It's been a while since I posted a blog, I know; it's actually been rather lovely to hear how many people have missed them and asked why I had stopped. I had often wondered if anyone actually read them, but now I know that you do! I intend to get back on track and send out regular monthly ones again, honest...... but forgive me for getting sidetracked!
Anyway, all my plans have stalled, as the venue I had intended to use frustrated me so much that I cancelled the whole thing. I have never done anything like this before, so I'm feeling a little shell shocked about it.
There will be a better venue I am sure; I'm not really worried about that. I have a few options on offer already. I just have to pick the best one.
Or I might just decide to do it it my house.
I will let you know when it happens.
If you are in Malta at the time I hope that you will be able to come and see the works, and maybe buy a sapling to plant too!
In this way I can produce sets of patterns with lovely textures that just have to sit around and wait until I am inspired by them. Then the trick is to pick out just enough detail to define what I have seen without losing the mystery of the marks. It’s as if the pictures are paintings themselves, and that they were just waiting for me to be in the right frame of mind to see them. I'm sure that someone else would see completely different things in them......
I have been working on a collection of paintings of trees for some time now. It’s a subject I return to quite often. I have made so many sketches and studies on the subject that I am seeing tree shapes everywhere. My feelings around their wanton destruction and our disregard for their importance are also coming to the surface.
I will be exhibiting these paintings - and many more - at Palazzo de Piro in Mdina from September 7th until October 30th. The collection will be titled "The Rhythm of Life" and will explore the connections I make between trees, music and movement. For more information please contact me HERE
Figure Drawing classes at Palazzo de Piro will start on Tuesday July 5th - we will be working with live models every week.
Outdoor classes at Villa Bologna will continue on Friday July 8th.
Both classes are from 9.30 am to 12pm and are 20 euro, 6 classes for 100 euro.
All levels are welcome - we are all eternal students !
More information HERE
The trip was organised by PaintMalta’s Miriam Fiorini and Ann Caruana Montaldo, and GoSicily’s Mario Spiteri. Between them they tailored a unique idea. Painters and non-painters paid the same amount. The painters were taken to the chosen locations and then left in our capable hands to sketch, paint and have a generally arty day.
The non-painters had a separate itinerary and, guided by the amazingly well-informed and enthusiastic Mario, visited all kinds of interesting local venues and sites. From the archaeological fascination of old Noto to the nature park outside Marzamemi, from wine-tasting to churches and historical sites, he entertained and delighted them all.
Both groups met for lunch and then went their ways again afterwards. Everyone had the option of changing groups if they felt like it; painting half the day and then sightseeing, for example.
On the first day we caught the early morning ferry from Malta and arrived in Pozallo around 8.30 am. We then stopped for coffee and pastry in a charming cafe next to a completely deserted beach in Marina di Modica. Apparently it gets very busy in August but it was a very peaceful scene that morning!
Last weekend though, I was further north, in Italy itself. Led by our intrepid Leader Andrew Smith, seven of us represented Malta at the Fabriano Watercolour Convention. Fabriano is the home of the famous watercolour paper loved the world over. The mills have now moved out of the town, but we toured the old paper mill and museum. Some of us even had a go at making hand-made paper!
We stayed in a nearby hilltop village called Collamato which means 'love of the hills'.
The Andrews Smith and Borg, Anna Galea, Sarah Calleja, Diane Agius, Joe Casapinta and I did our best to show Malta at its best. Anna gave a demo in front of hundreds of people (I wasn’t brave enough!) we danced to a brilliant ethnic band at the final party, painted in the streets with the rest of them, ate as much pasta and drank as much wine as we could. Malta should be proud of us. This was all self financed, I have to say. We deserve to be supported next time.
On the way back to the airport we stopped off at Gubbio and Assisi – both beautiful and full of delights.
The seven of us are plotting more adventures together including an exhibition of the works we created, so watch this space!
I wonder where I will be going next?
Meanwhile, my Tuesday morning classes are moving from Le Meridien in Balluta Bay to Palazzo de Piro in Mdina from the 3rd May. I am looking forward to helping students tackle those great open views from the upper terraces!
My classes still continue at Villa Bologna on Friday mornings. This Wednesday 4th May we will be opening our first Spring Exhibition of works there. My students and I are hanging two works each. It will be open to the public from 5th May to 2nd June, so do drop in if you are in the area.
Besides imagery we self-express through music, dance and the written word. The wonder of a sunset, the sorrow of loss, the joy and hope of a new birth, life often touches us deeply and we are moved to find ways to share it with others. We smile, hug, cry, give gifts. We celebrate and commiserate. It’s what makes us human.
There are plenty of painters out there who can reproduce reality and churn out commercially popular works, but many of them communicate absolutely nothing other than ‘here’s another one, buy me!’
We are all individuals; we all have different approaches to life.
Let’s enjoy being ourselves!
The trip was invaluable though - non-painters find it hard to understand that all artists really want to do is stay in the same place for a decent amount of time, let our eyes settle and then just try to capture whatever grabs our attention. We find it tiring and overwhelming to be shown vista after panorama after view without a chance to stop and really see into it. So Caroline and I simplified the programme to our liking - there will now be plenty of time for everyone to focus and really do some good work. To see our revised programme, please click HERE
Noto is jam-packed with corners and cafes and wonderful architecture.
On the third and last day we will be spending the day in Marsamemi, which is a tiny fishing town with so many subjects to paint we'll be spoilt for choice.
Caroline and I will be a good team as co-tutors; we both emphasise good drawing and basic skills, and we also love to experiment with unusual painting techniques. She loves urban scenes, architecture and cafe scenes, working mainly in acrylics. I prefer natural landscapes and more rural scenes. I find watercolours more convenient on location. We have both been teaching art for years to students of all ages and abilities, from beginners to advanced.
Read Caroline's blog about our test-run trip HERE
While we are doing our thing, the non-painting group will be out and about with Mario, who is a walking talking encyclopedia of everything Sicilian.
To join us on this adventure, do have a look at the full itinerary HERE and book soon!!!
I love to paint - and draw - and help others to discover their creative side too.....
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