Since returning from Australia, I have been feeling stuck ….unable to paint. It’s a scary feeling when you just can’t seem to move forward with your art practice. The success at the Norwich Art Fair had made me wonder if I should try to ‘go commercial’ with my painting? Deep down I knew it would be wrong to sell out and go against the grain of the aspirations of my MA course. But on the other hand if I just kept on painting and moving further towards pure abstract I’d soon be up to my ears in canvases piling up and taking valuable space in my studio. I need to sell to move things on and create space for the next canvas.

I took a long hard look at the main part of my MA exhibition stuff.

And I really didn’t like it ! Then I looked at a photo of the massive  loose canvas which didn’t make it into the main exhibition.

And I DID like it. But it was totally impractical…no frame and 2.5 metres wide. All I could do is roll it up and shove it in a corner. On a whim I dug out the underwater photos which had inspired the monster of a painting and quickly overpainted a small experimental acrylic painting using oil paint for a change. I just used one of the original figures swimming towards me underwater. And something happened …….

I had simply painted from the heart. Advice given to me by a good friend who maintained that it was no good trying to second-guess what would sell but to just paint what you, yourself, love and then someone else would surely love it too. I felt pleased that at last my block was lifting so I made a second quick oil-painting by overpainting one of my MA canvases. These were already in oils and made a perfect background for another swimmer. Having looked long and hard at these 8 canvases I realised how dead, soul less and empty they looked. They needed some life injected into them….

And here it is. My usual muse, Kate, from an old photograph.

The 8 MA canvases are all rather nice natural linen – 60 cm. square and I’m now excited to tackle the whole lot, eradicating the emptiness and injecting life into them.

In tandem with this project, I’m looking forward to running 3 Art Workshops alongside my weekly teaching of an adult group. I started teaching again after Christmas and am now addicted having begun somewhat tentatively. It’s so rewarding to watch the classes growing confidence and progress.

Life just keeps getting better !