I now have a rule on my calendar – whatever I do in my week, I have 3 consecutive days bearing the word ‘painting’. Despite my decision last year to stop all tutoring and classes for this year so that I could concentrate on producing new work, I took on ‘one last’ tutoring project which is taking up every Wednesday for 5 weeks. This has pushed my 3 day rule into the weekend but it has actually worked! I have produced a lot of new work already and found that I don’t need to paint solidly for all 3 days, I can spend time on promotions and inspiration in that time and still keep the creative juices flowing. Those only stop on my 2 ‘accounts’ days when spreadsheets and calculations overtake my small and poorly equipped brain and all creativity withers away.
The Friends of Eastbourne hospital run a fundraising art show every year and have an artist’s demonstration on the Saturday afternoon, auctioning the demonstration piece afterwards. I was very flattered to be asked to be the demonstrator in 2015 and decided to do a landscape in pastel. Bad timing meant that I was suffering jet lag and didn’t have time to do any preparation, so I quickly selected a photo taken the year before of a frosty view over the downs. Straight on to the black paper, with no outlines or planning, I dived in with blues and greens, nattering a load of nonsense and getting quite absorbed as I used the battery rubber, cotton buds and tissue paper to lift out shadows and trees from the black paper…I quite forgot there was an audience there – there were only about 6 people when I started but when I stopped after an hour and turned round, all the seats were filled and I had a very appreciative response.
I took part in just one Christmas fair last year, the Heffle Christmas fair. I’d taken part in the Art exhibition at the Heffle Cuckoo Fair in the spring so wanted to support their first Christmas Fair. It snowed briefly so felt very christmassy, and the smell of an exploding pyrex dish of bacon left on the ceramic hob was actually quite pleasant to a recently un-converted vegetarian (I tried a bacon butty but really didn’t like it). Having painted a couple of cubist bird watercolours I got bored so went outside and photographed one of the owls in the display, did a quick painting and sold it 10 minutes later. I also picked up a commission from one of the other stall holders who just happened to have his dog in the car which he brought in for me to photograph. All in all, a successful day’s work.
Lewes District Art Club was my final stop for the year for a workshop in pastels. The sunset photo I had on my iPad disappeared into the ether so I quickly found another similar one and started to work from that for my demo piece – only when I was half way through did I realise I’d chosen a city road scene. Yes, it had a lovely sunrise and interesting skyline of buildings, but it did also have cars which haven’t featured in any of my work since I did some vintage car pencil drawings at college. I tried the “I’m sure you all want to get on with working on your own piece now, so shall I leave it there…?” approach, but no, they were all keen to see how I tackled the cars. I tried and it worked and I was very pleased with the results- it just goes to show what you can do when given a push!
After a wonderful Christmas break which included an inspiring visit to Chichester and the beautiful artwork in the cathedral, I was back into the swing of things with a one day workshop on Movement at the Cartlodge in Horam Manor Farm, a demonstration to the Meopham Art Society of trees in acrylics and the Wednesday workshops for Active Arts over in Hastings. I really do enjoy the workshops and demos, I just have to ensure that I don’t allow the necessary variety of subjects and styles needed for these to hamper my ‘painting’ days. Currently I am in an abstract mode and have uploaded a few of the latest pieces on my ‘shop’ on the Artfinder website. Please do go and have a look – once you have looked at my work (and clicked ‘like’ and ‘follow’perhaps…) have a look at some of the other work available – there is some truly lovely stuff, some average and some poor too, but generally the standard is high, and I am finding the discipline of trying upload a new work every day is helping me to focus on my art and not get distracted….ooh, there’s a lovely little bird outside the window….