Taking Stock….Part Two…

Back in June I wrote a post called ‘Taking Stock’; having delivered the work to Blue Owl Art for the Exploring Place exhibition, I was contemplating how to move forwards….

As well as continuing to experiment, I booked myself on some workshops….the first of which was Helen Hallows Summer Sketchbook Workshop….a thoroughly enjoyable day; the overriding ethos I took from this course, was to be kind to myself, to be patient…

…and eventually I will produce work that begs further development…

I am going on another course at the beginning of August; Caroline Chappell’s two day Abstracted Landscape workshop….

I am really hoping that the course will give me the inspiration, and the tools, to move the work forwards…..

 

(apologies for the blurry photo…)…charcoal beginnings…

I quite like the above, so will be interesting to see what I take from this workshop and how I integrate it into my work…

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Channelling……

Inspiration for my work comes from many sources…..number one is the countryside, both the coast and and the hills/mountains…

…the large scale…

…and on a smaller scale, from my own garden…

I just love the colour of this plant – Santolina Lemon Fizz… the nearest shade in my selection of watercolours is Daniel Smith Rich Green Gold….so I decided to channel, not only the colour, but also the memories of late evenings in Norfolk…the sunlight filtering through the reed beds…

….so here’s my effort…

…I really like the initial wash so am loathe to add any more to it – perhaps just intensify the colour?

Inspiration also comes from literature…. At the moment I am reading ‘The Running Hare: The Secret Life of Farmland’ by John Lewis-Sempel. Included in the book is this quote from Richard Jefferies’ autobiography, ‘The Story of My Heart’:

‘I want to be always in company with the sun, and sea, and earth. These, and the stars by night, are my natural companions.’

Sounds like my kind of guy!!! This love of the landscape is something I try to convey in my work – whether  I am successful remains to be seen…

Having said that…I am pleased to report that, in the first week of the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art, Grantham, Lincolnshire, I have sold FIVE paintings….

 

 

Studies in Blue…

Perhaps it is because I am a thalassophile that I love using blues in my work….

…plus the two that sold recently at the Blue Owl Art Exploring Place exhibition…

Cei Bach

Norfolk Memories

….always love the sea in all its guises…

..although I have recently discovered that the word for a lover of mountains is ‘acrophile’ – (n) ….

….and I do like mountains….

 

…although they have yet to figure as prominently in my work…as yet…

‘Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like falling leaves.’ John Muir

Flabbergasted……

Last night saw the Private View of the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art, Grantham, Lincolnshire…..Three artists, John Pooler, Kate Robotham and yours truly are exhibiting works ranging from John’s architectural watercolour scenes of local churches as well as views of Venice, Kate’s more illustrative ink and wash images of France and Norfolk, and my own ink, charcoal and watercolour works inspired by the Welsh coast, Norfolk and The Peak District.

A steady flow of people enjoyed the music, wine and of course the art…

Each of our styles as artists is different which adds an interesting variation to the exhibition; it certainly provided lots of discussion…

….I received lots of positive feedback and compliments…but the thing that truly had me flabbergasted was that I sold not one, not two, not even three…but four paintings….and that was on the first night!!!!

If you follow my blog you will know that confidence in my ability and my art is something I do not possess in any great quantity, so the positive feedback and the sales have been a wonderful boost…do you know, maybe I can do this!

A big thank you to Jette and Belinda for having faith in me and to those people who fell in love with my work …it has made this artist feel slightly taller than her normal 5′ 2″!!!

Calming The Butterflies……

 

In an attempt to quell the butterflies multiplying in my stomach (with regard to tonight’s Private View for the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art, Grantham Tennis Club, Grantham, Lincolnshire) I am continuing to play and experiment with the long, tall format…

I am using a roller and old card to move the ink and watercolour around… this produces some unexpected and pleasing results…sometimes..!!

I don’t feel that the two ink pieces above have worked particularly well…the left hand one became too ‘fixed’ in it’s composition whilst the right hand one needed more tonal variation….in my opinion…

The watercolour pieces showed interest so I persevered further with these two and I quite like the results….

…also, after some judicious cropping and inverting even one of the ink efforts got a slight thumbs up..

We will see if this experimentation leads to some new work but for now it is a great distraction…..

Learning To Love One’s Self….

Yesterday I delivered my work to Blue Owl Art ready for the Exploring Place exhibition..

….and even though there is the Private View tomorrow night and the continuing exhibition, it felt a little like ‘well that’s that, now what?’..

I’ve felt loathe to pick up my paints and inks again and I couldn’t work out why….until I realised I was waiting to see how the exhibition work was received…if favourably that was like a thumbs up to carry on, if not, well it was time to go back to the drawing board, excuse the pun…

Lack of confidence in my ability and work is a huge obstacle for me (seeing the work of John Pooler and Kate Robotham, the other artists in the exhibition, started that little, doubting voice in my head,) … it is as if I am waiting for someone else to say ‘it’s okay, you’re doing well’…

So I have been doing a bit of soul-searching, reflecting, reading… regular visitors to my blog will know that I recently went on a Helen Hallows workshop and I was particularly taken with some things she realised when she fell out of love with herself and her art…

‘I need to accept who I am, what I am, where I am’….

Helen also commented on how, after a visit to the National Space Centre and viewing a film there called ‘We are all Stars’, it made her realise that our place in the cosmos is insignificant; in the history of the universe, we are gone in the blink of an eye…

..so why worry the little things…so what if not everyone likes your work….as long as you do…

With that in mind I am working on learning to accept who I am and what I do…and I made a start today by giving myself permission just to play…not expecting anything, just splashing ink around, making marks…getting my fingers covered in charcoal…

…and I know that the majority of the above will be ‘filed’ but that’s okay..

…..because I had fun…and who knows, these experiments might lead me onto a new body of work or they may not…

…but I like them…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking Stock…..

All the work for the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art is wrapped and ready to go so now feels the right time for a little reflection, taking stock of my work and deciding what to do, where to go next…I am sure the desire to keep going forwards, to keep learning, is something common to all artists and I would be interested to hear what steps other artists take to move on…..

I decided to experiment still using ink, in both neat and diluted form, but applying and making the marks with a roller or card rather than brushes….

….as these are just experiments I used any old scraps of paper and I rapidly came to the conclusion that a smooth surface was better for this type of application – on the rough paper I just ended up scraping/spoiling the surface ….

Some of these efforts were obviously better than others but it’s all trial and error….

 

I came to the conclusion that I achieved much better results if I didn’t overthink things, just went with my intuition….

As well as experimenting, I have booked myself on some workshops, the first one takes place this coming Saturday – Helen Hallows Summer Sketchbook – I will let you know how I get on. I also booked myself a two day Abstracted Landscape workshop with Caroline Chappell and a life drawing session with Jo Sheppard – hopefully these will both motivate and inspire me, as well as give me the chance to meet other artists.

I also thought I might treat myself to one or two new materials so I am off to find the art catalogues for a browse…..

Don’t forget the PV for Exploring Place is 29th June 7 – 9 pm……you are all very welcome!!