I hope you have all eaten well, enjoyed time with loved ones and generally had a break. I had a whole week off work and feel so much better for the downtime. The break also meant that I could get a few days in the studio which was a real bonus.
New Year, New Me (well I’m trying)
I’m not a huge fan of New Year celebrations and haven’t had much success with the whole resolutions malarky. As a result I tend to avoid them completely. But I wanted to start this year a little differently.
I am incredibly organised In my work-life (i.e. full time day job) . Probably irritatingly so for those who work for me, but at home this isn’t the case. I decided in 2022, I will be more organised with my art. This was in part prompted by Alice Sheridan’s ‘Celebration & Planning’ call in December. But it was also something I had on my ‘to do’ list last year. Sadly not something I made much progress with! Also, since finishing CVP I am aware that not having a clear structure on what to work on next has left me feeling a little lost at times.
Alice’s ‘Get Organised’ toolkit provided the perfect prompts to get me off on the right track. I have completed the review of 2021. Worked on some visualisation exercises as to where I want my art to go. I even started to pull together a longer term plan. With a new notebook full of scribbles, a plethora of post it notes and a lot more determination to get my butt in gear. I even have my next few projects mapped out.
First New Project of the Year
One of the surprising things this exercise surfaced was an itch I needed to scratch. Earlier last year I created a painting I titled ‘Nemesis’. The title was inspired by the process of painting as this piece was a challenge for me. The piece was revised and reinvented several times before completion. I was over the moon when it was accepted by the Royal Academy for the Summer Exhibition and even more excited when it sold at the star studded preview event.
Unlike the other boards I created during CVP, this painting was a stand alone. I always intended coming back to the theme (I even mentioned this in a blog back in July.) So this is now my first project of 2022.
Beach Life Series
Nemesis was inspired by a walk on the beach during the warmer summer months. The organic shapes and muted colours of the rocks have such a textural feel. And they have both a solid and yet fragile sense, worn down by years of tidal movement and I find these fascinating.
In complete contrast, during summer when the beach is frequented by families you get these eye popping colours from man-made materials. Wind breakers (a must on the North East coastline); beach towels, cool boxes and, of course, buckets and spades. It feels like such an odd juxtaposition yet makes complete sense as the two elements co-exist perfectly.
I wanted to convey the feeling of the beach and combine the bright, dynamic colours as well as some softer pastels, like ice cream with soothing biomorphic shapes and that is how Nemesis emerged. The painting also contains very quiet dotted tracks which you only see close up. These were my interpretation of the trails of footprints you get in the fresh sand after the beach has been cleaned. Having completed my review of 2021 I realised it was a theme I needed to return to. So, I am now working on four boards which follow a similar theme.
I have started 4 new pieces, two of which are a little more advanced.
Other Things on My List
I have a few ‘things to do’ which I’m hoping to get sorted this year from a studio tidy up to getting better lighting. I have parked the tidy up for a bit as I had an enforced tidy up after a shelf collapsed over Christmas. It’s a job I really dislike, as it always feels like wasted painting time but is satisfying when it’s done.
I am also determined to finish my pooch sculpture. I’ve posted work in progress images of this but its presence on the studio floor is now irritating me.
Finally, I also have another commission I’m working on which is more semi abstract – I’ll share more in a later post. And I’ve decided that this year I want to explore some more figurative or portraiture pieces. No idea what these will look like so for now just playing on paper.
And of course the ongoing kitchen renovation – still no weather proof roof and now no floor….
That’s all for now. Take care.