anna woolston 

Landscapes and Dreamscapes

On the Easel

An occasional "maker's musings" page of work current at the time of writing

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Posted by Anna Woolston McGuire on July 2, 2013 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (145)

This painting has many layers of Russian-related symbolism in it. The background was originally painted in 2009 from a satellite image of fields near Povorino. I overworked some washes and liked the somewhat "vintage" look, and originally intended to work it up as a more conventional English still life. Somehow the cogs seemed to fit, referring to the giant industrial processes of the former USSR. The samovar was placed in lieu of an English teapot. The doll completed the picture- "Baboushka" means old woman, or grandmother, which I have recently become for the second time. Placing it in front of the cogs is a comment on how tightly controlled regional folk art was under the Communist regime, ironically probably preserving it better than our own half-forgotten traditions. While the lacework design is typical of Russian work, it was actually adapted from a German porcelain design manual.

Do Seahorses Dream?

Posted by Anna Woolston McGuire on June 11, 2013 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Recently I spent an entertaining two days at St Ives School of Painting, under the guidance of Naomi Frears, and found over the course of the workshop the next step in the direction my work is heading. Although I had experimented with certain ideas and techniques, Naomi helped me to focus and formulate these into a more controlled and complex whole.

I came home and prepared a canvas, using layers of glaze, partially lifted with water, and a stencil for the Greek key motif. The seahorse arrived on the scene when, during rotating the canvas, I decided the water-washed shapes resembled seaweed stems, and remembered I had an old family souvenir of a preserved seahorse to use as a reference. His highlights were lifted out with the aid of cotton buds and eventually an old abrasion bit which took the line right back to the gesso layer on the canvas.

He certainly gained a lot of attention during his brief public appearance but was rapidly rehoused with a very happy owner...