Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Converse with the cosmos...

converse with the cosmos+surreal art+sneakers in space+Nicola McLean


First things first, yesterday was my 6th blogaversary. I only remembered thanks to Facebook and its memory prompts because I'd mentioned it last year on my 5th blogaversary. This is the 434th time I've posted to my blog which over the last six years has changed from PointyPix to NicseARTh and now to Art by Nicola McLean which it will remain. Over those years, I've moved from stippled ink to watercolours to acrylic and gouache and extended my choice of subject matter from pet portraits and animal art to include landscapes and still life using pointillism, realism, impressionism, expressionism, abstraction and surrealism! I'm so glad that I started blogging as it has definitely helped to motivate me to keep painting and to keep trying new things and, if nothing else, it's a great way to look back and see how far my art has evolved - I don't think anyone can accuse me of finding my niche and just sticking to it!



converse with the cosmos+surreal art+acrylic painting+sneakers+Nicola McLean


Now, when it comes to humour, I'm a huge fan of observational comedians, like Dara O'Briain, for example.  I'm really not a fan of one liner pun style humour like that of Milton Jones. I mean, it could be argued that it's clever word play but it just doesn't make me laugh the way a brilliantly told anecdote can. That said, I am fond of pun-type word play when it comes to the titles of my paintings because I like that it can be interpreted in more than one way (just not in the double entendre 'oh er missus' style of the Carry On films of the 60s and 70s!) 


converse with the cosmos+sneakers+surrealism+acrylic painting+Nicola McLean


Anyway, an example of what I mean is the title of my latest painting. Sometimes, I know instantly what I want to call a painting (Like with 'On thin ice' for the polar bear which worked literally and as a reference to how endangered they are.) Other times, I'll mull it over as I'm working on the painting and usually something will occur to me by the time it's finished (or else I'll find an appropriate song lyric). 


converse with the cosmos+sneaker+trainers+space+surreal art+Nicola McLean


For this one, I'd had the idea to paint a pair of sneakers for my space junk series and was taking photos of a pair I had (which weren't Converse) when it occurred to me that if I used actual Converse sneakers then I could call the painting 'Converse with the cosmos' (as opposed to 'Sneakers in space'!)and it would, indeed, work on more than one level especially given so many of my art ideas pop into my head during meditations (which is when I do converse with the cosmos!). (I spend way too much time alone in my own head, clearly).


converse with the cosmos+sneaker+trainers+space+surreal art+Nicola McLean


So, knowing my sister has several pairs of Converse, while I was in London with her last month, I took a heap of photos of her pink pair and then floated them off into the cosmos.


converse with the cosmos+sneaker+trainers+space+surreal art+Nicola McLean


In other news, I've been invited to take part in a local event at the end of July called Caithness Creative Festival which takes place over two days. So, I'm just trying to decide which paintings to put into that. 


surrealism+converse with the cosmos+surreal art+polar bear+on thin ice+Nicola McLean


I'm not sure whether to play it safe with landscapes because folk up here do seem to like landscapes, or dare to be different with my space junk paintings because so many other artists up here also do landscapes. Maybe I'll mix and match!


art shed+art studio+recycled pallets+Nicola McLean


At the weekend we ventured out in Campy McCampervan and I was delighted to stumble across art most unexpectedly in the absolute middle of nowhere! We went for a walk along a dirt path by a little tumbledown cottage and found these very unexpected (and rather strange but really well executed) works of art!






Just to put into context how remote this little ruin actually is! 

Clearly a dedicated graffiti artist who travels everywhere with their spray paints because you just never know when you'll find a wall in the middle of nowhere that could become a work of art!

19 comments:

  1. Wow! For a moment there I actually thought that you had put a pair of trainers on top of one of your night sky paintings and taken a photo! They looks so 3 dimentional... Amazing! And again, I love the concept! All of your space junk is so unique, not something I've seen before at all! Great news that you are taking part in the event. I'm sure you will do well. Meanwhile I just love the art on the building! I have no idea how many times I've posted on my blog or when I began... I have done one or to 'sweeps' in the past too. I must have a look! :0)

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  2. simply AMAZING painting Nic!! One would swear it was a photograph cut and pasted over a painted background. Just goes to prove your artistic talents. And I'd LOVE a pair of pink sneakers like these:) I too love the puns and word plays so I love your thoughts on the title! So many good things in your life-all is well.

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  3. Love your painting, and can now imagine your sister's shoes in orbit. Have fun at the exhibition, I am sure you will find the right pieces to display. And I love that arty cottage ruin, what a great idea to paint the pictures there. Happy PPF hugs, Valerie

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  4. LOVE the art and wordplay! Perhaps you can hedge your bets at the creative festival with examples of landscapes AND 'space junk' paintings.

