Monday 18 December 2017


"Facing the Future" _ Sculpture in clay for bronze, height 175cm, wingtip to wingtip 175cmFIND


Being an artist, my language is through images. That is how I feel most comfortable communicating the passions/feelings that are deep inside me. When I have to find words for the title of a work I therefore have a difficult task. If what I want to say is not obviously conveyed by the piece itself I feel it is a failure. 

Most of my important works are deeply personal, and my spirit somehow melts in with that of the animal I portray. If I could put down the right words I would be a writer or poet.

Everyone makes their personal interpretations when confronted with an art work, so I don't like the title to sway or taint the viewer's experience.
However, artworks need to be identified and need to give the viewer some indication. 

So . . .  . for my monumental swan sculpture, which will be realised in bronze early next year, I have chosen the title FACING THE FUTURE for the following reasons:

Every day, birds have to preen their plumage to keep their feathers in good condition.
This routine ensures that the feathers are waterproof and correctly placed, and that damaged or moulting feathers are removed. If a bird is unable to do this every day, its chances of survival are limited.

When a swan reaches the end of its thorough preening session, it stretches high and extends its wings fully and gives them a few powerful flaps, almost raising itself off the ground in the process; seeming to say "Right, job done, I'm now ready for what the day brings!"

I have chosen this particularly powerful moment for my sculpture of a male mute swan, because I think in life's journey, we are all presented with challenges and only by courageously confronting and overcoming them do we gain strength to face the future.

Saturday 9 December 2017

CONTINUUM - A New Chapter in Art History.

CONTINUUM -  A New Chapter in Art History.

FACE: Figurative Art Convention and Expo, together with
TRAC: The Representational Art Conference,
Miami, November, 8-11, 2017

Organised by Peter Trippi and Eric Rhodes of the FINE ART CONNOISEUR, and Dr. Michael J.Pearce of TRAC, and Associate Professor California Lutheran University.

       All my life, the creative artist and logical scientist within me have spoken loudly and directed me against all odds to follow a figurative path with my artworks, whether painting or sculpture.  The art schools  and the contemporary art market dictated otherwise.  My road of discovery was made easier because I was fortunate to find the atelier of Nerina Simi in Florence still teaching the academic classical tradition in the early 1980s. That was more than 30 years ago.  

There is a movement to change all this.
The situation is changing from the ground up. That is, from the artists themselves, those  who have stuck with what they believe in and continued their careers despite difficulties in marketing their work.
Craftsmanship is now being appreciated and there are programs beginning again for teaching skill-based techniques in schools and colleges.

The Figurative Art Convention and Expo ( FACE)  together with The Representational Art Conference (TRAC) this November in Miami proved that the tide is turning, and that the movement is gaining force. Difficult to know what to call this but 'Continuum' seems to describe this classical tradition cast in a modern mould.

This was an exciting time and place to be, particularly since so many like-minded people were gathered together. The buzz was palpable!
There were some excellent artists strutting their capabilities for FACE. Demonstrations of painting portraits by Max Ginsberg, Sherrie A. McGraw, and David A. Leffel. Demonstrations of drawing the figure by Juliette Aristides ( author of many books on the figurative tradition) and the anatomy master Michael Mentler; a sculpture demo of 3 Indian heads by John Coleman and presentations by Jacob Collins, Steven Assael and Daniel Graves (founder of the Florence Academy of Art).
While all this was going on there were also presentations and talks organised by TRAC, on many topics: amongst others . . . the changing global markets, marketing for figurative artists, painting-best practices, and The Da Vinci Initiative by Amanda Theis. 

For those that attended the conference, (and that included 5 ex-Simi students in the photos below),  I think Gezien van de Riet's more detailed description of the event with images sums up the feelings we all experienced:

Here is a link to Gezien van de Riet's blog: Art history: A new chapter

With a contribution by Joke Frima about the Da Vinci Initiative

If you go to this link below you will find a short film on the whole convention:
Also you can sign up for next year's FACE at Miami!

Alessandra Marrucchi, Stella Ehrich, Charles Kapsner, Joke Frima and Anne Shingleton

The magnificient Biltmore Hotel, Miami.
Walk-about in Downtown Miami - Gezien, Joke and Alesandra.

The pool, Biltmore Hotel - we never had time for a dip!

One of the large conference halls

John Coleman, sculpting demo - just before the sculpture collapsed!!

Steven Assael's drawings . .

Daniel Gerhartz giving a portrait demo.

The screens allowed us to see his palette as he worked.

Michael Mentler - a wonderful life drawing demo.



Monte Altissimo September 2019   Oil on panel 15 x 27cm English:      Since my last blog with lockdown  finally terminated in Italy, I have...