I’m also having a little art sale – see the Arachne’s Zoo facebook page for details.
2013 is over now. It began for me with a fantastic party in a big country house, a buffalo dance in a king’s coat, and an icy swim in a pond. It ended with a baby. That party was the last time I got drunk and I’m glad I didn’t know I was already pregnant at the time as I would have never had such fun.
The title of this painting was given by a small boy who saw me drawing the sketch for it on new year’s day.
The baby has accompanied me at the studio as I completed it.
The Museum in the Park in Stroud holds an annual Secret Postcard fundraiser. There are some far more illustrious artists than I taking part, from James Dyson to Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen, Cleo Mussi to Dennis Gould – but it is open to anyone so I thought I would make a postcard for the event. Its meant to be a secret ! but the show is over and the cards are to be allocated randomly to ticket holders later this week. So if you get this one you will know who its by, but then you will anyway, because my name is on the back.
I made this painting a long time ago, from a quick outline doodle I’d drawn of someone I saw in the street. I used to display it at the Kew Studio, in the staircase gallery, where the staff at the nursery on the ground floor would turn it round to face the wall.
Presumably they thought it was too much for the small children to bear seeing, but I was quite surprised by their reaction. Obviously it was really the women themselves who were upset: I can’t see how a two- or three-year-old would even notice it or be in the least bit offended or traumatised by this very plain silhouetted figure.
This painting was also listed on ebay as part of my studio clear-out earlier this year, but it was one of the few that wouldn’t sell, despite being listed repeatedly. So there she sat in the ‘what to do with these’ box for another few months.
At that stage she didn’t have a halo or any words, but after becoming pregnant for the first time this year I have become more interested in art relating to pregnancy and birth. This has led to an exploration of various ancient and modern iconic images and figures of pregnant and birthing women, and this painting seemed to me to be part of this tradition. I felt as though I had already seen the birth goddess without realising it, so I wanted to bring her into my icon collection.
The addition of Rhine Gold dust from the Greenshop, applied to a coating of size, has turned her into the goddess she clearly always was.
It is winter, here is a sheep and lamb. My fingers are so cold I can barely write. This is not because I am a starving artist but because I am so absorbed in what I am doing that I can’t get up and turn on the heating until this is done.