Hello, I’m Martin Swan.
Welcome to my website. I hope you will find it enjoyable and interesting.
The site has been designed by my nephew, Matthew – a handsome young man now living in Australia and married to a nice Australian girl called Jo. He has provided me with an administration system sufficiently simple for a Neanderthal of my caliber to operate. Thus I am able to change the content of the site without bothering him. What I can’t do is alter the fundamentals, change the look of the thing or delete certain features I no longer like or re-arrange others. For instance, I would like to have the archive section on the homepage, but I don’t know how to move it there. So it remains largely out of sight, available only via the “Select a Category” button (top RHS). I’m waiting for him to visit me and introduce me to the fundamentals.
Update May 2013. He has visited and we didn’t talk about the website and so the fundamentals remain the same.
I have just added a Commissions section. This is to highlight the fact that I willingly undertake commissions, should anyone ask me. Most subjects considered, in any painting medium. I can be contacted about this via the Homepage. As I don’t normally photograph these works there are only three paintings to show. Latest update – there are now four pictures in this section following a commission from a firm of London lawyers. See “Siam”.
The big news at the moment is the birth of little Edward Kennard. Since 3.32am Monday 19th December, I have become a grandfather, albeit a step-grandfather. Born in Birmingham and weighing in at 8lb 11oz, I am told he is adorable. Mother Zoe and baby are both doing well. My wife, Melanie is there giving general assistance (knitting tiny boots and hats) while I keep things tidy here. Edward’s father is Luke Kennard, well known now as a poet, short-listed for the Forward prize a couple of years ago and short listed for lucky-xxxxxxx-of -the-year when he married Zoe a few years before that.
Update on little Edward. Not so little anymore, indeed, rather large for his age. Shortly to visit Scotland for the first time when he accompanies his doting parents to the wedding of his uncle Joel (Zoe’s brother).
Update 2. Edward’s visit to Scotland has turned out interesting. When it comes to being the centre of family attention, he is soon to have competition from a new baby expected in April. Uncle Joel and auntie Ailsa – the newly weds – are pregnant.
Update 3 – May 2013. Little Sofia was born at the end of April in Cambridge where Joel has just started a new job. My understanding is that she has not been named after the capital city of Bulgaria.
I’m thinking of entering a piece of work into the Open Exhibition at Quay Arts on the Isle of Wight. There is a theme, Standpoint, with a sub- theme, Diamonds in the Rough. At the moment I’m thinking of Twitter and Face Book and the disemination on a vast scale of trivial informaion, together with the popular obsession with the vacuous lives of minor celebrities. Such an occupation with so much dross. But in among it there are pearls of genuine interest and importance. I remember “Riverbend” blogging from Bagdad as the bombs fell. Likewise images captured on mobile phones of the uprisings in Lybia and Syria. How this might take a visual form, I’m not yet sure – I don’t usually involve myself in this sort of thing – and time is running out. But we’ll see. It’s good and exciting to tread new ground.
Update. I didn’t put anything in Standpoint afterall, but was invited instead to take part in the 360 Degree exhibition. This was a landscape based project with interconnected pieces occupying to entire wall space round the Michael West Gallery. Six artists were each given a section of wall 3mx2m (approx) in which to create a work connected to the others by an horizon line. Spaces between were filled by works produced by visiting school groups. With the diversity of different media and styles, it could have looked like a bric a brac store, but it was pulled together brilliantly by the lead artist, Tim Johnson and looked really good.
My contribution was a large panel 60insx48ins upon which I painted, in acrylics, a vague, misty landscape of nowhere in particular. I was pleased with it, although at the time I wasn’t sure I’d finished. Now I am – and I’m glad I didn’t add to it on those several occasions I returned to reconsider what I’d done.
I entitled it “The Warm Grey Palette of My Late Middle Age” and a (not very good) image of it can be seen in the “Recent Paintings” section of this site. Or maybe it’s the “Gallery”. Anyway, it’s for sale to anyone with a large space to fill.
If it isn’t snapped up soon, it will form the centre piece of an exhibition of my paintings at the Hillside Bistro, Ventnor, opening on Sat. March 23rd. For this show, I will basically be re-visiting and re-working some landscapes that were featured in the “Fieldwork” exhibition of 2010, giving them a more stylised look.
I’m also up for a commission from the Sultanate of Oman. This is yet to be confirmed, but if it does come my way, it will be for two large oil paintings of traditional Omani boats. This will keep me busy in April.
Further information. Tel 01983 530894. Email [email protected]