Jess Allen Studio

Paintings from a Cornish Studio


Paperbacks (Study 6),  19 x 12 cm, oil on board  (click on image above to enlarge)

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Last week, ( see my last post, Hypatia’s Handbag  ), I showed a painting of handbags, at The Hypatia Trust in Penzance. This painting of four clutch bags, The Party Season , was part of a series of paintings which I made, concerned with fashion objects, and included dresses, shoes, hats and handbags. Taking part in this very interesting exhibition concerned with the Handbag, was very positive for me, as it has re-ignited my interest in the subject of female fashion, and clothing, as visual and symbolic objects.

The Hypatia Trust in Penzance, is a charity set up to celebrate and acknowledge women’s achievements, in particular literary. Finding out a little bit about this organisation is now inspiring me to explore and research how female writers have used fashion imagery in their work. Any reading ideas would be much appreciated!

Of course, to return to my choice of painting today, literature and women, writing it, and reading it, is another massive theme. A collection of shoes may look good, but what about a shelf of books?

Paperbacks (study 6), above, is for sale at £120, unframed, please enquire


Hypatia’s Handbag

Green Satchel , 20 x 25 cm , oil on linen , (click on image above to enlarge )

This week I have been showing one of my paintings, The Party Season , a picture of a collection of clutch bags, in a fascinating exhibition in Penzance, called Hypatia’s Handbag, at The Hypatia Trust. Curated by artist and exhibitor Andrea Garrihy, for the benefit of Hypatia Trust’s Cornish collection, the exhibitors invite visitors to discover different aspects of our handbag culture. ‘What’s in your handbag?’ will be the big question. Delving into the handbag through art, literature, music, drama, news and fashion can reveal unique insights into our day to day lives and our individual personalities.  See link for details of show, and this wonderful charitable organisation 

At the Private View, last Saturday, there was a sale of vintage handbags, donated by members, to help raise money for the Trust. I bought a rather battered, green, satchel-like handbag, donated by the interior designer Llyn Le Grice, and this is my painting of it, done that same afternoon .

The exhibition is on until Saturday 28th July, so please get there if you can, and support this wonderful organisation .

Green Satchel , above, is for sale, unframed at £225, please enquire

So here I am, blogging

Green and Yellow Chillis  18 x 15 cm     (Click image above for purchase information )

This last Saturday, I made my first post . Hurray I’m up on air , if only just .

After a far too long day of struggling with setting a blog up, all I finally managed to post, was a lone image of a painting, no words, no story, no nugget of creative info.  So much for blogging .

But in managing this simple to some task, I felt rather pleased with myself – in its own basic way, this really was my entry into blogging cyberspace. One of my paintings was finally up there in the blogosphere!

Having spent hours trying to understand all the clever things that you can do with blogs, (that’s of course if you actually understand the lingo to start with, ie “widgets”,  “RSS feeds’  etc .),  I was so completely technoed out, that all I could manage, on this virgin voyage into the world of blogging, was to load that picture, push the publish button, and launch, and I, or at least  ” baby turnips and baby leeks  “,  (see previous blog ) were up there in the air !

” One small step …”  and all that  .

Hopefully I’ll learn, but for now I am just going to go with the motto, which is usually good advice for painting too, “start simple” . This painting of chillis  (above), seems rather apt .

Baby Leeks and Baby Turnips

Baby Leeks and Baby Turnips

                                           Baby Leeks and Baby Turnips

13 x 16 cm , oil on board , please click on image for purchase details .