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Posts from the ‘Flowers’ category

The Sunflower Project Featured

The Sunflower Covid Art Project in association with the SAA

Image may contain: flower, plant and nature

A few days ago I was more than honoured to be approached by the Society for All Artists (The SAA) for permission to use my “Sunflowers” painting as part of the social media promotion for a new fundraising project the Society has been working on in collaboration across the art industry with artists, art suppliers and others to announce “The Sunflower Project”. The sunflower is a symbol of hope and healing, so of course I said yes. There was no hesitation.

These past 6 months have been a terrible time worldwide thanks to the Coronavirus Pandemic, and many of us have lost someone to this dreadful illness. A close family member, a relative, a friend or colleague, and as a consequence of lockdown, the virus has affected how we have been able to mourn their passing at such a sad and difficult time. We’ve been unable to seek support and comfort from our families and friends. No shoulder to weep on, no comforting hand to hold or hug from those we hold dear and so often the case, unable to attend the funeral of one so cherished, whether their passing was from the illness or other causes. Such lonely and strange times.

For those in lockdown, art has proved a comfort. Many people and children taking up the hobby for the first time. My painting has certainly helped keep me going, although my “Sunflowers” was painted a couple of summer’s ago, inspired by those growing in my garden that year.

About the Project

With this in mind, the aim of the Sunflower Project is to encourage people – artists and non-artists alike – to draw or paint a sunflower in memoriam of friends and family lost during this terrible time, in order to create a lasting memorial website which will enable people the opportunity to upload their artwork, creating a gallery of creations to share with the world, and ensure that every life lost during the crisis was remembered and treasured. To build and maintain such a dedicated website is expensive, thus the society is looking to raise £20,000 from the public in order to facilitate what will be a spectacular permanent memorial to our loved ones.

The website will be launched in late August, and free of charge to use. In addition to the artwork gallery, the site will include signposting, advice and support for bereavement and mental health. In addition, it is hoped the project will be used to actively fundraise for the much-needed support of those with mental health difficulties.

To see more information and to donate, please visit here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/Co-vid-Art-project-sunflower

Please donate a little something if you are able and help create a permanent art memorial to those who have lost their lives to Covid-19. Or even better, paint a sunflower and submit to the gallery on the SAA website.

“Sunflowers”

“Sunflowers” is for sale at £100.00 (UK only). Should you wish to purchase it, I am donating the full amount to the Sunflower Project, so you will be helping this exciting and lasting cause. Contact me via the comments box to this post or direct on my email kitdominoart@gmail.com.

Painted in acrylics on stretched canvas, it measures 50×36 cm (18″x14″) and will be supplied ready to hang.

Prints and notebooks, and other items will be available soon. Again, proceeds will be donated to the cause.

And a big THANK YOU.

ADDENDUM: Am delighted to announce “Sunflowers” has now been sold. A great boost to the Sunflower Covid Project.  

Sold at Auction Featured

Gorse Covert Bluebells

Back last autumn, a local junior & infant school asked if local businesses would consider donating a “prize” for auctioning at their annual fundraising ball scheduled for January 2020. I offered one of my paintings, especially as it was pertinent to the local area, being a framed scene of our local bluebell wood, a few yards from my home.

Once part of a large woodland, this small copse, known as Gorse Covert, sits on the edge of a local open area and park. The covert is maintained by local residents and boasts a small pond with fish, frogs and newts, plenty of birdlife including woodpeckers and owls, and populated by foxes and grey squirrels. When the native natural bluebells are in bloom, the covert is a delight to walk through, for the flowers and the gentle perfume wafting in the air. As many of you know, I love bluebells, so I have plenty of inspiration right on my doorstep.

The school was delighted to accept my donation of “Gorse Covert Bluebells”, which sold at the auction, exceeding the reserved price and helping to raise a considerable sum for their coffers and making me one happy artist.

