Thursday, 22 September 2016

I'd like to thank... how every Oscar acceptance speech starts and we watch them, wondering how much gushing we are going to have to endure. However, it is worth thinking about those people who help us out when we have a goal which we are striving for, so this is the art equivalent of my Oscar speech. This week, I've been booking lots of things in to my diary for 2017 (all exciting blog posts to come) and I have realised that without significant people in my life, there is no way that I would be able to achieve my dreams. Do the rest of you out in art land feel the same? There are my supportive students, organisations like the Society for All Artists who work hard to promote me and my work and my assistant Jasmine, but these are all work related. How about friends, family and partners? All of them constantly beavering away in the background, helping out and making sacrifices just so I can do what I do.
My parents are just brilliant, even at the grand old age of 42, my mum is still my sounding board for ideas and problems and my dad will still drive me to events if I'm likely to be tired on the way back. Then of course there's my husband, who I don't think really understood what it would be like to live with a constantly driven, work obsessed artist but does it without ever moaning and is always the first to tell me to go for something.
So to all of you, my heartfelt thanks and gratitude and to my husband (who may occasionally forget what I look like) you are just the best and although I know you will hate it, here is you taking part in one of my workshops!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

A lovely workshop at the studio today, with a full house to kick off the autumn term. A different way of painting for me, mixing up the traditional order of laying down colours in order to 'let go' of it a little more.
We started with a loose, watery wash of colour on the background after a great deal of discussion about paper and surfaces, playing with salt and clingfilm to suit our tastes. Only when this was dry did we start constructing our subject matter with a few loose pencil lines, adding a second layer of washes over this to give a vague sense of where our colour was going to occur. To spice things up at this stage, we included metallics in the form of inks or powders to our washes, only then pulling it together with darks to give the definition.
This is always a tricky class to teach as some gravitate to this type of painting and others take a little longer to get used to letting go of the precision. I think though, that everyone agreed that in order for the pieces to be successful, they needed to adopt the 'less is more' principle - easy to say and not so easy to do! Have any of you out there ever experienced this? Let me know won't you...