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  5. Love the pink converse. They feel a little dr who ish in style but gave me a lot of joy to see them. What a beautiful place you visitors too. Happy year 7 ahead on your blog. :) erika

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  6. Those shoes look so real, what a fabulous series you've got there. Your cosmos series are bound to be popular at the art festival, it's good to have something a bit different too. Your art definitely has style and flare and is bound to catch many eyes. Thanks for sharing those great photos too, I always love seeing rugged, wild Scottish landscapes!

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  7. Happy blog anniversary! Love your pink converse! I have a purple and a lavender pair. How wonderful about the art festival! I think a mix of both sounds like a good idea. And what a great find on that cottage ruin!

    As to the sktchy app - it's an app where people basically upload selfies for others to draw, sketch or paint, and then in turn can upload their art and link it to the original. It's great for practicing portraits.
    I'm not sure what those collars are for, a lot of the other (older) cows still had proper, old fashioned cow bells too.

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  8. Your doggie is adorable with your 'space like' painting on the deck ~ Love, love the sneakers floating in space ~

    Happy Weekend to you ~ ^_^

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  9. Love the tennis shoes. Your work is amazing. Happy blogaversary!! The time goes fast, that's for sure. Lucky you that found those pieces. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work and the graffiti art with us!

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Nora Clemens-Gallo

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  10. I love the pink sneakers and the pun title. I guess I should give my stuff titles but I, unlike you, can never think up names for the paintings. You are so talented in all media, Nic. The "wilderness" graffiti must have been such a surprise. Wonder how the landowner feels about it. Or if the landowner did it.

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  11. Oh my gosh.. the pink sneakers are just GORGEOUS!!!ANd the wonderful photos are so lovely!
    Happy weekend! Happy blog anniversary!

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  12. So clever Nic. ..this is where you stand out and are different. 're the Caithness show I agree that folk in the highlands do love sea/landscapes but your space junk series are very quirky and I am sure there are quirky folk in thurso! :)....well a few. I am aproachinf my 4th blog birthday and now can't imagine life pre blog. ..it keeps me disciplined and it acts like a diary. I see what I haven't done as much as what I have. Long live blogger...by the way was it easy to change your blog name? I'm contemplating it as I have a website being built and would be good to possibly have my name on all of the sites like you do.

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  13. So clever Nic. ..this is where you stand out and are different. 're the Caithness show I agree that folk in the highlands do love sea/landscapes but your space junk series are very quirky and I am sure there are quirky folk in thurso! :)....well a few. I am aproachinf my 4th blog birthday and now can't imagine life pre blog. ..it keeps me disciplined and it acts like a diary. I see what I haven't done as much as what I have. Long live blogger...by the way was it easy to change your blog name? I'm contemplating it as I have a website being built and would be good to possibly have my name on all of the sites like you do.

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  14. I pretty much despise all sneakers except converse which I love. This house we have every colour imaginable. This tops the list again as a favourite...I love those converse so much and you did an amazing job! Converse also known as Chuck taylors, always say artist, musician to me!! They are statement shoes... You have done an incredible job! Clearly I too live in my head far too much. However I was a huge fan of all the Carry on movies in the seventies...loved them to bits. Still love all uk humour so much. Undertaking Betty is also a favourite movie!! I do love your titles...very well thought out...great post. All the best...you know the rule....always be yourself...don't overthink those exhibit paintings...just be authentic! Thanks for sharing!! You should makes some greeting cards up with the converse on them...you may sell loads at the show...

    Hugs Giggles

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  15. Wow, very well done! It's as if they're standing on top of your painting. Great title too ;-) And what a find in the middle of nowhere! I love it when I unexpectedly come across some art.

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  16. I really enjoyed reading your post today Nic,
    I'm always fascinated to hear how people choose their subject matter and titles. As for your Converse sneakers...oh boy you've done a spectacular piece of artwork. It looks 3D!
    I loved seeing that remote artwork too.
    Have a wonderful weekend and good luck for the Caithness Creative Festival.

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  17. congrats on 6 years of blogging. i think i've been blogging about that long myself. sometimes i look at back at old posts and think, omigosh, i've really changed my style so much! but hey, that's how we learn and grow, right?

    love your pink converse painting! great idea :)

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  18. So much to comment on... I love the space junk! I think it is great you changed to converse sneakers just for the name. If i had thought of it i would have done the same as that's a perfect name! And the sneakers are done so well, they look like a photograph cut around and planted in space! Perfect! And that art in the middle of nowhere, ...all so very cool!

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  19. These are absolutely fabulous and I love the title. :)

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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