Spent the afternoon in my studio, one to get away from the oppressive heat and two to calm my chaotic mind. Last time I painted here it was a landscape, very tranquil with the sun just coming through the clouds after the rain. Today, pouring out the chaos onto the canvas, at first it was fast and furious, then it slowed and as I kept standing back to look I could see lots of small compartments, all the different hats I wear I guess, and why there is often chaos going on. Some cool and tranquil compartments, some hot, hot, fiery and overflowing but, and this surprised me, there is balance, that felt good.
Guess we all paint for different reasons and are drawn to different styles. I don’t think I have yet found what really feeds my soul in terms of “style” and “content” of the painting, but just feeling and seeing the lucscuious colours oozing from the tubes, the buttery smoothness as the paint glides over the canvas, listening to loud, loud music, the movement of they body as the brush sweeps in wide arcs, this is why I paint, its so freeing, and exciting.
My sketch book is filling too and I know this is stirring something deep inside, its definitely a journey, and a daliy practice of creativity whatever it maybe certainly has its own momentum.
a great day in many ways, lunch by sea and a wonderful drive meandering along the country lanes to home. Shame I couldn’t see the lunar eclipse, but in my own way I honoured this special full moon this evening with a prayer for the land. I wrote it on small squares of paper and concealed them within layers of paint in a beautiful landscape.
This painting of Moel Hirradug has had several lives, three different attempts, one all green, one multicoloured and this one I think I like the best. Still feel the need to try again though, next time might be acrylics and pastel. This one is oil and it shows the iron age fort that sits atop. I have it on my friend’s authority that the view from the top is amazing, sadly I didnt even attempt it. Far too hot. The painting also depicts the parched earth, no rain now for 54 days.
Or should I say a vegetable day? my desire to keep painting seems strong at the moment. Am I enjoying it, Yes, absolutely. Am I pleased with the results, absolutely not !! this is the perfectionist in me, its such a hard task master to have this running all the time. Never ever feels good enough. For years, nearly 30 years I have been an interior designer and its only been in last 2-3 years that I can say I am interior designer and not feel a fraud. My creativity has taken many forms over the years, from drawing and watercolour sketches, to making things with my hands, cutting paper, clay work, collage, oil pastels, dry pastels, oil paint sticks but when it comes to painting, there is a lot of doubt that comes up. Not Good Enough, is the foremost one and most times it hampers the start, so recently with the urge to pick up my paintbrushes, oil paint and so on and keep painting is rather new to me. Its normally paint one or two, dont like them and put paints away for a few months.
Painting is a great teacher, it brings up so much for me that I can now sit and watch and see exactly what is happening as it unfolds. self doubt, conversations on size, whether to make it abstract or representational. Then there is the conversation about the cost of oil paint these days, absolutely ridiculous prices and like everything else now we have these small artisan workshops making specialist paints that are even more costly. One thing that has changed my painting though is Rosemary’s handmade brushes. I had never heard of an Egbert brush before, but these together with large long flats are helping me obtain the brushstrokes that I desire. To know they are handmade in Yorkshire make using them feel even better !
Not working at the day job today so had time to relax, breakfast on the Pantiles then back for painting and trying out a new medium, new to me anyway. Gamblin’s cold wax, its a mix of pure refined Beeswax and Gamsol, odourless mineral spirits. Wonderful stuff and it makes the oil paint a thick butter consistency. Thought I would try painting the South American woman’s face I tried a couple of week or so back and this time I am much happier. It has colour, the paints rich texture makes wonderful marks, using long flats and egbert brushes I managed to make really nice painterly strokes, even painting alla prima I could still, with a light touch flick a different colour over the first layer and create wonderful colour mixes and movement to the strokes. Blending the colour to create a blurred outline is something I am always trying, this medium it just happened without really trying. I used Rosemary Ivory brushes, long flats in sizes 6,10 and 12
Friday a really sunny day and took myself of to Hastings and my usual ritual of brunch at the Jerwood Gallery. Sitting outside on the terrace looking out to sea, the sun streaming down felt relaxed and far away from work related issues. Great food, great view and of course the paintings which I always come away from feeling energised with all kinds of inspired thoughts and feelings
This time I came back with a fish, a fresh caught sole for my dinner, amazing price of £2, together with some asparagus, home made hollandaise, plenty of lemon, delicious !!
Here are some colours I especially like, one of the them by Duncan Grant, all have some association with the local area and all the colour combination will have been absorbed like a sponge and then squeezed out into my next project.
Klimt, Kaffe und Kuchen in that order. This is how my long weekend in Vienna panned out. The city made a great impact on my senses, although very humid and hot my daughter and I walked to all the shrines to the master painter Gustav Klimt. I have seen many of his works ten years ago at the Tate Liverpool exhibition, but seeing the Beethoven frieze in situ within the Secession building in Vienna gave me goosebumps. I think it’s not only the works of art, it’s the history, the art nouveau period, the lifestyle, the history of some of the paintings belonging to wealthy jewish families and then stolen by the Nazis.
