Archive for Echostains

Happy Birthday Grant Wood – a slice of American Pie

Posted in ART, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2020 by echostains


American Regionalist artist Grant Wood (1891-1942) is known for his paintings of the rural midwest.  He is one of the Regionalists Triumvirate  along With John Stueart Currie and Thomas Hart Benson.   Wood worked in many other media besides paint, including stained glass, wood and metal,  but he is most famous for his 1930 iconic painting known as American Gothic.  This painting is thought to be something of an enigma.  Some critics saw and still see  it as a depiction of small town narrow mindedness.  Wood himself rejected this and maintained that  the painting depicted the pioneer steadfastness of the American spirit – read my other posts about this and the other Regionalists and decide for yourself.


PS There’s a poem I wrote about American Gothic. entitled American Gothic and the Hot Meat Pie over on my other blog Bookstains


Plus There’s a poem about an old chair over on Bookstains here

Thanks to;

American Gothic image here
More on Grant Wood  here

The Ghosts of 2010


Although I have cut down on my  posts from one per day to one every 4 or 5 days in 2010 starting in August, I managed 256 posts.  I hope to improve on this year and continue to build up Bookstains, which is proving popular. This year Echostains celebrated 16 artists birthdays (another area I intend to improve on).  Some earlier categories have gone and I have plans for some new ones.  This year saw the arrival of slide shows and polls.  WordPress is a learning process and I’m still learning:-)

PS This video was completed in 2010 and was supposed to go on New Years day.    I have had to revise it because it was originally over 20 minutes long 😀

Bogged down

Posted in BODIES IN PRESERVATION, HISTORY with tags , , , , , on February 4, 2010 by echostains

I've actually met Lindow man - and I know exactly how he feels. Well, perhaps not...

I feel really fed up and bogged down today.  To make it worse it is snowing yet again!  I hope it’s gone by tomorrow.  I have been toying recently about putting my art on yet another blog – but I’m not sure…..  Although this is an art based blog, I think it might be more appropriate to put my own stuff in a separate space.

peat-cutting time

Everyone seems to have their own particular category that they like – and I’ll be sticking with these and still posting every day.  But as I am doing more art work now, it makes sense to have a seperate space especially for them.  If I had included my own art from the beginning, it would be different, but I’ve only recently started putting work up.  Abstract art isn’t everyone’s cup of tea I know, but it was a natural progression in my work. However, it’s not the only form of art I do by any means.

always be creative with your leftovers

And so (just like that and so typical of me) it has been decided!  The move is underway.   Don’t worry though all the artists birthday shall stay here, the weird and wacky –  all the categories which make this blog ‘Echostains’ everything apart from my own stuff.  I feel happy with that.  It won’t be an everyday blog either, just when I can get time to put work up.  Bookstains will stay the same – occasional ramblings about Gormenghast and the occasional poem, plus authors I have read ,  (which are proving quite popular).

Croft house Skye Museum HERE

Critique Corner -‘Germany before the war’

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, CRITIQUE CORNER, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 2, 2010 by echostains

‘Germany before the War’ by Lynda M Roberts BA Hons

Here’s an abstract piece I did a while ago.  I thought it would be a good one to critique.  When I was young I loved anything which was ‘free’ like most children.  I would go into wallpaper shops and beg old wallpaper books to cover my school books.  I loved the patterns colours and textures of these books – they have probably contributed to my fascination with surfaces.

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

I used to go into travel agencies  and get lots of free brochures.  I loved the colour pictures in these free brochures.  They  showed places  that seemed romantic and very far away.  I liked the silver mountains and blue skies, the very green grass and the  ‘outdoors’ wholesome  feel of those ‘healthy’ places.  Living in a smokey city, I longed to go to these places.  In this painting, ‘Germany before the war’ some of the ideas are there, but by using  colour relationships, I wished to convey something extra.  At the time of the painting, I was writing about the use of German myth in art and design and how it was used, and this very much influenced this painting.  I think my favorite fairytale authors the  brothers Grimm  may got into the fabric of the painting somewhere and Johanna Spyri’s  book ‘Heidi’, when she comes down from the mountains and goes to Frankfurt (a kind of reverse wishful thinking on my behalf).

Anselm Kiefer ‘Pallette’ 1981

Germany before the War’ attempts to idealise the calm, folklore, passed down through images in books  that informed me of Germany as a child.  It contains a hint of German Expressionism, in as far as the painting is gestural.  I have muted down the German Expressionist colours, (they used a much brighter palette).  I have cited Anselm Kiefer as an influence on this painting, not because of the style  (worlds apart) but because of the way he retells German History.”

Please feel free to critique this work – all constructive criticism and any questions are always  welcome.

Acrylic paint on canvas

Measurements Approx 34in x 20in

My 427th post summary


read all about it?

I thought that it was time for a little summing up of what’s been happening on here.  This is my 427th post now.  So far (fingers crossed) I have managed to blog very nearly every day last year.  My goal for this year is not to miss one day out.  What am I finding to blog about?  ooh all sorts of interesting and some not so interesting things…….


