Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stars In His Eyes

Whilst en route to Hamburg for my latest joint exhibition, we decided to stop off in Arles in the South of France. Art lovers among you will of course remember that Vincent Van Gogh spent over a year in Arles, between 1888 and 1889 and produced his most famous works during that time. Perhaps because of the personal turmoil he suffered during that time, these paintings have become, in my humble opinion, the most powerful paintings he ever produced. Sadly, just over a year later he was to take his own life in tragic circumstances, and a great light of the art world was lost forever. I have always felt touched by Vincent’s work and, along with millions of people the world over, wished I could have known the man personally. As I wandered the streets of Arles, I felt an affinity with a man tortured by instability and yet drawn to a life filled with passion for a lifestyle few can imagine to be all consuming, even to the detriment of his own physical and mental being. I sat in the now named ‘Café Van Gogh’ and imagined him painting the night time scene oblivious to all who passed. Then we wandered along the banks of the river Rhone to find the spot where he painted the ‘starry night’ so wondrously more than a century ago. I am filled with awe at the sacrifices made in the pursuit of his greatest love, and wish I could have been in his company just once before he died. Sadly, the yellow house is no more, but the colour lives on in many of his paintings. Thank you Vincent - for all your encouraging words in my dreams.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Crowds flock to the show to meet TJ

Well - The Homes And Gardens Show is over! An exhausting but rewarding two days of meeting people from all points along the Costa Blanca. My thanks to Judy Webber, director of The Fusion Gallery - - for the invite and, more importantly, for her much warranted support over the weekend. Not to mention the unfailing dedication of her second in command Begoña who tirelessly kept up our flagging spirits with a kind word and lots of encouragement. It was also wonderful to see the international artist Eric Zilverberg - - again. We have a lot to catch up on and I look forward to meeting up with him on my return from Germany.

I wish to say a big thank you to all who attended and showed an interest in mine and other artists’ works on the stand. Your comments were wonderful and greatly appreciated. Quite often an artist doesn’t get to hear directly from the public as they tend to spend so much time in isolation, so it was a welcome change to get such positive feedback on such a large scale (I estimate we had upwards of a thousand people through the stand over the two days!).

Special thanks goes, of course, to Heidi Wardman of the Round Town News for her perfectly timed article in the paper which brought so many TJ fans to the show. I was overwhelmed by the amount of visitors who had come specifically to meet me and see my latest works in the flesh, so to speak.

Also, I wish to thank a couple of visitors to the show who purchased the limited edition print I donated to the charity auction. Maggie and Pete - your generosity was amazing! I thank you so much and hope you enjoy the picture for many years of retirement to come.

Finally, although the paintings put on show were actually meant to get their first viewing in Hamburg (Judy insisted we exhibit them in the show as soon as she saw them), I have to say the positive reactions received over the images have encouraged me to publish them here for all the viewers of this blog to have a peek at as well. A sort of pre-exhibition if you like. If any of my regular readers happen to be in the Hamburg area in the next week, I would be delighted if you called in to the gallery on the opening night (Friday 8th June) and said hello.

'Breaking The Habit' 50cm x 61cm

'To A Silent Assembly' 50cm x 61cm

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Homes and Gardens Show - Alicante 2007

Next week is the much awaited commencement of the Homes and Gardens Show in Alicante (next to the airport) featuring special guests and presenters of popular UK television shows. The likes of Jilly Goolden (my favourite wine expert!), Kevin Woodford (Ready, Steady, Cook), 'Handy' Andy Kane (Changing Rooms etc.) and Eric Knowles (Antiques Roadshow), will be on hand to give demonstrations and offer advice to interested parties over the weekend.

The Fusion Gallery's director,(my representative gallery on the Costa Blanca) Judy Webber, has taken a stand at the show and asked me to attend in person over the weekend to 'meet and greet' artistically minded members of the public, or anyone else who may feel inclined to say hello to TJ Miles.

If any of the regular readers of my blog are in the area, by all means come to the show and say hello. Perhaps we may even interest you in a new artwork or two.

Show runs from:

Saturday 26th May to Sunday 27th May - 11am until 9pm each day

The Fusion Gallery is at stand 'A5'. Just ask for TJ.

