A poster for the open event created by my son
I opened my studio door to the public for the first time last Sunday when I took part in the inaugural Kings Heath and Moseley Open Studios event, which is running over this weekend too (but I’m not participating in this one). It gave me a good boot up the arse to have a thorough tidy up and clear out in the studio over the summer in preparation, and update a few things such as business cards and mount some more digital prints I have recently created. These were made by printing onto some ‘found’ painted and textured papers collected from the guillotine offcuts of my students work in the studio I lecture in at college. I thought these looked great, and I priced them very cheaply on the day considering no two are the same, and I ended up selling a few.
The studio (before another last minute tidy!)
I hung a selection of work on the studio walls: smaller, more recent paintings on one wall, and some larger paintings on the other. These were a mixture of my motorway nocturnes, trucks and depots, and one of my larger, more abstract pieces. I was pleased on the whole, and it gave me pause for reflection at how striking and exciting the larger pieces were compared to the more modest sized recent work. They also seemed more formally inventive and different to so many other ‘landscape’ paintings around, which again gave me pause for thought, and I felt really positive about this. There are lots of nice things going on in the new stuff too though, it just needs a bit more time to develop. I’m particularly pleased with this new painting of what I consider a ‘found’ still life of a discarded paper bag at the kerbside (that sentence all sounds so weird though when written down).
recent painting, oil on canvas, 40 x 40cms
Anyway, I was pleased with looking afresh at things, but the work also seemed to be enjoyed a great deal by the many visitors I had on the day. I was busy all day with a steady stream of people making their way down to my ‘secret’ garden where the studio resides, which admittedly and understandably caused more excitement than my paintings, including many friends who had not visited before. I had a great day, and am left feeling really renewed and excited by what I have achieved in my painting in the last few years.