Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Painting Myself Back into Form

It's been a while! in  fact, I've avoided this little site because the anxiety about not having anything to write was troubling. But, I'm back (tentatively) working on the old mojo. 

I had a solo show at a long established professional gallery a few months back. It was exciting and a success from my point of view as I sold work and got great feedback. For my first time out in the professional scene in the current economic climate I was pretty chuffed. It also needs to be said that the gallery really didn't promote the work ... but that's the other story.

The other story ... Myself and the delightful James Ainslie where the last people to show at Kensington Gallery. Kensington Gallery, after 30-some years under the careful stewardship of the previous owners has now closed its doors. The new owner has gone into liquidation due to poor financial management.  It was under the care of the new owner for just over a year. 

I never got paid for the works I sold and neither did James. And I probably never will. That's been the de-motivator. I wouldn't say I'm a particularly fragile artist, but the experience really knocked me for six. I haven't been able to face a brush or paint or draw. You put in all that work and a large piece of yourself and it is simply taken away. Lots of self talk was required to find a firm upside that didn't slip away in the night.

I'm something of a cricket nut, so I've tried to pick myself up and take a lesson from that great sport. I finally got to grips with my slump in form and decided that I really needed to 'bat myself back'. So, yesterday I picked up a brush and set up my easel and canvas and just began to paint with Midlake blaring in the background. I didn't want to think about about it too much, I just wanted to 'do'. 

I managed about an hour. And it was hard. There were little niggles telling me to go and do something else. My eye kept trying to see what was past the edge of my canvas. It was a shock, really, as I've always been able to get into touch easily. But, it's like meditation, if you don't practice and build your skills you loose that capacity to concentrate and be in the moment.  

Today I've done another hour before breakfast and had the time to reflect. So I'm putting a few words together to share this experience and I'll get back to this painting in a few minutes. I'll share when I finish :-)