Listening To: Expanded Perspectives Podcast, YouTube
Welcome to an new episode of my A-N blog for February 2018. The above sketch was a doodle from my sketchbook from just before Christmas last year.
This is just a quick short post about my thoughts and progress from over the past week; I’m hoping to do these posts every week where possible, or every two weeks.
So I’m working on a new body of work in a very different style to what I’ve been doing for the past 2-3 years. In the past few years I’d been making drawings, and illustrations that had no real audience, or groundwork, research or knowledge of business. Although I worked very hard, it hasn’t really been going anywhere or earning a lot, despite my dream since I was a young child, of wanting to be an artist. I guess I’ve always had the spirit and enthusiasm – and some skills but not really the the know how of where to go with it or how to earn a living from my work.
Having always been a realistic and realism based artist, with the help of a mentor/coach I am now working on something more sketchy and illustrative in a series of new paintings. This is with the aim of creating a more successful business for myself in terms of being a self employed artist. This is also because I feel it will help me step into my potential as an artist and give me the scope I need to develop the art business I’ve always wanted. In my last post I talked about being a ‘commercial artist’ and while that is in many ways what I’d like to become, it’s going to be by no means a cheap or tacky way of earning a living; I aim to make colourful, meaningful work that the right audience will love, and then make a regular living from my work.
So far I have made around 5 small paintings from a series of sketchy thumbnails in my sketchbook. They are very colourful and bold sketchy portraits of women. The references were taken from real people – just random photos that appealed to me or people I follow on social media. I feel I am just starting to get to grips with what my work is about. There are lots of things that I am interested in that I’ve never been able to string together coherently into pieces – so I’m hoping this new work – and the way it is painted – will enable that. At the moment the focus will be portraiture – and the sketchy style and marks made are something I’m still experimenting with and perhaps not quite there yet. I am also planning an upcoming post on the things I am interested in and exploring, so stay tuned for this.
So this week after much fear and stalling – I finally made a start on another portrait. Again this was from a quick sketch in my sketchbook; I then scanned this and went over my lines in Photoshop and the portrait is now ready to be traced onto the canvas. This is my current procedure. However I think it will change and improve over time to maybe just producing portraits freehand straight onto the surface of the canvas. But for now I am quite shaky, and still have a certain amount of fear about the new work, although excitement too.
I’m very pleased with the new portrait and am really looking forward to getting it on a canvas. I plan to to trace and draw the outline the beginning of the week and make a start painting in the studio later on on this week. I have tried this time to think about things my mentor/coach as asked me to consider – such as my colour palette, not ‘overdrawing’ something, the balance of the portrait i.e not chopping parts off – thinking about composition and how much space around the face, head/shoulders etc. I will post about how I am progressing with this piece over the next week or so.
In my last post I also mentioned getting out and ‘seeing art’ – and ‘feeding myself’ art as we were fed whilst at university! And I’m pleased to say I have my train booked for the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea, London on the 10th March (it runs from the 8-11th March 2018). I am going with my friend from our studios, also an artist. I will also be going to visit the New Art West Midlands Exhibition this week whilst in Birmingham. I am hoping to have an art based morning/afternoon visiting various art venues in Birmingham. If anyone has any suggestions of anywhere else I could visit – do comment below, I’d be very interested!
So this has been the progress for this week, and hopefully things are slowly going in the right direction! Stay tuned over the next week or so where I will be posting new thoughts and progress and hopefully about places I have visited! As always, any thoughts and comments are welcome and hopefully this will help anyone else on a similar journey!