Saturday, May 29, 2010


My latest painting. It's a promising start. Am waiting for sunshine so I can continue. Been waiting for almost a week. Scene just ain't the same in cloudy shadow. Tough being an amateur artist. All this hanging around waiting. And waiting. If I was a real pro I'd have taken a photo and worked from that. In a posh studio. But I didn't. And I ain't. So I can't. And won't.

P.S. - Did a posting in my other blog about this painting. Thought it was far more interesting than all the above. So have decided to copy it here even though I hate repeating myself repeating myself...

Because my last painting was rubbish I was determined to do my best with my next one. But how the hell do you do that? I thought I was doing my best with the last one. So where did I go wrong? Well, I think the mistake I made was to follow someone else's lead. In this case, the Fauvists.

Been trying to learn from that mistake and I've come to the conclusion that it's okay to be influenced by an artist or artists but it's not okay to attempt to mimic them. Ultimately you have to be yourself and just do the best you can (whatever that means). If others do or don't like it, then fine. That's their opinion. As such, it should be of no consequence whatsoever. Similarly, if people react to a painting by saying it's a bit like Hockney or Picasso or Matisse or Disney or Rolf Harris, then that's okay too. Provided of course, as I said, you're not intentionally mimicking them.

When I started this oil painting lark about a year ago, I remember standing in front of a blank canvas wondering how and where to begin. Soon discovered that oil paint is a whole different ball game to, say, water colours or crayons. It was only by studying van Gogh that I began to learn about loosening up and not being scared. So when people remark (as they occasionally do) that my stuff's a bit van Goghy, it's no surprise. But there comes a time when one has to move on and be one's self. Which is where I'm at. Which brings me back to my next painting.

Started it last Sunday. The stream down the valley. Just by the footpath bridge. Late afternoon sunshine with lengthening shadows. My favourite time of day both for photography and painting. Flung myself back almost half a century. To a time of innocence. To a time when I'd just started at art school. To a time before I became influenced by various artists, designers, teachers, pop stars and film stars. To a time when I drew or painted by just being me. And then I got stuck in. Painted for a couple of hours before shadow filled the valley.

Intended to continue the next evening. Monday. A French holiday. But got diverted by lunch with Isabelle and Christian and tribal chums across the valley. Long lunch. Hot day. Hottest day so far. No fit state for painting afterwards. Decided to continue Tuesday. Tuesday cloudy and rainy. Been cloudy ever since. Still waiting for sunshine. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe not. I have to have that sun. Scene looks completely different without it.

P.S. - Raining again today (Sunday). That's six days since sunshine. Rain forecasted for next few days. Sunshine due Thursday. Believe that when I see it.

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