2019 saw me venturing into new territory, both literally and artistically. I put my camera aside and in January, spent a few days at St Ives School of Painting. The course I thought I was attending was described in the programme as “All Media”, but The Poetry of Process, tutored by Kerry Harding, was, in fact, oil paint based. My initial reaction was alarm as I didn’t know the first thing about oil painting, but Kerry was a great tutor and opened a door in my brain which I didn’t know was there. I learned so much, not just about the paints and paraphernalia, but about the process of creating a piece of art.
In June I travelled to the South Correze in southern France to join Charles Rodwell’s painting group for a week of tutoring in and around the beautiful Manoir du Battut. By now I had plenty of paint and brushes, and not much idea what to do with them all, but I persevered and enjoyed the surroundings and the beautiful food and wine!
By now I was completely bitten by the oil painting bug. A week after returning from France I was back in Cornwall, this time at Newlyn Art School for a five-day course, The Expressive Landscape, tutored by Jack Davis. Jack is an inspiration, full of infectious, energising enthusiasm and zest, hugely encouraging and very, very talented. Here, I was able to build on what I’d learned from Kerry and Charles and I began to loosen up my approach to painting and my use of paint and brush.
I’ve improved considerably since then and I think I’ve turned out some pretty good work, (others may disagree!) though I know I shall probably look back on it in a few months time and be unimpressed with my efforts. The joy of creating is the learning and progress, the freedom to experiment and the courage to fail and start again … and again … and again! I’ve had to do a lot of that!
I was lucky enough to be able to visit quite a number of high profile art exhibitions during the year, including Van Gough&Britain, and Edward Burne-Jones at Tate Britain, Pierre Bonnard, Don McCullin, Dora Maar, Olafur Eliasson and Dorothea Tanning at Tate Modern, Gauguin Portraits, Sorollo, and the amazing Leonardo Experience at the National Gallery, and Antony Gormley at the RA.
You may now be wondering what happened to my photography during 2019. Well, the truth is, not a lot. For various reasons, I found myself standing still on the path I’d been on and had no idea where to go next. I’m sure something will awaken in my photographic brain before too long; a door will open and, hopefully, interesting ideas will emerge. But, in the meantime, I shall enjoy the thrill of learning new ways of being creative, albeit oil painting is messy, smelly, somewhat pricey and the results take up a great deal of space!
This year I shall be opening my studio for the Marlborough Open Studios event after taking a year out. Apart from my photoart work, with which you may already be familiar, I shall be showing a small selection of paint and print work for the first time. I hope you will come to visit me and give me your feedback on this new work. I look forward to welcoming you. In the meantime, you might like to explore the galleries in this website. And here are some other websites you might enjoy.