A Poem By Huib Fens

(from my painting  residency at Stiwdio Maelor in Wales, when Huib Fens was on a writers residency)

 

Liz and Malachy
She has retreated in Wales
under rafters, stretching
canvasses on frames,
boiling emulsions of
oils and waxes.
She smears and brushes until
land appears, still unknown
and undiscovered and keeps
on working it until it
liberates itself from her.
Two islands to the west,
in the harsh mist the ocean
is sending up the surf,
he is cutting turf in
long and muddy strokes
he will pile up with his
bare hands to hand-
knotted stacks while
groundwater runs into
the newly cut furrows.
Huib Fens, 2016/17

 

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planning

‘Evening walk, Cruit Island’

100 x 155cm

I’m thinking about what will hang where

Which paintings complement each other

Thinking that ‘less is more’ but also how many or how few


‘Donegal’ Pair (now framed), one is 80 x 100, second is 80cm sq

Should they go in the same room

What’s the lighting like


‘Ruined Gables, Night Painting’

98 x 150cm


And what about the Ceide Fields pieces? (100 x 80 and 80cm sq). And there’s another of these there already


And there should be some smaller ones too (‘Its Orange Outside’, pair, framed now, 50cm sq)

But of course its not up to me anyway!

On tenterhooks waiting for a studio visit from the curator

Solo show at Green Fuse Gallery, Westport, County Mayo. 29th April to 10th June

edges

On a wet, closed in StPatrick’s Day, nothing for it but to get on with the mundane jobs in the studio

Painting the edges is a rather precarious job, with paintings balanced at odd angles in strange combinations, often upside down

I usually mix a colour in harmony with the painting, but not an exact match to any of the colours I used in the work itself

This blue and yellow pair of square canvases is an exception, as I used the same blue as in the paintings to try and emphasise the feeling of spaciousness I was trying to capture in relatively small works

I had already painted the edges of these, but have reworked them, so the bright turquoise edge seems too strong now, so I’ve mixed a pale olive green. However, it might be a bit dark, so I’ll probably try yet again!

pale yellow with blues

These 2 are each 60cm square and have undergone a change of heart, or a facelift or a renaissance! Formerly they were darker and mostly orange and quite ‘loud’ with a title to reflect that mood : ‘Tolerate chaos’- the title taken from the 10 well known painting rules of the Bay artist, Richard Diebenkorn.

Now they are calmer and paler, with a new title, ‘Formerly chaos’, perhaps with a nod to us being in control of our moods along with our palette if we so choose!


These 2 are a bit bigger, at 80cm square. They have had a similar transformation using a pale palette of pale ochres, yellows and some very pale blue. Their former title was ‘Oceans, a tipping point’ – part of a series of 5 canvases. They haven’t got new individual names yet 


Thus one is ‘Musing’, also 80cm square plus frame, painted 2 years ago on my furst residency at Stiwdio Maelor in Corris in Wales and then exhibited at a group show at Terre Verte Gallery in Cornwall. Home now from her adventures


These 2, ‘Sunshine 1&2’ have also just returned from Cornwall and are also each 80cm square plus frame

a light touch

I’m using a lot of light mixes for layering over some older works. Favouring ochres, yellows, pale blues laid over the deeper and bolder tones underneath. This is creating some depth and I’m adding further texture with light lines and scrapes using solvent followed by a palette knife





Island Life

This enormous painting continues to challenge me

It is 150cm x 240cm on primed canvas currently stapled to the wooden wall of my studio

The main debate with myself is about the horizon line. I am gradually settling to a decision to keep the horizon visible only on the left. On the right the orientation of the landscape becomes ambiguous.

Today I added a pink layer over the darker tones on the top right section and also some ochre areas. And then applied solvent and made some deep marks with a palette knife to reveal the dark blue underneath