I think about spontaneity a lot in relation to my painting. Machines are very good at starting with order and finishing with order, whereas we humans are so often messy and chaotic as we circle back and forth between spontaneity and order. Like any skill, learning how to paint initially requires more order, more absorbing and following of rules, and less spontaneity. Gradually, as in any creative endeavour, order and rules give way to some level of “letting go”. As Picasso famously said: “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
In my practice, most of my paintings start off with a bit of craziness:
But I keep going and eventually, something appears that holds the key to the rest of the piece. And all those chaotic, crazy layers – many of which are hidden – add to the history and soul of the painting. I’ve discovered that if I keep faith and keep going, the marriage of spontaneity and order is where the magic happens.
The finished painting is below. It’s called “Here comes the sun” and I hope it conveys a sense of light and hope.
Coming up: Making a Mark exhibition, Stow-on-the-Wold
I shall be showing my work in St Edwards Hall in the heart of beautiful, historic, Stow on the Wold this weekend, alongside 15 other artists and makers. The exhibition will show gorgeous original artwork, stunning jewellery and ceramics, as well as beautiful wood and textile pieces created by a range of professional artists from Warwickshire. Visitors to the show can view and buy the work, as well as talk directly to the creators about their inspiration, techniques and materials.
The exhibition is a free event and runs from 11am – 5pm on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th November, at St Edwards Hall, The Square, Stow on the Wolds. Do come by and say hello if you’re in the area!
If you’d like to join us for drinks and nibbles at the private view of Making a Mark this Friday (15th) from 6.30pm – 8pm – just drop me a line to let me know.
Till next time.