What the eye sees

What the eye sees

Have you ever noticed shapes and figures, monsters and animals hidden in the swirls and patterns of marble or peeling paint? My green marble bathroom tiles are seething with all sorts of wonderful patterns, and one day I will just sit in there and copy them as carefully as I can.

I Know

I Know

I think that it was Leonardo who advised his students to do just this. He said it was the best way to liberate and encourage creative thought.

No

No

I have been working on a collection of paintings of trees for some time now. It’s a subject I return to quite often. I have made so many sketches and studies on the subject that I am seeing tree shapes everywhere. My feelings around their wanton destruction and our disregard for their importance are also coming to the surface. When I found a pile of canvases in my studio that I had resurfaced ready for repainting, I wasn’t really surprised when the random marks became worried faces and trees. This is probably true for all of us; we will find things in odd patterns that are relevant to what is currently happening in our lives. It’s a bit like reading tea leaves – a way of divination perhaps.

Nymph

Nymph

Once you start seeing things, it’s hard to stop. First you will probably see faces, as that’s what we humans seem to identify with most easily, but soon other things will pop up and surprise you too.

Song of the Woods

Song of the Woods

I often over-paint canvases and paper using a homemade crazy roller. I tied string around a foam roller and then use it with a mix of gesso and acrylics. Lovely! The unpredictable marks that this produces on canvas or paper are always interesting. I just couldn’t make those marks on purpose.

tree roots

tree roots

In this way I can produce sets of patterns with lovely textures that just have to sit around and wait until I am inspired by them. Then the trick is to pick out just enough detail to define what I have seen without losing the mystery of the marks. It’s as if the pictures are paintings themselves, and that they were just waiting for me to be in the right frame of mind to see them. I suppose someone else would see completely different things in them……

Upon Reflection

Upon Reflection

I will be showing these paintings in my exhibition at Palazzo de Piro in Mdina this September. If you are not already on my mailing list for updates and invites to my classes, events and exhibitions please pop your email address into the box on this page!

 

 

About Jeni Caruana

Jeni was born in England and studied at Uxbridge, Hull and Harrow Art Colleges before settling in Malta in 1977. She subsequently worked as a graphic designer and followed a post-Diploma course at Malta College of Art. Jeni has held regular solo exhibitions of her works and participated in numerous joint, group and collective exhibitions in Malta and abroad, representing Malta in UK, USA, Sardinia, Rome, Tunisia, Libya and Norway. Paintings now hang in many public and private collections. --- Works cover a wide variety of subjects and media, from landscapes to Prehistoric Temples, sand to ceramics, watercolour and acrylics to wooden sculptures. They are always based on good drawing and keen observation and always started on location or from live models. Intense study of the human figure has resulted in her ability to capture fleeting glimpses of people in motion. Visually expressing the emotional effects of music on the senses, her ‘musician’ paintings are a favourite subject. --- Jeni has been teaching drawing and watercolour techniques to adults since 1995. She regularly runs courses and workshops in drawing and watercolour for adult beginners and improvers, specialised courses in life drawing, watercolour techniques, weekend workshops and painting outings and also art for self-expression, meditation and relaxation. --- For more information please contact; Studio Address: - “Dar Il-Mistrieh”, - 15, Old Church Street, - Manikata - MLH 5202