Friday, 17 June 2011


My sister is the artist Jacqueline Read and I am thrilled to be able to share with you just a few of her paintings. Knowing Jacqueline, as I do, I relate to some of these on a deeply personal, profound level, they have a resonance -- others, I am mystified and intrigued. Her work is poignant, lyrical and spiritual; she is sensitive, intuitive and inspiring. She seems to be to be dedicated to exploring the nature of beauty, in all of its forms.


The painting is exhilarating; the sky diver hovers in the air, capturing a moment in time. Paradoxically, the moment steps outside the confines of time; time, after all, is a construct that humans have created, in order to cope with the complexities of life. Jacqueline’s use of colour; the divine cerulean blue, catches the breath; the tiny figure has dared to take a leap into the unknown. It is a moment on the edge of a dream; maybe the image that our memory has retained, as the dream fades and we return to waking. Perhaps the image will return to us in the hours and days that follow. We struggle to recapture our dream; we know that it was beautiful, but it slips away from us and all we are left with is this spiritual and spirited image.


The viewer can feel the adoration of this majestic animal in Jacqueline’s careful brushstrokes. The pony here is a creature of mythology; a stallion that perhaps only an Apollo, or an Alexander, can tame and ride. Something has caught his attention and he is watchful, but without fear. His ears are pricked; when he decides to move he will be swift and assertive. Jacqueline has captured the tension of that moment before action. The pony swishes his tail, flicking at the summer flies that tickle his haunches. He is in his prime. He is indifferent to us, in that way that animals are. His graceful pose is for himself alone. The viewer is a voyeur but only because the white pony, permits us to look.


There is a feeling of cinematography about this painting. Perhaps a romantic comedy out of Hollywood. It is light hearted, and captures a moment of pure joy and playfulness, reflected in the patterned horse’s gait and the clever balancing act performed by the girl. She is frivolous in her bridal white and her dainty little shoes. It is a moment of pure intimacy and the viewer is privileged to be present. It also has a narrative, which the viewer is able to embellish. Who are these people? Are they the bride and groom, or are we witnessing a secret liaison; are they runaways? Each time I look at this painting, I find a new, different story. But each time I look at I can sense a mood of celebration.


A child at the seaside, caught like a snapshot in a moment of play. A mood of nostalgia seeps from the painting, engulfing the viewer with his, or her own memories. The viewer senses that this is an important image for the painter. It doesn’t matter whether the child is a boy or a girl; it is the moment in time that is important. The work has an Impressionistic quality, there are suggestions of a busy beach, but the child stands alone. The sun is hot; yet the child is kept cool by the sort of breeze that you only get on an English holiday. The artist has captured the light too; that ethereal light that is intrinsically pure to the English seaside.

Here is what Jacqueline says about her work;

“I become absorbed in my work totally when I have the time to start it, but I am easily distracted by other things. I will wash the floor rather than draw, to postpone the moment, but once I start to draw or paint , it is wonderful to let go of all the usual tasks which occupy one's life. Being an artist makes sense of my personality; I struggle with complexity but am also a very simple person…”

You can view more of Jacqueline Read’s paintings at Image Kind.

1 comment:

  1. I love your sister's work! The painting you have is so evocative and your sister seems to capture something unsaid and that doesnt need to be said if that makes sense! Brilliant post Billierosie, your sister and you should be on the telly!!!