The secret gallery’s blog

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

Archive for the ‘In progress’ Category

Painting and “non sense” and nonsense like that!

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DSCF2724 Work in progress, after   Oil on canvas Marianne Potterton March 2009



Work in progress, before      oil on canvas              Marianne Potterton March 2009

Painting for me a wonderful way to explore the many nonsensical partially forms thoughts, and unrealised ideas grow a visual expression via the process of painting. Sometimes creating art can be disconcerting; what once felt like a breakthrough and something honest, true and maybe even beautiful can change into something embarrassingly awful in the blink of a eye! Yesterday this happened to be, it is almost like someone else comes into the studio and starts painting over your work, but more confusingly it is you!  If I were to go up to the studio I might prefer the new look paintings or I might cry and  wonder who I was yesterday! But thankfully because of James I am in our very own home imperial hotel enjoying the room service, surrounded by the smells of lovely lotions and potions for a day of pampering with not even a whiff of white spirits or turpentine within smelling distance! I have a day to enjoy and relax and it will the paintings some time to settle.

Written by Marianne Slevin

16 March, 2009 at 1:51 pm

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Flight Formations and Leaps of Faith!

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“Part of the same thing”        Detail of drawing in progress

Pigment and ink on Wallpaper      Marianne Potterton  2009


This morning I was thinking about how birds fly in amazing formations, I find it really inspiring. I watched a couple of videos of amazing flight formations, they were fantastic! It connects to lots of things in I am thinking and feeling about at the moment but too much to write about right now so I will write another post about that soon! The drawing I am doing now is inspired by flight formations.

Written by Marianne Slevin

14 January, 2009 at 5:03 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

Modern Mary gets some finishing touches!

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A while ago I wrote about the piece I was making which was mused by James called ‘Modern Mary’. The piece started off as biker leathers with words painted on them, such as brave woman, strong woman, romantic woman, and a list of words that are associated with women. Today, after a conversation about the piece with James, I was encouraged if not sent off to finish the piece as an instillation piece and not just funky looking biker leathers! and to be on time for an open submission exhibition this Friday! So off I went to Ennistymon in search of old fashioned wallpaper, fabric, a very large shoe box or boot box and materials to make a good looking box!

I always find it difficult to finish my work so it becomes something concluded and salable, and does not disappear after a heavy shower! James is far better at this then I am. So he suggested that the box be part of the piece and displayed underneath it with the lid off and resting on the side of the box, the box needed to be lined with old fashioned paper like they would have been, he was thinking of around the 1920s or 1930s as the leathers are old and that is from about when things started to change the most for Women. I really like James’ idea of having the box that the piece is transported in being part of the work and just as much attention and love given to it. We discussed putting it in a glass case or even resin but I preferred the simplicity and lightness of the box. I love art that can be taken with you and is not too cumbersome. This folds up so neatly  into the boot box there is not an inch of waste!

It was fun going around the shops in Ennistymon and asking for the materials, and explaining what I needed them for, it is all part of the art making process. I also enjoyed sitting by the fire and meditatively wrapping wool around the wooden coat hanger listening to the wind. It was almost like knitting by the fire, something many women would have spent many wintry nights doing.

I liked James’ idea of the box looking like it had been stored since the 1920s and now the leathers are taken out and aired reveal ‘Modern Mary’.

Written by Marianne Slevin

27 November, 2008 at 12:52 am

Modern Mary

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This morning, James my partner and muse discussed the direction that these motor bike leathers will take. James also known as peacerider has a great insight into my artwork and often can pull it together by combining different elements of my work and making it more complete; we work well together. This piece is very female and we intend to make it even more female so it is a kind of balancing to have some male input. Traditionally it was typical for the men to be the Artists and the women to be their muses so I like that this is balancing out too. In the days to come this piece will become something a little more….. so see what happens!

Peace to all

Written by Marianne Slevin

15 November, 2008 at 2:21 am