6cm x 6cm (two on the left)
6cm x 4cm (the allotment on the right)
Whilst in Lockdown I have been going on an adventure with getting down with my painting style. I like where my drawings are going, I am happy with developments in textile work however now is the time to see where I can take my paintings. For weeks I have been working my way through a series of hours of frustration, elation (if it can all be pulled together) and curiosity as I try different painting surfaces. Textured canvas? I like that for picking up oil pastel marks. Hard board? I can draw on it with pencil easily and it keeps the line.
These paintings here are my favourite so far. I have been working with these colours for years and I am glad they have found their way into my paintings. These were inspired by a feed I follow on Instagram. The photographer takes high contrast photos of buildings, using interesting angles. I see the images and mentally break them down into shapes then begin to paint what I am constructing in my mind. Of course it never translates directly. Sometimes the accident that happens on canvas is better than what I held in my mind.
The above pieces are for sale for the Artist Support Pledge. After I sell £2000 of work I then buy a piece from another artists. It’s artists supporting artists and many of my artist pals are a part of this. I would be so delighted to support one of them and of course, own a gorgeous piece of art that will bring me happiness for years to come.
You can see a portfolio of my illustration, commission and painting work here. If you like the ones featured here please get in touch.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to start interviewing artists who I have been following on Instagram. I have seen how their work and their lives have been effected by Lockdown. These videos were created with the intention of sharing the creative process, how people have had to swerve with their careers to keep on keepin on, and to also give positive steps that can be taken to turn a day around if it’s not quite going your way.
My first interview was with Jenni Douglas. I’m such a fan girl. Please check out this video and then go see her work www.jennidouglas.co.uk
And I don’t mean the person. ‘Joy has a sparkling personality, is afraid of snakes and likes taking photos of bees whilst walking along the canal.’ Although that Joy sounds endearing and I’d like to be her friend, I am obviously referring to the feeling.
Over the last many days my joy-o-meter has hit highs, plummeted into a chasm of despair, then bounced back up again. All the feelings seem so much closer to the surface and all of those nasty ways in which we measure ourselves seem even more difficult to control. ‘What?! No Likes?! What do you know, Twitterland. Oh wait…but this one has 35. I am now awesome again’. Guh. So tired of that game.
This week and next, I’m going to be redirecting my attention to those small moments where joy resides. I have found that although I do like the spontaneous moment of joy (and by part of its definition, there is a spontaneity about her) I need to ring-fence time to let it happen.
During lockdown, I have given myself permission to treat art like the fun activity I know it can be. It’s easy to get stuck in the notion that what I make HAS to be of worth to someone else. In order to make a living, I need people to buy my art. I have avenues for that (please feel free to visit my website and etsy page) however to grow as an artist, as a person, I need to let loose and experiment. My current series within a series – Lockdown Art Experiments – gives me just that. I have been painting in the alla prima style of painting and love it. This is when you create a painting in one sitting. There is a freedom to this as it intensely focuses my mind to solve this one problem right in front of me. I feel lighter, happier, more like myself, when I have put boundaries around this special time to create something just for me. Joy finds me here. She finds me when I put two colours next to each other and they just sing. She finds me when I paint a line that does what I was hoping it would do. She finds me at the end when I survey what I have done and think ‘it’s not perfect, but it is the direction I have been wanting to go for a long time.’
So, what is it that you do to allow Joy to find you? This week during my artist interviews, I will be asking artists this very question. You can find these interviews on my Instagram page starting from this Wednesday.
The forecast looks like rain for Wednesday. Staring into my weather app with hope for many more sunny days and finding rain on the horizon is always a disappointing sight. This week it is even more disappointing as usual.
Over the past couple of weeks we have watched the Leamington Terrace Hopscotch Game grow by leaps and bounds (oh please laugh at that! It was a good one – yes?). We have added our own squares, aiding my six year old to add numbers following 1378. We have seen the chalk bucket travel up the road and down again and more than once I have been astonished to find that no one has lifted it. Well, either that or some very conscientious people are replenishing the chalk supply.
This is certainly a weird, terrible and wonderful time in which we are living. What else have we noticed? We have noticed neighbours sharing their superfluous garden plants, bread being baked and shared, a smile and a nod as someone chooses to walk in the street so you and your small child can have the pavement. We have noticed children safely learning to cycle in the street (mine included) and kindness parading itself around like it was here all along but maybe we were too busy to see it or too busy to give it.
As for my bit, I am gifting everyone on my street a small print of the drawing I created. The day was sunny, the game was on. I hope we can look back on this time and remember it as a splash of sunshine in a climate of uncertainty and change.
Here is the news article about our wonderful street.
The other night I thought I would lay out all the drawings I have made for the #allthesmallthings exhibition. The floor was covered from corner to corner. I am rather impressed with the number of drawings I have created in spaces where I thought I did not have time to draw. It is interesting to me to see how much my style has changed and developed in just a few short months. In August I was asked to draw people for the DECIEM launch event in Edinburgh. I was like ‘People?! You want me to draw people? Have you seen my artwork? I do NOT do people. Or animals. Buildings yes, but nothing on two or four legs thanks very much.’ So then I started drawing my friends and family and my obsession with drawing people caught in-between moments grew from there.
There is certainly a style growing from this challenge and I’m so glad I can use materials on the hoof. I think of those artists with massive studio spaces and hours to be in those spaces. One day I shall have that but for now I will embrace my parameters and see what great things I can make from here.
As for the COMPETITION part of the title, I have a little competition on the go. It’s easy to play along. All you have to do is Follow this blog or Follow me on Twitter or Instagram and tag in a friend. What do you get for this small yet big action? On January 31st I will choose two names from a hat and will draw a photo of you/your family/your favourite building/your best holiday snap/your favourite cafe/your prized shop dog in my style.
Please share and thanks for following.
I could go on and on about how a decade has ended and a new one has begun. Really, though, a new decade follows an old one every year. 2019 looked back on its own decade from 2009 and 2018 reminisced about all of its days from 2008. It is exciting to look back at all the fun, cool stuff you saw and did in a nice chunk of time and I have to say, my ten year time lapse has been incredible. As with many others, I have seen so much change within the lens of my own life that I could not have even guessed at most of this that has come to pass.
To say I have hit the ground running would be accurate for this new batch of months. I have booked an exhibition space at Bloc Gallery and have been working on sketches towards artworks to be completed for the show. The initial idea was to create hundreds of sketches then choose a few to work into paintings. I have realised, however, that my life is not parceled up into nice, long blocks of time where I can concentrate fully for hours or days, if needed. That is so far from my life. I long for that, but that is not how it is right now. So, I will work with what I have. I will choose to not feel restricted by it but will instead embrace the 20 or 30 minutes I have and do what I can in that time. What I have found out is that what I can do is quite small. Literally. This is one reason why I have chosen the title ‘allthesmallthings’ for my show. It is about capturing those moments in-between. Those small spaces of time. I have chosen my materials also based on this theme.
There is a lot more I could say about my 2020 plans however they are on a very different topic. So until then…I hope you enjoy the gift that is this time of year. It’s nice/agonising/painful/uplifting to reflect on what has passed. Let us now look forward and do something great with the time we have together on this spinning blue and green ball we call Earth.