Well, this years open studio event at Leegate House has been and gone. Many thanks to those that made the journey to this little corner of southeast London. Thankfully the heatwave abated, just for the day, and we didn’t all melt in our studios.
These open studios events are a prerequisite for studio providers to maintain their charitable status – to demonstrate they’re “engaging with the community”. In my experience, many studio providers will only make a token effort, and most artists will see it as an inconvenience.
I’m pleased to say that Bow Arts treated this event with a lot more enthusiasm than some other studio providers I’ve been involved with; as did most of the artists here in Leegate House – it was the most enjoyable open studio that I’ve taken part in. Some of the nicest conversations I had were with local people who’d seen a flyer in the local Sainsburys, and thought “I must go along to that”. I spend most of my time locked away alone in this room on the fifth floor. It’s actually quite nice opening the doors to the public once a year.
I had some difficulty with the above painting. A few years ago I had a model regularly do life-modelling for me. She posed for me on numerous occasions over many months. During these sittings, we spoke about anything and everything…, but I never once mentioned the scars on her arms. I often wondered about them, but just thought it inappropriate to talk about them. And I never showed them in my paintings.
I recently read “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara. In this book, the main character spends most of his life self-harming, and it was interesting to see how those around him, including his closest friends, although aware of what he did, never spoke about it. Is this the norm?
So I revisited my reference photos and drawings from our various sittings, and thought that this time I would show her scars. I worried about whether it was appropriate to make them the subject of the portrait. But I painted them. And now I’m showing them.
I’ll be taking part in this show – Perspectives – at Espacio Gallery, London. It’s my first time showing work at this space. It’s an artist run gallery, and one condition of participating in group shows is taking a turn invigilating. So I shall be there on Wednesday 9th May between 1-7pm.
I will be taking part in the Juxtaposition show at Elizabeth James Gallery, from the 10th until the 23rd April. I will be showing a couple of my older Relationships Series paintings, as I think they fit the theme quite well.
Very pleased to learn that my application to join ArtCan has been successful. Looking forward to working with them, meeting the other members and finding out about what they have planned for the coming year.
ArtCan is a non-profit arts organisation that supports artists through profile raising activities and exhibitions, an open network of ‘likeminded’ peers, and practical support structures.
I’ve given my website a much needed facelift. I have been working on it for weeks now, testing it out on another domain. The transfer over to dalessandri.co.uk seemed to go smoothly enough. I was sure I had taken every precaution, and tested everything out. And then I realised that the photos from all my blog entries had disappeared!!!
So I’ve spent the last few evenings going through my blog entries, trying to find copies of the missing photos. Quite a few posts have had to be deleted, because I just can’t find any suitable photos. And so far I’ve only checked about a third of the posts!
Oh well, I quite like the look of my new site, so hopefully it won’t need a revamp for a couple of years.
I’ve started work on a series of headless nudes. It’s a development of some figure studies I have been working on. I was interested in seeing to what extent a sense of the sitter’s identity could be conveyed if, first, they were stripped of their clothes, and then, as in the case with this painting, their heads were cropped from the painting.