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How could I have forgotten to blog about my crazy week in Cyprus? Here’s a belated assortment of impressions of the residency at Cyprus School of Art in Lemba, Cyprus. Very, very basic accommodation but so what… the sun shone non-stop and the company was excellent. A group of MA friends and others.We swam, drank, ate, laughed and did a little painting in between.


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Well I think it worked out.

Went back to my default mode and made an observational drawing which enabled me to reconsider the scale and details of the flowers, among other things. Then when I went back to the painting the composition fell into place. I next let the paint lead and I followed. I also worked in a slightly more methodical way than usual – mixing the colour in the palette rather than stumbling it straight onto the canvas in my rush to get the image down as usual. Taking it more slowly and then letting layers dry before slapping on the next range of colour. I’m definitely growing up…it’s scary.

And here’s a detail showing acrylic with intense pencil lightly applied over.
Anyway, I’m actually quite pleased with the result as opposed to the first rather slap-dash version in my last blog.

Think I’m starting to panic about getting a body of work together for the exhibition in Norwich and the potential foray into other galleries in Aldeburgh and maybe the Sentinel in Wivenhoe….body of work !!! Help, that definitely sounds grown-up


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This painting just didn’t work so am obliterating it and starting again.

Haven’t found much time to blog lately but have been doing a lot of thinking. Worrying about how little time is left to me and the vast amount of things I still want/need to do. What will happen to the detritus of my life when I’m not here to control it, tidy it, order it? What will happen to my paintings, my life’s work, my acres of sketchbooks, recorded thoughts,events, images, drawings. Stop. does it matter? It’ll be out of my control. I won’t be there to worry any more. I can’t get my head round the fact of death…. of non-existence….it’s just too weird….

In a strange way, I’ve never felt so alive. When I finished my BA in 2013 I had this odd sense that I hadn’t actually finished learning…so I did the MA which turned out to be much more taxing on the brain. I really had to think hard most days but now, not quite even one year later, I do feel I’ve finished.It feels complete. I know the way forward. Learning goes on, but finished with formal education. I seem to learn something new almost every day now, but it seems easier without the formal structure of leaping through educational hoops and meeting endless criteria. I now have the tools to learn and can set my own agenda which I must admit is extremely loose. I follow my nose, chase red herrings and come across the most extraordinary facts completely at random and it’s so exciting to learn in that way.

I’ve slipped back into teaching and find that, I learn through teaching, which sounds a bit mad. But teaching forces me to analyse my thoughts, to break things down into tiny ideas and the myriad of decisions which are needed to perform every task in life and particularly in painting. I’m even discovering that most of the things I think I do instinctively are actually rooted in perceived knowledge which I find written in intellectual dogmas about painting, art or whatever. Could it be that my life experiences are coming home to roost and at last I have started to grow up?

My next or maybe final challenge is to apply this knowledge to my own art practice. And that’s the hard bit. It’s far easier to see how others can improve a painting but not nearly so obvious to see what’s needed in your own efforts. You are too involved, have invested too much to dare to change elements. The only solution is to take a deep breath, stand back and be brutally honest.

That’s what I’ve just done with this painting. My next post might show if it’s worked out.


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