The secret gallery’s blog

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

Archive for the ‘Painting’ Category

recent paintings

leave a comment »

I have spent the last six months painting obsessively and I have come to the end of my 72 canvas stash! Feeling both excited and sad that this part of the journey is over. I had no idea how these paintings would develop when I started them. Here are some of the ones I finished recently. They are oil on canvas and range in size from 20 x 20cms, 25 x 25cms and 30 x 30cms.

This is the most continuous and uninterrupted period time I have spent developing paintings, working nearly everyday in my studio for 6 months on them. For financial reasons, usually when I make such a large body of work I use recycled and found materials, such as my rubble installation, the bank statement boat installation or the floating ink works made with buoys. It has been really great to focus this much on painting on canvas. I even started making my own paint.

I draw all the time but I never do studies for the paintings beforehand, I prefer to work things out directly on the canvas, enjoying the element of chance and surprise. I improvise, working spontaneously hoping to make constant discoveries, no matter how small. One or two of them I might go back to and work on, but time will tell how they feel after a little bit of distance. I am working on 10 Chinese paper scrolls at the moment, its nice to stretch out a bit, they are 8 foot long but working with ink is a lot less forgiving and every mark I make stays visible forever.

After a few weeks of painting, some of the paintings started to gain a feel of moment so I continued along this journey. Thinking about Taoism and Eastern philosophy. I decided to call them after different types of bamboo, bamboo being highly regarded for its many virtues, and a symbol for harmony between nature and human beings.

 

Holttumochloa magica

Ochlandra travancorica

Phyllostachys arcana

Himalayacalamus hookerianus

Images above 1,2,3,4 oil on canvas 25 x 25cms (top 3 images ) & 30 x 30 cms (bottom image) Marianne Slevin 2019

Currently these are all available for private viewing at the Funny Little Gallery, Doolin

 

 

Advertisements

Written by Marianne Slevin

11 March, 2019 at 4:44 pm

Enjoy it!

with one comment

Work in Progress oil on canvas Marianne Slevin

There has been a lot of Alan Watts recorded chatter going on around here lately. Alan Watts was a very entertaining philosopher. The book  is called “Your it!” James gave it to me for my Birthday, he also gave me “Empowering Women” by Louise L. Hay, I have been really enjoying both of them. What really struck me from the very beginning of both books was that the authors said “I am not a healer” Louise L. Hay and “I am not a guru” Alan Watts, it is all about you. I like this attitude. What I also realized was that I want to be “digging the now” as Alan Watts puts it, when it comes to making art and doing it because I am really enjoying doing it, not to try to be good or make work to impress people. This my seem obvious but when I heard it, it made me rethink. There is so much pressure on artist trying to look and sound coherent particularly for commercial galleries that much of the enjoyment of making art is lost. Artists whose work was once exciting and unselfconscious becomes dull, tripping over itself.  What is the point unless you are enjoying it! I know I enjoy making art but somehow I never fully realized just how important that was before. I wanted to make good work before, now I don’t care who thinks it is good or not I am just doing it because I enjoy it. I feel like I have defiantly lost a couple of wrinkles!

This sounds really simple but what happens then is that what you enjoy doing one moment changes and you become bored and have to keep finding the new things to keep you surprised and entertained. Each different painting will have many different stages of enjoyment in it. With the piece that I have been working on for the past two months on and off, more off than on! I painted until I ran out of excitement and then I stopped, I looked at it many times to see if I know what to do with it, not until yesterday was I able to and today I really enjoyed bringing something else to it that I didn’t have before.  It is constantly moving and shifting like everything else. There are challenging times when you are not enjoying it and you are wondering how to! For me every painting is unique and you have to kind of trick yourself to get out of your own way and let it happen. The allure of paintings for me is not in the obvious or the details but the magical symphony that happens when you soften your gaze and disengage your rational brain for a while!

Written by Marianne Slevin

3 January, 2012 at 12:37 am

Self Portrait with Lungs and Plants

with 3 comments

“Self Portrait with Lungs and Plants”  Oil and pigments on Canvas,  Marianne Slevin 2010

So I still am alive and well! My no tech week seemed to trigger off a long spell of almost no tech. I think once we get out of the habit of something then it can be hard to do it again. I think a lot about making art is habit, so it is really important to develop good habits, as the more we do the  better we get. Sometimes we are not in the “mood” but that can change once we don’t expect to be” perfect” (in our own our own eyes anyway). Surprising our selves can be one of the best things we can do in our art practice, why are we so afraid of the unknown? Art is a journey some times difficult sometimes easy but always exploratory. The painting above was a journey that took many twists and turns, and surprised me many times. Yesterday I came to the end of that particular journey, I had been trying to unite the figure (myself) and the rest of the painting, and finally I think I did.

