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Herbs and my Outdoor Studio

Our herb collection this hot and humid morning……..and my covered outdoor ceramics corner! I love working out here in the summer, sometimes late at night, and also later in the year when it rains, and I’m protected from the rain….but am still outside…..fantastic!

Ancient Egyptian Horse Sculpture - ceramic with underglaze and gold leaf

Pessach Sameach! (Happy Passover!)

This recently completed horse sculpture depicts an ancient Egyptian royal horse adorned with blue and hold ceremonial crest and tail. Ceramic, with blue underglaze and gold leaf. An art prize I won at school was a modest and beautiful bronze of a horse by Elizabeth Frink, which I was entitled to keep for a year. I have loved drawing horses ever since. This, however, is the first time I’ve made a horse sculpture, and I found it tremendously satisfying. The pose of this horse is similar to the Frink horse, but this is a royal warrior horse, and is much more bulky, and obviously the style is more naive….

Intuitive art

Spontaneous art group

I’ve just opened a new art class. The aim is to give you the tools by which you are able, quite quickly, to make spontaneous and free art which is wide open, expressive, and unique to you. It is a process of learning about yourself, and about the nature of creativity which arises spontaneously from within. My vision is that the making of spontaneous art can be an excellent mindfulness practice, wherein we are completely and vitally present – in the act of creation.

 

The beginning of the course will be about getting to know, through structured exercises, the basic elements: materials, technique, colour and form. Gradually, as you grow in confidence, we will develop ways of working which are broader and more free, leading to a truly spontaneous outflow of art.

 

For further details, please contact me at: dgilmont@gmail.com

 

 

British naive art. Shepherdess painting in Little Picture Gallery, Mousehole.

Shepherdess in Mousehole

Judy Joel, owner of the delightful Little Picture Gallery in Mousehole, Cornwall, sent me these pictures of my Shepherdess painting in her gallery’s Christmas window display. I never thought of this painting as relating to Christmas in any way – but it does fit rather well!

British naive art - Shepherdess picture in window display - Little Picture Gallery, Mousehole Cornwall.
Shepherdess picture in window display – Little Picture Gallery, Mousehole Cornwall.
Intuitive art - Prayer Clouds

A different approach – Intuitive art

Prayer Clouds (I) – Acrylic on canvas with gold leaf – 43 x 50cm

As an exercise in freedom from form, I approached a blank canvas with no preconceptions, and let the painting emerge in its own way. I love the peace and depth of losing myself in what is emerging on the canvas. This kind of intuitive painting truly belongs to the present moment.

Intuitive art - Prayer Clouds - detail
Prayer Clouds (I) – detail

 

biblical scene - detail 3

Finding new life in an old painting – a Biblical scene.

biblical scene - unfinished 1
biblical scene – unfinished 1

Biblical scene - unfinished

The subject is an undefined Biblical scene, in the Land of Israel. Since it is made up of different layers which have accumulated over a few years of painting and re-painting, the canvas itself has started to take on something of an archaeological character.

It’s an unresolved picture. I’m aiming to bring it alive now and finish it. It’s oil on canvas-board, with gold leaf, on a massively thick and heavy plywood board – 61 x 77cm. My aim was originally to create something akin to an icon painting, evoking the ancient Holy Land, but using a style that evoked the idealized zionist graphic depictions of Palestine in the 1930’s. The figures outlined in white in the first photo above are all new – added just now. Their colours are emerging brighter than I’ve used before in oils – definitely influenced by my children’s Torah series.

What’s the point of my art?

I’m concerned with touching on a spiritual quality that is perhaps missing from the concerns of many artists today. I think I’m trying to produce something with a real meaning – if not an explicit message, then an inferred one. Who are we? Where are we? Where are we going? (These questions remind me of Paul Gauguin’s allegorical painting of 1898 “Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?” These questions came from his schooldays in a Church school).

When I was beginning my own spiritual search, shortly after coming to Israel. I came across a book by Reshad Feild which touched me deeply (The Invisible Way, Element Books, 1979). It talked about humankind’s connection with the One Source of all, which is a connection of love, as expressed in Sufi poetry and lore. Through that opening of a door into the world of the soul, I discovered the Jewish mystical tradition. At its essence is the same thing: The Unity of all, and our connection to it, which is through love, and divine service (in the Jewish tradition, through the mitzvot).

Maybe my art can express something of this Unity – somehow?

 

Close-ups below:

biblical scene - detail 2
biblical scene – detail 2
biblical scene - detail 3
biblical scene – detail 3
biblical scene - detail 4
biblical scene – detail 4

 

 

 

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