014

 

grinding mill 2. digital photo. Mari French 2014

grinding mill 2. digital photo. Mari French 2014


grinding mill 4. digital photo. Mari French 2014

grinding mill 4. digital photo. Mari French 2014

 

Rusting ladder, Newlyn. digital photo. Mari French 2014

Rusting ladder, Newlyn. digital photo. Mari French 2014


 
 

Whelk shed. digital photo. Mari French 2014

Whelk shed. digital photo. Mari French 2014

 

Chain & rope. digital photo. Mari French 2014

Chain & rope. digital photo. Mari French 2014


Hayloft nail. digital photo. Mari French 2014

Hayloft nail. digital photo. Mari French 2014