The Swing

August 5, 2016

swing

“The Swing”
Acrylic on canvas painting.
106.6×106.6cm or 42″x42″.
Unframed.

This painting is rather mysterious.

My girls were very young then and we used to spend a lot of time at the playground whenever the day turned out nice. I also used to photograph them a lot more than they let me do now.

On one such day I was taking pictures of my kids playing on the swings and climbing frames, when this girl came along, smiled at me and posed for a photo. She was about 2 – the age when they most like being photographed – and she wanted to star for my pictures. I couldn’t refuse and took some photos of the child.

Later on, looking through the shots, I came upon an image I really liked. Something about the eyes – focused beyond the world around, focused on the unseen…

I placed the girl in an imaginary setting of a Summer forest, swinging, with an intense and dreamy look on her face. And that’s how this painting came to be.

I don’t know the girl’s name or where she lives and she doesn’t know she inspired a painting, yet here she is – now forever a dreamy child, swinging.

Jimper Sutton

May 10, 2015

Every year Rye celebrates Bonfire season with an event which encompasses a bonfire procession, a huge bonfire itself and an impressive fireworks display – all organised by the Rye and District Bonfire Society.

Rye Town Crier on the Bonfire Night. Photo by Marina Kim.

Rye Town Crier on the Bonfire Night

The cost last year was around £10000. The moneys are raised through various events, one of which is an auction of promises. For a few years now we donated an artwork or a framing promise.

This year I decided to paint a person who would be well-known amongst the potential bidders/supporters. The Society suggested Jimper Sutton, and indeed, who else!

We arranged three sittings, two hours each, and I personally thoroughly enjoyed painting this colourful personality, while listening to the amazing stories Jimper had to share.

Portrait of Jimper Sutton by portrait artist Marina Kim

Portrait of Jimper Sutton

Suttons are an old family in Rye and the area going back for many centuries. Jimper himself is a very familiar face around here and a contributor to various aspects of the community. For 16 years he was a District Councillor and is now a Life President of the Rye Bonfire Society, one of the oldest Societies in Britain and a very important part of the Sussex scene.

Farming and fishing have been the basis of his life. The understanding of nature’s way must be in Jimper’s blood and bones through generations and generations of observing, fishing and nurturing of the plants and beasts. Now, after a serious illness, he downsized his holding to a large garden, which produces much more than family requirements and overspills to his brother’s shop, a magnificent retail establishment – Sutton’s Fish Shop on the Sea Road in Winchelsea.

Sutton's Fish Shop. Sea road, Winchelsea.

Sutton’s Fish Shop

On our last sitting, I received a tray of eggs from Jimper’s hens. They were divinely delicious! He told me why: the hens graze all day every day on grass and bugs and worms, snatching butterflies in flight, drinking water from the river Brede, with only a handful of wheat to supplement their Nature’s diet. The yolks were orange and so tasty…

From childhood, Jimper kept a diary never missing a day. These records serve him as a treasure chest in writing novels and short stories which he publishes independently donating the proceeds to the local good causes.

Writing is a huge part of Jimper’s life: “I have a monthly column in a local magazine (Rye’s Own) that I have been published in since 1965. My articles and stories appear in Countryman’s Weekly on a regular basis. For four years I had a page in The Bee Keeper Monthly. Over the years I have had two books published and 800 other articles in various publications. I have appeared on television and radio numerous times and am in the local paper frequently. ITV made a half-hour film of a day in my life and showed it at peak viewing time; this has been repeated many times and gone around the world. I have been on the BBC’s ‘Morning’ programme with Richard & Judy talking on fishing. You can read the article about me written by The Sunday Times by clicking here.”

And so, Jimper’s portrait is going to be auctioned to help fund the annual Rye Bonfire event. The auction is taking place on the 14th of May at 19.00 to start at 19.30, at the Mermaid Hotel in Rye. Hope you can come!

Robert Bruce Williams

May 9, 2015

Portrait painters: Robert Bruce Williams
Source: World of Portrait Painting

Robert Bruce Williams

Robert Bruce Williams

Me and My Girls

April 30, 2015

This February half-term we didn’t go anywhere, and while my girls were home and the light was good, I bribed them to sit for the portraits.

After all, last time I painted them was at least a couple of years ago, and I never painted them from life, always from photos. Now that they are old enough and well-trained by various educational institutions, no reason why they couldn’t sit still each for 10 or so hours…

Well, it took some modeling fees and also, during the sittings, they were watching films. Only sometimes in the last session each was required to look at me to paint their eyes. Still, they took the whole experience as yet another chore which their wicked mother imposed on them and that shows clearly in the portraits!

