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