Hang time! Setting up my exhibition

It’s been a while since I last put on a solo exhibition. Gone are the days where you could just bang a nail in a wall “sigh”. My best buddy and occasional stress reliever, Mr Blu Tack has been banished too. Today I was at De Koffie Pot Gallery on Hereford’s Left Bank Village, hanging my new exhibition.  The complex is situated on the banks of the river Wye and has a beautiful feel to it. It’s a nice slice of city/country life.

Today was great. I had fun hanging my work and listening to all the activity going on around me. My February collection filled up the wall space nicely and I’m pleased with how it’s all looking. I have a few more finishing touches to add tomorrow morning and then the setup is complete and ready for the private view on the evening. I’ve made a playlist of the music i was listening to throughout my painting challenge which will be played at tomorrow nights viewing. I’m looking forward to it! Just got to decide what to wear 🙂

February Challenge – What I Learned

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So, last month was very interesting. I completed a painting everyday for 28 days, without any real idea what i was going to do at the start of each painting. I set the challenge for a few reasons. For one, i wanted to do something different to my usual art practice which can be a long process of planning, thinking, more planning and more distraction…ur, I mean thinking. Secondly, i wanted to do something that would help form the habit of a consistent, daily art practice. So, to challenge myself to complete one painting everyday for one month seemed like a good start. Posting the work on Facebook was very helpful due to people getting involved with discussing the work. This was a lovely surprise actually and quite a few people remarked on how they looked forward to seeing what i would come up with each day.

I think the biggest thing i have learned is that i have been harboring a lack of self confidence in my own abilities. There has been a big need for control in my work and i feel slightly daft for not recognizing it before. This need for control and the lack of confidence is actually something i can trace back to childhood. It was born out of trauma and it creeps in through the cracks and glides past, in plane sight because it probably knows I’m not paying it a blind bit of attention . It was right.

Completing this work in a short space of time was sometimes frustrating but it was mostly very enjoyable. There was a sense of freedom and a very different energy about the work, which must have come from being in the moment with the paint and my thoughts. I was very aware of time during this challenge and I had to stop myself from being too fussy and hesitant. There were times when i completed a painting so quickly that i was very surprised with myself. Other times, i had to reassess what i was doing and change things to make them sit better on the canvas.

I very much enjoyed painting straight onto a blank canvas without any prep work. I think this was the thing that surprised me the most. In my usual art practice, i meticulously plan a full size drawing of whatever I’m doing. I plan it all out so i don’t have to worry about mistakes when it comes to transferring it into paint. There are positives and negatives to this of course. It does create a beautifully detailed and refined piece of work. What it doesn’t do is allow room for happy accidents and things that might surprise me. On the other hand, i could say that i go through that process in my planning stage but there is a very different energy between the meticulously planned and the unplanned.

I loved every minute of this challenge and i think it shows in the work. I also loved interacting with people about the work. It was very interesting to hear how other people interpret some of the ideas and eight of the paintings have already been sold. Wonderful!

‘February’ – 28 paintings in 28 days, will be on display at DKP Gallery, Hereford, from Friday the 10th March till Friday the 17th March.

Painting #25 – February Challenge

Heeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Johnny. Only joking! Here’s painting #25 in my February Challenge. This painting took 3 hours (UPDATE: This painting has now sold). Whilst i was working on this piece, I made the decision to keep the last remaining paintings in this challenge under wraps, because…..

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This is happening and I’m so excited about it!

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All the paintings will be for sale along with some limited edition prints. I can’t wait!

Painting #19 – February Challenge

This painting was Inspired by tonight’s soundtrack and song lyrics by the wonderful Raymond Weatherill AKA ‘Dirty Ray’ ( i hope you don’t mind Ray x x ) This one took 3 and a half hours. Ray’s Original lyrics are:

Put all your sins in a basket, far too heavy to hold, find the beauty in your sadness, when you’re alone. Taken from the  song ‘Old Man In Young Mans Shoes’.

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Dirty Ray – Big World For A Little Man.

Painting #15 – February Challenge

This was another very strange one to work out! It started out as something completely different. It took a while for me to work out where to take it but I’ve ended up here, with a bit of classic surrealism. I’ve called it ‘Door Portrait’. The paint was getting a bit muddy at this point so i had to stop. I did toy around with the idea of placing a tiny figure on the top of the tongue, just in the doorway. This one took 5 hours.

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Soundtrack for this evening was kt Tunstall and Kathryn Williams.

Painting #14 – February Challenge

Painting #14 in my daily painting challenge. Another sketchy type painting with a slightly quicker completion time of 3 hours. I decided to leave this one slightly unfinished looking as i was enjoying the chunky, scrappy lines against the softness of the flesh tones.

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Soundtrack for this evening was Tame Impala and PJ Harvey.