For 2015, artist Carne Griffiths is back with a stunning new series of portraits made with just tea and ink. Newest of all is Tempest, a gorgeous portrait dripping with a rainbow of ink colors (see above). Others were created for the London Art Fair with Ink Gallery. The set incorporates beautiful images of nature like feathers and flowers. Eyes pierce through this imagery while well-placed colors highlight the details around the face. We asked Carne to give us the scoop on three of our favorite new works. He was kind enough to give us the behind-the-scenes meaning of The Red Flower, Fly Again, and The Secret Garden.
The Red Flower
“The Red Flower is a symbolic piece and it relates to something as simple as the introduction of a new material to my painting. I work with a very limited palette and have only ever used red items in two pieces to date. The red flower is the introduction of this color into my work. I really struggle to control color and it was one of the reasons I was so happy to stumble across the effects of tea in my work – tea gives harmony to the limited palette I use which previously consisted only of blue and brown ink. The addition of 2 new colors has expanded my working palette and brought a more vivid palette to the new work. The Red Flower concentrates on our relationship with nature – through the portrait harsh geometric shapes give way to flowing lines and natural shapes influenced by nature. The portrait which represents nature, has a guarded look as she protects her simple beauty from a modern world.”
“Fly Again is influenced by new surroundings – wildlife and the observation of birds in flight – it represents our inner desire to fly and blends natural images with flowing lines, patterns of flight, and repeating marks indicative of motion. I recalled my own childhood dreams of flying, of standing at the top of a staircase and ‘that feeling' when you stand on a precipice with no barrier between yourself and the open air and there is a sense that maybe we once could experience the feeling of flight. The girl in the portrait represents our desire to fly, she appears to know the secret, wrapped up in nature, and that is what makes us curious.”
The Secret Garden
“The Secret Garden relates to finding a new space amongst nature – it is a gentle nod to children's stories to escapism and to the fact that we lose so much of this as we get old. Allowing ourselves to daydream or fantasize, if only for a short time, provides a solace from the hectic pace of life. The Secret Garden is this place for me, where we are in harmony with nature.”