I started a comment to Elena’s blog and then realised I’d morphed into a new blog post on my own blog. So transferred here. BUT PLEASE READ ELENA”S THREADS BLOG FIRST before you read this comment. It’s a good blog !!!

Hi Elena,
I’ve been loosely following your blog for ages and have made the occasional comment. I try to follow your example and keep blogging regularly but I don’t always stick to it.
But I digress. The bit which struck a chord in your latest epistle was about ‘ very few artists actually make a living purely through their art.’ Like you, I taught for many years and bless my Teachers pension which keeps me going even though I feel a twinge of guilt for the younger generation of teachers who will not benefit in quite the same way. I even got a lovely lump sum back in 1996 when I took voluntary redundancy when, the then government, got their sums wrong about teacher numbers…. it happens regularly … too many …. too few. That enabled me to go backpacking round Australia for 3 months and the experience is still resonating in my art today.
Having reached the grand old age of 75 I sometimes think I should give up and watch daytime TV, go for coffees in garden centres and generally live my age instead of, like you, imagining the speech I’ll give when I win the Turner Prize!!! or get featured on some programme about late-flowering art. But then I think …actually that doesn’t appeal and I squirt out some more luscious acrylic paint and am off again painting. You see I can’t really stop myself.

And so here is the start of a new blog proper. Having just spent two glorious weeks in the Dordogne /Lot region I returned determined to paint from my sketches, photos and memories. If you read my last blog you’ll know that I am often completely overwhelmed and defeated by trying to capture such intensely beautiful scenes such as Scotland and my fears for the same thing happening in France were justified.

So I didn’t even try looking back at actual reference material but just got stuck in to what was in my headspace….hurtling through deep, deep forest shade on impossibly narrow roads – no traffic!!! with flashes of strong sunlight, a distant view of a turreted village with crumbling barns and gorgeous pan-tiled roofs, fields of sweet smelling cut hay, wild flowers of intense blue. Yes it was all too, too beautiful but I tried to do it justice. Initially it started to  get really figurative. But I was prepared to resist that and kept sloshing more acrylic at the surface and then went in with charcoal, pastels and plain water and it began to emerge. Not quite capturing my memories of beautiful French countryside yet but will have another go soon. You see, I can’t stop painting  and definitely can’t act my age and give up on art !!!

Footnote to Elena’s blog…. Sold a few paintings at Aldeburgh recently and have taken on two students – a little bit of teaching. Yes I need to feed my posh paper and paint habit, Elena. I’ll never make my fortune through art but neither will I ever stop painting.

1 Comment