Newsletter 9th September ’07

This Newsletter covers both my painting and photographic work - if you've only seen one of my websites, here they both are:
Visit my gallery of Paintings at Visit the Dolls’ website (photographs) at

Well first off my apologies for not having sent anything via my emailing list for nearly 5 months! The last thing I sent was to tell everyone about the exhibition in Glastonbury, which (though a long time ago now) all went brilliantly and a belated thanks to everyone who came along. I have meanwhile been keeping the website up to date more or less regularly, and most of the new additions to the site are also reflected in the blog that appears on my MySpace page and LiveJournal, but I thought it was high time I emailed everyone again.


Solo Exhibition in Nottingham, Nov 20th - 26th

At 'View from the Top' gallery, top floor of Waterstones, right in the middle of Nottingham town center. I have the whole of the main gallery for this one - though not completely a 'solo' exhibition as Charlotte Thompson will be exhibiting in the smaller gallery, too. If you follow the link to Charlotte's site you'll see our pictures will have no problem sharing the same space together.

Other Exhibitions

Several people have asked me when I'm doing another local exhibition - I'm on the lookout for possible exhibitions, but here are a couple of things coming up for the moment.

'Minute Wonders'
I have a couple of drawings in this exhibition of miniature art in Bridgwater Arts Centre, Bridgwater, Somerset, until the 29th September.

William Blake-inspired Exhibition - 22nd November - 2nd December
Gallery Eight in Glastonbury is holding a themed exhibition to celebrate the 250th year of the birth of artist, poet and visionary William Blake. I'll be taking part in this exhibition. I also have a couple of paintings and some prints on display there at the moment

'Frameus' - Wells, Somerset - March 2008
I'm planning to do a small exhibition in Wells in a gallery called 'Frameus' - more details coming soon.

Somerset Art Week - September 2008
As usual I'll be taking part in Somerset Art Week again next year - I know it's a long way ahead but it will be around in no time.

I also have some work in the 303 Gallery, in Yandles Yard, Martock, Somerset.

New Paintings: Classical Revival

The Story of Mrs Minotaur

There's been something of a classical theme to several new paintings I've completed over the spring/summer of this year. It all started with a vague idea I've had for some time that the Minotaur is rather good at doing topiary. Remember the Minotaur? that was the half-bull, half-man monster of Ancient Greek times. He lived in the Labyrinth in Crete, that King Minos had specially built for the purpose.

Well this construction is always referred to as a Labyrinth, but in fact it has to be a Maze - the difference being that a Labyrinth, while long and twisty and - erm - labyrinthine, so to speak, is not actually designed to loose people. There should only be the single route through it - not a lot of point building one to trap a monster then, is there? A Maze, on the other hand does the job nicely (incidentally it even says in the story that Daedalus, who designed and built the labyrinth did such a clever job of it that he almost couldn't escape from it himself).... but then, on the subject of mazes I couldn't quite get out of my head the very English Tudor kind of maze done with hedges - of the kind I'm sure has never existed on Crete, but there you go, it's how a maze looks in my head.

Well now the Minotaur had better be good at clipping hedges, really, because there's going to be a lot of that and not much else to do in my Maze... there remains the question of why he should bother to keep it all neat and tidy anyway - which is more or less how I arrived at the idea of Mrs Minotaur. She came along with her dashing scarlet dress (like a red rag to a half-bull-monster-thing), and he's hooked. Suddenly the Labyrinth is no-longer a dark and gloomy place of terror, but a civilized environment, where one could relax and invite the neighbors round for a little drinkie (possibly before eating them).

'Mrs Minotaur 2'
Mrs Minotaur 2

This is the second version of the painting. To see the close up go to the Mrs Minotaur 2 page in the gallery.

Painting the Picture

The prospect of all that foliage prompted me to try something a little different with this painting to get all the detail in. And as it was something new I've taken some step-by-step photos, too, and put them up on the site, with explanations that I hope may go some way to tell you a bit about the process. You can go directly to the Mrs Minotaur step-by-step photos, and this page is also to be found by going to info, and then painting materials (where there are also a couple of links to other photo sequences).

Mrs Minotaur step-by-step photos Mrs Minotaur step-by-step photos Mrs Minotaur step-by-step photos Mrs Minotaur step-by-step photos

Frankly this was a bit of an experiment at the time - but it worked so well and produced such vibrant colours that the next couple of paintings (below) are done this way, too - though no doubt I'll need to go back to the somewhat darker gloomier colours in due course. For the moment, though, the highly coloured thing works with the subjects - it was probably sunnier in Ancient Greece...

