A Force of Nature

Autumn is my favorite season. The things I love about it are… spiders webs, the sounds of rustling leaves in the trees, the light on warm days (totally golden), the light on cold days (hard edged as crisp as the air), Halloween, walking in welly boots again, the park, lanes like tunnels with leaves wiped up by the wind but above all G. My G, slugs and snails and puppies dogs tails and chocolate and love.

Guernsey Arts Sunday, June 9th 2013

We are thrilled to have released our book ‘The Soul of the Sea’ a tribute to Victor Hugo’s ‘Toilers of the Sea’ at the Guernsey Arts Commission Arts Sunday. Despite the wind and my freezing feet we sold lots of copies and really enjoyed talking to everyone who popped by to look at our work. The book is now available to buy island wide or through this blog, details of which are included in my previous post. Thanks to all who have supported us we are so proud to have finally got it out there.

The Soul of the Sea

We’re currently featuring on Ormerland as part of promoting our fully illustrated ballad adaptation of Victor Hugo’s ‘The Toilers of the Sea’. Click here to see the article.

If you’d like to pre-order a copy, please drop me an email to sendcharlie@gmail.com – copies are £15 each in hardback – but trust me, they look really good (thanks to James, our designer!). I’m happy to accept a Paypal transfer or a cheque; if postage is required too, I’ll price and arrange that on a case-by-case basis.

If you’d rather wait, copies will be on sale as part of Arts Sunday on 9th June in St Peter Port and stocked in The Press Shop and other major outlets around Town from then on.

She


The Cheshire Cat’s smile reappears
In our kitchen one afternoon.
Close by, a key pirouettes in
A lock inside your little room.

In the dark sits a potion. ‘Drink Me’
it reads, and you do, then grow
From a thought to fingers and thumbs
The weeks playing cards rifling row

By row towards the looking glass
In which we merge and you emerge.
The door now gives to touch, a nudge
Enough to set in motion your surge

To the surface. Through the moist soil
Your head pops from the rabbit hole,
And in an instant your eyes strike
A match to the sun and to our souls.

The Soul of the Sea / Original Artwork

Our new book, ‘The Soul of the Sea’, in shops June 9th 2013. The images were originally part of an exhibition held at The Gallery, Mansell Street, Guernsey in October 2008. They are painted on a large scale and my aim was to evoke the romanticism of Hugo’s story as well as the lyricism of my husband’s poetry. I wanted to develop the flow and immediacy of my earlier Lamia series in colour and to do this I had to take risks with the paint allowing it to take shape on its own terms. I love the life force and expressive potential of watercolour and ink. My work now sits somewhere between illustration and pure painting. At times on my Fine Art degree course illustration was a bit of a dirty word; something that tutors warned us to stir clear of in our discipline; however, it was something I was always drawn to. I am greatly inspired by the dark brooding works in ink of Victor Hugo himself and used shapes and imagery echoed from his work in these paintings.

The Soul of the Sea… Out June 9th 2013

We have lift off. Our book ‘The Soul of the Sea’ is due to be published this month and will hit the shelves on June 9th, just in time for the Guernsey Arts Sunday. A labour of love, I am so proud that my work appears alongside my husband’s stunning poem based on Victor Hugo’s epic tale. Telling stories makes me happy and lights me up inside. Getting lost in paint, the way it moves, stains, ripples, creeps across the paper. Creation for creation’s sake, whether it be a book, a cake or a letter. Every day needs a little of it.

Figurative, Abstract, Beautiful and Unforgettable

The goldfish bowl sculpture studio Falmouth College of Arts June 2000 was the setting for my favourite piece of the graduating class of 2000’s Fine Art degree show. Laid out across the painted floor, my friend Pete Root’s miniature metal city glittered in the light; built entirely from metal tacks carefully laid one against another: it was a magical sight. Figurative and abstract at the same time, tiny, sprawling, mysterious, dark and extremely beautiful, I will never forget it. Pete was a lovely person, extremely funny and very, very talented. He helped me sell my first painting and I admired him not only as an artist but as a person too. Pete and his beautiful girlfriend and fellow artist Mary Thompson were tragically killed in Thailand whilst cycling around the world earlier this year. Their lives were brave and spectacular and their memory and the inspiration they gave and give to so many lives on.

"Victor Hugo was a madman who thought he was Victor Hugo"

Victor Hugo was a resident of our beautiful Island for many years and wrote some of his greatest works here. His book “The Toliers of the Sea” is set in Guernsey and brilliantly showcases his huge, crashing, romantic view of the world. The book is wild like the ocean Hugo so loved and also as I imagine Hugo was himself, untamed and at times ferocious. I  love this quote by Jean Cocteau which brilliantly captures and indeed characterises the great man. A few years ago, I had the extreme pleasure of drawing in Hauteville House as I prepared to illustrate Hugo’s book (it was turned into an epic ballad by my husband titled “The Soul of the Sea”). The staff very kindly allowed me time in the rooms alone to sketch and soak up the atmosphere. As the morning light steamed through the windows, I imagined Hugo walking around the corner to meet me. It was as if I was in a time machine, and his presence was oh, so close.