Well I am free to paint and post again. My house and studio are finished and the 2 weeks of open studios over. I thought that being mewed up with my exhibition for 2 weeks would be tedious but in actuality I rather enjoyed it. It was fascinating watching people viewing my efforts. I got everyone from the systematic 10 seconds look at each picture, to the rapid skim round and leave. What was intriguing was that there was great constancy in which pictures provoked comment. After the show I put the ones that didn’t sell in a row and tried to work out what the magic ingredient was. No luck though, if I came up with a formula I’d be rich! Though other factors were also at play. I had one picture in prime position in the centre of the wall and it drew consistent comment. I swapped it for another and it then became the subject of especial interest and the previous star languished in a corner unremarked!
Other than the mostly very positive general reactions one comment stayed with me. A lady said on leaving, “Thank you I really enjoyed looking at all the pictures.” That, I thought, about sums it up. Painting is about giving others pleasure through looking. It is about distilling and getting down something that will please and arrest. By this I don’t just mean pretty, but the full spread of reaction to visual input. It is not about me expressing my inner self, pushing any nebulous boundaries, trying to educate or explore, just about producing an interesting “looking” experience. In the same way as good music induces a worthwhile hearing experience.
I sat and drew and made linocuts while people went round so here are the pen drawings.
Done from a very blurry iPhone snap taken near the Royal Exchange in London. I’m going to do a bigger oil of this though as I think it will make a good picture.
This is Cwm yr Eglwys in Pembrokeshire, I did this as a plan for a linocut.
A view off Albert Bridge of the Thames, it was fun trying to get the impression of fading light in pen, that water was hard work I can tell you!
The full English village in Okeford Fitzpaine. Almost too pretty… I resisted the temptation to add a car.
A view of Salisbury done from an extremely dark and blurry iPhone snap. It was actually taken through the side window of the car when stopped in traffic. Due to this mostly a work of imagination. A distinctly medieval mood developed so I decided to go with it!
This is Wells. A busy day with 60 or so visitors so a bit disjointed.
A local view of Child Okeford, another planned linocut.
Last one, this is Kington Magna and yet another potential linocut. I actually stopped doing drawings and set about cutting the lino blocks so hopefully the next post will be some prints!