Thoughts on what comes next...end of my first year

Now the arts trail is done, and I'm at the end of my first year, it seems a good time for reflection and to look forward to where I want to go next.

I have neglected this blog. In the past year I have written quite a lot on what I am working on, but always in a loose form that I never got round to editing into something coherent. It seems like you have the choice to create or do all the other bits, but not both, and since Christmas I've mainly been painting and getting ready for the arts trail.

I am intending to write my thoughts on where I'm going with my art here, pretty much every day. As it is a choice between not polishing it too much or not doing it, I'm just going to do it. I am writing this to help me with my journey, so I'm not sure how much interest it will be to anyone else. Anything tagged with "Journal" is going to be in this format. Please skip rather than being bored by me!

I can't resist showing you one of Elza Scoble's delightful works - This one is "Somersault"

I can't resist showing you one of Elza Scoble's delightful works - This one is "Somersault"

The arts trail was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed talking to people about my work, and it was great being a part of a community event. There were four of us at Margot May Tearoom; the wonderful Elza Scoble, Andrew Grero and Stephen Quick, so I had time to go out and enjoy the arts trail myself. There seemed to be hundreds of people on the street walking between the venues.

I have really enjoyed being on the committee for the arts trail too. It has been invaluable, having the chance to talk to other local artists about how they create, sell and promote their work.

However, it was not a roaring success financially! I am at the end of my savings, and can't keep on as I am. I think this is a good thing though, to help me focus on creating something better. 

When I began my business a year ago I didn't know where to start, but I had to start somewhere, and began with painting flowers that I felt were typical of the fashion of our time - white orchids. 

For "Imaginary Landscape, Bright Moonlit Night" I knew that I wanted a round tree topped hill in the middle, the detail at the front, and starlight, but just as much I wanted to see what I could do with really wet washes of cobalt and burnt sienna, because of the way they both granulate as they dry.

For "Imaginary Landscape, Bright Moonlit Night" I knew that I wanted a round tree topped hill in the middle, the detail at the front, and starlight, but just as much I wanted to see what I could do with really wet washes of cobalt and burnt sienna, because of the way they both granulate as they dry.

Apart from that, most of the pictures I have painted have been of images from my life that have had a beauty I wanted to capture, (like the Silhouetted Plane Trees in Greville Park) or where I have been enjoying playing with the media to see what it can do, like Bright Moonlit Night (right). All are linked to patterns that were laid down in my childhood, as the source of my finding inspiration in them, but only the orchids had a message.

Whilst this has been fun, and was the only way I knew to start, I feel like it is now time to try to create something which means a bit more. Which:

  • explores a message which is important and meaningful to me, which makes it worth putting huge time and energy into.
  • is beautiful.
  • is as perfect as I can make it. (That is, if something's not quite right, I will keep remaking it until it is. So far I've felt I need to keep moving forward and so have not been repeating paintings until I am totally happy with them.)
  • is new and different.

I envisage an exhibition of a collection of work, say in a year's time. There's a lot of exploring to do to get there, and I expect to need generations of efforts to result in an evolved work. 

I have a couple of thoughts that keep coming back to me "at the edge of the city where the wild comes in", and "natural pattern" which are where I'm going to start exploring.