Written by Marianne Slevin

10 August, 2010 at 9:03 am

Into Existence

leave a comment »

These are three of my resent pieces, they are paintings that have grow out of drawings or even doodles; just seeing what will come out when I let go of control. I am really enjoying using the pigments that James gave me, it is such a different experience to squeezing paint out of a tube.

DSCF3501

Salmon run 1 Mixed Media on Canvas Marianne Slevin 2009

DSCF3502

Salmon run 2 Mixed Media on Canvas Marianne Slevin 2009

Please excuse the shine!

DSCF3498

Into Existence Mixed Media on Paper Marianne Slevin 2009

Written by Marianne Slevin

9 December, 2009 at 12:46 pm

No Formula

with one comment

 DSCF2876

“Angel” Work in progress, oil on canvas Marianne  Potterton 2009

These are the two paintings that I am working on at the moment in thee studio. The one above I think is finished or very nearly, but you never know, I might do something more to it. I had an urge to put it up in the Secret Gallery yesterday, but I think I will wait till it dries!

DSCF2879 Work in progress, “No Formula”, oil on canvas Marianne Potterton 2009

Thank goodness for spell check! I must go and spell it right in the painting now! This is a bit bolder than my usual paintings, I think. It is a sort of attempt to paint in the moment, a sort of meditation, as Alan Watts once said about meditation “Digging the present, grooving with the eternal now!”

Much art seems to be latching on to the past, artists repeating what they know they are good at, but they are not in it any longer. When I go to an exhibition and all of the work looks the same I wonder has the artist just found a formula ? Of course there are exceptions to this, where the art can look very similar but the artist was still open and aware while making it. Such as Mark Rothko, I just could not do it though; do the same sort of thing for years. I even find it hard to finish a painting without wanting to paint it differently the next time I go back to it ! This unknown territory can feel a bit uncomfortable because we have never been there before, it can be a bit hit and miss, but what can come out of these adventures have more life in them than art we make on the journeys that we have repeated with only slight deviations!

Written by Marianne Slevin

27 May, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Light shining through paintings

leave a comment »

 

 

DSCF2774

Detail of a painting leaning against a window, oil on canvas

Paintings are in transit, and as I walked out of the emerging gallery space this painting caught my eye. One of the things I am fascinated in my art practice is by making or doing things that are fleeting. I have returned to painting after years of making work that is long gone even many of the photographs of that work have long gone too! I still like to make ephemeral work as well. I think the two ways of working help each other when things get too permanent, I go and do something impermanent and vice versa. James has been really encouraging and that has helped me a lot to make both permanent and transient art. Once you leave college it is hard to keep going on your own without support, sugar I have no excuses! 

This is a darker version of the same painting. I liked that it looked quite dramatic! An oil painting is thought of as an unchangeable, permanent thing, I find it interesting to play around with that notion, even of the actual painting does not change, how we see it can be very different. One of the paintings I remember changing most was one I painted many years ago, I used oil and mixed media, the surface was smooth in places and gritty in others and has many different textures so depending where you stand or what light you see it in it looks completely different even though the whole painting is blue. I like the idea of paintings being lit from the back, it reveals different marks, such as where the paint is thinner or there have been paint taken away like the words I wrote by using the back of the paint brush. This painting is called Love.

Written by Marianne Slevin

26 March, 2009 at 11:43 am

Posted in Painting

Tagged with , ,

Arty child’s play with kitchen stuff!

with 2 comments

 

DSCF2718

 

You don’t need to spend any money to make art, sometimes you could just reach for the spice rack and rummage around the kitchen in search of inspiration. Maybe you could even eat it too! You can use out of date spices that have been sitting in the cupboard for 10 years! Food colouring for that green St Patrick’s Day Leprechaun’s hat cake you made a long time ago!

Last night, while one of our children slept, refusing to wake up from a nap, I started to cut up pizza boxes for our wide awake daughter to paint on. Usually the thing that puts me off painting with our children or letting them paint on their own is the amazing mess they make! It is such an ordeal, changing clothes first, constantly cleaning paint off them and everything else around them. I am a bit silly I suppose letting them paint with my oil paints! So I reached for the turmeric, paprika and soy sauce, three wizened potatoes a couple of reused plastic containers and the  biscuit and grey squares from the recycled pizza boxes, I find this better than paper for children to paint on as it is tough and does not get all scrupled up. I cut out some shaped to make potato prints with my well loved Swiss army knife. I forgot that when you print it comes out in reverse, be warned!

I just realised that I should have used the pastry brush instead of the normal paint brush, to make this a completely pure kitchen art experience for our daughter! There are many more things in the kitchen to paint, print or sculpt with. Once, I made brown bread horses, and hung them off a tree for birds to eat, maybe that with be the next kitchen art project we could do. James has been teaching them to cook so they are pretty knowledgeable on spices and cooking ingredients now! Our three and a half year old made a great curry last week and our two and a half year old made a tasty Risotto!! 

Written by Marianne Slevin

15 March, 2009 at 11:46 am