I will openly confess that I’ve been pretty bad at PR over the years but 2014’s resolution is to be a bit more intentional about it. This started with partnering with Artfinder, who are able to reach so many more people globally than I can on my own and are pretty good at PR, I have to say. I now have 15 pieces in my shop, with more being added each week. So far I’m very pleased with the results, two paintings have been sold, new interest has been established and will continue I hope through the year.
This week’s addition to my shop is The Arch, a life painting completed a few years ago from two life painting sessions. It was painted at a time when I was beginning to find out what was important to me in my artwork and style. Each visit to the life class gave me a fresh challenge, namely, how would I approach the subject this week? I began life drawing in 2001 as another New Year’s Resolution. I’d graduated in ’97 and until 2001 hadn’t really done a lot of drawing as the day job took over, but by 2001 I’d had enough and was intentional about finding a life class and committing to it. That intention lasted for over ten years! Eventually it became difficult to juggle a three and a half hour life class with two young children, but I’ll go back to it when the time is right.
In 2001 I started out tentatively with charcoal and a putty rubber producing quite safe drawings, concentrating on observation. As my confidence grew over the weeks I moved to pastels, pencils but essentially any dry media, for a number of years, honing my skills of observation and working out what I could do with each medium. Then there came a point when I needed to paint, but not having painted really since school I had to learn how I wanted to paint, looking closely at artists such as John Singer Sargent, Lucien Freud etc. After a few agonisingly hard sessions, I settled in, experimented and freed up my style – for a number of years just in acrylic, then over to oils (then back to acrylics during two pregnancies!). And from there a joy of paint was born that as never ceased.
The Arch shows an exploration in colour and form. The latter years in the life sessions were about editing out, working out what to include in a composition rather than faithfully representing it – some more experimental than others, some less so. I’ve always really enjoyed looking for colour and bringing it out, enhancing it – and this painting aptly demonstrates this, in the colour used in her flesh tones. I feel at peace when I look at this painting, the colours soothe me. I enjoy the fiery orange on her ponytail as it plays against the strong line that follows the arch of her back.
I hope you enjoy it to. If you do please do sign up to Artfinder and click the little heart under it, to help others find my joy of colour.