On to the big ‘Planets Series’ at last!

‘Sun, Planets Series’. Mixed media on 30×30″ wood panel. Rose Strang 2019.

I’m now working on the big ‘Planets Series’ paintings, and today completed the 30×30 inch version of ‘Sun, Planets Series’ (above).

I mentioned a while back that there will be a September exhibition, and I’ve been waiting to confirm a few details before announcing the exciting news that Michael Ward, author of the excellent Planet Narnia, the Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis will be giving a talk at the exhibition launch!

If you’ve read any of my blog recently you’ll know how inspired I’ve been by the book, which uncovers the hidden meaning behind the seven Chronicles of Narnia. In the book, Michael Ward describes the influence that Medieval Cosmology, and related myths surrounding each of the planets, had on the Narnia Chronicles, with each book corresponding to a particular planet as understood in the Medieval cosmos.

Nowhere in the Narnia Chronicles is this made explicit, but as Michael Ward explains, Lewis evokes the influence, atmosphere and associated qualities of each planet in the stories. It took someone as steeped in all of Lewis’s literary works to recognise Lewis’s particular understanding of Medieval mythology, also to recognise that C.S. Lewis was absolutely the sort of writer, and character, who would wish to keep this meaning hidden…

If you want to find out more, then keep your diary free for the 12th September 2019. The exhibition and accompanying talk by Michael Ward is being hosted by the Demarco Gallery at Summerhall, Edinburgh.

If you’re a C.S. Lewis aficionado you don’t want to miss it! I’ll be posting the rest of the Planets series at it emerges in the next two months.

Here’s the excerpt from Lewis’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (corresponding to the Sun) which I was thinking of when painting today …

Exhibition launch event

We had a beautiful evening for the ‘Planets Series’ exhibition launch yesterday! (More photos below).

It very convivial, and very atmospheric thanks to Atzi Muramatsu‘s beautiful cello performance in response to themes of the exhibition and paintings. I’ll be editing a video of the performance  soon which I’ll post here on the collaborations page. I really enjoyed the range of moods Atzi expressed which reflected the way each painting expresses a completely different atmosphere.

Thank you to all who came along, warm thanks to buyers of the paintings; Arlene, Adam and Fiona. Many thanks to Liza Horan for hosting help, mum for delicious cocktails, Donald Ferguson for glasses and set-up and Adam Brewster for taking excellent photos and videos of the event!

The exhibition is open to the public on Sunday 3th June and July 7th from 1 to 6pm daily. All info here – Open Studio

(Photos, Adam Brewster)

Venus revisited

‘Venus. Planets Series’. Mixed media on 10×10″ wood. Rose Strang 2019

The final small version of Venus, finished today – just a day before the exhibition!

I felt the earlier version was twee and unconvincing – I was going for a mythical look which veered towards Disney, when I wanted something a bit more primordial – an Eden-like landscape of lushness. So although I’ll never be satisfied with my attemps at a Venusian atmosphere at least this is a little closer.

I enjoyed painting the rougher brushwork too. Here’s a detail …

Exhibition launches tomorrow, with a performance by my friend and collaborator, the excellent Atzi Muramatsu, who’ll be responding to the themes and paintings on cello! All info here Planets Series

Small Paintings

‘Isle of Iona’. (paintings are numbered 1 to 3 from left). Mixed media on 3.5×3 inches. Rose Strang 2019. (includes mini easel).

I’ll be painting more of these little artworks (in the photo above) over the coming months, which will be available for sale in art galleries in the landscapes painted.

If you’re interested in buying one of these, contact me at rose.strang@gmail.com and I’ll let you know where they’ll be available, or you can commission something similar if you prefer.

As they’re very small I think they’re a lovely way of acquiring one of my original paintings at a more affordable cost!

Iona Series

 

Mars revisited

‘Mars. Planets Series’. Mixed media on 10×10 inch wood panel. Rose Strang 2019

Today’s version of Mars. I attempted a crackle-glaze effect which didn’t work, but I like the immediacy and mad colours. It suggests a castle under attack perhaps.

