from Pantperthog to Knockando

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Turning 40: Some of my friends brought art - part 1

As mentioned in the previous post, I wanted to have a party for my 40th but have more than enough stuff and didn't really want people to feel they had to bring me presents. So I suggested they help me fill a farmyard with virtual animals (although they are real in other places) and / or help me to 'fill a wall' with art.

Here's some of the art people brought. I've shared some of these on Facebook already. They are from the grown ups who came. The kids' art will have to wait for a separate post.

So, first of all, Cathy created this piece which I'm calling 'Rainbow Pencils'.

'Rainbow Pencils'
Artist: Cathy Matthias
Mixed Media (pencils, ribbon)

Cathy gave me this a few weeks in advance of the party. The next person to give me some art was my sister in law, Abby. She knitted me a Boba Fett and also two vikings - a warrior and his warlike wife. The boat is made from cardboard and packing tape and was mainly used to protect them while travelling, but I kinda like it.

'Knitted Bounty'; 'Warrior Couple'
Artist: Abigail Bick
Knitted wool and mixed media

The next person to bring something for the wall was Connor, who came along early to help us set up for the party (because he's a star). He managed to incorporate my favourite building toy into his piece.

'Jon breaks free'
Artist: Connor Knapton
Mixed media
Then as people arrived, the art was hung up thick and fast and I can't remember what order these came in. Anyway, my friend Tom had kept his artistic talents under wraps. I'd never seen any drawings he'd done before so this took me aback. I particularly like that he had researched which engines I had on my model railway to make sure he drew one I liked. (And I do!)

'Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0'
Artist: Thomas Reay
The things people made were pretty diverse. My friend Kate brought me a cross-stitch.

Artist: Kate Hammond
My friend Jo has a fine art degree and after she gave me her painting I was accused by a couple of other people of pulling off the whole 'Fill a wall' thing just to get my hands on one of her paintings. I'm going to go on record and refute that accusation. However, I do love her paintings. We already have one up in our dining room. This one is instantly recognisable if you have ever visited a certain part of Cardiff. Also I love that it has clearly been raining. (I'm also glad she didn't bring me a picture of a nude man from her life drawing classes, which she had threatened to do.)

'Llandaff North Street Scene'
Artist: Johanna Shepherd

Both Jo and the next artist to be featured are American. Katharine is a brilliant line drawing artist. A few weeks ago we were round her house and I mentioned the Wombles. Being an American, she had never heard of them so we subjected her to some quality British kids TV programming courtesy of YouTube. As payback, she drew a Womble-ised version of me for my wall.

'Jon as a Womble'
Artist: Katherine Holmes
Ink and paper
And finally, last but not least, Bryan and Elaine produced a digital collage of all the things I loved. Including a manatee. They were also the people who adopted a manatee through the World Wildlife Fund for my virtual farm. This manatee is dreaming of Lego trains, while Boba Fett swims past and Star Lord hangs out poolside reading a Douglas Coupland novel. There's really not much I can say about this. It's quirky and fun and will look great in our hall. We may need to explain it to people who come round, though.

'Jon's Loves'
Artists: Bryan Russ; Elaine Russ
Digital collage

There are some more bits I need to take photos of or scan, plus drawings from the kids. I'm saving those for some future posts.

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