What’s a gal to do when a pandemic closes your ceramics studio and you can’t do your usual pottery work? Well, my creative impulses didn’t stop and so I got artistic with paints instead. I did some short courses in watercolours and the invention of my ‘Sweary Landscape’ series was born. It started as a card for a friend who was moving home, and well, it has developed into quite a beast.
There is something very therapeutic, when you’re in lockdown and your life is restricted, to using profanity as an expression of your frustration. ‘Fuck It’ became a firm favourite of mine. I’d paint a landscape, usually something tranquil and a haven of natural wildlife, and the final stage would be to plant a flag on it that contained some ‘naughty’ wording.
My paintings then moved onto acrylics and oils, and I began working on pieces inspired by works by the artistic top ranking, a series I have titled ‘Sweary Landscape Classics’. My first was a re-worked version of JMW Turner’s ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ which I fondly renamed ‘The Fuck It Temeraire’. When I stumbled across Turner’s original work in the National Gallery last summer my only regret was that I didn’t have my work with me for the ultimate selfie opportunity. My original work on canvas has become an A4 size, numbered and signed, limited edition art print. The same fate has happened with my ‘Going Up Fookin Garrowby Hill’ inspired by one of David Hockney’s paintings. There are others in progress too that will hopefully see the light of day soon.
I’ve also started painting some ‘Sweary Birds’, which I hope to share with you all soon too. I’ve even made a few ceramics with this idea too, using the ‘potter’s tissue’ method on white earthenware, and I’ll be making more this year once the lockdown is over and I can get back to the studio.
What started as a way to continue my artistic endeavours, has become a part of my legacy. Some of the original paintings are now adorning the walls of likeminded potty-mouthed people, and some have made it to become limited edition art prints. I’ve created some commissioned pieces too, not everyone wants ‘sweary’ sometimes people just want a word or message that is personal to them.
My profanity knows no bounds, my ceramic Xmas decorations were very popular and I’ve just added some Sweary ceramic badges to my shop too.
You can find some of my Sweary Landscape work and lots of other things in my online shop at www.etsy.com/shop/HarperBizarreArt and if you mention it at the time of your order I’ll sign a personalised message on the reverse of your order too.
If you want a commission, please do contact me directly, my last one was a sweary Angel Of the North which was a joy to paint. It’s good to spread a bit of sweary joy!
Stay safe, you lovely lot!