Painting Houses

I began making papier-maché houses last year. They are not just papier-maché; the main structure is made from sturdy recycled cardboard and then covered with papier-maché to add texture and reinforce the shape a little. Since houses are the main subject matter of my paintings, it just seemed natural that they would also be the first thing I would want to make in 3D.

back of house.jpg

This leads to the question, why houses?

When I first began painting seriously I was a bit tentative about it. Even though I’d been drawing and painting since childhood and had already put in years of practice, I still felt like a beginner. Needless to say, painting people was out of the question, the forms and depiction of movement seemed far too ambitious at the time.

There was never a conscious decision on my part to paint houses, it just came about naturally. Perhaps because they are one of the first things you paint as a child?

Wish You Were Here, Mixed Media on canvas, 80cm x 40cm, 2016

Wish You Were Here, Mixed Media on canvas, 80cm x 40cm, 2016

People often like to know about your paintings, about what they mean and why you painted such and such in a particular way. At first I didn’t give this much thought; things just sort of poured out of me. However, more and more people began to ask me this question and so I began to take a closer look and the only explanation I can give is this: I painted houses (and still do) because I was a little uncomfortable painting people and so I think the houses in my paintings are representations of people. The position of the house in the painting is important; the houses’ relationships to one another, their size and even colour are all significant in the meaning behind the paintings.

On A Distant Shore, acrylic on canvas, 1m x 1m 2016

On A Distant Shore, acrylic on canvas, 1m x 1m 2016

And so, the papier-maché houses I’ve begun working on lately, are I suppose, also representations of people.

The houses are far from perfect: they vary in size and shape and have ill-fitting fixtures; they are covered in scratches and some have holes and yet, in spite of all these things they are all beautiful in their own way.

Putting-off Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and as per usual I am not at all prepared. I don’t know why this always happens but it does. Every year I promise myself that next Christmas will be different, that it won’t catch me by surprise but come November I’m already in procrastination mode and come mid-December I’m in panic as the mountain of stuff that needs doing sets in. I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe I don’t actually like Christmas. However, I do like mince pies and for those I am prepared. Since I live in France, the traditional Robertson’s mincemeat that we all know and love is in scarce supply so I’ve had to make my own for the past couple of years. If you don’t make your own, rest assured, it’s actually super easy (just a bit on the hefty side in dried-fruit supplies). This year I opted for this recipe from Mary Berry and am pretty impressed with the results actually. This little lot got gobbled up within hours of coming out of the oven.


Other news - did I say I’d opened a Big Cartel shop? Probably; I’m pretty excited about it because it’s my first online selling space since I closed my shop on Artfinder and you can snap up original paintings, like this one below. Well the good news is, it’s open all the time AND it’s not too late to get some gifts for Christmas; not if you’re anything like me anyway.

Out At Sea, Rachel Horne 2018

Out At Sea, Rachel Horne 2018

I’ve been discovering lots of new music recently, probably due to the fact that I have BBC Radio 6 non-stop throughout the day and since they play such an eclectic array of music it’s pretty inevitable. My current album favourite is Wanderer, Cat Power. I’m also really enjoying Deporation Blues from BC Camplight and Merrie Land from The Good, The Bad and The Queen - maybe you’ll like them too, if so you can follow me on Deezer here to discover some of the other stuff I listen to.