Sometimes sharing a view can help you unwind what appears to be a complicated issue. Until my last post, I’d been struggling with what I thought was an issue of identity until several people came to my rescue and helped me to realise I was probably dealing more with an sense of belonging. Thanks to all who sent email and twitter messages though you would be doing my ego no end of good if you were to post your replies on my blog as well. It kinda helps raise my profile.
Needless to say I am quite happily settled and painting stuff I like to paint. I say this because for a number of years I have been trying to launch myself as a professional painter. By this I mean I would like to earn over 80% of my income from my paintings. One thing I have done is to conduct my art as though it were a business; to try and spend as much time marketing myself as I spend in studio. With this in mind I found myself a mentor and learned very quickly that if I wanted to make it as an artist then I ought to paint what people want. This is good business advice if you understand economic and the laws of supply and demand however am beginning to think as an artist that this can lead to one making rather a lot of compromises. I finally decided there are better painters out there who can paint the lake district or the peak district and whilst I am not ruling myself out of doing these areas I want to concentrate more on the subjects that give me pleasure on the basis that out there there will be another soul who’s love of my paintings will resonate with mine enough for them to dig deep and make a purchase. I have sold many paintings before, I am just trying to increase the frequency of sales.
So crisis averted I have been considering why it is I love to paint so much. I’ve had to consider this in response to a competition I entered recently and this is my part of my response; ‘
…if you have ever read a book that has been so captivating you can’t put it down, you will probably come close to understanding why I love to paint so much. For me it’s like climbing through a vista into another world where I can lose myself to my imagination. When I return, I want to bring something back with me that others can enjoy as well and when it resonates with them, I feel like a certain magic has passed between us’.
My most recent painting ‘Market Woman Selling Tomatoes’ probably describes this feeling. Even though I sketch a lot, I love to capture the moment with a camera and this was one I took in Ghana during my last visit.
Here are a few thumbnails so you can see the process. I am enjoying the use of abstract shapes in the background and the use of gold paint though in the not to distant future I will be using gold leaf. Enjoy… and don’t forget to add your comments below.