The Kiss, or at least a copy of it was bought for me on the occasion of my second wedding anniversary, I fell in love it as did thousands of others at the time 1971. I vowed then that one day I would visit Vienna, but I never though it would take me this long !!! Seeing the Kiss in the flesh, I cannot say it was a disappointment far from it, but because I have seen it everywhere for years it had slightly lost its allure, it still was amazing to see his mark making up close, it was not as fine as I had imagined but standing back from it, exquisite, they all were, including some landscapes, especially those at the Leopold Museum. This museum had a wondrous collection that we walked around for a long time, Picasso, Richter, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Munch and a small amount of Klimt’s sketches. From what I understand a lot of them are being prepared for and exhibition in london later this year.
The Vienna Riding school and the amazing arena setting, tall ceilings, huge tall columns and chandeliers. Horse and riders are so elegant. The large parks and squares, large wide streets along with interesting winding lanes, the winter palace with its splendid arches and sculptures, this is a city to remember, I would love to go back
After all the walking, 1300 steps each day I felt I deserved a treat so it was a trip to a Viennese coffee-house for Kaffe und Kuchen and it didn’t fail to delight
SELF DOUBT, oh how I know these words so well. Today I watched someone talk about their fears, their face showed so much pain and as the conversation went on this person crumbled before my eyes and all because that crippling self-doubt reared its ugly head. There are two schools of thought here, one to FIGHT against it, drive through it, beat it with your will and battle through triumphantly. this may work in the moment but long-term it never allows us to understand what is behind it and accept that sometimes we cannot change things. The other way is to sit with it, watch the feelings develop and at the point where is becomes too painful don’t run, don’t find away to run away from the feelings, feel what its like and let it take us to a place of darkness where those rich seams of gold exist, Its only allowing ourselves to really feel what is going on that we realise that perhaps there is nothing to fear after all?
I have learnt to manage these feelings in most areas and over the years my real sense of self-worth has escalated, but now and again those feeling of self-doubt still trips me up and about a month ago it reared up again big time. I was attending the opening launch of a project I completed back in the winter it took over 3 years to come to fruition and for my client it has been great success. I felt very proud of what my company had achieved. The night before I struggled with what to wear, struggled with the feeling of not wanting to be surrounded by people and somehow felt a fraud. Spent a sleepless night trying to think up all manner of reasons I could put forward for not attending. Even walking on Paddington station to catch the train to Bristol I was still in flight mode, but I smiled and chatted with other attendees and once I entered the building I managed to get through it, but I felt really uncomfortable, all because I had really strong feelings of not being good enough. I imagine nobody had any inkling of what was going though my head as they all complimented me on the designs, kissed me on the cheek and have me hugs. Think this has been the story of my life really, the real me for the most part had been hidden.
Do these feelings resonate? Is it something to do with creative people, are we extra sensitive?
A work in progress. Oils. Not sure what is drawing me along this journey of interesting faces but just letting it all unfold and see where it takes me. The first image is how it looks now, the second image is how it started its journey, almost two different images, it continually dies and then is reborn again into something new.
Oil onanvas panel 40 x 50 cms. As you can see at the moment this a very limited pallete, I am wondering how this will develop. Probably be week or two before I return, off to Vienna for a few days and my day job is full on !!
something said to me today paint something different, try something new. Well here it is, oils and gamblin solvent free gel medium. Bit sticky, had fun though, but dont think faces are my forte, I shall keep persevering though
What a great month, for most part I was in Greece, I painted, took photographs, swam, walked amongst the pines and generally relaxed. Here are some of the memories
Trying to change my wordpress theme and chose ORVIS, do not like it but cannot seem to revert back to my old one, so frustrating. I thought the portfolio section where you can showcase different projects was a good idea but cannot get that to work either. Feeling rather irked even though I am chilled, holidaying in Greece and still another week to go.
COLOUR and TEXTURE EXPLORATION
rich vibrant colours, golden high flow inks, opaque titanium white, layering, scraping back, transfer printing, great fun and very exhilerating
It’s here at last, the first day of a new calender year, for me the year really started with the winter solstice when the sun returns but for reasons of public holidays and a working life, January 1st seems to bring up many positive thoughts and experiences. One is something about a fresh new beginning. It always excites me, and I start the year off with so many projects and challenges I set for myself. I would be lying if I said I have ever achieved all of them in one year or even become close sometimes to finishing one. But that’s ok, come the new year, I can put all that behind me, reset my intentions and start the year with renewed vigour.
this year I have taken the pledge to try the vegan lifestyle for one month. https://veganuary.com I am becoming increasingly aware of the cruelty and torture that happens in the way our food is produced that I feel very uncomfortable eating and drinking dairy products. Meat is something I have been eating less and less of over the years but cheese, milk, butter and eggs I didn’t really think too much about. So now it is all change, and I feel good I have made this decision.
My next challenge is to sketch or write an entry a day in my journal. last year I tried a sketch a day and failed miserably, more like once a month !!. Writing is not a problem for me, I do it all the time, so when I cannot get around to a sketch of some sort I can do something. The small pastel sketch today was a really dramatic landscaper across the fields at Alfriston. It was one of those dark moody skies where the late sun was licking the tops of the trees making them glow with a wonderful coral orange and yellow light.
There are many more I shall not bore you with now, but here is wishing you all who read my blog a very happy New Year.