Monday, 20 January 2014

'Black Highway'...

I’ve been feeling very lost since I made my last painting, ‘Drift’, and installed my exhibition at Nuneaton. I’m usually ahead of myself, always thinking of the next painting, but recently I’ve been left thinking, ‘well, what is the next painting?’…It’s not like me at all.

I had a small private view for ‘Black Highway’ on Saturday afternoon, which turned out to be a nice event thanks to the friends and family that made it along. I find it increasingly difficult to attract people along to any private views I have, but I do have a little hardcore of about half a dozen friends that always thankfully make the effort. These gatherings around my paintings seem to turn into really nice occasions where these great people, who don’t meet very often, come together for an hour or so and catch up with each other. It's nice to think my paintings can serve such a function.
The response to my work has generally been very positive from friends and others, who have left comments in the visitor’s book. I managed to sell two small pieces on Saturday (a small painting and a pastel), and was very surprised at the strong reaction the largest painting, ‘The Gaze’ (above) seemed to generate, with people really enjoying the more overtly abstract qualities of it, as well as the colour, in particular the green square. The discussions around this piece helped me begin to focus again. And it was a surprise, as I felt that these abstract qualities might have been the most difficult for people. It has encouraged me to think more about this. 
I’ve also managed to get together another accompanying pamphlet for the exhibition, which was designed and created by my good friend, illustrator Chris Cowdrill, which you can view online here:

 or buy  at the exhibition. Chris as ever, has done a very sensitive and sympathetic job. It’s much sparser than the last one for ‘Stolen Car’ in February, with the only writing a poem that I have written. This is something new for me, and took shape after a failed attempt to originally write a short essay for the publication. The poem seemed a better form to boil my ideas down to their essence, which is very much how I think about painting. I’m grateful to friend, artist Andrew Smith for reassuring me it wasn’t too embarrassing to print.  I’ll share it in another post.

This is another Indigo Octagon publication, of which there are now three. I think it would be good to do a few more of these in some way as a group and link up with some sort of fanzine fair at some point. 
And today I found out that I also managed to get a review in the Birmingham Mail online. It’s pretty good too, especially the bit about my exhibition/paintings being money well spent for the Arts Council! Here’s a link:

Thanks to those who made it along on Saturday. Your support and interest is very much appreciated.

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