Last Saturdays workshop was a good break from the erotic art I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. I bet you think that’s strange to enjoy having a break from doing erotic art! But its work, like any other for me, and something that needs full concentration, time and effort to create, and much as I enjoy doing it, itÂ takes a lot ofÂ creative input toÂ produce, so something like a workshop painting landscapes and flowers although they are vanilla and simple, they are a nice diversion for a change.Â And the thing I love most about going on the workshops is that they always stir up my creativity and inspiration to tackle subjects in a different way. But I also know that is part of my “problem” – if indeed it IS a problem – in that I don’t fit into a niche, and that is difficult for people, buyers, and art galleries to deal with. If I ONLY painted landscapes in pastel, or flowers in watercolour, or even erotic art in acrylics, then I would be easy to label, and art galleries would know how to promote me, buyers would know what to come and look for, and collectors would look forward to the next “primrose in watercolour” that I’d painted. But, I don’t do that, I paint a tiger, then a naked figure, then an erotic landscape, then another figure, then an ordinary landscape butÂ in reds, then some flowers, then a seascape, then another figure, and all of this in many styles, and mediums. No wonder I don’t fit nicely on a shelf with a small label stuck on me. I’m too big for the shelf, let alone the label! BUT, the way I look at it is that when I am given a problem to tackle as a piece of art, I can do it. Case in point being the workshop I attended – we were able to take along our own source material, thank goodness, so we weren’t painting one of those step-by-step paintings where we all go home with a picture EXACTLY the same as everyone else (I can’t tell you how much I hate those workshops!) and even better than that, so do most of the artists who attend the workshops I attend, we all like to put in our own creativity – its not about copying, its about creating! So I had taken along a selection of photos I’ve taken over the years – one of the cliffs and sea at Lands End, one ofÂ the sun disappearing behind dark moutains with a dark lake infront of it, one of a forest with stream in the foreground, and one of aÂ backlit path with arch of darktree bending over it, and a few of flowers – poppies, and irises, to give me a choice.Â The tutor is an oldish guy whose workshops I’ve been on before three or four times, and I knew he was both charming and talented, so was looking forward to it. It amused me when he said that he never spent more than an hour on a painting, as he gets bored with it otherwise, and as we sat down with cups of chosen beverage in hand (hot tea, always always tea, for me) and indeed, from the first stroke of pastel hitting the paper until he’d finished, it took 30 minutes, but then that’s part of the joy of pastels, you don’t have to mix water, turps, or linseed oil – all you have to do is pick a colour and apply it, then keep going until its finished. My pastels always take well more than 30 minutes though! I did enjoy doing the paintings I did though, and came away with a couple of pictures – one of the forest with the stream infront of it, and one of orange poppies, they both need a bit more work doing on them, but good for a workshop when you don’t expect to come away with a finished picture, only to pick up information and knowledge, tips and techniques.
Â The next day, being Sunday, I mentioned to my man about visiting a place I’ve had a hankering for for a while, as he well knows, to search out possible venues for art galleries for me to approach with a view for them taking me on. That in itself isn’t as easy as it sounds, to find a gallery in the right town, who likes me, and my work, who I also like, and who want to sell my art for me, at the price I’d like for it, and with the buyers queuing up to purchase and meet the artist. I haven’t found it yet! Anyway, we set out, to the conglomeration they call “Hinckley” in the county of Leicestershire, and well…… lets put it this way, it was one of those places that I knew I would never be visiting again! We had a Costa coffee, a mooch around the empty town, and came home.Â I can delete that one off my list!
There were a couple of other highlights of the weekend (and no, not naughty stuff) – good to see Jenson Button winning the first Formula One race of the year in Melbourne, and I finished my book. Reading that is, not writing. I found it by accident really, picking it out of a shelf in my local bookstore and bringing it home hoping it was going to be a good one. And, boy was it! Its sooooo good when you find an author you like, when a book is like a good friend, something you can pick up and feel at total ease with, knowing that you get a lot of pleasure from their words, and feel so much happier for knowing them. And that indeed was the case with this book, I loved the characters, I loved the story line, I loved the fact that it was a murder mystery so there was something to find out, I loved the emotional impact it had on me, the highs and lows, the sense of being there, the feel, smell, taste, touch, and sights of the setting. The fact that it was set in Tudor England was a huge bonus since I love anything about the Tudors and have just finished reading three of Alison Weir’s novels – two of which are about Elizabeth I and Lady Jane Grey, so although this was a different author, I felt at home in the books, and the subjects. The book is called “Sovereign” and is byÂ C J Sansom – and I loved the sense of time and place, the social history of what ordinary people ate and did, even to the point of how they dealt with throwing their rubbish on the street (and weren’t allowed to when the King visited so had to hang on to it even though it stank their back yards out), and travelled through the countryside, and I know that I know want to read more of his books. So I went out and bought the rest in the series, and will work my way through them over the next few weeks. Because I know that because I like one, I will like the rest. Oh, I’ve just realised what I’ve said, and have argued against myself. I know that because I like one book, I will like the rest because they feature the same character, are set in Tudor England and have mysteries attached to them.
Perhaps I should settle on one subject to paint, after all! 🙂