The French Paintings, April-May 2014

Memories of a splendid week painting in the studio of Alix de Massy near Saint-Germain-de-Calberte in the Cévennes.

Getting the eye and hand in…

A mild obsession with windows…

Continuing to paint in Diana’s garden, Maruejols les Bois…

Nîmes and beyond…

A few of these works are displayed (and still for sale) at the Gypsy Tapas House, Fremantle, until 8 December 2019.

landscapes • portraits • prints
from 6 Nov to 8 Dec
at Gypsy Tapas House
open: Weds 5:30pm – late | Thurs, Fri, Sat 11:30am – late | Sun 5:30pm – late

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‘Oolah’ – finding inspiration in Lithuanian folk traditions

4A199CAE-27EF-43E5-87FD-0C042004678E_1_201_aOolah: looking for love in all the wrong places, linocut, artist’s proof on Japanese paper, 2009, edition of 10, originally printed for an Australian Print Workshop fundraiser.

My earliest memories are of children’s books sent from Lithuania by my aunt. These Soviet era publications were printed on poor quality, pulpy paper but were illustrated by brilliant graphic artists, who  utilised traditional Lithuanian folk motifs to subtly subvert the Soviet régime. This was my introduction to the stylisations, ornamentation and strong contrasts of traditional wood and linocuts, and remains an enduring influence on my relief print work. Those of you familiar with totalitarian iconography will also note my playful reference to the visionary, heroic worker; an ironic self-portrait of one who, as the title suggests, was ‘looking for love in all the wrong places.’

In response to Marcus Bunyan’s recent op-shop find of an original Arūnas Tarabilda (for images and information please visit his Facebook post), I have been inspired to share the prints I acquired on a trip to Lithuania in 1990: two works by the much admired and awarded graphic artist, illustrator and printmaker, Aldona Skirutytė (17 May 1932 – 1 November 2005).

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Šventė (the celebration) from the cycle Gintarėlio kraštas (land of amber), edition 15/50, 1967

Unfortunately, only Šventė is framed under museum quality glass. I apologise for the quality of the photographs of the second print. It’s under reflective glass, as you can see.

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Vilnius švenčia 650m! (Vilnius celebrates 650 years) from the cycle Senasis ir naujasis Vilnius (old and new Vilnius), edition 12/50, 1973

This relief print celebrates the foundation of Vilnius in 1323. Details include classic views of Vilnius Cathedral, the Gothic masterpiece St Anne’s Church, the sixteenth century Gates of Dawn, and allusions to the River Neris and to the cornucopia of arts, music and culture adorning the city.

Finally, to give you a sense of scale, the prints hanging above our couch. From Vilnius to North Fremantle, what a journey!

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‘merino’—my latest venture

I have so much to learn! My skill set is minimal, but I’m quite pleased with the result of this brass setting and polished amber shard secured by curls of sterling silver wire.

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Face of a ram, no? Perhaps its easier to see ‘on hand’ 😉

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celebratory drinks and viewing—all welcome

Gypsy Tapas poster

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For those who missed the launch of the Poetry d’Amour anthology….

I remain utterly humbled by Andrew Burke’s words from the introduction to the anthology:

‘This poem [‘Memento Mori’] braids together three rich strands of poetry skills: literary/ creative allusions, the primary one being Anna Akhmatova (as stated by a footnote); an intimate tone, well-balanced and rich in imagery; and a completeness which leaves the reader included and satisfied.’

‘Memento Mori’ can be read on the WA Poets Inc. website, or heard here. With thanks (again and aways!) to Alex for filming Andrew’s introduction and my somewhat fractured reading.

Memento Mori — Francesca Sasnaitis from Alex Chapman on Vimeo.

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Poetry d’Amour 2019—a HUGE night for me!!

At Mattie Furphy House on Friday 18 October, the anthology was launched – dear Andrew Burke had selected all three pieces I submitted – and winners of the 2019 Poetry d’Amour Love Poetry Contest were announced.

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I had been warned and expected to be next as each commended poet was called to read. Even as the Second Prize winner was announce, I leant across and whispered in Alex Chapman‘s ear, ‘does that mean it’s me??!’ And it was! My poem ‘Memento Mori’ won First Prize!!!

8F578189-00D9-4D92-8805-1A063EBF7411_1_201_aWith special thanks to artist Deborah Klein for her inspiring labyrinths.

I couldn’t be more chuffed! excited! grateful!

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Especially after hearing brilliant, sparkling, witty poems by commended poets Kevin Gillam (‘Between Ten and Twelve’) and Natalie D-Napoleon (‘Meet Me Under the Mulberry Tree’)

highly commended poets Fran Graham (‘Distracted’) and Peter Burges (‘Your Sun-on-stubble Smile’)

and Second Prize winner Brian Purcell (‘First Night’ read by Kate Wilson).

With many thanks to Andrew Burke for liking what I do and thanks to all at WA Poets, including Gary De Piazzi, MC Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Jaya Penelope and Jan Napier. And congratulations to all the fine poets who share the pages of Poetry d’Amour. Luv ya work!

Thanks for the photos Alex!

 

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about family; about portraiture

Ignas & Jūratė; father & daughter

Elza & Herminė; daughter & mother

This new sketchy kind of thing is a change from my usual overworked attempts at realism. I’ve never left a work so underdone… strangely, I quite like both styles. That’s not like me!

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