I thought it was about time I put a little of my art on here, plus an explaination of what ‘echostains’ actually is.  Weird and wacky design is carrying on and so are the teapot posts. Just when you think you have seen it all – someone comes up with yet another innovative design.

Richard Flores 'Stormin Norman teapot

January also saw the launching of my other blog ‘Bookstains’ just press the magic button on the right and get there instantly!  That blog is dedicated to reading challenges, authors I have read and a mapping of my Gormenghast journey as I re read Titus Groan and Gormenghast and write my findings and any new insights I find.  I shall be having a spring clean on here – if Spring ever comes and a bit of a sprucing up.  I may even have to change my theme as the formatting is erratic at times – sometimes the text comes out massive when I save a post.


Echostains – what exactly is it’

Posted in ART, ART PORTFOLIO MY PERSONAL ART, exhibitions, MY SURFACES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2010 by echostains

echo stain

 People are always asking me how I came up with such unusual name like ‘Echostains’ for a blog. Echostains began was a project I did at University. That project has now seen many changes, but it is still alive and kicking. I am still exploring communication through art, though now the communication is through the written word and in cyberspace. Here’s an explanation of the original concept;-


‘EchoStains’ is a personal project that I completed in the second year of my Visual Arts BA Hons Degree. (1Ith August 2002). I have split the project into three parts because the process was ongoing and progressive and each part inevitably merged seamlessly into the other, culminating in the final piece – the large painting ‘Echo Stain’. The work is about communication – on all different levels.

'Meeting Place'


In this first part of the project, the process is as important as the eventual image, in the sense that ‘recipes’ (see ‘My Surfaces’ category) and media components that have been explored in an earlier project, are now being applied in an almost ritualistic manner; i.e. pouring, splashing, scraping back, and finally painting. So, a dichotomy of measured and automatic response has merged to make the stain tangible. The ‘echo’ is the way that the piece communicates with the viewer – it is a first contact. Dialogue is established through the use of colour conversations. Solid matter versus the metaphysical and slight tensions between the representational and abstract start to emerge.

'House on the Borderland'

Another example is ‘House on the Borderland’ a book by William Hope Hodgson which was made iwth various inks overrunning each other, manually mnipulated to created ‘prisms’ crossing over each other.

'Alan Turing'

Shadow Maps

In this part of the project although the language is still personal, a kind of code is starting to come through. The Shadow Map’ is a form of communication: a visual narrative. Although there seems to be a gradual shifting away from the more nebulous ‘Echo Stains’, the ‘Shadow Maps’ are only an extension of the Echostains’ concept.

'Blue Animation'

Communication is continued by the use of colour relationships and special considerations makes themselves known. This is sometimes explored by painting in more gestural movements: sometimes motivated by lines of poetry – a measured response. The use of certain colour relationships denote mood. Repetition has been employed in some instances to convey a sense of rhythm and immediacy. The Shadow Maps try to give some semblance of coherence to the ‘dialogue’. The ensuing result is that they start to develop into a sort of communicative ‘code’ that is not yet deciphered – still in shadow.


The Yellow Wallpaper

The monumental works of the artist Wlodzimierz Ksiazek are both public and personal. He has developed a kind of dialogue that communicates to the viewer. This can be summed up by the quote mentioned in the review by Merleau-Ponty, who wrote of Cezanne’s work how each element contributed to: “an emerging order of an object in the art of appearing, organises itself before our eyes.” It is this kind of ‘dialogue’ that I have used in the third part of my project, inspired by the short story by the American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman called ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. The story can be read online.

'Creeping Woman'

Although these paintings do not ‘illustrate’ the story literally: it is the highly personal narrative that is the chief objective. The use of repetition and occasional nuance that starts to communicate on some level with the viewer.

So now you know what the ‘Echostains’ concept is about. Each gallery holds about  a dozen paintings. I shall be putting more on, as well as new work.


My 150th Post! How did this happen?



an early image  of catrinas

an early image of catrinas

I can’t believe it!  These posts certainly add up if you do them every day don’t they?  And I have done one nearly every day (apart from 4)  I started on 30th November 2008 with this post

echostain the original painting

echostain the original painting

I now have several catagories, which I keep adding to.  Over the past couple of weeks I have concentrated on Las Vegas and York.  It really is time to get back to some more art stuff, like my transcription and altered book: will maje a concentrated effort to do this this week.

transcription journal

transcription journal

I’m still no wiser why viewing is down more at weekends.  I will just plod on I suppose.  From time to time, I think I shall bring some stuff out of the archives that are relevent to what I am writing about now.  And hopefully, just keep AT IT!

The Secret of Invisibility – revealed

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , on March 1, 2009 by echostains


invisible-man (he's not really there)

invisible-man (he's not really there)

Well. I can’t get over it!  Absolutely NO one looked at my blog yesterday!  Thats the first time too.  Where has everyone gone to?  I don’t understand it, I seem to have become invisible lol!  I could market this……  I wouldn’t mind so much but it was a nice long post for once !  I would cry – but I can’t, because I’m invisible aren’t I?  I will just have to get over it.