I saw my friend last night and amongst other things, she showed her usual interest in my latest creative outpourings and asked to see what I’d done this week. I showed her both the artwork for the erotic landscape I’m currently working on and the vanilla river scene I painted over the weekend at the workshop I attended. She really loved the river scene, particularly as I had added a unicorn on the far bank of the river and went into raptures over it. I dismissed it as an inferior piece of my work which surprised her. So I had to explain…… how can I get excited about a painting I’d done at a workshop when it was one of those step-by-step days when the tutor shows his painting, then paints part of it, for instance the sky. And we all paint the sky in the same way he has. Then he paints the hills. And we all paint the hills in the same way. Then he paints the trees etc etc and at the end of the day all the people in the room have an identical painting to take home. You might wonder why I would go on one of these workshops but I know that the painting is not actually the end product, the LEARNING is! So I learnt new ways of tackling landscapes and tips for painting BUT the picture I brought home is not something I am proud of. It can’t be. Its just a mediocre painting of some other artists choice, that I have copied. The only bit of “me” that I put in it was the unicorn! I can’t exhibit it. If I sell it I have to say that its not actually my work. I wouldn’t be proud to admit it was mine even. The only way I can do anything with it is to go over it with pastel or acylics to radically change it so that it has my creative input in it. So I file it with the others under “learning” and get on with my proper art having learnt a new trick or two about how to tackle a certain subject matter in watercolours, and having had an enjoyable day spent with other artists.
But when I showed my friend the working painting I am currently working on for the erotic landscape, then I can get excited! REALLY excited!!!!! Its all my own work. The concept works so well. The picture is clever in that it is both an erotic couple AND a landscape. And how clever is that, to incorporate the two that they work in conjunction with each other? I’ve spent three months on and off thinking about it, planning it, discussing it with dj kirkby and now I’m at the point where I’m finally working out the best colours to use for it, the tones, the use of light and shade. I may have to do two, three or four working paintings before I’m happy with the end result and then, and ONLY THEN, can I start painting the actual painting. Now….. THAT’S exciting!!!