Hi, welcome to String Revolution. I'm Léan, I live in Dublin with my husband and two little boys, and I am a dangerous stringy subversive.
My job is to radiate my creative truth, and to help you radiate yours. I create, without exception, every day. I write here when I have something to say.

(learn more about me).

Hardly Stringy At All

Four little paintings by Léan

This month, I have been mostly mourning my grandmother and – somewhat unexpectedly – rewriting my novel. (Sixth time’s the charm, I’m hoping. It’s time this thing fecked off out of my head.)

These activities and others have taken me far away from the stringy regions of my life. Recently, though, I’ve been feeling the familiar tug, and knitting and sewing have been getting themselves done again despite everything.

Meanwhile, I’ve been wanting to show you some of my paintings (…or “paintings”, as my inner critic would prefer me to call them – I maintain that as they constitute paint applied to canvas, they meet some kind of basic criterion; she says well that’s just stupid, so there).

Inner critic be damned. I really like these. I did them while we were staying with my friend Ailbhe and her family in August – she paints all the time, and gets a kind of eldritch glitter in her eye when encouraging her friends to do likewise. It’s very difficult to resist…

Those up at the top there are a set of four little doodles, acrylic on deep-edge canvas, each one 5″ square.

This next one is also on deep-edge canvas, but it’s much bigger – 16″ square – and done in oils (at a ridiculous pace, in the dead of night):

Oil painting by Léan

(Being oil, it’s not dry yet, so it had to stay in Ailbhe’s house in Reading. I might see it again by Christmas.)

I did a lot of playing around with texture, as in these two little acrylics (the first one is 9″ by 12″, the second is 5″ by 7″):

Acrylic painting by Léan

Acrylic painting by Léan

Part of why I’m so pleased with these is that I. Don’t. Paint. – but I did anyway. The experience was much more about playing than about producing, which was predictably liberating. (You know, I read all the time about how important play is for art-making, and I believe it intellectually … and yet it’s a vanishingly tiny proportion of my practice.)

These paintings were pure play. None of them started with any kind of plan – and if they had, I’m fairly certain that I wouldn’t like them half as much. Ah, beginner’s mind is a wonderful thing altogether.

That’s all for tonight! Next time, I’ll aim to be a bit stringier…

3 comments to Hardly Stringy At All

  • I love your paintings! I especially like the last two, the textured ones. Actually, the last one reminds me of some paintings I saw in an exhibition a few years ago; I can’t remember the name of the artist right now, but I’ll let you know if/when it comes back to mind.

    I also love that you could let yourself play like this. I totally get what you’re saying when you say that you don’t paint. Same here: I. Don’t. Draw. – and yet, I’ve been enjoying playing with Inktense pencils a few times these past months. Though I must say it’s rare that it turns out to be pure play. I’m still looking for the switch to turn off my thinky brain when I’m trying to play with my pencils…

  • mollydot

    Oooh! Love the fiery one!

  • Ailbhe

    You didn’t mention how cautiously you approached that last one. It really struck me at the time.

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