There’s a long tradition of poetry inspiring art. Finding focus and inspiration early in an art career is challenging. In fact the two needs can lead you into opposite directions. It’s easy to follow whims and do what takes your fancy but the truth is you also need discipline.I find mind through poetry inspiring art. When I began painting professionally I fell into the trap of creating anything that inspired me Which resulted in a confused array of paintings. One week I’d be doing caricatures, the next landscapes. Sometimes abstracts, you get the picture. Eventually I fixed on a medium, watercolour and acrylic ink, but the subject matter still varied. Clarity came when I was “Inspired by a Poem” The title of my local Art group’s exhibition. The first one was based on William Blake‘s Jerusalem, The poem is also a popular hymn.- I’d been playing with buildings and it was one of my first to combine the technique i developed and architecture. It’s loosely based on Times mill, a mill which dominated my childhood walks to school. But with a healthy dose of artistic licence. I’ve played with the mill and the lane by it. It’s called “And did […]
Are you a fan of abstract art? Or maybe you prefer something more understandable. You like art that you can tell what it is? When I started out as an artist Representational Art was my thing Happily, creating realistic portraits and scenes Like this one of Henton Mission Room at the marvelous Chiltern Open Air Museum – a museum of buildings no less. I have a confession to make, I used to hate abstract art. Understanding abstracts, especially paintings such a Guernica, was a struggle. I was quite happy to state my opinion that abstracts were rubbish. Until someone explained to me what Picaso was trying to demonstrate. Suddenly it clicked. How can you paint intangible things like emotion without abstraction? Sure, you can paint people in emotional states, but not emotion itself. So I started experimenting with my own abstracts, like this one. The more I did, the more I realised representation is too traditional for me. Don’t get me wrong, representational looks good. It’s just restricted. You either paint what is there, create a photograph like realism. Or you develop a degree of abstraction and give yourself more freedom to express yourself. You are free to break the […]
Have you ever wanted to sketch but couldn’t? On one such day, I woke to sunshine and planned to paint. The children were off which cramped my style somewhat. They do like to be entertained. Solution? Take them for a picnic! Happy children, happy parent and happy dog! What could possibly go wrong? So, we set off for the woods – the dog, children et moi! Fully intending to sketch I took all my gear. Le Grand plan:- To create one or more masterpieces whilst the children played blissfully throwing a ball for the dog! I either have delusions of grandeur or have watched far too many bad American movies/sitcoms. You know, the ones that are saccharin sweet and have a strong moral at the end. Then insult your intelligence by hammering it home right at the end? Usually in the form of a diary entry or letter? Oh how naive I was! (laughs hysterically). Of course the one game they wanted to play was running full speed through the woods and hiding. Between carrying all the gear, in a bag that kept falling off (I’ve lost my rucksack), and looking for the dog/children – I managed about 10 lines, […]
Do you ever wish you’d waited a bit long before doing the next step? Well, I’ve had one of those moments when I wish I had.I started removing the masking and realised that the bell tower is not distinct. And it’s bothering me! I often find parts of a picture can be fainter than I’d intended when the painting is done. Usually I leave it as the balance seems to work. But not this time… So, what do I do when I remove the masking too soon? The simple answer is to redo it. A straightforward but time consuming process. First reapplying masking fluid. Then more careful painting in order to avoid wrecking the existing paint. Watercolour is a very unforgiving medium and shows EVERYTHING if you’re not careful. So, as the saying goes, more haste less speed. If I’d just spent a little longer painting I might have realised the contrast was insufficient… But then again I might not have!
Few artists are successful right from the start. It’s a fact. Rejection is inevitable at some point! Last week, I read a comment about an artist being good at coping with rejection. It seemed like a good point at first. But then it struck me… Do I REALLY want to be good at coping with rejection? No! I want to get good at coping with success! Rejection can help to feed that hunger for success. Strikes me that there are different ways to “cope” with failure: Accept it and give up. If that’s your approach, then you will only ever achieve failure. Denial – refuse to change. Inflexibility is also likely to lead to failure but not always. You just need to be sure you’re right! Blame others – Another form of denial, failing to take responsibility for your failure is a self perpetuating situation. Problem Solving– trying to identify reasons why the rejection occurred and taking positive steps to address the problem(s). At least you’re acknowledging your responsibility. Problem Solving is by far and away the best response to failure. The first three ways of coping are a passive inward looking reaction. Leading to learned helplessness it can […]
Remember the Sketchbook Project 2011? The touring sketchbook project? You do…Really? Fab! Well, if you remember, I started well. With 5 pages completed the first week. The plan was to do a sketch a day – with breaks. Like this… Well, over the next 12 weeks I did 3. Hangs head in shame… it’s not good is it! Each day I start intending to sketch, but little events crop up… and I’d miss sketching time. Excuses, excuses… If I’d just kept going I could have done it easily. Now it’s all a bit of a rush. The deadline is January 15th. And I’ve been playing catchup over Christmas. Almost there… “Down your street” (my theme) is really stretching me. Picture postcard street scenes rapidly became boring. So I’ve expanded the “street” to include the entire village. Well, they’re all accessible by going down the road somehow. Anyway, if you want to be pedantic, I live in a lane. 😉 Sketching versus drawing is an ongoing battle. I want to do highly detailed pictures. But, I’m keeping to the sketch format. Spending 1-2 hours maximum on each. We’ve also had snow! Being a wimp and disliking frostbite intensely, I’ve resorted to […]