Friday, 6 April 2018

Every Child Is An Artist

Picasso once said, 'every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain one when he grows up', or something along those lines. I'm so glad he said this, as it couldn't be more true.

Life is full of so many challenges, many of them are invisible, internal, mental ones that can unhinge the creative flow of the artists mind. The biggest challenge is trying to survive in the modern world, a world that can too often feel like a hurricane of confusion and impassible walls. Artists are very sensitive creatures and can all too easily withdraw to a place of refuge, out of the pandemonium of life. The upside of being sensitive is that ones mind is much more intuitive, and when you're riding that wave, not sinking beneath it, life is the ultimate joyride, you're the master of emotion, the wizard of creation, you just want to express that magic, to live it, to breathe it, to paint it! 

It's so important not to loose those child-like qualities that I believe really make an artist, the freedom we all once had, the passion for life, the endless possibilities, the love for simply being, and not to curse ones self too hard when the time for shelter is needed, for whatever reason, things will pick up.

I say this not only on a personal level, but also on a national one too. We, as a nation need to allow that sense of adventure back in to society. Courage, not fear of change is needed, then we all will surely benefit. Keep the vision alive!

Paintings on show at Store Street Gallery in November 2017 
in their group show 'Different Perspectives'

Thursday, 5 October 2017

New Art Brings Life

I want to live in a world which excites and inspires, a world of courage and prosperity, a world where positive, colourful, contemporary, skilful new art is held in the highest respect, driving the imagination of a new generation of galleries, enterprises and businesses. This painting like much of my other works, I feel exhibits this dream. 

Myself with new painting at the studio, in Bath - 03/10/2017

It's important to remain true to your art, and to develop a style which speaks to you, the artist, whether or not it's the current trend. In time, perspectives on art change alongside changes within society, and new forms of art will become predominantly more noticeable. Waiting for that window is the toughest thing for any emerging artist, but hard work, patience and faith will eventually pay off, fingers crossed. 

In my mind, great art should be socially, emotionally and culturally liberating, courageous and exciting, whilst visually and distinctively appealing. The artists job is to fully engage in and express these underlying principles. Whatever you do as an artist, do it well. Evolve your process and technique. This particular painting took me a good four months to complete, from initial sketches to the final piece. Good work takes time. I've learnt this from experience, whether it's portraiture, photorealism or abstract. The same principle applies. Chances are, if you feel the work is executed to perfection or as close as it's going to get, it's good enough to be exhibited and taken seriously by an established, upcoming gallery. Finding a gallery that is suitable for your individual work is another 'epic' entirely, and will take years of hard work.

Enjoy your gift! If you enjoy your work and find meaning in it, the world will follow.

Acrylic on canvas / 160 x 160 cm

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Being True To Your Art

One thing is for certain. Not everyone will like, or understand your work.
This will always be so. I am at peace with this fact. The good news is there will always be a number of people who absolutely love what you do, and may well purchase one of your masterpieces. Thank God for these people, but also thank God for your incredible gift, your vision and passion for the work you believe in. As an artist, you are never, ever going to please everyone, but does that make your art any less groundbreaking and original? No. I just means you aren't prepared to spend your life painting the obvious, i.e, peoples pets, country scenes, or sunsets. Of course there's a place for all that too, the majority of art will be just that. 

I think the most important thing as an artist is being true to your art, and not waste your time trying to please a large commercial audience, unless of course it's what you enjoy, and are skilled at.
Art, just like music, fits in to a wide genre. This is why I'm not disconcerted when I share a finished piece of work and don't receive thousands of likes back in return, even if the painting in question has taken hundreds of hours of disciplined work. Many famous artists of the past faced just the same issues before they became recognised, and accepted. I believe that if you truly enjoy the work you're producing, it will reflect on the lives of others. That to me, is real work.

Quoting American modernist painter, Georgia O Keeffe, 'To create one's own world takes courage.'

Be True To Your Art! 

new work in progress in the studio 3/6/2016

Friday, 17 March 2017

Colours of Thailand

I recently took some time off from painting to expose myself to inspiration from a far away culture : Thialand.

I don't often get the chance to travel great distances, so this experience was a real eye opener for me.
On arrival, I immediately noticed a very deep rooted sense of culture. While the influence of the western world is becoming much a more integrated into part of Thai society, the ancient sacred patterns of art and spirituality still flow alongside mainstream life. I found this very contrasting balance incredible, and beautiful, a considerable skill for a society to harmoniously co-exist with such opposing forces. 

Temples were commonplace, much so in Chiang Mai, where myself and my partner spent some days exploring before travelling up to Pai. 

Being an artist who specialises in vibrancy of colour, I felt I would briefly focus on that in this blog.
Below are a number of images taken from a Temple we found in Chiang Mai.
These photos do not do the artistry of these paintings justice. In life, these paintings were beaming with vibrant, strong colour. It became obvious in that moment, the connection between strong vibrant colour and spirituality. These paintings depict the life and teachings of Buddah. 

Although my own paintings are predominantly abstract, the sense of something spiritual that pure, clean colours evoke is something I can relate to in my work.  

Monday, 16 January 2017

Exhibition Now On!

There's a lot to be said for non-profit Art establishments. One of the best and most professional ways forward for a serious artist is to have to your work shown in such a venue, funded by the Arts Council. Another way is representation from a serious gallery that does fair business.

We now live in times when it is often the case that the artist may be invited to show, but there's a price to pay for your exhibition. It's a tough market, but I don't feel this is fair for a struggling artist trying to get their foot in the door and potentially attract new clients.

While there's always the option to organise your own show, the professional way to be exhibited is by fair invitation, with the artists' expenses paid for, including transport of the work. In this case the host takes a commission on sales to cover their costs, and so the risk is shared.

You may find more appropriate venues closer to home, so I wouldn't dismiss that opportunity, it's still professional practice. Not every exhibition has to be in central London, New York or wherever, unless it's by fair invitation.

I am delighted to have been recently invited for such a show much more locally, which I accepted. The show is currently on now and runs until the 25th February.

The organisers of the show have done a fantastic job exhibiting and promoting the show. I take my hat off to them.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Fundamental Thoughts Of An Artist

Everything in life is hard work, nothing is easy! Finding work, keeping work, pursuing your dreams, accomplishing your dreams, finding true love, keeping true love, and all the rest. Good news is 'life', just as it is, a blank canvas, with nothing on it, is total perfection and resounding joy, and the artist has the great pleasure and responsibility of painting that canvas, opening the window and showing the magnificent view to a people tangled up in the everyday routine of daily tasks or those of us looking for something greater.

Sometimes there is more to life than being strong, believing and triumphantly achieving our dreams, sometimes it's best to just surrender to the overwhelming madness and chaos of it all. Give in to the struggle, accept there are things we can't do, give in to the mountain... and wait. Wait for things to change, for the mountains to crumble, for the sun to set and a new dawn to rise, for the shooting stars that carry our and dreams to fall in to our hands. 

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

I'm off to the studio this morning, to work on a new painting, because I'm an artist and that's what artists do. An artists profession is to create - not sell. That comes later. Vision comes before profit.

It's about tapping in to the magic and manifesting it in to existence, in new work. The world always needs more magic, now more than ever. It's about being present in a sacred moment, feeling and communing with the energy and abstract concepts that come to mind. It's about opening up, going deeper, inspiring the psyche of a world that needs a story, meaning and guidance.

'The Past And Future Actions Of Involuntary Spontaneity' Sold
Acrylic on canvas, 207 x 144 cm