Looking back on 2018 its the one year of my whole life that I have hardly created any artwork, and such a massively big part of me is being an artist that its been a difficult one in that aspect too, because of it.
But I knew it would probably be the case when I first started this year, since my man had so many things to sort out and I wanted to help as much as I could, so that meant I couldn’t do any paintings, or think about paintings. But it hasn’t stopped me taking photos when I could, and we have had two fabulous holidays in France this year, and one sun drenched one in Cornwall, and another windswept one when we had our honeymoon in November there too. So, I do have new images to consider and new ideas too.
But this year hasn’t been a total washout artwise, far from it..so I will share the arty high lights here..
Earlier this year a woman in Ireland contacted me to say she was very interested in my third of the “Happy Gardens” painting, that I called “Echoes of white” and wanted to buy it from me, I was delighted to hear it and was so pleased it was going to hang on the wall of someone who loved the painting as much as I do.. I love those elegant whites and find this particular garden so restful and peaceful. But as well as that she wanted to buy another of my paintings if I still had it available, she enquired. I told her with a smile that I had good news and bad news regarding that! The bad news was that the painting was currently hanging on my wall and I didn’t want to sell it, but the good news was that I was more than happy to copy it exactly for her to have, to have hanging on her own wall! Infact I really enjoyed painting it again for her, it was like revisiting an old friend, and I was pleased with getting the look of the old stonework, faded paintwork, rusty corrugated iron roof and faded grass effects for her.
In May of this year I was asked by a teacher friend of mine if I would be happy to give my permission for her school pupils aged 7-9 years could copy one of my brightly coloured acrylic paintings “The way through the woods” and I was honoured and thrilled that she wanted to do it and delighted to see the result a couple of weeks later on. I was even more thrilled to go and see the artwork the school children had done and take my painting along with me to show them. It was great fun to chat to them and answer very insightful questions, and sign autographs afterwards at their request! I certainly felt a great empathy with them, and loved the day as much as they did, and their teacher did! Such a wonderful experience for all of us I think! And the card they wrote and presented to me afterwards also is something I will treasure for ever.
And then, on to another special painting, and one that I had promised my man I would do for him this year, as my gift to him. We both had loved reading the fantasy book “Once” by James Herbert, and I told my man a few years ago that when we were properly together I would paint one particular image for him. It was the image that the main character in the story sees as he walks through a magical woodland, of the fairy woman who is playing with herself as she leans against the trunk of an old and grotesque oak tree in the wood. I asked my man how he preferred her to look in the painting, and his choice was slightly different from the one in the story, and after that, he didn’t want to lay eyes on it until it was painted! And there are so many aspects I love in this painting, that I did in acrylics, since it was easier to use that medium to create all the hidden effects I wanted.. from the pale purples of the background trees giving a hazy background to accentuate the foreground, the old oak tree with so many twisted grotesque faces hidden in the bark, and then the young woman herself, looking alluring, and sexily feminine, as she looks directly at the viewer, engaging them totally with her expression. And then, one of the most difficult parts was painting the tiny feminine fairies around her, totally enjoying her enjoyment, and flying around her in rapt attention, I wanted them to look ethereal and emanating light and tiny bits of bright colour, but not to distract too much from the main figure or the grotesque tree. It was great fun to paint, I loved it, and know its one of the best paintings I’ve done, so I might have not painted much in quantity this year, but its certainly been one in quality!!
I am looking forward to the new year knowing that I can start to plan exciting new artwork and concentrate on them fully.