I am well and have been incredibly busy. This summer, while I was documenting blue flowers in the UK, saw the arrival of our second issue of INKQ. A collaborative sci-art project, INK Quarterly is a new quarterly publication curated by me. It is early days for the project, yet I am delighted to say that Issue One was very well received; Galleries Magazine called it "spellbinding" and it has already sold out. There still some copies of the second edition, which features the stunning camera work of Anna Laurent whose photographic botanical studies move beyond the decorative to fascinate and inspire. Her concise but insightful piece on the life and work of Anna Atkins serves as an interesting counterpoint in the development of botanical photography. Equally, Ashleaf's bronze leaf sculptures take us beyond the usual depictions of living flora.
The overall theme of Blue is carried through this issue of INKQ by Niki Simpson, who gives us a seasonally apt study of bluebells and Jenny Balfour-Paul who ponders the history and uses of Indigo. The wait is finally over to see my latest finished artwork. Not to be reproduced in any other format, my painting titled 'The Kiss; Onslow Gardens' reveals itself as a whole page spread (23.4 x 33.1 inches) which is good enough to frame.
Beautifully packaged and presented and printed on recycled, lightweight paper reminiscent of newsprint, I feel that the fragility and near transparency of the pages resonate well with the content of INK. Limited to 300 copies and available by subscription only. If you have already subscribed, your copy will be landing on your doormat imminently and if you haven't, you can subscribe here and be captivated.
In other news, I have started a new podcast channel called Inky Leaves Podcasting which is also available on Spotify and Stitcher. Akin to INKQ, my hope is to explore and share the work of other artists whilst documenting my progression into the colour Blue. My intention is to bring the sounds of the world to your ears as I travel the world's terrain looking for blue flowers. The podcasts act as an audio sketchbook before I embark on making my final soundtracks for Blue Flower in a few years time.
Sound is important in my work because it informs. A noise means something is happening. Let's say you look outside your window and you can see a forest. Over the year, your eyes can record subtle changes in the forest, such as changes in the season, but what makes the forest come alive is its sound, not its scenery. Sound lets you know that the forest is alive and sudden noises such as a tree falling down, tells you of an event. Sound is movement and real.
|Larkspur, work in progress. Watercolour on paper, 56 x 76 cm|
This summer I must have visited a record number of gardens and wild spaces in my search for Blue Flowers. The highlight was visiting Scotland where I was able to record one of the best years for blue Meconopsis blooms. I am still formulating the final compositions for these pieces; experimenting with new media, from oil paints to charcoal, in my attempt to capture the mysterious, dream-like quality of some of our blue flowers.
As ever, it is fabulous to have you on this adventure with me. The world can sometimes feel like a lonely, scary place but by working together and telling each other stories I feel that we make it better. With that, I will leave you with a short video posted on Instagram last June by Ashleaf as she opened her copy of INKQ for the first time... The subscription is a flat rate and includes the cost of postage to anywhere in the world because we are here, floating in space, together. To receive four editions of your limited edition newspaper while stocks last subscribe here.
And if that wasn’t enough for aweinspiring content, here is a high quality full A1 sized page of @InkyLeaves Agapanthus Blue Flower painting in the second issue of INKQ.— ashleaf (@ashleaflondon) June 20, 2018
Order your copy now:https://t.co/EqgPF5LyqN pic.twitter.com/MDAdyr0RRi