Scots behind the window. Windows of Rye. 2019

Scots behind the window. Windows of Rye. 2019. J.Harms. Acrylic on paper. 29x39cm.

We are a week away from a vote that will undoubtedly change the United Kingdom. Whether or not it decides to stay in the E.U.

In the serie “Windows of Rye ” I used the decorated windows of that small town in Sussex to illustrate my reflections on Brexit. I didn’t visit Rye with that particular idea in mind. The windows spoke for themselves…rather loudly too.

The Brexit mermaid. Windows of Rye. 2019

The Brexit mermaid. 2019. J.Harms.

The Brexit mermaid. Windows of Rye. 2019. J.Harms. Acrylic on paper. 62×48 cm.

The Windows of Rye paintings are a reflection on Brexit. The term « reflection » is to be taken both literally and figuratively. Brexit was to happen in March of this year, but has been moved back to the end of this month. Will it happen or not ? I think nobody has a clue.

In Greek mythology, any creature that is part female, part something else, is not a good omen. Such creatures will most of the time lead you to your death. If you look at them straight in the eye you will turn to stone, if you give the wrong answer to their question, they will devour you, if you listen to their song you may end up mad and drown  yourself. I wonder what this one will end up doing to Europe and the UK.

The yellow window. Windows of Rye. 2019

The yellow window. Windows of Rye. J.Harms.

The yellow window. 2019. J.Harms. Acrylic on Canvas 46x55cm

Another « window of Rye » and behind it, a glorious  shade of yellow, it simply caught my eye, as well as the tree that looks as if it’s embracing or protecting this fragile source of light.

This house looks joyful and warm, even though it sits right outside of the cemetery.

 

Yearly self-portrait au carré. 2019

Yearly self-portrait au carré. 2019. J.Harms.

Yearly self-portrait au carré. 2019. J.Harms.

Another year another portrait. This one is me sitting on my « carpet studio » looking at my reflexion in a mirror. At the back a glimpse of the window overlooking a cherry tree. My work as a decorative painter has been thriving, and sadly my paintings have been few and far between as a consequence. Three so far this year isn’t much. Yet there are so many things I need to paint.

 

Boat behind the window. Windows of Rye. 2019

Boat behind the window. 2019. J.Harms. Acrylic on paper. 48x63cm.

I recently (re)-visited Rye in Sussex. At first I thought about painting a couple streetscapes, Tudor style buildings and all, but for some reason my eye was more interested in the decorated windows of the old city. I usually let a couple months go by before revisiting my pictures, but with “B” day coming up, I feel a sense of foreboding in the air. This particular window with the boat, turns out to be more than that. A boat is a strong symbol of freedom, but this one is stuck behind a window…

House caught in a web. 2018

House caught in a web. 2018. J.Harms. Acrylic on canvas. 38x46cm.

The more I dwell on my “American journey” the more I realise how the paintings resulting from my visit last May in the town of Beloit, where I used to spend summers of my childhood, are turning into little satires, with a whift of symbolism attached to them. I usually like to play along with the titles of my paintings. Many have double meanings, I believe it helps those looking at my art to see all the layers, but I usually stay clear of incorporating politics and morals into my work. I don’t wish to give lessons. However, it seems that the older I get, the more these “questions” seem to want to show up now and then. Sometimes, artists are like barometers of society’s health and well-being. Through their work, one will experience the emotional sounds of the moment. well, there you go. Can one of you spot the spider ?

Le Grand Salon 2018

I’m happy to announce that I will be exhibiting again at the Grand Salon D’Art Abordable in Paris in the beginning of November. This is the French twist to the affordable Art Fairs of the world. I will be showing some of my new works.

Attention aux cactus. 2018

Attention aux cactus. 2018. J.Harms. 81×100 cm. Acrylic on canvas.

I was contacted a couple weeks ago by an artist whom I exhibited with last year. She is currently organizing a show in a Parisian gallery and has kindly asked me to participate. The theme for the show is “tropical dream” . Having never been to the Islands, And having absolutely no paintings resembling the theme, I decided to roam the Jardin d’Auteuil in Paris. Those of you that watch the tennis will know that Roland Garros’ courts are right across the street from those extraordinary greenhouses. The main one, resembling a little crystal palace, was closed for maintenance. It held the palm trees which I intended to paint at first. Walking around the gardens to the other smaller greenhouses, I came across the one housing the cacti. Beware of the cacti.

L’arbre d’or. The 6th continent 12/365. 2018

l'Arbre d'or. The 6th C. J.Harms. 2018

L’arbre d’or. The 6th Continent 12/365.2018. J.Harms. Acrylic on paper. 10x15cm.

Row row the boat gently down the milky lake, our wandered settles on a crumb of an island to rest for the night under the golden tree. There he remains till dawn.

Au palais d’Iéna. 2018

Au palais d’Iéna. 2018. J.Harms. Acrylic on paper. 40x50cm. (Private collection.)

At the end of March this year, AD magazine hosted a show ( AD matières ) on contemporary interior decorating at the Palais d’Iéna in Paris. It focused mainly on decorative painting, and other wall finishes ( mosaïc, straw, unique wall-papers…). I was curious to see the new trends, and visited the site with some expectation. Since the decorative world is rather small, I quickly realised that almost everyone presented works of a similar palette of colors, warm golden hues, sometimes just plain gold leaf or paint, brushed over, or combed, or mixed with a darker color, so much so, that I painted the place with warm earth tones, simply because that’s how I remember it.

The show in itself was not very inspiring. However, the location was. The place has a bahausian flair to it.  Coincidentally,  I am half-way through Nicholas Fox Weber’s book “the Bahaus group”.  I wonder if that had some influence on the choice of the subject and the way with which I painted it.

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