October 23rd 2013. 'Industrial area, Brazil', and below 'Winter Road'. Two sketches for possible future work.
This week I haven't had much time at all for painting, as I'm in the process of clearing out my studio, in order to de-clutter it and make more space. At the weekend I delivered all of my paintings to the gallery for my up coming exhibition, and being there with all of my work ready for hanging, for my first proper exhibition, I really had such a longing for this to be 'what I do'. I realised whilst standing in the gallery how much I want this...to be able to have the time to concentrate on my painting, and on future paintings, and the luxury of not having to 'squeeze into daily life' the few chances I get to paint. So I thought a good start would be to make my studio (the spare room upstairs! ) more conducive to being able to go in and immediately start working. Seeing my paintings altogether at the gallery I realised that I prefer my work on a larger scale, and although I enjoy sitting in my studio doing some smaller pieces, I tend to see these as sketches for possible future works (see images above ). My aim is to be able to do the paintings that I want to do, without being limited with regards to time and space.
Every now and again it is possible to see through day to day life, without your vision being clouded by daily necessities such as washing up, going to the bank, and hanging up yet another load of washing... and to see through it all to what must actually be the point of life...to imagine doing something that actually makes you feel not only more alive and full of energy, but that also makes you know or remember who you are. This is what I felt in the gallery... I had the feeling of 'oh yes, this is who I am...I remember me...'.
George Orwell wrote in 'Coming up for air', "There's time for everything except the things worth doing. Think of something you really care about. Then add hour to hour and calculate the fraction of your life that you've actually spent doing it. And then calculate the time you've spent on things like shaving, riding to and fro on buses, waiting in railway junctions, swapping dirty stories and reading the newspapers". I always think of this quote, and think to myself how true it is... it is about time that I start to actually make time for the things that are worth doing.
I have just finished my most recent painting. Once it's dry it will be off to the framers and then to the John Russell gallery (www.thejohnrussellgallery.co.uk ) to be included in my exhibition ( running from Monday 28th October until Saturday 23rd November 2013 ).
The title is 'Going West'. It is based on a photograph that I took whilst heading to London along the A11, in an area that is being widened to improve the road. I have a clear memory of stopping, and sitting in the car, near these trees when I was a child...we were on the way home from a holiday I think, and stopped to break up the journey. As we sat there eating sandwiches, and drinking tea from a thermos, I realised that if I looked out of one eye only, and then the other eye only, the colours differed depending on which eye I used. I kept looking out of one eye, and then the other, and thought about the different colours, and realised therefore, that the view I was seeing couldn't have an actual defined colour...the colour was defined by how it was viewed. And this is the first time that I realised that this must also be true for everything...not just colours, or scenery...but everything. I realised that nothing is 'set in stone', and nothing has a set definition. Everything changes depending on how it is perceived. I remember sitting there in the car with my parents and my sister, on the way back from our holiday, and thinking that from now on I knew that 'everything is nothing' yet 'everything can be anything'.
So these trees mean a lot to me, as they showed me that there are no 'correct' ways of seeing things, and that each person brings to everything their own views and perceptions...and as a child this was a wonderful realisation as it meant that my opinions were therefore just as valid as everyone else's. It felt very freeing to realise this as a child, and it still keeps me going even now, not just with my painting but in everyday life...whenever I find myself wondering or worrying about what other people think of what I paint or what I do, I can think of the trees and their changing colours...