After dragging myself out of bed and having my morning cup of Rooibos tea and oatmeal, it's time to loosen up my dodgy back and go for a walk down by the sea. This is how I start to get the creative juices flowing....I start thinking about my mood and decide what subject I fancy for the day's endeavour. If I am a bit tired and draggy, I will usually settle on a non-subjective, abstract style so that I can play and see what develops naturally.
So, here we are staring at the big, blank canvas..... what next? where to start?
- It varies.....each piece.......every time, is the simple answer. Different is good in my world, if I did the same thing everyday I would go quite mad and be carted off in a smashing new jacket very quickly..ha!
Sometimes, I just start making marks with a brush or graphite.... the bigger and more gestural the better. This warms up my shoulder and gets me focused but, keeps me loose. Other times I just start applying colour, straight from the bottle or tube and start to play. -
I use top of the line Golden fluid and medium body acrylics and some Winsor & Newton, they are simply the best - and premium canvas, usually Fredrix. I want my work to stand the test of time and I believe that you get what you pay for.
Back to the painting part..... The most important thing is that it has to feel natural to me - no rules, no particular order. I love the freedom to play in the chaos and I thoroughly enjoy those "happy accidents" that present themselves during this period of the painting experience. I find that the more I try to control the painting, the more we fight. I have finally figured out after many years (and several thrown brushes and tantrums) that the painting always wins...... it really IS best to just let them paint themselves.
As the piece progresses I like to work reductively. Adding and subtracting paint with scrapers, palette knives, spray bottles and paper towels, amongst other "weaponry". I paint instinctively and spontaneously. If I find myself at a loss or getting tight, I will take a sharp left turn so to speak and a landscape can suddenly become an abstract, a floral becomes a figurative, or whatever....it really is true, they are better when they paint themselves.
That is stage one and my favourite part..... FUN!
The painting then gets put away for the day, facing the wall so that I cannot see it..... like a naughty schoolchild :) It continues its young life with me when I am ready and focused enough to start colour correcting, adding detail and generally making some order of things. I still try to keep as loose as I can....... overly detailed, precise work bores me to look at - and to paint. I don't want to spell it all out for you, it's only fair that you do some of the work too........ I feel it is more interesting and engaging that way. This part of the process takes time and focus and it may come back on to the easel many times before I am ready to say my farewells and release it into the world.
A little bit extra:
- The question that I am asked more than any other is "How long did that take you to paint?" -
- ughhhhhh, I never have a good answer to that question, but only because each piece is different. Some are relatively painless, if I don't go messing things up and some are a "dance", back and forth, frustrating at times. So the most basic of answers I can give is that some take about a week in the studio, while I have been working on others for far longer than I care to admit.......sorry if that is vague, but it is honest. -
- The second most frequent question is a variation of "What does that abstract painting mean?" -
- I dread this question and never really know what to say so let me try to explain it here: My abstract work is "me time", I paint for me and me only. It could be centered around my mood, be it happy, sad or angry. It might just be about a colour that has caught my attention or a new technique that I fancy trying or an old one that needs practice. Over the years, it has become very clear to me that everyone sees something different in them, the list is infinite. At the end of the day, I want you to experience the painting through your eyes and emotions and make of it what you will. Does it speak to you? Basically, if you fall in love with it, buy it.......or not :) -
I hope to continue my study of paint for many years to come....... I will always push myself to learn, experiment and grow in my art. I won't go all "I am sooo great that I am going to raise my prices to some ridiculous level on you". I do ask, though that you keep an open mind when it comes to how much time, effort, materials and dedication it takes to make a living as an artist. I have tried to find a level of pricing that I do not resent selling my work for and also, hopefully keeps owning an original piece of art an affordable reality. I sincerely hope that you like the site and the work and I am totally approachable with any questions that you may have.
Keep checking in with us on a regular basis as we will posting new works and news frequently. Follow us on social media and/or hit the "contact" button and join the mailing list to keep up with events, shows and maybe a piece that is being auctioned for charity....who knows :) We promise not to bombard you with unwanted spam, too frequent emails, and we will never sell or distribute your personal information. Oooh, and lastly, blog and video clips from the studio coming soon-ish...... I must clone myself to get all this done!
Cheers for now and once again, thanks for stopping by!