How I ended up watching and painting Classic Superbikes at Snetterton


Originally posted on MOTOR ARTS:

Last October I managed to snatch some special time with my 16 year old son, Billy, and was looking for something to do that we would both enjoy.

Classic Superbikes racing at Snetterton in October 2011 (oil on wooden panel) Classic Superbikes racing at Snetterton in October 2014 (oil on wooden panel)

Billy is not that big into bikes, but like many he enjoys Mr Guy Martin’s exploits (the only book he has ever read cover to cover) and had (terrifyingly) recently acquired a moped from his father. I always had the view “four wheels good, two wheels bad”, when it comes to safety for my child, but there you are. Like me, Billy enjoys watching anything with wheels and an engine going fast around a track – something about the smell, the noise, and the speed that appeals to us both. The only thing I could find that looked exciting was the CRMC Classic Bike Championships at Snetterton. Niether of…

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World War I Forgotten Heroes: A Portrait of Private Flanton (NZPB)


Originally posted on Co-Create Arts:

private flanton by caroline jaine and original

This portrait has been made for the World War I Forgotten Heroes Project by British artist Caroline Jaine. The medium is oil paint on a wooden panel. The artist says:

 “When people heard I was painting a portrait of a Mâori, most never realised that they fought in the First World War. The original photo of Private Flanton was so striking – there was so much soul in his eyes. I was sad that there appears to be no more information about his service, so I invented a life for him in my head and began to research Mâori symbols. The spiral or “Koru” (the Maori word for “loop”) refers to new shoots of the silver fern from which this shape is derived. The circular movement towards an inner coil refers to ‘going back to the beginning’.  The unfurling frond itself is symbolic for new life, new beginnings, hope…

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WWI Forgotten Heroes: A Portrait of Jogendra Nath ‘John’ Sen


Originally posted on Co-Create Arts:

Jogendra Nath Sen portrait and photo

This portrait has been made for the World War I Forgotten Heroes Project by British artist Caroline Jaine. The medium is oil paint and gold leaf on wooden board. The artist says:

“When Manish told me Jogendra’s story I knew immediately I would have to dedicate a portrait to him. I chose the photo of him as a student in Britain – a proud moment I think – and decided to make his “colour” a beautiful thing, rather than the hindrance it became. I also embellished him with golden Indian designs and painted his famous glasses in gold leaf (which doesn’t show so well on the photo of the painting). His fellow students by contrast are black and white and I painted their eyes shut – symbolising the inequality between British and Indian servicemen in WWI.  Seeing the two pictures of him as a student and then later as a soldier really…

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Originally posted on ASKANCE PUBLISHING:

The 2015 competition is now open for entries.  Closing date: 31 May 2015.

askance competition imageWe are pleased to announce that Askance are running a competition again this year. Building on the success of our 2012 and 2013 competitions, we have made a few exciting changes for 2015.

To be inclusive, there is no theme this year and Askance will be accepting short stories of any length. You can also enter more than one story.  Our 2015 competition is open to all writers over 16, from anywhere in the world.

Entrants are able to submit unpublished stories that may or may not have been submitted for other competitions, and as before, must be happy for Askance to publish their story if it is shortlisted.

Askance Publishing are keen to encourage innovative writing and provide a showcase for writers who might not otherwise have a chance of publication. Experienced writers with…

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My mum was a fantastic abstract painter


In February, it will be five years since my mum died.  In tribute to her, I will be sharing some of her inspirational abstract works both on the inter-web and in a small exhibition at Gloucester Antiques Centre.

My mum strived for the effortlessness of nature in her brush and pen strokes – and she was as inspired by trips to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, as she was by the landscape around her home in rural Somerset.

Visit the exhibition of work by Marguerite Clapp at Unit 2.13 on the top floor of the antiques centre, which can be found at the Gloucester Quays 99a High Orchard Street, Gloucester GL1 5SH.  Her work will be on show from 4th February until the end of the month.

Delivering Spanish Sunshine to Snowy Leeds


Yesterday I said goodbye to one of my favourite paintings from my time in Spain.  Plaza Constitucion in San Pedro del Pinatar  was a favourite spot to people-watch.  From six in the evening, the warm town square would slowly awaken from a sleepy siesta, and the seats in the cafe next to San Pedro church would begin to fill.  The painting was bought by a couple in Leeds and delivered to them yesterday in a snow storm.  Hopefully it will bring them some summer warmth and memories of their own time in the Plaza Constitucion.

More of my paintings from San Pedro can be seen here

Plaza Constitucion

Plaza Constitucion

Portrait Celebrating 50 years Together


In 2015 Jon and Sue celebrate 50 years together – this portrait was made for them, and I hope it shows the magical connection between them that still exists.

Medium: oil on reclaimed wood (from a fly-tipped broken cupboard found in Spain)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Why I am Charlie – and Nour, Bilal, Hassan, Victor and Felix


As hoards of think-tankers, journalists and academics rush to pour out their complex opinions on the Charlie Hebdo murders, as an artist, I pause to consider why I might be Charlie.

Sitting at my drawing board in my studio, the shootings touched me deeply. I felt that nobody should be killed for making art, however ugly that art might be. It’s just art. We are just artists.

Cartoonists have this week sharpened their pencils and mocked the brothers in balaclavas who stunned France with their violence. Make no mistake, we should be called to account if our art is racist or glorifies violence, just as other professions, but we should not be murdered for it.

Charlie’s creatives are not the first to die because of what they do. I have today been thinking about a Syrian graffiti artist, Nour Hatem Zahra who was murdered by Syrian forces in 2012 at the age of just 23. It is said that a bullet hit him as he sprayed the word “freedom” on a wall.

Another French artist, Bilal Bernini was killed in recent months. Despite having visited Tunisia and Libya to paint images of revolutions, it was in America that he was killed. Travelling to Detroit to paint images of the dilapidated landscape there, it appears he stumbled into the wrong part of town and was killed for being an outsider. One of the suspects was only 13 years old.

Still in America, I’ve also been thinking about Hassan Alawsi, the Iraqi artist who fled the violence of his homeland, but was shot dead last year in a Sacramento parking lot. His American assailant said he “hated people of middle-eastern descent”.

For less recent examples, I think of Victor Jara – his medium was poetry and song. He was tortured and shot dead for this by the Chilean authorities in 1973.

And going back in time further I think of Felix Nussbaum, a German surrealist artist who made pictures of what life was like under the Nazis. He was murdered at Auschwitz.

So yes, I am Charlie. I am also Nour. I am Bilal. Hassan, Victor and Felix. I need no further complex rationale or politic, other than I am a fellow creative who believes they shouldn’t have died in the way that they did.

Humanitarian Art: Learning through radio in Nepal


Here is my latest picture as Humanitarian Centre artist-in-residence – in response to the work of The Mountain Trust.  I spent a while studying the work that they do in Nepal and was most struck by the Radio Guru project – it seems utter sense to me to use radio to broadcast lessons to hard-to-reach communities, who cannot access school.  Far from being primitive, this feels like the future to me.  It won’t be long before more developed countries go to school online and use broadcast media more. Let Nepal lead the way.

This sketch was made using pencil and pen on the back of an old pizza box.  Not only do I enjoy re-using paper and cardboard, but I have packed my paints as I am about to move my studio!  In the new year I hope to make another, painted image for the inspiring Mountain Trust.

A Mountain Trust Radio Guru listener by Caroline Jaine

A Mountain Trust Radio Guru listener by Caroline Jaine