"DarkArt is an art style defined as disturbing, macabre and being unsettling in nature"
For me DarkArt
was born out of grief and emotional blackness, questioning the meaning of life and death following my late husband’s fatal motorbike accident in 2005. I found I could not work, but instead painted my emotions, what I felt, and in the process healed myself, experiencing a whole new way of seeing things.
I was 23 when my father was killed in a light aircraft crash and then I lost my mother 6 months later to cancer. I have heard it said that with every loss you experience in your life, you gain as much in character, but let’s face it, how much character does one person need?
During my childhood, I was fascinated by Natural History. I collected shelves full of interesting stones and rocks, feathers, abandoned nests and a vast assortment of skulls and bones. One day while out riding my horse
, I found a complete Shetland pony skull nestled at the bottom of a steep donga (ditch) and added this trophy it to my growing collection. Collecting all sorts of dead and interesting things is still part of my life today.
While working as a volunteer at FreeMe
, a wildlife rehabilitation centre, I found a paper thin flattened rat on the walkway. It still had some grey fur and one tiny white tooth in the head. How long had the little body lain there discarded, not even a worthy meal for some other hungry creature? Every found thing has a story to tell ...
Can the dead be immortalised in life ... to live again as Art
? ... even in my Art Sudio?
... and so DarkArt
was born ...
Found Flat Things ...
For years, I have collected flat things that could be used in a painting. An indistinguishable piece of metal lying on a road in Port Elizabeth, flattened my hundreds of cars driving over it until I picked it up during a stroll along the beach road.
Beautiful in itself .... a tiny perfectly preserved dragonfly found between discarded papers and two flattened ‘roaches', discovered under stored canvasses ... and the prize, a flattened rat I found at FreeMe. Can these things be immortalised forever as a work of art?
That which once was something .... to come alive once more but in the imagination of the viewer, to be viewed and discussed, questioning the thought process of the artist. The picture here shows part of my collection, some of which ended up in the painting that I am featuring this month.
Art IN THE
Final Horse Commission .... again!
I was asked by the Jarmans, where I used to stable my horses, to do a commission of their very special Warmblood mare Cheyenne. I had decided some time ago that I would no longer do commissions, as I found them to be too restrictive for my current style of painting. Cheyenne was however a horse I had ridden and schooled for them in early 2000, so I agreed.
I was provided with numerous photographs to work from, but in the end decided to go out and take the photos myself, as I often do, to have a good photo as a reference.
Shown here are the stages of my last horse commission ... maybe really the last one I will ever do, but I have learnt never to say never, so who knows ...