Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Reflections on Reflections...

Well it looks as if Lorna, Sue and I are very much in step this year, as we all got into the Oxford Open at MOMA and none of us got selected for the new Churchill centre…

One of the tricky things about trying to create art, is the point at which other people view it and judge it…when your work isn’t accepted, chosen, valued or liked by someone else, it can be difficult not to feel rejected, sometimes in a very personal way…Even in something like these watercolour landscapes, there is a personal, emotional element…a bit of yourself that you’re putting out there…having that rejected can be very…deflating…

But one of the advantages with getting older and perhaps a little wiser (though probably just more stubborn), is that I find myself more comfortable with going in my own direction…

Creating art which pleases a market and the artist creating it, is a hugely difficult balancing act…At times, even the greatest artists have painted for the market, rather than themselves….But ultimately they became great artists by going their own way, giving up a little of themselves in their work, risking rejection to create something new and exciting…

These are good paintings, I’m pleased with them, they’re taking me in an interesting direction…I shall do more along a similar path…and I shall be entering work into competitions, galleries, shows etc all over the place…risking rejection, yes…but, I hope, creating something exciting and new...from time to time...along that journey…:)

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Reflections 5

And number 5…This will be the last one for the Churchill selection panel as they need to be delivered tomorrow morning. It’ll interesting to see if they take any of them, either way I’m really pleased with the way they’ve turned out. The style has developed as I’ve done them and this final one is much more unique. I’ve always been aware that watercolours by different artists can end up looking very similar. These ‘swirling’ line effects I’ve been using have given things my own stamp…hopefully one that people will find interesting.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Another week...another reflection picture...Number 4

Here’s another one, I’ve tried to get the colours a little more intense in this, while the composition didn’t rely on a single photo…which is how I’ve done the others…another small, but interesting step :)

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Reflection 3

Number 3…these are forming a nice little set if nothing else :) It’s quite an interesting exercise playing around with similar images, not really something I’ve done that much of before…I tend to bounce around from one thing to another like a pinball…perhaps I’m calming down in my old age…then again, perhaps not…

I’ve knocked back the reflected masking fluid lines a bit more on this one, which I think works quite nicely, I must experiment with painting into the masked areas at some point in the future…

Friday, 18 January 2008

Reflection 2

Here’s todays daubing. The brush was indeed flowing more freely and both the lines and colours are a little more abstract. I didn’t manage to get two done today, but have started drawing up another design, so hopefully I’ll get that done over the weekend…which would make it a reasonably productive painting week :)

Thursday, 17 January 2008


Well it’s a Thursday and amazingly I’ve actually done some work today. And a very nice day I’ve had too :) I’m doing some landscape watercolours and here’s the first. Reflections on a lake in the Lake District…I’m going to do a couple more in a similar vein and then submit them to the Churchill Cancer Centre in Oxford. They’re looking for some artwork for their new building, so I thought I’d give these a go. Haven’t done a watercolour for a few months and I’m not mad keen on working from photos, but its turned out quite nicely I think…anyway, aiming to do another tomorrow, so with any luck my arm will loosen up and the next one will flow more easily.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

A New Year

Well there’s been a LONG break since the last blog update and it’s time to pull my finger out and get on with some work again. But first here’s a little post to bring 2007 to a close…

I finished and delivered the acrylic portrait over the New Year, the sitters seemed pleased with it and so was I…the drying time of the paint forced me to work in a different way to the oil portraits and I liked many of the ‘happy accidents’ that occurred while working this way…I’m currently toying with the idea of doing a new large figurative work and I’m considering doing it in acrylic rather than oil…either way, I’ll certainly be doing some more acrylic work in 2008.

2007 ended with some excitement and much sadness…

Excitement because along with Lorna and Sue I got a painting into the Oxford Open at Modern Art Oxford. The exhibition is a collection of works by Oxfordshire artists and is on from 12 Jan to 17 Feb. There’s a very diverse selection of work and visitors can vote on their favourite pieces. A selection panel will also pick their highlights which will then be moved into a separate gallery. Go take a look and see what you like :)

Sadness because Gwen passed away over Christmas…she was a wonderful, colourful woman and will be greatly missed by all her friends in the village and beyond…I was lucky enough to paint her a little while ago…she was the perfect sitter, charming, witty and relaxed. I shall remember that morning of sketching, along with our many evenings in the local pub with much fondness. It was an honour to paint such a wonderful character.