The Season of Change (autumn into winter 2022)
It was with some surprise and gratitude that I was awarded First Prize in the h.Art Open Competition (Herefordshire Art Week) September 2022. Part of the prize was to exhibit my paintings in the Old Mayor’s Parlour, Church Street, Herefordshire. This is an exquisite 15th century room, with the original carvings along the ceiling still intact. The exhibition was on for the duration of September 2022 and gave me opportunity to meet and discuss my paintings with numerous people. Exhibiting work is odd, there can almost be too much expectation heaped upon it, what the response might be, if people are interested in buying work, you are exposing yourself to an unknown audience. What I do understand is that the making of work is about a commitment to exploring and developing a visual langue, based on intuition and a curiosity about the world around you and your inner connection to that world.
The exhibition gently drew a line under the ‘walking-landscapes’ series, produced over the past year, because other ideas, including the use of asemic text and the figure in motion began to emerge, as a response to the physical activity of walking and looking. The complexity of mark making, and the merging of foreground and background continues, and somewhere in there is an invisible and private space where the meaning of art shivers. This current direction is being created in hand made mono-printed sketchbooks before working the figures into each double-page spread. The asemic text is also being worked into a separate ‘junk journal book’ made from repurposed paper (music manuscripts, very old encyclopaedia’s, ledgers etc). I’m waiting to see if these two elements feel like being combined.
The Year of the Tiger 2022
The year swirled in with storms, three preceding one another and the world felt churned up.
Indeed, everything has been thrown up in the air, as one man invades another’s people’s country.
With my regular longer walks postponed as muddy paths and strong winds made walking hazardous, shorter walks took me to familiar landscape, though now changed as trees had fallen.
A hike up towards Petty France gave a good view of the approaching weather, and the skies across the Malvern Hills seemed as churned up as the recently ploughed red soiled fields.
Out again and the path shadowing the edge of woodland towards Oyster Hill Coppice offered the last of wintery trees, bending and spiky with crows messing about in the sky, lit against lilac/orange skies. Winter at its best, strong light and low shadows.
On a later excursion Dumbleton Woods seemed to expose single trees, isolated and viewed as simplified formal tree-shapes to be remembered and worked from. This painting became a battle to keep it simple.
The wall along Hope End saw trees begin to resemble the warmth of spring returning, buds and blossom emerge and certainly it was a noisier walk as birds were in full throated singing mode darting through the woods.
‘Beyond the Path’ (2021)
Just beyond, are tracks and paths that crisscross up into woods and orchards and farmland. Walking, looking and listening, smelling and touching, the space to experience an elemental and meditative connection to the landscape. This is where I am right now as the second year of covid-19 swirls around and I spend more time walking outside, experiencing nature and the seasons, and then back at home painting in my studio. Gouache, the richness and chalkiness of Windsor and Newton, a favourite paint, providing strong colours and a matt surface. Embedded into each picture is a memory of a place, making patterns and layering images together from a 3 or 4 hour walk.
Within this process new ideas and themes are emerging, how to fully connect an experience, which then leads to making a painting; the interconnectivity of creating, sensory memory, poetic words, cultural landscapes and the undiscovered.
A Tangle of Botanicals
‘A Tangle of Botanicals’ marked the year by painting plant forms inspired from looking at embroidered fabrics. 2020 was the year when we were unable to visit museum collections, so Jeanette scoured her books and fabric samples, interested in the marks needle and thread make in cloth, the stylisation and decoration of intertwined plant forms that other designers have found. She used this as a springboard to interpret embroidered surfaces and explore new colour palettes. “Each painting in some way is random, like walking in the local landscape, taking a different route each time. Not knowing is important, it’s how we continually learn. Submerging real plants with imagined ones, trying unusual colour combinations, and mixing different paints and inks into each picture to add a vibrancy or dullness”.
Hereford Library & Museum Carvings Lino series
Animals on wood series
Bird Collage Art Cards
Hellens Manor Gardens
Excavations of Eternity