The secret gallery’s blog

Maybe the first secret gallery in Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland

Archive for December 2008

Bird

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After painting some very small paintings it was really nice to work on a large un-stretched canvas. It is 2 metres wide which is pretty large for me, I have made many large works on paper but not this large on canvas before. I used the Indigo pigment we brought back from Marrakech and the Poppy and the Blue Marjoram just mixed with water. I did not know what I was going to paint until I saw a huge pair of wings in front of me, even bigger than my own arm span! I am not sure where it came from but I felt very connected to it. I poured the dry pigment straight out of the bags then started to use water on it and draw back into it with the lump of indigo The pigment sparkles from certain angles which I like. I plan to frame this behind glass at some stage as it is quite vulnerable.

I bought some more wall paper liner today for some really long drawings! It is 10 metres, not sure yet how long the drawing or drawings will be. James suggested maybe doing a spiral shaped 3 dimensional painting on canvas, I really liked his idea and think it would suit my work a lot; it fits with my folded and scrunched paper objects and my love of light and portable art work. I love the idea of showing paintings on the walls and spiral paintings hanging in the centre of the room which can be viewed from every angle. Long live the muse!

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Written by Marianne Slevin

29 December, 2008 at 11:41 pm

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Braving the elements!

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Sitting in the rain

Oil on canvas December 2008

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Changing a baby in a field

Oil on canvas September 2008

 

Both of these small paintings relate to my own life, the first of pre-motherhood and the latter since having children. They are both partly to do with living more outside, travelling without a fixed home and travellers. I like to put unlikely scenarios into my work. Crossing time-lines and continents, I am drawn to taking some aspects of the past, such as how the woman is dressed and adding contemporary elements such as the traffic cones. To me it is important to be playful; I have to remind myself not to take my self so seriously! I like these lighthearted moments in life. As in the top painting sitting happily in the rain, this painting was from a memory of mine while James and I were walking the Camino de Santiago and then on to in the south Spain, we stopped for a rest , it was pouring rain and even the mat I sat on was covered in water, it was a very happy memory though! For 4 months I, and longer James, lived outside rarely sleeping indoors, either sleeping in a tent or even just in a sleeping bag on the ground, or even a band-stand! washing outside, eating outside, it felt great but now I am very grateful for having a house! 

Written by Marianne Slevin

28 December, 2008 at 3:52 pm

All lit up on the Solstice!

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“Solstice” indigo pigment, blue marjoram, poppy on canvas 21st December 2008

Detail

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This painting is still wet and my hands are blue! I was thinking about the winter Solstice and Newgrange in Co. Meath, and the light coming into the darkness; merging of the sky and the earth  and masculine and feminine, earthly and spiritual. I am really enjoying using the pigments I got in Marrakech, they feel so alive. I just mix them with water; so no smelly white spirits or turpentine! It feels more connected to my interventions and work in nature, I love all the so called accidents and unintentional marks it allows me to be very free while I work and tap into a more playful way of being!

Hope you all have a very Happy Winter Solstice

Peace to all

Written by Marianne Slevin

21 December, 2008 at 1:10 pm

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Back from Marrakech with magical pigments!

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Detail of artwork in the studio

Indigo, poppy and blue marjoram on canvas

 

We had a wonderful time in Marrakech! But when we got home we all got sick! Nearly better now though; that is why I have not been writing.

We drank lots of mint tea and went on a scooter into the Atlas mountains, stayed in a beautiful Riad ( a traditional family run guest house) Ours had only 5 bedrooms, they were all individually styled, some with the deepest bathes I ever saw! Everything was thought about even the fan in the bathroom was beautifully designed black metalwork! This lovely place was hidden down a rabbit warren of right and left turns, we only got lost once going back to it and that was when we found a  magical lantern lit roof terraced restaurant, which looked scary on the outside turned out to be peaceful and beautiful when we went up the lantern-lit stairs!

As well as being given some Indigo and Poppy pigment by two lovely Irish women staying at the same Riad I got some more Indigo, Poppy and Blue Marjoram, which is a very magical pigment that starts off a red brown colour and turns a dramatic blue when mixed with water. I had a very blue hand after just picking up a dusting with my fingers and then washed them in water, even the soap still has blue speckles! Marrakech was a pure visual feast, even the bins at the airport were pretty!

Written by Marianne Slevin

17 December, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Off to search for pigments and drink mint tea in Marrakech

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Just is short blog tonight as we are off of to Marrakech via London tomorrow, cant wait! I wont be writing anything for a week but I hope I will have lots to say and photographs to put up when I come back! I am really looking forward to getting some more indigo pigment and poppy or poppy seed pigment or whatever you would call that lovely deep red colour! I remember the indigo I got there before, it had amazing variations of blues and indigo through it there were even traces of turquoise in it. When I ran out I found some more in Barcelona but is was not so amazing. If anyone knows a good place to get pigments could you please let me know, thank you! Here are some things I made using Indigo Pigment. I also did some time-based word ice melting on a sheet of, you will never guess……indigo pigment!

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Indigo Wind dripped records, intervention at the Secret Gallery

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Words written in indigo pigment,(twice submerged in the sea, once in Barcelona and once in Fanore Co Clare) the Secret Gallery

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Horse Blanket, outer layer wax on cotton painted with Indigo pigment and terracotta earth, the Secret Gallery

Written by Marianne Slevin

1 December, 2008 at 8:31 pm