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I was looking at it the wrong way round

Since I do so many commissions, and have done over many years I know that I can paint anything that anyone asks me to do, whether its a landscape, a pet portrait, a big cat, a person naked or clothed, or a seascape. I can paint it in oils, acrylics, watercolours, pencil, pen and ink, or mixed media. In the style of traditional, surreal, fantasy, or abstract. That’s a big base to work around and one that I have always been proud that I can achieve.

But every so often, when the commissions go quiet, I go back to thinking about what I should specialise in as an on going set of paintings, one that galleries will relate to and like, one that the buying public will like, and one that means I can be excited and inspired about as well. And that is a big thing to ask for, on all counts, especially the one that keeps me excited and inspired, as I want to do a subject that I love and am passionate about as well of course. That goes without saying!

And over the last couple of years, since the last time I had a deep think about it and came up with an idea that totally inspired me, I was massively disappointed that it didn’t have exactly the same response in the right areas as I was expecting. The galleries that I contacted weren’t as inspired as I was. But, since then, in retrospect I can understand that, I can see their point, totally. My idea wasn’t mainstream enough.

So, my question to myself has been “What do I need to paint that galleries, and the buying public would be interested in?”

During the second half of last year I had a steady steam of commissions of various types and subjects that kept me busy through until Christmas, which was great, its always great to be busy with commissions. But now we’re in the new year and they have gone quiet again, which they do periodically, and which I’m used to as a self employed artist.

But then, because its quiet again, the everlasting question has arisen in me….

“What do I need to paint that galleries, and the buying public would be interested in?”

Last night, after a quiet evening I went to bed with that question running around my head. But just as I was dropping off, something must have kept my brain working on it as I fell asleep.

At 4am this morning it woke me up, with the answer!

And I realised that I had been looking at the question the wrong way around. What I should have been thinking was “If money was no object, and I had the opportunity, what would I choose to paint, to make me happy?

And the answer came to me instantly!

Something that I am totally passionate about, something that I would be happy to paint for ever more, that would inspire me, that I can specialise in, and would make others happy. Something that anyone would want to look at.

I mulled the ideas around in my head, until 6am, two hours of ideas bouncing around, two hours in the dark thinking as the ideas came to me. Even realising happily that I already have the source photos I need from photos I’ve taken in the last couple of years.

This morning, after a disturbed nights sleep, the idea is still as exciting, and fresh, and one that I love the idea of.

And I bet you can’t guess what it might be…?