Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture

“Above all, art should be fun.” – A.C.

Dog - Calder

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture

Cheerful, mesmeric – and a little bit like a much needed hug.

I visited Tate Modern’s Calder exhibition for the second time last week – after the first viewing, it was blatantly apparent that I would have to come back. The exhibition has something of a hold on me – similar to the magnetic pull of Rothko’s awe-inspiring Seagram Murals (that room is one of my favourite places in London. Coincidentally, did you know that Mark Rothko was found dead the very same day those paintings reached the Tate Modern?)

But back on track. Calder is an artist I knew little about – mobiles, he is the guy who invented the mobile.This exhibition leads you through his developing practice; as an artist it’s so reassuring to find clear experimentation and progression. In my book, a good art exhibition is one you can fall into, appreciate without shuffling around, your nose in a leaflet or squinting at little labels. Calder was consuming from the start, with his little wire drawings of circus folk and animals; so deceptively simplistic, three-dimensional sculpted in the air – charming and witty.

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Commission: Peace Lily Lady

Ta-da! Here’s the finished commissioned drawing (which ended up with more watercolour than originally intended…so I guess it’s a painting?!), for a lovely little beauty salon in Barry. I am quite pleased with her. It’s a very different thing making work for someone else, and not something that I have done much of…. Although I think that there is an embroidery commission coming my way soon, so that could be exciting!

(Peace Lily Lady – Indian ink, fine-liners and water-colour paint)

Rightmove.com has taken over my life, and I am bloody fed up. Just want to move to London already… One day, one day, one day, one day, we will find the ‘right’ place, in the ‘right’ area, the ‘right’ distance from the centre, and for the ‘right’ price. Does this place exist?! Don’t be so impatient and impulsive Emma. You’ll get there won’t you. Anyway.

I started a painting today. It is a bit scary, but a different scary to normal. She hasn’t got any eyes yet, which probably isn’t helping. And I made a truly wonderful loaf of bread. Possibly the best yet, but I say that every time.

It’s always high and always low and almost never in between.

Some dodgy scans of some decent sketchbook pages from the last couple of weeks. All in biro, which I like very much. My illustration tutor in uni was so anti-biro, I have no idea why….. I am currently thinking about moving to London. And I wish I could make my mind up. I think I may just have to do it! Apart for that massive, life-changing decision, not much exciting happening. I have wasted many days theoretical London house-hunting on rightmove.com, and I have a big pile of unfinished textile work, but all I want to do is draw and paint. Almost finished a watercolour commission I’m working on. I want to spend all my time making art and absolutely no time with admin and applications and scanning and resizing and photographing and emailing and blah blah blah.

But it was ridiculously sunny today and I love the sun. More than you do. And I have tomorrow off work and am going to the beach with my little sisters and my picnic basket and I shall swim in the sea. I love the sea more than the sun. It’ll fix everything. Nothing matters.

“For your touch there are no words, I fly with high hopes and the birds, and I know there’s nothing better ‘cos I’m smiling.”

Or something of that ilk. I’m not as grumpy as I sound, promise.