Imagine an Urban Landscape. Do you think of Clean? Probably not. Cities are much cleaner than they used to be but cities and grim go together like pencil and lead. Like many other cities, the clean air act transformed Manchester. As a child I remember lots of very dirty cotton mills. And I mean dirty with black soot. Features hard to determine. Wherever you looked the urban landscape was grim. In fact, I grew up thinking most old buildings in Manchester were made of black stone. That was until they started cleaning them up. After a while I forgot and think my memorywas wrong. I began to question whether things were really that dirty. Then I found this post in the Manchester Evening News which confirms Manchester was a very dirty places. So, when I saw Quarry Bank mill my first thought was… “It’s far too clean!” OK, it is in a rural area but there should be some soot somewhere. So I thought I’d dirty it up a bit. Now, that looks better! Although looking at the photos from the Manchester Evening News, I don’t think it is dirty enough! If you fancy seeing some more urban grim take […]
Some pictures seem to take forever to create Whilst others practically seem to paint themselves. This St Catherine’s painting was definitely in the former category. Especially when I started on the bicycles! But I the result was worth it I think! Oh, and I like the bicycles now!
Is it important for an artist to stick to one style or should diversity reign? I spent hours wondering how to promote myself. Before coming to a conclusion – I need direction! Creating art was not the problem! No, I possessed a diverse range of paintings reflecting my love of experimentation. From Collages to Oil paintings, from Landscapes to Portraits etc etc… But while reading an article I was struck by this point – Diverse art from one artist can be confusing for people. Not a thought that had occurred to me! I see the argument… Who’ll recognise your style if your style keeps changing? Now, put like that, it makes sense! Doesn’t it? Do one thing… do it lots… and you’ll do it really, really well! Focus on the art you’re good at and don’t worry about repeating yourself… Well not too much, anyway. Since first discussing this topic I’ve found a style… But, like many artists, I still want to explore the new. Along came another revelation… You can have more than one body of work! And there I was thinking it means everything you produce. 1 artist=1 body of work. Simple as that! …naive I know. A […]
Representational Art is easy to understand. There is an initial response.. Like it, Love it or Loath it! Whatever your response, you can still appreciate the skill in creating a likeness and leave it at that. Or you can discover more about the message conveyed by the work. The representational Painters message is often “this is a scene I find beautiful and want to share with you”. Although there my be a narrative… Abstracts also illicit the same instinctive responses. But can be completely dismissed as rubbish… Until you start to understand what it is the Artist is trying to say. Personal taste always dictates what you LOVE. But understanding can help you like a piece. Structure!!! Many abstracts seem like random daubs of paint. But, I’ve always found the abstracts which work best are those where rules are adhered to. And those built on a foundation of representational practice have such rules. Skills learned through observational drawing give a structure to an artists work. When you know the rules, it’s possible to bend them. But if you don’t know the rules… Well you’re flailing around in the water… What are those rules? Well, that’s up to you, but you […]
Sometimes working alone can feel demoralising! I feel I’ve achieved nothing and that I’ll never succeed… It’s at times like these I realise the importance of business plans and goals. And why everyone needs to stop and assess their progress from time to time. This past week has been somewhat frenetic. I have a tendency to delay until the last minute, which usually results in blind panic, lack of sleep as I work into the wee small hours, suffer insomnia or wake early because my mind is buzzing with all that needs to be done. I quite like working to a deadline but every year I feel I must get better organised. Being an artist requires more than creating art. You need a business approach and understanding. It’s an area I recognise, although it comes far from easily to me! I felt I was failing and that things weren’t going well. I decided to whip the business side of things into shape. I’d bought some image management software, so began organising the image records. – An ongoing job as I have a lot of work to catalogue! My first discovery was lists with images! This seriously eased the burden! I […]