Inspired by travel exhibition – Bristol Tobacco Factory

I have a forthcoming solo exhibition entitled ‘Inspired by travel – Paintings by Mary Price’ at the Tobacco Factory cafe and bar starting on Monday 5 September and running for the entire month. I will be sharing and selling work painted during the past year inspired by my travels to Spain and Portugal. Full details see the Tobacco Factory website here

The exhibition will feature a number of larger works on canvas as the space at the Tobacco Factory lends itself well to big paintings which is great for me as I love to paint big.

The show includes a series that reflects my love of wandering  aimlessly around narrow side streets in the cities of Porto, Lisbon, Cadiz, Malaga and Seville as well as some of the pretty towns on the Algarve.

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Cadiz Casa ©Mary Price 2016

The work in the show reflects my fascination with old windows and doors and a series of imaginary buildings that are a mixup of essence of place and memory. I always draw and take lots of photographs when I travel but my paintings are far from representational. Anyone who reads these blog posts will know that I favour an intuitive way of expression.

For me this means building up layers of marks and tonality before imposing imagery that inspires in the moment. I like to begin from a space that is free and easy and to hone detail and subject later in my working process. Sometimes happy accidents on the page where imagery starts to emerge will set me off in one direction, at other times I have a sense of what I am trying to achieve and a notion of the vague direction the painting is heading in.

I tend to go through phases of obsession with different inspirations and the current focus is on fabulous imaginary homes imbued with various symbols that represent place in memory.

if you would like to read more about how travel inspires my work please go to this post on travel memory paintings

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Sevilla Casa ©Mary Price 2016

If you would like to find out more please feel free to contact me via the form below.

Paintings for sale in gallery

Later this month 14 paintings and 4 prints will be available for sale at Tinca Gallery in Portishead near Bristol. This lovely spacious gallery sells paintings by several local artists I admire so it’s great to be in good company.

I can’t say how fantastic it feels to get some validation from a gallery. This is the first time I have shown work in this way. It’s scary but also really affirming. I will be featured as artist of the week when the paintings are on display on the gallery Facebook page very soon.

These are the limited edition giclee prints that will be included for sale.

I will also be offering these in my Etsy shop eventually. Each step takes time and this one has been taking forever but I don’t want to spend too much time glued to the computer. It will be up and running as soon as I can manage and announced here and on social media when ready.

It’s quite a steep learning curve getting work prepared for a gallery – painting the edges of large canvases, mounting little paintings onto MDF boards that need to be primed, emulsioned and sanded and finding out how unsuited IKEA Ribba frames are for showing in galleries. They look nice  and are lovely for home but galleries cannot fix screws into the frame without them disintegrating. But it’s all a learning process so I know this for next time!

Here are three tiny paintings that I finished recently that are a new departure that will be on display.

The gallery has also taken on one of my very large paintings inspired by my recent trip to Cadiz. I’m fascinated by the ornate doorways and weathered textures of Southern European buildings, it’s amazing how you can stumble on really magnificently decorated homes that are often hidden down narrow streets. The fact that these buildings are hidden has not stopped the builders and artisans from festooning them with beautiful tiles, wrought iron work and sculptured facades. This one is called Casa or An Imaginary Home. Like much of my work it draws on travel memory for inspiration interspersed with my own license to explode the colour onto the canvas

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Casa or An Imaginary Home 100 x 100 cms acrylic on canvas

Earlier this month I had another lovely moment – my first Instagram sale that came about as a result of a 100 day project challenge that I’m currently doing to try to hone watercolour painting skills. Watercolour is a medium that I love the look of but find difficult so I’ve been trying to get better at it.

Instagram is where I post progress images and finished work very regularly so do feel free to follow – I’m @artistintheshed surprise, surprise!

Here is the little painting. Just a bit of fun really.

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I will keep you updated with the date that the work goes up in the gallery. Thank you for reading.

Process, inspiration and another painting of a window

Colour, brushstrokes, imagery from travel memories, trinkets, and symbols, childlike simplicity, thick paint and movement.

Magical things happen when these things collide and bring into being something new that wasn’t there before. This place doesn’t exist anywhere other than on this canvas. It is purely imaginary and it grew and emerged gradually, I had no preconception. I had not planned the little fishy or the bird or the two sunshine orbs. They turned up because they were meant to be there.

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Window on another world 90 x 90 cms – acrylic on canvas

Escaping from realism into a fantasy of colour.  Painting is a physical and an emotional pursuit and it’s all about the process. Yes that phrase. All about the process. Well it’s true, it has to be about the doing. The little decisions. What pot of paint to open next? Why put this colour against that one? Why cover up that mark or choose that tool? It’s the randomness and the miracle that appeals – the continually evolving little surprises. This could have been so different. It could have become anything.

The process allows letting go before even the tiniest drip has splotted – does that word even exist?

There was no plan. I’ve continued with an obsession – old windows. But these windows don’t look like the windows that I photograph. They are different and vibrant rather than old peeling paint. So why paint big colourful windows when the photos – the inspiration source is so different? What is this reality?

The answer I feel is that it’s all in the mess up of memory and the edges of the windows give the painting a measure of controlled form. And this allows the bursts, the reactions to bright summer fauvist colour to work.

There is no reality here, simply expressive responses to a cacophony of experiences.

Symbolic simplifications, remembered motor movement from previous drawings and a love and enjoyment of the physicality of splatting and placing and dripping and smudging. Oh yes and splotting paint with wild abandon. I checked – it’s not in the dictionary – it should be!

Inspired by Porto

Today I am sharing a selection of paintings inspired by Porto.

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Porto inspired paintings current works in progress in my shed – image ©Mary Price 2016

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Current work in progress  – fiesta colours bursting into the canvas ©Mary Price 2016

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Fiesta inspired work in progress ©Mary Price 2016

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Detail from one of my Porto window paintings ©Mary Price 2016

Curiouser and curiouser - secret lives lived ©Mary Price2016

Curiouser and curiouser – secret lives lived
©Mary Price2016