There’s a lot of this going on at the moment.
Seem to have lost the will to paint.After the excitement of being accepted at a local gallery, entering the RA Summer Exhibition….in my dreams??***, then hearing that my friend, Sarah has got us a date to exhibit in Aldeburgh at The Garage Gallery, I started getting stuff together to exhibit at The Minories in Colchester and thinking about what to do for the Aldeburgh Exhibition. Now everythings gone a bit flat.
I realised I was running out of paintings so panicked and started painting furiously. But it’s not happening….
Maybe my motivation is wrong. Must stop thinking about selling paintings and get back to just painting from my soul. Think I need to get out and draw from life, whatever inspires me.
Packing canvases, tidying materials and generally concentrating on the ephemera of art is soothing and may lead to something more important.
Can’t believe I haven’t blogged since January. Too much has happened since then to write about here. So am skipping the usual diary-type stuff. Suffice it to say…lots of exhibitions, submissions, painting, non-painting, blocked and unblocking has happened.
And now where am I? Taking stock I think. Made some good sales, had some disappointing exhibitions. Now trying to analyse what works; what doesn’t; does it matter; what does matter?
*painting from the heart matters
*moving forward matters
*being true to yourself matters
*dealing with difficulties
*NOT giving up
*Selling doesn’t matter.
But lets face it…its nice when it happens. And if it never happens you end up with a lot of canvases which need to be put somewhere or in my case painted over. I’m becoming much more critical. Gradually working out what it is, I want to say/achieve in my work. Just love David Hockney’s answer to that eternal question by the public,”how long did that take you?” Answer “78 years”.
So how would he answer the question “what do I want to achieve?” Every artist will have a different answer.This is mine ….
*Emotional reaction from the viewer,
*A sense of BEING within the canvas.
So I began a totally fresh painting of daffodils. Trying to feel my way back to the criteria I had set for myself.
But these quick images which were supposed to suggest Spring, new life, exuberant colour did NOTHING for me.
A second attempt adding mixed media was equally awful. I had thought that sticking to a purple background – the opposite colour to yellow, would magically bring it to life. How wrong can you be!!! Far too predictable!!!
Frustrated, I wondered where to go next. Back to basics
Now I’m getting somewhere. Letting the paint take over. Feeling, using intuition within the mark making and colour.
Confidence partially restored. Now time to move forward again.
Seem to have lost the will to paint. Help !!!! Lots of this going on
After my friend, Sarah got us a date to show at The Garage Gallery in Aldeburgh,plus I was accepted at a local Gallery, am preparing for an exhibition at The Minories, Colchester and I have submitted to the RA again I then felt blocked. Maybe my motivation is all wrong. Must stop thinking about selling/exhibiting and get back to painting from the heart and soul.
Packing canvases and dealing with the ephemera of Art is quite soothing but not very creative. Think I need to get out despite this awful grey dark weather and just look and draw. Maybe something will start to happen….
I guess this was a highlight of 2018…. being shortlisted for the RA Summer Show with this little watercolour. Not at all typical of my work??? How do they select? But I’ll have another attempt this year.
Looking back on 2018 I see it was full of swimming. There was my own two hour swim in the River Stour, Mill to Mill Challenge finishing with a picnic in front of Constable’s famous Mill at Dedham. It only took granddaughter Sophie and my son Chris, half an hour. I shan’t repeat the experience in a hurry. You can see by my face in this photo that I could hardly believe I’d survived it.
Then of course Sophie’s Channel Swim in a team of 6 completely overshadowed my achievement. They even turned out to be the fastest girls team of 2018 and won a shield. I celebrated her swim with a painting as a Christmas present which she seemed to like.
And now I’m busy painting again with renewed confidence after two fairly successful Exhibitions in Wivenhoe and Art Fair East, Norwich. I’m still painting water, but branched out a little with this view of a path leading down to the sea in Cornwall from one of the sketches I made during my residency in Cornwall – a great week at Brisons Veor, Cape Cornwall.
I’ve also repeated a slightly larger painting of Warraba, NSW Australia. The first one sold very quickly in Norwich and as it’s a lovely place which I enjoyed painting, thought I’d do it again. An artist friend said you should always paint from the heart not try to paint commercially. She says if you love the subject someone else will too. I think she’s right. So here’s Warraba mark 2.
So there are lots of nice things to come in 2019. I’d like to do a painting/sketching trip to Scotland and Northern England for further inspiration. It’s so good to work in new territory. I’m already so enjoying my larger studio space too. Life is good.
Well after a wonderful summer filled with sunshine and trips to Cornwall, Cyprus, Wales, Florence and France all of which inspired my painting, I followed it up with two great exhibition opportunities.
The Sentinel which I shared with Amy Drayson, was not a sellout but we broke even and made a slight profit each. But more importantly, we learnt a lot about exhibiting and made some interesting contacts and received some lovely comments. I then went on to show my work at Art Fair East in Norwich. This time with Jen Sendall. I’ve shown here twice before and each time it seems to get better. The reputation is growing and I personally did really well this year achieving some good sales and making lots of new contacts. But more importantly It did my confidence a huge favour. I think I’m more aware of what to offer at these events and pleased that by sticking to what I like to paintI can still sell without compromising or dumbing down on my goals. The experience again taught me so much.
Since then I have reorganised and enlarged my studio space and am looking forward to more painting and also to offering short workshops as I still enjoy teaching.
Mastering MailChimp has also been instrumental in my selling work. Another arty friend told me that art was 40% painting and 60% marketing. A rather sad statistic but probably true. I’m not good at marketing and resent the time it takes but slowly coming to terms with the reality and finding it a bit less of a chore as my confidence increases.
Here’s one of my sales – Warraba NSW.
Not sure this is the correct use of an Art blog but although I’ve obviously expressed verbally, to friends and family, my joy about things I’ve done this summer, it still seems important to write the words down for posterity. So a-n has become a repository for my diary thoughts. Suppose I’m apologising but in fairness, my life/diary is inevitably slanted towards ART and as I believe art is synonymous with life, it’s allowable. Yes?
Right, apology over. The course at Newlyn Art School was wonderful. Full of practical advice on ‘how to paint’ but delivered by the tutor Gareth Edwards in brilliantly humorous/semi art-speak academic/understandable language. His thoughts on composition were a revelation demonstrating that there is always something to learn, even after a lifetime of painting and drawing.Here’s one of my efforts after the first plain air day on a stunningly beautiful Cornish Beach.
Then second day was spent in the studio making large-scale acrylic paintings. This is a detail from one of mine. I so enjoyed this one and it taught me so much.
I drove home (7 hour journey !!) feeling elated. Had one day to pack then 4 of us took off on another long journey via Brittany Ferries to France to stay in a gorgeous 200 year old stone house recently acquired by a relative. Situated on the borders of the Lot, Dordogne area. Again so wonderful that superlatives like amazing, beautiful, sublime can’t do it justice. Had no idea where to start painting as every angle was crying out to be captured. So I began by filling a concertina sketchbook with quite domestic images, to document our stay and to give to our niece as a memento. I photographed some of these to reuse back home combining lessons learnt on my Cornish Abstract Landscape course.
Here are some of the sketches and photos….
And now….inspired and slightly overwhelmed I shall begin a series of French memories. Then on 22nd I’m off to Brisons Veor,Cape Cornwall again for a weeks residency. What a wonderful arty summer I’m having.