Wednesday, 25 March 2015


This last weekend I was at Sock Fair in Loughborough and I have to say it was a very pleasant experience and the work on display was awesome very humbling for me as I met some of my heroes!

What I loved about it most was listening to comments as people looked at my work (there was a wall full away from where I was sitting) mostly 'I like the purple one' or hearing them describe how they 'couldnt live with it' or 'these are my favorite mummy buy that one!' 

The Purple One

My most fascinating comment happened while I was away and the lady looking after my stall told me that a chap had said my work was melancholy which I took as a huge compliment especially when I looked up the definition:

affected with, characterized by, or showing melancholy; mournful; depressed:
a melancholy mood. 
causing melancholy or sadness; saddening:
a melancholy occasion.
soberly thoughtful; pensive.

All these words are great in my mind as it means that my work is doing more than just showing a representation of a place it is also showing feeling. And that is what makes a good painting or image. True art to me is work that makes you feel altered when you look at it some work I can look at and it leaves me cold or bored as its something that has been done a million times before like an old trick.

The Melancholy One

 My favourite artists are those I have watched develop and have their own style and this only happens after many years of working and moving away from being taught to becoming masters of their own game. Suddenly they realise that the rule book can be thrown out and no longer worried about what people think they blossom and stand alone.

Its a long process and depending how dedicated you are to researching art history and going to exhibitions and learning from others and finally being brave and following your own path will determine how unique your work will be.

Yesterday I found my old portfolio from over 25 years ago when I was attending night school classes in watercolour and doing my A level art, the work in there suprised me as the subjects I was choosing were similar to those I like now but there were an awful lot of stiff and frightened work and I can almost remember my thoughts as I drew these things out worrying about the teacher and the other students trying to not get it wrong!

Teenage doodles
It took me another 10 years to shake off the worry of getting it wrong and stiff doodles was all I could do. It wasnt until I got to Australia and went to an art class run by a fab artist Janene Castillo who let me loose with mixed media and a sense of fun and exploration lots of standing up drawing and freeing your arms and splatting ink wow it was great and I havent looked back she didnt teach her style she taught you how to explore your own an absolute inspiration she now runs a very successful business The Art Spot see here:

So listening to the comments about my work good and bad was fun I also like getting feedback when I post my work because someones initial response however sharp can tell you a lot about a painting I can choose to either agree or disagree but often they are correct. I am still on my journey with a lot to learn but I will continue to pursue the ability to create a feeling from a painting rather than just illustrate a place and this I know is a very fine line one that I don't always manage I will let you be the judge of that!
At Sock Fair in front of my Melancholy paintings!