The SAA 2018 Poppy Challenge Featured

This year, being the 100th Anniversary of World War One, the SAA decided to mark the occasion by holding a Paint a Poppy Challenge. Partnered with the Royal British Legion, it is a way to say “thank you” to those courageous men and women who served and sacrificed for our country and freedom. The idea is to gather as many poppy paintings and drawings as possible together to create a unique art exhibition to be held later this year at their headquarters in Nottingham, as well as raising funds for the work the Royal British Legion does, by monetary donations from those taking part in the challenge.

The challenge was open to everyone, in any medium on any paper as long as it measured exactly 125x125mm (4.9×4.9 inches). As well as individuals, SAA art groups were able to send in group entries. Being a member of SAA Frome Valley Art, based in Winterbourne, South Gloucestershire, I decided to take part. I love a challenge, and this was undoubtedly one.

As much as I enjoy painting detail, producing a small painting is a lot harder than one imagines. First, was deciding precisely the image I wanted to create. I wanted something different from the usual poppy flower scene, one that not only reflected the simple beauty of the flower, but also the immense emotion evoked by this memorial event.  I’ve painted several poppy pictures in the past and wanted something different, one that had meaning. I thought long and hard, and unusually for me, painted many draft pictures until finally deciding on the one that for me, worked.

First,  a black background – to represent death and mourning as per the black-bordered telegrams families of those fallen often received. Also, using a black background accentuates the flower’s vibrancy, popping it out of the image. It called for a poppy in bud to represent the young age many of our soldiers were when called up to arms during conflict, some as young as sixteen.

I wanted a poppy in full flower, representing parents and families of those left behind, and I wanted falling petals, to represent those fallen in battle, a reflection too of the millions of petals dropped in various war memorial services, in mind particularly those dropped at the Remembrance service at  Royal Albert Hall, London.

Lastly, and for me the most important part, I wanted to add falling teardrops from the adult flower: tears for a son, husband, brother, uncle, grandfather who never came home.

After many weeks, my challenge attempt resulted in “Tears for the Fallen”.

“Tears for the Fallen”

It’s doubtful I will be able to get to the exhibition although it will be available online at a later date (I’ll keep you advised).

In Nover 2018, I was delighted and honoured to have this painting and its story featured on “Yesterday Uncovered” blogspot. Thank  you, Pauline Barclay.

 

“Rosanna’s Garden” Featured

On rare occasions, I am so moved by a photograph I simply cannot rest until I have painted that image. This happened back at the beginning of 2015 when, trawling the Internet for inspiration, I stumbled across the work of Rosanna Castrini, a professional landscape and garden designer, botanist, writer and photographer who lives in near Turin in Italy. This beautiful lady’s photographs are simply stunning, imaginative, and blew me away. Therefore I was not surprised to learn that the photograph I had fallen in love with, “My Prairie Garden” had, in fact, won her the title 2014 International Garden Photographer of the Year.

That photograph stayed with me to the extent I was moved to make contact with Rosanna to request her permission to use some of her images as reference photos for my paintings and in, particular, the award-winning photo. Rosanna agreed, saying she was honoured by the request. That was back in November 2015.

Life and welcomed painting commissions intervened until last month, I was able to start work on the painting that had been sitting on my shoulder and in my heart, screaming to be unleashed. Progress was slow, the detail intricate; it was certainly a piece not to be rushed, and I enjoyed every brushstroke I put down on the 56cm x 46cm canvas.

Yesterday, I signed the work as complete and promptly sent a photograph of it to Rosanna in Italy, wishing for her to see the painting before going public, hoping she wouldn’t be disappointed with my efforts. On the contrary, she was delighted with the result. I am so thrilled and proud now to send “Rosanna’s Garden”, as I have entitled my interpretation, out into the wide world. I hope you like it too.

"Rosanna's Garden"

“Rosanna’s Garden”

Addendum:

In July 2018, “Rosanna’s Garden” was awarded Second Place by the Society for All Artists, in their July Challenge.

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