Friday, 27 June 2014

Random Paths and Sales

'Sale Fun,' acrylic on canvas, 92 x 92cm (36 x 36ins)
Yesterday my large painting, 'Sale Fun,' was installed in the windows of Hoopers department store, here in Tunbridge Wells, along with 9 other paintings. The brief we were given a month ago was to interpret SALE, and I had a lot of fun doing this! I started my painting with one idea and it ended up going in a completely different direction. The large, simple areas of colour and carefully placed figures represent a different approach for me, which is always good. The paintings are being sold to help the charity CHYPS (Hospice care for children and young people). I think that as we stood outside the windows yesterday to watch the 'live body sculpture' being performed in the windows, (which attracted much attention from passers-by), two paintings had already sold. No one knew which paintings but it is expected that many of the paintings will sell.

The night before the paintings were unveiled, I noticed that many shops had Sale signs in their windows, and yesterday most of the Sales began.

Unfortunately, my painting did not photograph well. I had to photograph it in a hurry as I was rushing to deliver it on Wednesday morning, and had just adjusted the colour of the vase near the top right side (it is a pale lilac, not white, as in the photo).  Luckily acrylic dries really fast. So I took the photograph of the canvas up against a wall, resulting in wonky edges. I could not crop them too much without losing important elements of the painting. The colours are also not very accurate: there is a deep turqoise blue in several places, and cobalt blues, and a lovely rich jade green. But the picture gives an idea of how I interpreted SALE.

After I delivered my painting, I had to dash up to London. My friend Gill Brown had work in the Society of Women Artists exhibition at the Mall Galleries and had given me a ticket to the Private View. When I arrived, she had just been given an award: The President and Vice President of the SWA Choice Award. It was much deserved as her sculptures are very beautiful and unusual. It made me reflect on the sometimes random nature of an art career. Last year I met Gill as I collected my paintings that had been rejected from the Discerning Eye exhibition. She was also in the tiny collection room, not far from the Mall galleries, and said to me, 'Not so discerning, are they?' It made me laugh and it was the beginning of our friendship. It shows how you can get rejected one year and win an award the next! I have had this experience too - I was 'culled' from the Axis artists' database in January 2012 (for not being 'contemporary,' I believe) only to go on to be one of 15 artists selected in June for an international painting residency at the Mark Rothko Centre in Daugavpils, Latvia. It was fully funded and one of the best experiences of my life, and my work is now part of the permanent collection at the Mark Rothko Centre, and not far from the original Rothko paintings. So for any artists reading this who are feeling discouraged, don't be - things can swing around the other way!

The window of Hoopers - promoting our paintings and Chyps charity

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