I thought I’d share my recent Autumn still-life paintings, ‘The chestnut series’. I have many great memories of playing Conkers in the school yard and my garden with my brothers. Some of you at this point are wondering what on earth this game is? The aim of the game is to smash your opponent’s chestnut which has been suspended on a piece of rope or an old shoe lace. Without a doubt, at the end of each game at least one of you would have sore knuckles as your opponent misses the target and hits you instead.
This Autumn as I was out walking with my little boy and my dog, I passed underneath a tree with the floor littered with beautiful chestnuts. Some in the shells unopened, others that had smash open as they hit the floor.
The more I looked at these objects with their defensive shells and glossy surfaces, I got the urge to start painting them. And the more I painted them, the more I began to think of a narrative. I started to connect the shell with home, safety and protection, the chestnut became the symbol for a living creature coming of age to flee the nest. With this in mind I positioned the shell away from the chestnut itself, leaving a gap but still a connection. It’s as though the shell is watching the chestnut leave but reassuring the chestnut that it is still welcome to come back.
Most of these pieces are now available at http://www.artandrosegallery.co.uk/ and http://gedmitchell.co.uk/. Please feel free to get in touch with these galleries to check availability of the chestnut series.
I am now working with focus on a small series of roses, painting them individually with strong contrasts of light and dark. I look forward to sharing these over the coming weeks.