Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Spring Energies!

'Paphos Glimpse,' oil and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 45cm

As I followed friends' posts on Facebook, I saw their 2013 albums start to bulge with lively new paintings. Finally, two weeks ago, I was able to get back to painting. Six new paintings emerged, with a clear division thematically. Cyprus sunlight still buzzes behind my eyelids, and prompted a series of paintings about light and colour. (Above is one of the two I have finished so far.) By contrast, the other paintings reflected the muted tones of a wet and grey winter environment. As I dwelled on my Winter Blues, I decided to paint them!
'Winter Blues,' oil and acrylic on board, 20 x 16ins
It's a real struggle currently, because some of my new paintings are pushing beyond certain parameters, and I'm finding it hard to judge them! But it's all good experience, and I'd rather end up destroying something than accept less than I want.

I never heard anything from the other two residencies I applied for, so I'm guessing I didn't impress the selectors. Like a painting that has 'gone wrong,' there's always tomorrow.

Friday, 1 February 2013

A Mixed Bag!

(Nicosia Evening with Church Spires, oil on board, 122 x 61cm)
I'm adding a very bright painting, to try to banish my winter blues! January is always my worst month, and I'm telling myself that now we are into February, it won't be long until until the first signs of Spring. As I am spiritually still in Nicosia, this seemed the best painting to post today.

I'm just recovering from the worst Flu I have ever had. It was probably caused by the 5 hour arctic wait at Gatwick airport on my return from Cyprus, but I get incredibly frustrated when I can't paint. Finally I am out of bed, my new stretchers arrived, and I can stretch my canvas and start work again. All kinds of colourful threads, landscape imagery, and cityscapes (washing blowing in the breezes) are fermenting in my mind, and I feel that this new work may be a step towards something different.

My bad news was that I didn't get the Cove Park residency. The rejection email was very nice, as she explained that 280 artists applied, and only 4 residencies were available. Again, it depends if your work fits what they want, and previous participants seemed to be quite experimental. She said they had liked my work a lot, which was nice as they don't usually bother to make any comments, and I can always try again next year. The email even thanked me for doing the very lengthy (and technical) digital application. I am very disappointed as the landscape setting was ideal for me, and I could see myself making huge developments if I'd had a month there to explore my ideas quietly, away from my daily constant distractions. I long for at least a month of uninterrupted work! I'm still waiting to hear about my other two residency applications, but hope is fading. It's become obvious that when you first spot the email reply in the long list of daily emails, if it doesn't have an attachment, then it's likely the answer is negative!

This week I also heard that the Mark Rothko Centre at Daugavpils, Latvia (where I did my residency in September), is going to open in April. When we were there, we had a tour around the enormous, golden building, still full of builders and wires, and smelling of new plaster. It will be a big Opening, and I am considering going. I also heard via Facebook that our work is now in the Mark Rothko Centre - GREAT NEWS! One of my ex tutors from Art School is exhibiting at the Centre in April, and will also be at the opening. I really want to go, but my main hesitations are that it is a long journey from Riga airport to Daugavpils, it will be a lot of expense for 3 days, and it doesn't seem as if many of my fellow resident artists are going.