Turps Correspondence Course (2021-2022)

I returned to painting, at the start of the pandemic and I am currently studying on the Turps Correspondence Course for the 2nd yr of a planned 3-yr enrollment to support my artistic growth & deepen my knowledge of painting practice.Turps Correspondence Course is an innovative programme of online mentoring facilitated through critical, supportive written reviews delivered by a dedicated mentor.

For this year on TCC, I have been working in acrylics on paper and canvas and investigating the potential of working in different modes depending on my mood and mindset- by sometimes working into and out of my feelings and at other times approaching my work with intention thinking about how I want a piece to feel, for ex. playful, buoyant, concise or strong. I work back and forth across lots of different pieces at once and the works become an accumulation of expressed marks and gestures, which in themselves are individual registers of feelings, emotions and states of mind.

Birds Are The Opposite of Time (2022)


Desire For Stars (2022)

Birds Are The Opposite of Time and Desire For Stars are projects I have been developing whilst listening to Quatuor Pour La Fin Du Temps (Quartet for The End of Time) by Olivier Messiaen. The work was composed in a prisoner of war camp in 1940 and was inspired by the Apocalypse as it is described in the Book of Revelation. The titles: Birds are the Opposite of Time and Desire For Stars are taken from Messiaen’s notes on part III of the work – Abyss of the Birds: ‘The Abyss, which is Time, with its sadness and weariness. The birds are the opposite of Time: they represent our desire for light, for stars, for rainbows and for jubilant song.’

Riding my bike across the dunes one day this summer, I saw a small pale brown bird with a vivid orange chest and belly. It was sitting on a post and when I approached it to get a closer look it casually flew away in a sweeping bobbing motion. I’d never seen a bird like it before and was unable to identify it. I rode on, beaming with the delight of having witnessed such a beautiful creature. Messiaen was a passionate ornithologist and in the same way he saw music and birds as being the opposite of time as it marks out the finiteness of life, I see artmaking as being the opposite.

Painting is an expression of my inner life, which feels infinite in its formless constancy to my sense of being. It is not beauty or perfection I am striving for when I work, rather it is a feeling of vitality that I seek to create and a sense of compulsion and necessity that drives me.  When I paint I am aspiring to develop new language in painting, and I work in an exploratory way, learning as much from failures and mistakes as discoveries.

Desire For Stars (2022)

Project in progress (selected works)

Desire For Stars (June 2022) by Joy C Martindale, Acrylic on Canvas, 56x38cm
Desire For Stars (2022) Acrylic on paper, 38x28cm
Desire For Stars (2022), acrylic on paper, 38x41cm

Birds Are The Opposite of Time (2022)

Work in progress: Works On Paper, acrylic (2022)

Blackbird (2022)

I like to listen to a single piece of music whilst I am creating a body of work, and for the Blackbird works I have been listening to Messiaen’s Le Merle Noir (The Blackbird) (1952), a short piece for flute and piano. The piece draws on transcriptions of blackbird calls and is a highly organised work of sound and rhythm that feels improvised to the listener just as a blackbird’s song so often does.

We enjoy putting out apples cut in half for the blackbirds that visit our garden. The peck marks in the surface of the apple flesh formed by their beaks creates a beautiful geometry of lines and angles. The Blackbird works are my own responses in painting to the actions of listening to, looking at and thinking about these things, and the paintings are the third point that makes up a triangulation of points connecting the paintings, Le Merle Noir and the patterns in the pecked apple flesh.

Top: Blackbird I, June 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 80.1×30.5x2cm
Below: Blackbird II, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 61x81x2cm

Nice To Meet You / Som Rado Hoij Tumen Spindzardom  (2022)

This piece came directly out of the experience of painting alongside the participants of my community participatory artmaking project, Nice To Meet You, and I painted in seven colours and used seven squares in each row to represent that we were seven women working collaboratively together.

Go Where The Love Is (2021)

Go Where The Love Is (2021), acrylic on canvas, 3 x 50.8 x40.8cm
Go Where The Love Is I (2021) by Joy C Martindale
Go Where The Love Is II (2021) by Joy C Martindale
Go Where The Love Is III (2021) by Joy C Martindale

About the Artwork

Go Where The Love Is (2021) by Joy C Martindale

The title of this work is a quote from the writer Salena Godden whose mother always told her to go where the love is. By this she meant surround yourself with positivity and spend time with people who believe in you and what you are trying to do.

When I heard these words I took them into my heart – I thought these words can help me as I try to find my way as an artist and a painter.

I think the advice is particularly good because it is also saying in life there will be many moments when you might not be understood or valued and when this happens don’t waste time, move on and seek others who will help you to be your best self.


In Formation, Group Show, Thames-Side Studios Gallery, London

8th-23rd January 2022

In Formation, an exhibition of work by 27 artists at Thames Side Studios Gallery (Gallery View)
In Formation, an exhibition of work by 27 artists at Thames Side Studios Gallery (Gallery View)