I look forward to seeing you all there.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Short Critique

During this week, while still feverishly preparing paintings for my June exhibition in Hamburg, Germany, I was in renewed contact with an English lady I had met here in Spain last year. Jane had purchased one of my limited edition prints, and we were organising delivery when she told me about her renewed sense of passion for watercolours after I had shown both her and her husband Dave some of my latest works in the studio. I asked her to email me some examples of her recent paintings to look at, which she happily did. I have to say I was really impressed with her work and include them, and the subsequent emails below. Comments from any readers of this blog would also be appreciated..... Jane - over to you -

Hi TJ, Thank you so much for the print. I found your work so exciting, mysterious and inspiring, I wish I could afford an original. I shall certainly keep an eye on your web site for future purchases. Your work inspired me as I said but I am too rigid with my use of colour, probably from my watercolour education at school. I have sent you a few examples of my first attempts and would welcome any comments, positive or negative, because I am just having ago and not attending any night school classes at the moment, time restrictions and lack of appropriate classes. The watercolour of the boat has not come out very well, it is however, one that I really like as it has a translucent quality, which I achieved more with luck than skill. Please don't laugh too much at them!!!!!

Hi Jane, print on its way. You should have it within a few days. Let me know when it arrives, and what you think.

Okay - quick critique on your paintings.....

I like them!

Your use of blended colours in the sky, in the seascape painting, are reminiscent of my Mediterranean skies, and yet there is so much movement in the water and the foreground, a nice contrast.
You seem to like using bold lines and sharp edges (again very much me)....
....yet, the ethereal boat painting seems to move in a completely different direction using such delicate washes.

I think what really works in that case is the well defined reflections in the water, creating depth, and surprisingly, spatial awareness in a painting that has no other reference points in it.

The transparency in the sails is a nice touch, creating the image of a light, misty, warm early morning with a breath of a breeze.

My favourite sailing day memories are made of days like this.

Going onto the winter scene, with dramatic lines and bold use of black and white shading.
Not too many artists would even tackle a subject so difficult, so I salute you for doing such a great job.
Again, great spatial awareness creeps in pulling the posts so far forward, but not too far so as to drown the echoes of the main subjects of the composition, namely the cottage and the outbuildings.

I feel the posts/fence actually help to pull the viewer into the heart of the painting so much, as to want to get in out of the cold and into the cottage in front of the fire!
Vivid stuff!! Keep up the good work! Hope this gives you continued inspiration.
Best wishes TJ

Hi TJ, Thanks for the comments, you made me view my work in a very different light. I am very self critical and never satisfied with my work, it never reaches my expectations! I am doing a painting of one of the lakes at the moment and will let you see it later. Jane

Thanks Jane. Most artists tend to be extremely critical, myself included! But I do feel that the 'lows' always make the 'highs' so much better!

Looking forward to your next work with anticipation.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Equilibrium Interrupted

This week I thought I would subject you all to some of my poetry for a change. Hope you like it....

Equilibrium Interrupted

Like a counterweight unbalanced
and distanced from the centre point
Centri - fugued half beats
offset at orchestration’s core

Like helter - skeltered spirals
and descended to hell’s depths itself
Concentric inward circles known
only in memories now finally left

Like the mind’s eye blinded
and dittoed by the mental degradation
Concentrated by watered down thoughts
oft held aloft by knowing looks and loathing

Like dementia laden bovine
and dented cells encased in cotton wool
Countered words are all around
occulted by the flashes of occasional sanity

Like a Saturday morning head
and the graphic recollection reel
Cantankerous in our deploring
obliterated by mass hysteria’s publicists

Like a painting skewed awry
and amputated dreams cut away from hope
Chastising mental illness robs us
opinions split as wide as the mind concerned

Like a prized melon sluiced
and sold by the pounded portion
Charitable notions abounded
onward step the ignorant footed foes

Like all I have endured entombed
and still no sense of final scene played out
Calling out for help is lost
on the breezes sighing breathlessness

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

New Exhibition starts in Elche

A new exhibition of my limited edition print range has just started in the World Heritage city of Elche in the Costa Blanca, Spain. I have been working in conjunction with 'Artpoints' for a number of months now and have been very impressed with their dedication of 'bringing art to the people'.

Here is a quote relating to their philosophy in regard to art -

"The 'Art Points': A route along the Spanish Levante, composed of selected high quality public locations with a very own character, where the art is exhibited directly to the public.The artists have been selected by our curator, who is himself an artist with an impressive and enviable curriculum vitae, to guarantee quality as well as diversity. The Art points were selected with care with the intention always to offer always the best quality and to bring the art nearer to the public in a dynamic pattern. Our exhibitions run non-stop, are almost continuously open and take place in different places at the same time. Besides the promotion and sale of the art-works, the emphasis lies on creativity in all its artistic expressions."

Many thanks to all involved for their unceasing efforts on the Spanish art scene.

Time to get back to work.........