The importance of playing.

Weightless’, ink and pen on watercolour paper

This new body of work (view them all here) actually started as an experiment of some sort. I guess I wanted to let go and have more freedom in my work. Compared with a pencil drawing which usually requires a lot of concentration, intricacy and focus, this new way of working took me back to a sense of spontaneity and a pleasant lack of control. I will always love drawing with pencil and will continue to create pencil drawings for sure. But sometimes I think if you are too ‘tight’ with your work, when it is something/ anything creative, the essence or feeling can sometimes be lost. I find that sometimes when you try too hard to make something work, when creating art, then it actually has less chance of working. And this, is the magic and unexplainable nature of creativity!

In these new works, I barely used pencil in any of them, I wanted to stop the obsession with lines and play with shapes and simplicity. Sometimes when you take away the detail, what is left actually says more. With this idea in mind, I used little or no colour. I played with quink ink, embracing the different shades and marks it creates when layered up. I then decided to experiment with using one colour only, in ‘Eden’ and ‘Immersed’. This is definitely something I will come back to, as I think it portrays something really strong, perhaps because there are less distractions than with my usual array of colours.


Image‘Eden’ and ‘Immersed’

It is hard for me to analyse my own work when I am so close to it, in every sense of the word. So I would be intrigued to know how others see it, and if it actually is quite different from my other work? Either way, I think it is important as an artist, to always try new ways of working, to experiment and not be afraid to make mistakes, to try something bold and different and then let the viewers decide how it makes them feel. Otherwise, it is easy to become complacent and can often lead to your work becoming ‘stale’. I still view these pieces as an experiment and in some way a transition. I have finally started a large scale (1 metre square, which is huge for me!) painting on canvas, and I think these works have led me quite naturally to this in a way that a pencil drawing never could. Painting on canvas is alone a whole new way of working for me, and the scale is something different entirely. I am so happy to say, that I have not felt this liberated or excited about my work, since starting the canvas in a long time. This is not to say that my work no longer excites me at all, but it is to make the overall point that playing, and the whole process leading up to where I am now, is all about chasing that magic. When people have asked me in the past about how I knew I wanted to be an artist, the best description I could think of, is that it is like a fire inside of me, and when I work a lot and really get into this zone, the fire grows and grows. However, the longer I go without attending to the fire, ie if I am not immersed in my work and creating, the fire starts to go out. The flame is always there, but it needs work to become a fire. And when I really get excited and passionate about my work, the fire is very much ablaze.

Quite simply, it makes me feel alive.

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