03 Oct Backwards and Forwards: welcome to my new website!
Last week I had the pleasure of being invited for coffee with someone young (i.e. well under the age of 40) – a super- delightful treat as she is mellowed out at home expecting her first baby and lives just around the corner from me in her shiny, beautiful new home….. and she made me a lovely cup of coffee accompanied by a delicious Pischinger which for the uninitiated is a heavenly stack of big round wafers glued together with chocolate sauce. While I was there, I obviously had a good look at the artwork on the walls and rather liked the image below..…and then she reminded me that it is in fact one of my own prints, bought for her several years ago by her Mum, a dear friend of mine, when she moved into her first home.
I was thrilled! I just about remember making this print at the London College of Printing in Elephant and Castle. This was a dynamic hub for the many artists who descended on the studio there up to 3 times a week to make their work on the screen beds and etching press; this gathering was officially a class with the wonderful artist Maggie Jennings but in fact most of us just did our own thing, supported by Maggie’s deep technical and aesthetic input when requested. Of course eventually Big Brother decided we were having far too much of a good time and sent us packing back to our own studios in freezing-cold isolation, but it remains a golden time in my memory.
Anyway, this rediscovery of an early print set me to wondering just how many watercolours, monoprints, collages and paintings I’ve made over the last 30 years in my various incarnations as reportage watercolorist, printmaker, oil painter, collage-iste; how timely then that I am on the verge of launching my new website with a survey of my work over the years…my digital legacy, if you will.
It’s been a long time and there have been lots of different series and media. Some early reportage watercolours from the late 1980-s….
…..some monoscreenpaintings/collages from the 1990s….
… oils and collages from the 2000-s…
…my first abstract piece (Windows series)
….recent pieces in oil…
….and in collage….
….new collages which are still being printed and stuck down…
….studies which I’ve just made for a new series – words and phrases which mean something to me, in the ancient language of Ogham.
It’s wonderful to be free to work on whatever subjects interest me, and to explore new media. My original website just grew and grew from its inception in the 90s to incorporate images from all the series I have worked on over the years. It was originally designed by Darren, who was recommended to me by a friend as a very talented designer; he was highly gifted but slightly mysterious and not always available to solve the mysteries of coding and Photoshop as the site grew. I panicked when he left the scene until I was rescued by Lia, an ever-patient web genius, who then presided over the ‘back end’ of the site for many years while I wrote the text and learned the modest but adequate Photoshop skills needed to make the graphics. How I wished I’d been an artist in a bygone age when a handy Pope or notable was all that was required to publicise one’s work. It’s impossible for today’s young people to appreciate the enormity of the change wrought by the internet…when I started out as an artist I had no idea of the skills I would have to develop simply to engage with the rest of the world! A few years ago Adobe introduced a life-saver, Contribute, a web-authoring program that allowed me at least partial control of my own site. Lia trained me in its mysteries and I thought my troubles were over and I would finally be in control and able to edit my own site – but the program became obsolete all too soon. Drastic action was needed to make a user-friendly version of pollyrockberger.com fit for the 21st century. Well, here it is – you’ve obviously found this blog via the new incarnation of pollyrockberger.com, designed on the WordPress platform by the talented book- and web-designer Ruth Keating. Ta-da!
I invite you to send me comments and click back to have a closer look at both new series and my past body of work, which is still represented on the new pollyrockberger.com. Sentimental fool that I am, I have found myself unable to quite say farewell to my old website and the icons designed by Darren and – with great difficulty – by me, so ‘Body of Work’ contains a snapshot of the old site and its home page.
I started this post with a look backwards to one of no doubt many pieces of work I’ve forgotten all about; the lifeblood of every artist is to move forward, to incorporate their life experience and interests while exploring and embracing new terrain. I cordially invite you to share my new website and follow me along future chapters of my artistic – and digital – journey.
Images are on line also on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pollyrockbergerartist/