New Year’s Day 2020 feels like a lifetime ago now. I’m certain we all had plans, big plans, small plans, for the year – for me there were exhibitions, craft fairs, teaching, workshops and shows, with something booked all the way through from the beginning of March till Christmas. I was excited. This was going to be my busiest year ever. I worried whether I would have enough work, frames and mounts, worried about whether tools and lino would arrive in time for the classes. I was worried it might all go well; I was worried it might all go badly –
This is a difficult and trying time for us all, so here is a little breath of Cote d’Azur to cheer you up.
After all the cancellations of my trips during the spring and summer, I decided to take the bull by the horns and try to make it to France in August to see my daughter. Not sure if I was brave or foolhardy, but the journey to Luton and onwards to Nice was extremely challenging, but so worth it.
To give you a little background – I only started painting in 2014 after I closed my business and retired. I ran a successful greetings card publishing business for over 23 years designing, selling and publishing greeting cards in many different languages all over the world. During my career I met artists, illustrators, graphic designers and photographers and this fuelled my interest in art.
We have all had such different experiences during lockdown. It would be interesting to compare how this has affected our creativity. I don’t know about you, but initially it seemed to suppress my freedom of expression and motivation and I had a real ‘block’. All that extra time and freedom to concentrate on painting and I couldn’t produce anything! Almost in desperation I joined a free online course suggested in Update – Louise Fletcher, ‘Find your Joy’ – and the very simple exercises she suggested bounced me right back to the way I love to work. (More about this course in the next issue of Update.)
I was asked how I did the cat and robin layered papercut.
For this article I have simplified the stages, number of layers and individual pieces used.
From a master drawing, on A4 (60gm) tracing paper I traced guidelines to create a 10” x 7” image (inclusive of 1/2” bleed all around) to be cut down to a 9” x 6” finished image.
I paint because I enjoy it – not because I’m good at it.
This title was paraphrased from a T-shirt I saw about playing a guitar, which I also happen to do with a fairly amateur level of competence. So, I thought the sentiment was particularly relevant to me and my painting.
I have been thinking about an ‘abstract’ image for the next online show and have made a choice.
Last Tuesday evening I was sitting out on our terrace, with my back facing west towards the setting sun and looking towards the east.