'Medusa in Modesty'

Having domesticated one terror of the Ancient world I thought a re-visitation of Medusa was long overdue. The pose is curiously similar to the Mrs Minotaur one, with the colours reversed, but this is purely by accident - I just think women look good reclining on a chase longue. Now here's the novelty - I decided to address the delicate issue of whether Medusa, who clearly has snakes instead of hair on her head - has them, well - anywhere else as too... Strangely I couldn't find a single other painting that addressed this issue. Of course this line of reasoning leads naturally to the question of whether the poor girl also has underarm snakes, too - but I assume she shaves them off or that would be rather too upsetting for her.

'Medusa in Modesty'
Medusa in Modesty

Medusa's snakey hair of course is covering her eyes in this picture as her gaze is well known for turning people to stone (see all the little fellows in the background of this one). But this is rather a problem for Medusa and I kind of thought she might be getting a bit tired of the solitary lifestyle. And this is where the next painting came in:

'The Gorgon's New Man: Medusa and Oedipus'
Medusa and Oedipus.

Clearly Medusa's new man has to be unable to see her - that was the tricky bit - a friend and I spent some time sat in the kitchen with a bottle of wine (always helps) trying to solve the problem of Medusa's Man - whether he was just actually blind, or did they both have dark shades on? (dangerous, for a long-term relationship...). Whether, in some surreal kind of way, he had something else other than eyes.... buttons, like a doll? shiny reflective mirror eyes, perhaps...? and I had the idea that maybe his eyes had tape over them, although none of it made a lot of sense...

At some point I thought of Oedipus - handy and nearby and another character from Greek legend - but if course he's usually shown in a much more gruesome aspect (having just blinded himself...). And so this picture developed. A bit creepy and weird, and at the same time a bit cutesy and kitsch - I have put sticking-plasters over Oedipus' eyes, which seemed like a nice understatement to the over-stated tragedy of the original story. And neatly tying up two tragedies into one happy ending... I'm not sure how many people will be familiar with the story of Oedipus, so I've put it alongside the picture in the gallery - see the links to both below, where you can also see a few close-up bits:

Medusa in Modesty
Medusa and Oedipus - see this also for the story of Oedipus

Gold Fairies again

The Gold Fairies were very popular in the exhibition at the Rural Life Museum, so I was prompted to do yet more - I seem not to have run out of suitable fairy poses yet, and though the occasional demon does creep in from time to time they're probably harmless and there's really nothing I can do about it. Anyway, as they're the originals that I also probably get most enquiries about online, I thought I would try a more viewing-friendly way of displaying them on my site, and I've put up (currently) all the gold fairy drawings I've done so far, split into 'for sale' and 'sold' groups. Previously I only had room to show a few of the drawings without the page getting out of hand.

'Gold Fairy 33 'Gold Fairy 32 'Gold Fairy 30

So if you visit the Gold Fairies page you will see a lot of little thumbnails now which should bring up a larger image as a pop-up window when you click them, rather than scrolling up and down the page to see everything. If you have a particularly aggressive pop-up blocker I'm afraid this might not work and you'll simply get the image opening in the window you're looking at, but on normal settings it should be ok.

Gold fairy 33
'Gold Fairy 30


Sadly there have been no new dolls pictures for a long while - but I have just put up the second lot of horoscope pictures that I did for scarlet magazine - finished about a year ago, but kept off the website till the photos had been run in the magazine. So there are some new things to look at at last. Click the images below or go to and visit the photo gallery.

Horoscopes Horoscopes Horoscopes

I have an idea these would make a good calendar - if I manage to get one organized I will let you know.


I've changed my ebay strategy a bit - I have opened a 'shop' within Ebay called (unsurprisingly) Art by Nancy Farmer. Here you'll find a few prints listed in auctions as well as a few on a bit of a discount as buy-it-now items, and also a lot of greetings cards. There are a few cards here that don't appear on my site, as I have just a handful of each design. Click the link above to visit the shop.

That's all the news I can think of for now, anything else you'd like to know, do email me...
take care

Nancy Farmer
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Visit my Gallery of Paintings at

All images © Nancy Farmer (unless otherwise stated), all rights reserved. Please email me if you wish to reproduce any of the images on this site

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