Issue #23: April, 2022

For Every Lock... by Ann Richmond - An artwork of an armoured Javan Rhino & friends. Painted in the artist's unique style... Framing available.

Dear Subscriber…

Hello!

‘Our’ House Martins returned to their nests above Ann’s studio window this morning! It really does feel like Spring in this neck of the woods, so we hope there are signs of renewal wherever you are…?

Well, it’s taken a while to get to the point where Ann was happy with it, but we’re proud to announce her latest work: For Every Lock…

At 1.5 mtr x 1 mtr, it’s the largest work she’s done to this point and I have to say, that mere photos don’t do this one justice: but I’ll do my best 😉

The next picture is looking to be much – much – smaller (by way of a breather), so with any luck, issue #24 won’t be that far off.

Okay: let’s get on with it!

Gary & Ann


For Every Lock…

For Every Lock…

Before we get into the details of the work, let’s begin with its themes, shall we? What is the painting trying to tell us?

As usual with Ann’s work, there are two kinds of picture: those with a firm idea baked-in from the start, and those with themes that emerge gradually, in-step with their progress. It’s fair to say that ‘Lock… fell into the latter category!

As we came to understand it, its theme is this: Whenever you’re in need of a ‘key’ to unlock a problem, or help turn a situation around in life, quite often the answers you seek, can be found in most unexpected ways…

Or are delivered by a Peacock sitting on a Javan Rhino!

It’s been tough for everyone these last few years… Yet here we are. We made it to Spring, once again. And as we look at the work, we hope you agree that there’s something… reassuring to be found here.

In no particular order, let’s start at the top left corner and work our way around.

To kick things off, we have this magnificent Javan Scops Owl.

I love its dynamic shadowing and how Ann has managed to incorporate such fine skill in the armour; worthy of a picture in its own right!

Now we come to our star: the Javan Albino Peacock.

‘For Every Lock…’ A common phrase, that’s usually answered with ‘There is a Key!’ and so it is here. Look closely and you can see a Golden Key gripped tightly in its beak.

And the lock? We’ll leave that to your imagination, but if you need a clue as to where it might end up in our world (as opposed to the ‘real’ one), cast your mind back to ‘Keeper of the Keys’…!

This is an excellent view of the Peacock’s one-and-only piece of armour: its helmet! Ann modelled the design on that of a Roman Centurion, taking the opportunity to highlight its magnificent crest.

With the design set, it was then painted an elegant shade of silver, so as not to detract from the plumage.

The Peacock took longer to paint than any other part of the work, thanks to his delicate feathering; Ann HAD to get that right, in order to make the whole bird ‘glow’.

Have you noticed how the lowest parts of his elaborate tail look a little ragged? The next time you see a Peacock up-close, watch how its tail feathers scuff on the ground and you’ll see why!

The visitors are emerging from the dark jungle, but even here, there are still flashes of beauty. such as this grouping of exotic Ghost Orchids, straight from the Javan rainforest!

More of the jungle here, as we go round the picture. Ann was VERY pleased with the purple accents on these leaves!

Perched on a little saddle between the Rhino’s ears, is a Javan Tree Shrew. Comically outsized by his mount (and passenger!) our little Herald is himself of some importance, as he wears a Fez; regular collectors will be aware of the Fez’s importance in the world we’re building.

Oh, and in case you wondered about the flag… It’s not a million miles from the official flag of West Java, Indonesia..!

Now we come to the elephant-in-the-room: or should I say, Javan Rhino!

This magnificent fellow has a much smaller horn than a ‘regular’ rhino, but we make up for its size by turning it into a lantern, that shines in the gloomy forest, marking the path!

Have you spotted the delicate filigree work around its base? These magical patterns lend it the power to shine out: the cloud of fireflies seem to be enjoying themselves, too!

Critically endangered in its native habitat – the Ujung Kulon National Park – the Javan Rhino is a herbivore, that happily munches its way through shoots, twigs, young foliage and fallen fruit. With less than a hundred individuals left in the park, the Rhino continues to be at-risk from poachers & disease…

Yet here we are: our lumpy, bumpy – beautiful – friend looks resplendent in his turquoise armour with its coppery accents…

Here’s a close-up view of the armour. Ann was very pleased with its smooth, leathery look & feel. Have you also noticed the straps, with their special jewels and decoration? I admire the way they kink & sag, as if carrying the weight of the set.

Here’s a great overview of the Peacock sitting on its velvety, heavily-jewelled saddle.

There’s another subtle detail here: have you spotted how its pommel is almost a scale-version of the Rhino’s horn?

Ann actually laid down the folds of the Rhino’s hide in acrylics, to act as a base-layer for the oils. This lent the work an attractive contrast, between his tough, leathery hide and the more delicate armour & fabrics.

Another subtle touch: the Rhino’s pendant, with its chunky, coppery chain.

Follow the chain up and you’ll see how it tucks away, into the folds of hide.



It seems many of you don’t yet know that we offer Mugs & amazing Tote Bags of most of Ann’s work, so I thought I’d plug the range here! Click on the button below to see the full range.

Bear in mind, that these orders are fulfilled by another team on our behalf, and can take up to seven working days to arrive.


PLEASE NOTE: After a stint at the market on April 23rd, we’re disappearing until May 21st. Any orders received while we’re away

WILL NOT BE PROCESSED UNTIL OUR RETURN…

MAY:

21st May & 28th May.

JUNE:

11th June & 25th June.

Mark Your Calendars: We’ll be in-touch beforehand, but we’re opening Ann’s studio EVERY WEEKEND in JULY if you fancy a peek at the Studio!


‘Work-in-Progress’

Mystic Mog…


Well, that’s it for now: we hope you enjoyed this month’s Newsletter.

If you find yourself at a loose end and you’re able to visit us in Cirencester one Saturday, we’d love to see you!

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Ann paints animals wearing ornate armour & Gary unearths wonders with AI. We ship both Original Artworks and our superb Fine-Art Prints worldwide, from the Otherwurlde Studio, here in Wiltshire, Southern England.
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