Bad weather, Boredom and a Birthday.
It was only March 2002 that I began to paint on anything other than my walls and furniture. Apart from the obligatory year of Art lessons at upper school, I had never studied the subject. I was convinced that I couldn’t draw to save my life - for some reason I thought copying things didn’t count (Doh!).
Then I found myself with more time on my hands. The weather was lousy (well, I live in the UK so what more can you expect?) and frankly, I was bored. Birthdays were looming on the horizon and I began to wonder if I could put the paints in my craft kit to a better use than decorating. You can see the results in the Galleries. Much to my relief, the recipients all liked their gifts. I was so chuffed with the Wolf Spirit that I emailed it to a friend in the States - only to be reminded that her birthday was coming up and she rather liked tigers. I think this is called “shooting yourself in the foot”. She got her tiger.
As you may have deduced from the site title, my taste in subject matter varies dramatically. If I like it, I paint it. For this reason you may find landscapes, still-life, wild life, fantasy art or abstract. Painting style also varies; near-impressionist (think Van Gogh style), soft focus or even minimalist ink drawings. Life is far too short to do something you don’t enjoy so I play with different styles and subjects.
I’m finding that painting - like llife - is a constant learning experience. Having painted with intent for only a short time I still find I can look at an early piece and catch myself thinking “ .... I’d do this differently now, use a different brush on this part, use another colour here and here.........”. Confidence helps..... and that increases every time I sell a painting or get a positive response. It’s also interesting to find which pieces / styles appeal most to which people........ sometimes even your closest friends can surprise you!
Which brings me to feedback. An important element even for the most confident of painters. Comments have ranged from “Wow...” (always nice to get that one) through “I like this one.....” (still good) to “Don’t give up the day job.....” and I’ll admit that one knocked me back...... for, ooh, several seconds. Then it occurred to me that ok, this person didn’t like my stuff, but I do...... and other people do..... they’re even occasionally willing to pay me for it.
And that brings me to something for other artists. If you get positive and/or constructive feedback, by all means take heed. If you get thoughtless put-downs like the one I’ve mentioned, ignore them. If you like what you do, keep at it. Remember why you started to paint in the first place and more importantly the feeling you get when you’re painting. Enjoy.