New Year. New opportunities…

It has been a funny couple of months since my last blog. In October I rejoined the Turps Banana correspondence course and was assigned a new mentor to review my work and help me develop my painting. Since his first review I have been struggling, and I mean struggling with a large work based once again on woodland. The initial layers were quite easy but since then I have put paint on and taken it off..endlessly. I was not sure exactly what it was that I was looking for – more a letting go of a photographic image and letting the painting become my own impression and experience. I have worked much more with an electric sander to remove paint, and those marks in the metal become an integral part of the final painting. As you can see from these two images…the first layers bear absolutely no resemblance to the final version!  This gives you some idea of the lengthy process I have to go through to find the right rhythm and balance – even now I am not sure that there aren’t a few small areas that I could tweak!  That’s why I hang the painting on the end wall of the studio, out of temptation’s way.

In the run up to Christmas – as well as agonising over the large work, I have been busy producing small paintings on Perspex for Carré d’Artistes in Marseille. These are a great exercise in colour and actually quite therapeutic as process paintings. I have kept several back in the studio which I shall either sell here in Winchester or at The Other Art Fair in London in April if I get selected again.  I have found that the easiest way to hang them is using a bulldog clip – then people have the option of framing them later if they want to.

It is a roller coaster existence being a painter – particularly one going through a period of development and change.  I have huge periods of self doubt and it is extraordinary that nine times out of ten something comes up that turns things around.  I sold very little at last October’s Other Art Fair but two weeks after the fair ended I got an email from a gallery in Mayfair wanting to take my work.  Although I have to pay commission on any sales this is a fantastic opportunity to reach a new audience.  Invaluable.

More exciting news..after approaching Southampton City Art Gallery about my work in Winchester Cathedral last Autumn I have now been offered a solo exhibition at the gallery in 2017. 

Over the next few weeks, as well as developing my paintings I shall also be working on a piece based on the Annunciation which will be documented in a book on the same subject.  This is completely different to anything I have ever done before and I have begun doing some preliminary drawings with charcoal – a material I have never really explored before.

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