Portrait of Eva Roche age 13

Eva

Portrait of Eva Roche, age 13
Oil on canvas
70×50 cm

Marina Kim. Portraiture

Alina

Portrait of Alina Roche, age 11
Oil on canvas
70×50 cm

Me and my girls!

Marina Kim portrait artist

Me and My Girls

Art and Sweetcorn

May 7, 2011

In September 2009 my younger daughter Alina came to my studio for an hour or two. That visit led to an illustrated short story “Art and Sweetcorn”.
Here it is:

Illustrated short story "art and Sweetcorn"

Alina Making Art

Sweetcorn is hot this season.

On the way to the studio I made a detour to the Farmers’ Market, but going home in the evening forgot the bag with the goodies behind.

– Alina, I’ve got sweetcorn in the studio. Would you like to come with me to get it?
– Ye-ye-yeah!

Off we go.
Out of the door, turn left…

– Mummy, can we take the shortcut?
– That way takes longer, Alina!
– I don’t care!
– OK.

carry on down The Mint;
up through the inn car park;
right down the cobbled street;
past the corner house with the pigeons;
take the passage on the left;
past the lamp-post;
into the court yard.

Some days my girls like to come to my studio, some days they don’t. Depends.

– Alina, would you like to cook the corn here, or would you rather go home?
– I don’t mind, mummy, I can eat it cold.
– Yes, but it’s not cooked: you have to cook it first.
– Aw… (disappointment strength 8/10). Can I do painting while it’s being cooked then?
– You may.
– I want to do Art.

print_drypoint_artwork1

“Artwork” 1

Sweetcorn’s in the pan.

– Which paint would you like, this (oils) or this (acrylics)?
– I want this one (acrylics).
– There you go.
– Can I have those little rolling things as well?
– Yes, sure. And there is your paper.

She is all settled, painting on the floor;
I am at the table, drawing her.
We are busy doing Art.
Silence.

Short story by Marina Kim "Art and Sweetcorn"

“Artwork” – 3

Sweet aroma slowly fills the room…

– Mummy?
– Hm?
– Is the sweetcorn ready yet?
(glance at the clock)
– No, not yet. Another 10 minutes or so…
– Aw…

5 minutes later:
– Mummy!
– Hm?
– I think the sweetcorn is ready now.
– Uh-ehm…
– Come on, then!
– Okay! – I put the pencil down and get the sweetcorn.

It is hot. I put one cob under the running cold water. Alina comes to the sink to wash her hands.
– Mummy?
– Yes?
– I painted the difference between the Sea and the Soil.
– Oh, cool!

Short story "Art and Sweetcorn"

“Artwork” 2

Hands clean, she is content.
– Can I eat my sweetcorn now?
– Ah-a.
I give her the cooled-down cob, and place the plate with more of them on the arm of the chair. She climbs into the chair. Satisfaction 10/10. Life is good.

Short story "Art and Sweetcorn"

“Sweetcorn”

– Alina, are you going to paint any more?
– Nah-ah.
– In that case, you need to tidy up.
– Arrgghh, Godddd!

Marina Kim

Autumn, 2009

https://www.etsy.com/assets/js/etsy_mini_shop.js//

Browsing the Internet I re-visited the Portrait Party site. That reminded me of a portrait exchange we had with John Izod of Rye.

Commission a portrait by Marina Kim.

John Izod

John was one of the first people we got to know when moved to Rye. Since then we came to realise that he became in a way a feature of the town. Drawing from our conversation during sittings, I see him as a bit of a gypsy, artistic wonderer, an aged child…

The idea was to draw him and sell that on a charity auction for the Sea Cadets whom he supports. That charcoal drawing of him is now hanging in the “Ypres” pub in Rye after having raised £250 as far as I remember.

But there were more drawings coming from those couple of sittings.

 

Commission a portrait drawing by Marina Kim.

John Izod

One of them, an ink drawing of John, I turned into a drypoint print “The Devil You Know?”

I love drypoint because it is the most immediate of the printmaking techniques and closest to free hand drawing.

I am still to break through the intimidation of the metal and draw directly on the plate. At the moment I mostly copy my drawings to the plate and then re-trace the lines with the steel point… Freedom isn’t easy.

John IS easy though. On the second day of the sittings he came armed and said, he’d be drawing me. Here are a couple of drawings he did of me:

Me by John Izod. Portrait exchange. Me by John 1
Me by John Izod. Portrait exchange.

Me by John 2?