I’m creating Planets series paintings for two exhibitions this year – a smaller series of studies for a June exhibition at my studio in Abbey hill, in preparation for an exhibition and talk to take place in Autumn this year.

This is a continuation of the Planets Series I’m creating this year, which takes inspiration from the planets as understood in Medieval cosmology, and the seven books of Narnia which were each inspired by the seven planets, as discovered by Michael Ward, author of ‘Planet Narnia’.

Info about June exhibition Here

(I’ll post more about the September exhibition and talk soon, once some more details are confirmed).

My previous version of Mars was far too tame I felt, but I wrote about the corresponding Narnia book, Prince Caspian in a previous post, which you can read on this link; Mars

And here is the corresponding excerpt on Mars from C.S. Lewis’s poem The Planets …

A haughty god
MARS mercenary, makes there his camp
And flies his flag; flaunts laughingly
The graceless beauty, grey-eyed and keen,
Blond insolence – of his blithe visage
Which is hard and happy. He hews the act,
The indifferent deed with dint of his mallet
And his chisel of choice; achievement comes not
Unhelped by him – hired gladiator
Of evil and good. All’s one to Mars,
The wrong righted, rescued meekness,
Or trouble in trenches, with trees splintered
And birds banished, banks fill’d with gold
And the liar made lord. Like handiwork
He offers to all – earns his wages
And whistles the while. White-feathered dread
Mars has mastered. His metal’s iron
That was hammered through hands into holy cross,
Cruel carpentry. He is cold and strong,
Necessity’s song.

Jupiter

‘Jupiter. Planets Series’. Mixed media on 10×10″ wood. Rose Strang 2019

Today’s small painting of Jupiter at 10 by 10 inches, which is very similar to the large one of 40×40 inches. Here’s the larger one, painted earlier this year . .

‘Planets Series. Jupiter’. Mixed media on 40×40″ wood panel. Rose Strang 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m creating Planets series paintings for two exhibitions this year – a smaller series of studies for a June exhibition at my studio in Abbey hill, in preparation for an exhibition and talk to take place in Autumn this year.

This is a continuation of the Planets Series I’m creating this year, which takes inspiration from the planets as understood in Medieval cosmology, and the seven books of Narnia which were each inspired by the seven planets, as discovered by Michael Ward, author of ‘Planet Narnia’.

Info about June exhibition Here

(I’ll post more about the September exhibition and talk soon, once some more details are confirmed).

I now have just one of the small Planets Series paintings to finish, then they’re complete! I’m going to re-paint Mars, possibly Venus too, as I think they don’t quite capture the idea of Mars and Venus as yet.

This is the Jupiter excerpt from C.S. Lewis’s poem The Planets …

Soft breathes the air
Mild, and meadowy, as we mount further
Where rippled radiance rolls about us
Moved with music – measureless the waves’
Joy and jubilee. It is JOVE’s orbit,
Filled and festal, faster turning
With arc ampler. From the Isles of Tin
Tyrian traders, in trouble steering
Came with his cargoes; the Cornish treasure
That his ray ripens. Of wrath ended
And woes mended, of winter passed
And guilt forgiven, and good fortune
Jove is master; and of jocund revel,
Laughter of ladies. The lion-hearted,
The myriad-minded, men like the gods,
Helps and heroes, helms of nations
Just and gentle, are Jove’s children,
Work his wonders. On his white forehead
Calm and kingly, no care darkens
Nor wrath wrinkles: but righteous power
And leisure and largess their loose splendours
Have wrapped around him – a rich mantle
Of ease and empire.

Beautiful. That line; Where rippled radiance rolls about us
Moved with music – measureless the waves’  is so redolent of the splendour of Jupiter as understood in Medieval imagination.

