It’s been a slowish start to the year what with one thing and another. The one thing I can cope with. But another is a different story😄
I went into this piece with no intentions. I just wanted to get going so I let the shapes form themselves and the colour took over. The pinks deepened and became… shock horror, purple tones. I hardly ever use purple, and certainly not in abundance. It’s just not a colour that speaks to me. But it seemed to work and I stuck with the new mantra to just go with the flow.
I’ve painted a fair few birds this year. I started drawing them during the first lockdown when observing the action going on in the back garden became enthralling. It took a lockdown to do that. Gradually they became paintings, and greeting cards and prints. I loved watching the characters and relationships unfold. There’s alway high drama where birds are concerned.
All of life is happening amongst the branches. There’s scrapping and schmoozing. There’s old and young, greed, rivalry and courtships. There are the loud mouths and the philosophers. There’s never a dull moment.
In every painting I’ve noticed that there’s always a quiet little chap, the voice of reason amongst the drama who just wants a quiet life.
Of all the styles I’ve dabbled in over the last few years, I always, always come back to this. It’s where I feel most ‘me’ and is a truly happy, free place. Yes, I love architecture and drawing and florals and watercolours and filling sketchbooks and painting en plein air but this right here is where it feels like home. Big. Bold. Brash. I start these pieces with a memory and a feeling and see where it goes.
Much as we like to think we ‘improve’ as artists, and we strive to learn and develop … as we absolutely should, I might add, what comes naturally will always come out and we should embrace that. For a long time, as I delved into different styles, learnt and embraced techniques, I tried to move away from this style. I was actually a little ashamed of its perceived naivety. Also the fact that it came easily, meant I didn’t feel its worth and thought for something to be good, it had to be hard work. Well I am a stupid person and old enough to know better because this mindset is wrong. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. Yes, develop your skills. Try new techniques. Read, look, experiment, take classes, courses, do ALL of it. It will all be nourishing and ultimately useful. But then listen carefully to your own voice and use it in all its unique glory.
Below are older paintings stretching back to 2013.
Throughout this summer I’ve been working on a series of floral pieces, all on paper. This batch is called Deep Summer and my aim is to continue with an autumn batch, then winter and … you get the picture.
All of these pieces are on half sheet watercolour paper (22” x 15”) using inks, pastels, acrylics and pencils. There’s even some glitter 😁