First post of 2014, and a (belated) happy new year to all my readers. 2013 was a good year for me, one in which my (albeit modest) creative goals of developing a strong body of work and holding a successful exhibition were realised. Along the way I have participated in two open studio events, taken part in group shows, developed my curating skills, and met many new people, some of whom have become good friends. The year has been good, and the feedback and support I have received from my social media contacts has been an integral part of making it so, and for that I thank you.
2014 presents me with fresh goals, and hence fresh challenges. I currently have two solo shows and one joint show planned for the period March – July, and will be curating a group show for KIAC, and taking part in an Open Studios event in the same period. The two solo shows will both be outside of Sheffield, and, like a member of a pub band in a different hostelry, I am both curious and trepidatious about the outcome. My first exhibition opens in Northwich, Cheshire, at Art Works studios, on March 6th. At least twenty paintings will be on show including 5 new pieces inspired by the remmants of the areas chemical, salt and boatbuilding history. I then open in Congleton, Cheshire, at The Electric Picturhouse, on May 23rd. Both exhibitions will run for two weeks. In early July I have a joint show planned at KIAC’s gage gallery with Paul Dearden (see sidebar for links).
One challenge for any new artist is to create and retain the qualities that make their work identifiable and distinct. The temptation to try and respond to the market, to paint with an eye to sales, rather than expression, is hard to resist. It can also take courage to continue to develop when work has been well-received and the two pieces that I have used to illustrate this blog are a case in point. Technicolour nightmare is shown in it’s finished form and at it’s penultimate stage. The black and white stage had already attracted much positive comment from visitors to my studio, who were concerned that the introduction of colour would diminish the qualities they perceived in the progression of images. In the face of this reaction, I admit that I hesitated through late December before completing the piece, especially as I liked the monochrome version myself. However, complete it I did, and am glad (relieved 🙂 ) that it has come out as I hoped.