Learning curve

Up until now I’ve posted every painting I’ve done onto this site – the good, the bad, and the ugly. In a change of tack I’ve decided to prune out the real shockers; they’re still online if, for some bizarre reason, you’d like to see them, on this page. Art is a matter of taste after all, and what you like may not – in fact probably won’t be – quite the same as what I do. Would be a dull world if that was the case. But it’s my site so I’ll just be posting the survivors from now on!

A point of view

Well that’s the end of the shows for this year. No more dashing about trying to remember which paintings to drop off and pick up from where. I may now actually have time to paint some more pictures even. I’ve had work in three shows this week, and have sold four paintings. I’m not sure how I feel about that – whether I should be chuffed (US = stoked) that I have found new homes for some of my work, and that there will be some more people enjoying what I’ve done – at least I assume they will enjoy the paintings seeing as they’e parted with hard-earned money for them! Or should I be disappointed that, with all that work on show, I didn’t sell more?

I won’t be losing a huge amount of sleep worrying about the answer to be honest. I guess it boils down to how you view the picture below…


I’m going to update where some of these paintings have come from later today, time permitting. It’s not too arty and pretentious, I think, to say that there is inspiration all around; in the sheen of the feathers on a starling’s wing, the shapes made by the corner of a building, the colours of a cloud. One thing painting does, amongst many, is to make you look at things around you more closely, and so I suppose the whole process just opens your eyes to your surroundings a little more. I’m probably not putting this very well, but sleep deprivation doesn’t do very much for eloquence!

Really I should carry a sketchbook with me all the time to capture these scenes and ideas for pictures, but of course I hardly ever do – and my life is too busy to stop and sketch whenever the fancy takes me anyway. I do occasionally remember to carry a small camera though, and so most of what I paint usually comes from photographic references.

Strangely, even though there seems to inspiration to paint almost everywhere (I suppose that dreaded essay subject ‘the inside of a ping pong ball’ might pose a few problems), it can still be difficult for me to sit down and face a blank canvas, to actually make those first marks and begin to put down some colour and form. I’ve tried some creative writing courses in the past and felt just the same sort of mental blankness (a mode I excel at!) when trying to find something pithy to jot down on that pristine sheet of paper. Not easy, that creativity stuff…

I should also mention that I don’t in fact paint on canvas any more. But saying that I have difficulties sitting down and facing a blank sheet of gessoed hardboard doesn’t have the same ring to it somehow! That stuff is a great surface to paint on by the way, it’s easily cut to size (and comes in 8 x 4 foot sheets, which should be big enough for most painters), and it’s as cheap as chips – more money to spend on those expensive cadmiums!