Wednesday, 11 March 2009

A Bad Day

Today I received notification that a painting I submitted for an Open Exhibition at the Mall Galleries was not accepted. (The painting submitted is the one in the previous entry, and is entitled 'Autumn, Late Afternoon.') It's strange but no matter how many times I submit work, and brace myself for the reply, the rejection slips always leave me feeling wobbly for a while! I spend a good hour or more thinking: 'Was my work no good?' or 'Did it just not fit their criteria, was it too colourful, not colourful enough, not figurative enough, not abstract enough....?' The list goes on and on, and each time new doubts emerge. But at the same time, I'm realistic enough to realise that one's work doesn't always fit the general tone of the exhibition, that often the personal tastes of the selection committee affect the final decision, or the sheer volume of work passing in front of their eyes makes it impossible to see or choose everything. I've learned that you should never slant your work towards what you think the committee might want - in the end you have to be yourself and follow your vision. The main thing is to keep on trying!
(With this entry are two paintings: 'Nicosia and Washing,' and 'Pool of Bluebells.)

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Painting at Burrswood, kent

Saturday was a perfect day for painting. I went to one of my favourite places, Burrswood. It's a Healing Centre and Residential place, with a church, coffee shop, pool and other amenities. The enormous grounds are truly spectacular. There are several spots I like to sit and paint in watercolour. One of these is down by the lake, where there's a wild forest and large rocks. Then there's the panoramic view from up the hill, which is also very inspiring. On Saturday I made two large watercolours. I may work them into oil, or I may work from some memories of being there, which makes for a more abstract, imaginative composition. I like to alternate between these two ways of working, and sometimes start my oil paintings from a few marks and colours thrown onto the canvas. Always I'm seeking to find a form to convey my experience of being in the land, and its spiritual forces.

Tomorrow I'm taking 2 paintings based on Burrswood to London. One is a watercolour of trees, sunlight and shadows, the other is an oil painting of an autumn scene (to be included in this entry, called 'Autumn, Late Afternoon.'). The oil is being entered for an open exhibition, the watercolour is going to a gallery.

I had some news last Friday that really cheered me up. The gallery which had asked me to collect my unsold work, asked for more. Consequently I'm taking up the watercolour.