An extract from the PortraitParty sharing page. Like it (I mean, me like it. You can too if you want!

my heart is made of gravy said…
Hey Rama,

I realised tonight, probably whilst emptying my bladder of a large quantity of Californian Chardonnay, that there is a form of portraiture which hasn’t yet been covered by your site.

Let’s call it ‘The Portrait Slam’ (as in a Poetry Slam) where two individuals take turns at (fondly) demeaning each other through satirical gags of a visual nature.

This can be seen in the follow back-and-forth between myself and Cuffe on IFN.

First the Cuffester does his en-garde move by portraying me in my naff PJs

 

 

 

 

 

 

I counter with him pleasuring a crocodile

 

 

 


He then gives me the voodoo treatment
And I tell him where to put it: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be honest, most of the ladeez on the site are quite happy to give Cuffe his cuffeupance

 

 

 

 

 

And perhaps realising he’s ultimately doomed (though aren’t we all) Cuffe commits illustration-hari-kiri on himself
BTW. I know you’re mainly a portraitist, but we’d love it if you could spread a bit of Rama sometime on our IFN-toast.

Regards

Steve

APRIL 25, 2007
THE END

This idea came up:

On the website we put up an ad. Huge one! The Roche family is travelling the world. The idea is to pay for the accomodation and travelfare by portraits. Anyone who lives or has homes on the route and interested in commissioning a portrait, please contact us.

Now, let’s see what swapping goes around the net…

First site – very interesting swap the portraits blog here: http://theportraitparty.blogspot.com/
The idea – people meet and draw portraits of each other. Great! Talking about normal human art with genuine ineterest in people.

We were talking with Gi Yeon today. I formulated for myself, what art is all about. Here it is:

People’s lifes are their unique experiences. Due to our relatively short lives, each of us can experience only a little bit of the wide range of possibilities. But we want to expand our experiences. That’s why we have the inbuilt curiousity in each other. At the same time we all have the desire to influence other people, or in other words, to let others see the unique and valuable nature of our personal experience. The art is the media to make this possible. Hence, the informativeness of the art can be measured in terms of how much we can percieve from the piece of art about the life experience of someone. Hence, the abstract, or conceptual art cannot achieve the goal of being informative whithout all the added information about the life of the artist and the circumstances of the creation of his art. (I wonder, if it is possible to create a piece of art which wouldn’t need all the extra information in order to be informative? Actually, paintings by Paula Rego score high by this definition. And so do portraits in general, especially historical pictures.) Hence, the visual art from the early 20th century entered a pricipally new era. One can say, that visual art became a team work. The author/painter creates a piece of art, which doesn’t bear the whole of it’s informativeness, but the informative part of it is carried out by the media, which plays the court. Then, if I carry the analogy further on, the piece of art itself is the king, which is naked…

We all live our own unique experiences. But we want to experience more. So, we read books, watch films, follow soap operas, selebrity gossips, spy the neibours and look at the portraits. In order to satisfy this thirst for other experiences the art, in particular portrait, has to be as informative as it can.

Last week I had portrait drawings commissioned. There is a nice continuity to it – a little more than a year ago I drew the older child, Isobel, who at the time was a tiny baby. And now I met her again (big change!) together with her little brother Sam. I hope I get to draw or paint them again some time in the future, to keep the record going!

Isobel turned into a very bubbly and bright young lady and baby Sam was sweet. He couldn’t quite decide whether to trust me or not, one minute giving me a lovely big smile and the other – urgently needing the reassurance from the mummy.

One and a half hours for the session, and drawing the two children, I relied on the television to have them slightly more stationary than it would have been without it. My plan worked. As a result, I had about 12 drawings, half of which were rather nice, all done while they watched the “Beauty and the Beast”.

I love drawing young children, and regret that I didn’t do more drawings of my children when they were younger. Now they are too aware of being looked at.

Georgina, mummy of Isobel and Sam, kindly let me use their images for creating original prints. Two of the drawings from the first series, of baby Isobel, are now drypoint prints: “Asleep” and “Flat Out”. I am hoping to have new drypoint prints done in the near future, based on the new sketches of both children.

Dear Georgina, thank you for the beautiful models! I’ll be sending the new prints as soon as they are ready. Souvenirs for the grandparents 🙂

Portrait sketches of baby Isobel. Example of a portrait commission resulting in a portfolio of quick drawings.

[flagallery gid=9 name=”drawings”]

This portrait commission requires a life sitting and takes between 1.5 to 2 hours. Although the term “sitting” is used here rather loosely.

I had several portrait commissions where I had to draw children. Of course, I couldn’t expect them to be sitting absolutely still! Here is a post about one such commission.