Canterbury Art Show

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It’s the opening of the Canterbury Art Show tomorrow night – and I’ll have 7 works in it.  Astonishingly this will be my 8th year!

This was one of the first shows I was even involved in, and it remains close to my heart.  So many of the local artists I strongly admired at the time were involved and it was with my heart in my mouth that I delivered my works that first year.  What a thrill to have sold some, to have been invited back, to have been invited back each year.

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My work has changed so much in those 8 years.  My name has changed too.  But for me, looking back at past works reveals a journey of joy, discovery and optimism.  Some of those works represent difficult times.  Some pure wonder at the world and everything in it.  Some the marks of a woman drowning. All of it made with love for the medium and the joy of being able to put something down in a concrete form and see it external.  I’m lucky.  I know not everyone has that privilege.  I lost it for a bit.  I know how precious it is to have that freedom.

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In approaching works for this year I stalled.  I stalled for the longest time, because my time for painting has become limited, and in some crazy way the limiting had made every session a bit too precious to be easy.

And it used to be so easy!  Fling my arms around with abandon and make marks – throw the canvas, grab another.  Angry – put it down.  Happy – put it down.  Filling in time while a baby sleeps – put lots down.  I used to experiment a lot.  I used to scratch paint off, layer and layer, and play.

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Needing to be strategic didn’t work for me.  It got too tight and nothing moved.  I wasted so much time.  After wasting hours on a painting that wasn’t working I wiped it all off and started again. Image

I grabbed the sander and took off the carefully applied landscape that was nicely rendered but uninspiring.  Taking back a sliver at a time.  UNPAINTING.  Brilliant fun.

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I played with surface, with tools, with technique, with subject matter.

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I abandoned where I felt I was moving as an artist in developing themes and threw it all out the studio door for a time.

It was SO fun.  And I stepped back at the end of it.  Where one gets to the point end of hanging on D-rings, and wires, and labels, and loading them into the car, and I thought – what a joyful collection!  It’s a collection.  Not a series, but these are works to make happy corners in homes, and that’s what this show is all about.

And along the way I discovered some old ways of working I had forgotten and some new ones I can’t wait to explore more.

So if you feel like visiting – it’s on this weekend – 2nd to the 4th of May at Canterbury.  Details (and links to my works here).

 

 

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