Spring is here and the promise of a warm weekend this early in March makes it easy to forget how cold it will still be over the next couple of months. In past years there has been freezing blasts of weather just when the apple tree blossoms.
Ink painting Apple blossom no.2 is in my exhibition ‘Anticipation and Recognition’ at Colchester Library’s Les Livres Gallery, 2nd March – 31st March.
Online catalogue visit
My exhibition ‘Anticipation and Recognition’ was hung last weekend in Colchester Library’s gallery space Les Livres, and continues until 31st March. The paintings selected for display are part of a seven year focus of work recording seasonal changes. Most library visitors would probably not know my earlier work but as you would expect there are connections – clearly the subject matter as a narrative, use of colour, but also of equal importance, line, painted, drawn or printed.
A cabinet at the top of the library stairs gave me an opportunity to communicate a back story with a few words allocated to each postcard size image. Alongside these I included one sketchbook and an oil pastel sketch to demonstrate my visual research and potential for development.
Visit http://jennyhillartwork.tumblr.com for the exhibition catalogue.
PS Behind the railing on the stairway wall is a relief sculpture, Connor Barrett’s Crucifixion of Mankind. I will post a full image in another blog post.
It has been so wet this winter, the wind twisted poppy seed heads stayed whole. In previous years the freezing weather skeletonised the seed heads, leaving open basket structures. This month the soggy plants evolved into their own aerial sprouting seed pot.
The painting “Sprouting poppies’ is more subdued than my usual expressive use of colour. It could be a reflection of the weeks of rain, or the raw umber in the mix.
Almost there with preparations for my solo exhibition at Colchester Library’s Les Livres Gallery. So far press release has been sent, paintings packed and information to email contacts.
To do – What to put in the cabinet. I thought it would be a good idea to use a glass top table cabinet to put in a couple of sketch books, information on sales. But know now that would leave a gap of communication as my press release stated this exhibition was part of a seven year project following the seasons. I realise there has to be some back story, using a few images of previously exhibited artwork with minimal text, to help make some connection with what has gone before and the current artwork. But how to make it look good and interesting is something I will be working on over the next couple of days.
A catalogue for Anticipation & Recognition can be seen at
I had passed this Agapanthus a number of times, noting the yellow and lime green stems and seed heads almost glowing on grey days. I resolved to draw it before the black seeds dropped or the stems pushed over, but it was the forecast of more heavy rain that made me get on with sketching. Drawing in a winter garden for the sake of not missing something sounds dedicated? Fortunately the plant is in a large pot, (a cropped copper water cylinder), just outside my studio window.
‘Agapanthus winter seed head’ will be exhibited at Colchester Library Gallery, Les Livres, March 2nd-31st.
Unripe Medlar fruit seen last October at RHS Hyde Hall Garden, Essex. The fruit is usually bletted, softened by rot, before it can be eaten. As I was painting this from a pen sketch I realised the fruit reminded me of something else. I have since discovered Medlar, (Mespilus germanica), was known in medieval times as the ‘dog bottom tree’.
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Painting using acrylic ink and indian ink.
Marina di Chioggia fantastic pumpkin, fleshy folds of dense nutty sweet orange flesh, originates from Chioggia, Italy. I use it for coconut and pumpkin soup or oven baked vegetables for pasta or rice.
Initially I added this to the list of regulars grown in the vegetable garden because of the connection to Italy and memories of a good holiday in Venice but I now know the value of the fruit and it is there on merit. (Just as I wrote ‘fruit’, I had to check to see if it was fruit or vegetable).
Definitions of fruit and vegetables –
This is an oil pastel sketch for development into an ink painting or print.
When I am clearing the last of the summer produce from the vegetable patch I leave the french and runner beans hanging for a few weeks longer. The ripened seeds are dried off, so they do not go mouldy, and stored ready for sowing next spring. As the pod contracts and expands it takes on a different form, easy to overlook as often hidden behind curling leaves, but if noticed it is a good subject to add to the sketchbook.
‘Purple bean podding’ is an ink painting, acrylic and indian, worked up from an oil pastel sketch.
PS I do not know the true name of this bean but I call it Purplette.
The past few days have been taken up with making frames, cutting mounts, buying glass and putting it all together, making sure labels have the correct information. A short notice opportunity for exhibiting artwork at Dedham Vale Vineyard 30th November – 1st December, made me put aside creativity and focus on the presentation. It’s a distraction but in truth for me, it makes sense financially, time wise and patience, to do my framing a few at a time. To have work ready for small exhibitions is a bonus and also it gathers work long term for a solo exhibition Spring 2014, (lots of space, great! or could that be aargh! lots of space – more work to be done). Getting an idea as to how the paintings will look as a group instead of stored in the plan chest drawer is a reality check worth doing sooner than later.
Grey sky, gloomy light, rain, conspired to increase the vibrancy of the autumn leaf colour – a beautiful day if you do not have to work in the fields.
Information for Dedham Vale Vineyard, (Constable country) please visit