It’s been a while since I’ve posted any work in progress. I’m not sure that I want to post photos of uncompleted works, so I thought I would try a video update. Here goes …
Life has been somewhat hectic since I finished the BA. I have got a new job, moved my studio out of Northlight and into my spare room, and been on holiday to Cornwall. All of this has left little time for painting, but FINALLY today I got my paint brushes out again (which reminds me, I must go and clean them).
I brought my work home from Rochdale yesterday. The art trail attracted a lot of visitors who wouldn’t normally look at art, and there were some great comments in the book. People seemed to appreciate having something different to look at in the shopping centre rather than the same old shops. There were over 600 visitors during the two days, and many comments about doing the same again next year. I enjoyed the opportunity to have my work viewed by a new audience, and hope they enjoyed my work.
I am now preparing for the next exhibition of my BA group at Bankfield Museum in Halifax, which will be opening on 4th September. I’ve made a painting especially for this exhibition, and I am even beginning to have faith that it might dry! The folks at Winsor and Newton technical department have been very helpful when I had a query about drying time. I just realise how much there still is to learn about the technical properties of the materials we use.
Until now, I have resisted entering any competitions – let alone those where you have to lug your work in, only to have to lug it home again when they don’t select it. However, I have finally decided that it is important to at least try. If I don’t work at ways of getting my work out there, no-one will ever see it. So yesterday, I took this painting for a ride on the train to Leeds, and we walked together in the rain up to Leeds Art Gallery to enter it into their Open Competition. It may not be selected, but I am recording it here because I think the ‘backshop’ work we do to get our work out there (whether it is writing, art, music or whatever) should be celebrated. So let’s hear it for doing those irritating jobs and taking a few risks.
LiteracyHead is a new online magazine providing resources for literacy educators. According to their website “A Literacyhead is someone who is intensely serious about exercising creative literacy, making connections across multiple literacies, pursuing thoughtful literacy as an individual and as a teacher, and constantly searching for ideas. Literacyheads may have expertise in different areas of literacy, but all are committed to children’s literacy, passionate about the arts, incessant thinkers, and display a propensity for having fun.” On this site, creative literacy is not just about words, but also about visual literacy – the art of reading pictures.
The other thing that these paintings have made me think about is working in series. When you present a series of works to a viewer, how much time do you want or expect them to spend looking at each individual painting? And how much of the meaning comes from them making connections between the paintings, and responding to a mood that gets built up by looking at them as a set? These questions may consciously or subconsciously influence my decisions about the level of finish or clarity that I give each individual painting. If I’m viewing them as a group, then I must expect the viewer to as well. And this will influence my decisions about how I hang them. Do I create a cluster of them, or do I space them out with plenty room around each one? This will also depend upon the space that I manage to get for my final show.
Northlight Art Studios where I have my studio are starting a new term of art classes from 12 April 2010. So if you live in Calderdale and have always fancied trying your hand at painting and drawing; or if you want to join a class with like minded artistic folk, take a look. The tutors are relaxed and friendly and have some inspiring exercises to help you produce work that you will be proud of!
Oil on paper 5″ x 7″
Another work in progress. I’ve reached the point after a long period of not knowing what to do with these where I now want to work on them again. I’ve been struggling with the balance between retaining the immediacy of my initial painted response to the photograph, and working it up into a more realised image. After a period of looking at these on the studio wall, I realised than I do want to work them up a bit more. I now have my work cut out to do this in time for them to dry before the show!
Oil on paper, image size 5″ x 5″