Picture

I wonder if you have ever noticed shapes and figures, monsters and animals hidden in the swirls and patterns of cracked tiles or peeling paint? My green marble bathroom tiles seem to be seething with all sorts of wonderful patterns, and one day I really should sit in there and copy them as carefully as I can.

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.

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.
Picture


I often cover canvases and paper using a homemade crazy roller. I tie 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.

Picture

​​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’m sure that someone else would see completely different things in them……
Picture

Picture

Picture

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?
​​
Picture

Picture

Picture

​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.

I will be exhibiting these paintings – and many more – at Palazzo de Piro in Mdina from September 7th until October 30th. The collection will be titled “The Rhythm of Life” and will explore the connections I make between trees, music and movement. For more information please contact me HERE

Classes Update
Figure Drawing classes at Palazzo de Piro will start on Tuesday July 5th – we will be working with live models every week.
Outdoor classes at Villa Bologna will continue on Friday July 8th.
Both classes are from 9.30 am to 12pm and are 20 euro, 6 classes for 100 euro.
All levels are welcome – we are all eternal students !
​More information HERE

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