There is this interplay between the idea and what happens with the paint. If the paint dominates, there is mess. If the idea dominates there is dryness. Somehow there needs to be a way to stand back from both of them and watch them dance.
Author Archives: Grant
If I can find a unifying theme for these last months’ travels it is stone. Red stone outcrops carved to make rock houses on Kinver Edge and cut through by the canal which I followed. Cotswold stones from cool blue grey to sunset orange in the walls of Tewkesbury Abbey. Massive columns of golden stone in Greek temples, fine stone fragments in Roman mosaics, and freshly spewed black lava on the slopes of Mount Etna. And these earth colours and … Read More
I’ve just delivered a painting to a client who wanted to bring the essence of a landscape that she’d known since childhood into her home. The bay between Tresaith and the Ynys Lochtyn peninsula is like a bowl of water and light, sea and sky almost indistinguishable, held by the outstretched arms of land. It is a place to rest and breathe.… Read More
I heard a toddler the other day copying his parents’ talking but making no sense. Blah, blah, b’blah, blah, he said. He couldn’t understand what he heard, but he copied the sounds because he just had to join in. One day it will all fall into place, imperceptibly. He will understand, and his blah blah will make sense. Sometimes I feel that way about painting. I’m making marks and they look like marks that I’ve seen others make, but I … Read More
The artist, Matthew Smith (1879-1959) studied under Henri Matisse in Paris. Matisse encouraged him to intensify his vision of the natural world. The result, he said, was not a conventional description of nature, but an attempt to….”create something as living as nature, so that it itself may continue to live.” I want to create surfaces that have the energy and life of natural surfaces that become as fascinating and infinitely explorable as the natural world. follow Grant’s art blog
The colour purple does not exist in the real world. Apparently it’s true. A rainbow of light from red to violet floods our surroundings, but there is no such thing as purple light. Purple only exists in our heads. I got fascinated by what I found in exploring this purple puzzle, so I thought I’d share it …
Right now I’m struggling with the finish of a series of landscape cabinets and would love some fresh ideas. The doors are laminated reliefs inspired by the coastal landscape. As a ‘medium’ it’s got huge potential to explore the things that excite me about this place, but I can’t get the right finish. Anyone got any ideas?
I want to make a collection of cabinets that hang on the wall like beautiful landscape paintings, whose interiors take you inside the landscape, and that everyone can see because it will go on a tour of public galleries around Britain. Well, thanks to the Arts Council of Wales, that dream is getting significantly closer to reality.
Late last year a client arrived to discuss a cabinet for his new Georgian appartment in Clifton, Bristol. He was carefully carrying a large cardboard box. When I asked what the cabinet was for he openned the box and removed one of a beautiful collection of old lighthouse lightbulbs – the lighthouse cabinet was born.
I heard today that I have been accepted for associate membership of the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen. It means that my work will be appearing in their rather splendid summer show in Painswick (30/7 – 21/8.. well worth a visit) and that I should get the chance to meet other high quality designer/makers from a whole range of contemporary crafts…. a nice way to start the week.
If you’ve been reading the recent posts you’ll know that I’ve been thinking about the relationship between woodworking and ceramics, both from the practical point of view – thinking about how they complement one another and how to combine them, and from the point of view of process – wondering what is the equivalent in wood of the chance events that happen in a kiln and give the pot its vitality.
Paul Bradley – the maker of the pot in the previous post – pointed me at the work of Edmund de Waal. It’s interesting what he is saying in this video about his Japanese influences and you can see clearly how he is now very much working with ceramics in context. No wood in sight, just painted MDF, but I can see the potential.
I think there’s a great affinity between ceramics and wood. I treated myself after a recent commission to this beautiful piece by local potter, Paul Bradley. It’s very refined and yet has a natural coarseness to the surface and obviously a seed-like inspiration to the form; a combination of the natural and refined that I aspire to in my own work.
With all the wonderful bird song beginning again now and Spring feeling as if it must burst out soon, I have been thinking about birdsong as an inspiration for furniture. In my past life I worked a lot with birdsong – made lots of programmes about it from it’s biology to its beauty. So to incorporate it in my furniture would have a lovely continuity.
Can a piece of furniture be a sketch? Or more specifically, can it have the immediacy and energy of a sketch? That’s what’s been on my mind. Sometimes I get frustrated by the precision of “fine furniture”… it seems so accurate and so flat. Where’s the life in it? I want to shout at it. To shake it. to get some reaction… not just perfect precision. We makers go on about how we are working with a living material, and … Read More