This part of the poem was also the first clue that t gave Michael Ward (author of Planet Narnia) the idea that the seven books of Narnia might correspond to the planets.

Jupiter relates to The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first and most popular or most read of the Narnia Chronicles, which first introduces to the four children, the witch and Aslan. ‘Guilt forgiven’ refers to Edmund’s transformation in the story, from blind, selfish resentment and greed, to love for his family and fellow human beings. He experiences deep regret at the pain caused by his selfishness, but he’s forgiven, then Narnia’s one hundred-year winter ends – ‘winter passed’- after Aslan’s sacrifice and rebirth (the most obviously Christian reference of the entire series).

As Michael Ward explains in Planet Narnia, Jupiter was associated with Christ’s sacrifice and rebirth, also the idea of kingship and joviality (Jove). Incidentally I was delighted that Michael Ward chose my larger Jupiter painting as a facebook cover photo on Easter Sunday earlier this year!

Very soon I’ll be announcing details of an upcoming Planets Series event to taker place this Autumn, I can’t yet reveal details until everything’s confirmed but it’s definitely on! My little exhibition in June is a precursor to the event, and a great way of experimenting with ideas for the larger Autumn Planets Series.

Info on the June exhibition here – Planets Series Exhibition

National Freelancer’s Day

Three small paintings of the Isle of Iona. Mixed media on 3.5 x 3 inch canvas. (Signed). Rose Strang June 2019. (£25 each).

Thursday June 20th is National Freelancer’s Day. I was delighted to be asked by Director of Mindstream, Liza Horan, to participate in her event in Edinburgh, which takes place on Thursday next week.

It’s for all folks who work as freelancers, it’s about the challenges and obstacles you encounter as a freelancer and how to overcome them.

All info and tickets here …

Facebook Event page https://www.facebook.com/events/2288065234749874/

Eventbrite (book tickets) National Freelancer’s Day

I’ll be taking part in a video where I chat to Liza about the experiences I’ve had as a freelance artist (I’ll share it in the next few days here) and I’m displaying the paintings above as part of the event as bijoux examples of my landscape paintings!

They will cost just £25 each (including easels), so if you like the look of them be sure to arrive early at the event. (I’ll also have 5×5″,signed/ limited edition giclee prints available at the event).

The event will be a live panel discussion with invited freelancers Adam Brewster, Claire Colston and David Thomas-Wright who’ll be discussing the challenges they’ve encountered as freelancers, followed by a Q+A and chance to meet folks.

The event will be held at the Black Ivy Hotel in leafy Bruntsfield, Edinburgh (map on links above).

 

 

 

If, like me, you tend to think such things veer towards corporate, or involve tense meetings with people you’d not normally spend your time of day with, fear not! I know this will be a warm, human and interesting event, which is why I was keen to take part.

It’s going to be an honest sharing of the experiences and challenges you encounter as a freelancer – whatever your area of expertise. I’ve known Liza Horan for some time and much appreciate her  warm, genuine personality as well as grounded, practical experience and advice.

Liza was a writer for the New York Times, then in recent years became a digital strategy consultant which, put simply, means she advises organisations on how to present themselves in the (increasingly overwhelming!) world of social media and presentation.

If you’re a freelancer yourself you probably know the challenges; what to charge, feeling a bit isolated, the fact that as an individual you don’t attract funding and must rely on your own efforts to promote your work, or the efforts of (in my case) art galleries, in a world that’s changing from real-life buying in actual places (shops, galleries etc) to online commerce. For me it’s become very much a collaborative process of mutual promotion with galleries.

So it’s challenging for everyone – business owners and individual freelancers. I know that I want to continue showing my work with galleries I respect and trust, but I also know I have to promote, which doesn’t come entirely naturally to most people, including myself!

If you’re a freelancer, from any area of work, and are in Edinburgh or nearby next Thursday, book a ticket on the links below, and I hope to see you there!

Eventbrite (book tickets) National Freelancer’s Day