Asking the question

Truth Seeker, 2016 Oil on linen, 300 x 250 mm

Truth Seeker, 2016
Oil on linen, 300 x 250 mm

Lately I’ve been working on much smaller paintings than I usually do, including some very small works.  The miniature format feels right while I explore a new approach to my old lace treasures and I find the process to be very meditative; there’s an intimacy and concentration of detail in the smaller works that I find very satisfying.  Now, I don’t normally enter art competitions because I think my work is too traditional to be acceptable to contemporary competitions, but last year I decided it was time, and I was delighted to receive positive feedback and to hear that my painting, Truth Seeker, was selected as a finalist in the 2016 Peters Doig Marlborough Art Awards.

Advertisements

Voices from the Past

Oil on linen, 900 X 1500mm

Oil paint on Belgian linen, 900 X 1500mm

These family heirloom linens from 19th century carry with them the voices of the past, a reminder of lives lived and journeys taken, passed on down generations on a journey of their own.


 

Material Witness

My first exhibition since October 2012, “Material Witness”, opens on  22 July,  at Exhibitions Gallery of Fine Art, 19A Osborne Street, Newmarket, Auckland.

Preview: Tuesday, 22 July 2014, 6pm – 8pm.  If you are in Auckland, please join us  (to RSVP please email the gallery auckland@exhibitionsgallery.co.nz)  –  everyone’s welcome.

You can check out this link to the gallery for a sneak preview of the works on show!  And please pass on the invitation to your friends.

The exhibition runs from 22 July to 17 August 2014.  See you there!

"Most Secret and True", Ruth Phipps, 2014, oil on linen, 710mm x 560mm

“Most Secret and True”, Ruth Phipps, 2014, oil on linen, 710mm x 560mm

Surrender to the muse

IMG_3861

I’ve been thinking about my obsession with draped fabrics, and how it is I keep revisiting the fold and fall, shadow and drape of cloth.

Isabel Allende described how she becomes obsessed with a theme or with certain stories that stay with her, that haunt her, until she writes them.   She just has to write them, she says – she has learnt to surrender to the muse.  

 

Meditations on light

 

Sacrament, Ruth Phipps 2012

Oil on canvas, 600mm x 1100mm

 

I love people!  Some of my best friends are people…

 

but seriously, it’s a truly wonderful thing, this ‘being’ – I believe life is sacred, and it’s fleeting.

Fabric is inextricably connected with every moment of human life, and  in my paintings I explore this connection.

Life nurtured: the moment we are born we are wrapped and swaddled

Life celebrated: we mark life’s most important events with special fabrics

Life ended: the shroud bestows dignity and marks our respect

 

you may have heard this Maori proverb, it’s my favourite

He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people! It is people! It is people!

 

 

Whispered Messages and Passion

Whispers

Acrylic on Canvas

500mm x 1000mm

I’ve been using fabric to convey messages about what it means human at the most basic.  Life, love, loss, memory.  Fabric concealing and revealing who we are.

Another message carrier was Iris.  The beautiful young Greek Goddess dressed in multicolored clothes and rode the wind to bring messages to mortals. She married Zephyrus who was the god of the west wind, and their son was Pothos,  passion.

The word iridescence is derived in part from the name of this goddess, and the iris of the eye is named after her as she was the goddess of the rainbow, to reflect the many colours of the eye.

 

 

A Little Bit of a Diversion

Pears and DraperyA little play while I was waiting for the glazes to dry on my larger works…

Still Life with Pears

oil on canvas

Shamal

Warm winds blowing fabric

Shamal” -warm desert wind

Oil on Marouflaged Linen

200mm x 400mm

Did you ever tie a knot in your handkerchief?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Remembrance”

Oil on marouflaged Linen

Ovato Tondo 300mm x 400mm

 

When I was a child, my Grandmother told me to tie a knot in my hanky to remember.  I might not remember why I tied the knot, but  I think of her every time.

When I began painting drapery it was because I was exploring traditions and memories passed from one generation to the next, and using fabrics as symbols of that.  I found that these fabrics became loaded with symbolism well beyond my personal memories. They can be seen as intimate and personal, but also universal and timeless.

My Grandmother has long since gone, but the love, the traditions, the memories linger… happily.

 

Works on Paper

Next week we open a new exhibition at Railway Street:  Works on Paper!  I’m looking forward to seeing what the other artists come up with, but in the mean time, here’s one of my works:

Fabric Study: Willow and Compressed Charcoal on Leonardo 600g paper

Doing works on paper can be frustrating for me when I’m used to using oils on canvas, (and my watercolors have long-since dried in their tubes) , but I love the raw immediacy of charcoal… and it’s a great way to get to know the subject before working up a larger painting.