Thursday, 21 April 2011

Having an mid-Art crisis





This week has shown very slow progress. I think after puting everything into the BP portait competition and then the Axolotl show, I have been feeling a little like vacuum. I have been trying to paint, but nothing good seems to be coming out and I start to question whether I should be a painter at all. I am afraid what will follow will be a bit of a rant.
This feeling of inadequecy is compounded by the fact that the portrait of Trevor got rejected from BP (not really surprising since you only get a 2.39% chance of getting in) but also from my local art competition, The Paisley Art Institute Annual Exhibition. I just paid £15 to receive a letter saying there wasn't enough room for my paintings in their exhibition. All in all I am up to about £150 in exhibiiton fees and travel costs this year alsone, just to be told I am not good enough to be part of their clubs.
I am really at a loss. I am told I need to get into establishments in order to progress but the constant rejection is becomeing too big a cloud over what I do. I might try some collage or some sculpture, to have a break from painting for a while...or I might just go and look for a proper job.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Spring Fling at Axolotl


The Last Roses of Summer, oil on canvas, 24 x 30cm



It has been a quiet year on the Art world front so far, but everything seems to be happening at once, now that the first fourishes of Spring are in the air. After my successful show, Fire & Brimstone at Axolotl gallery in Edinburgh, I was invited back to fill not one, but two of the gallery rooms! I have handed in 24 pieces and am looking forward to attending the preview night tonight. If anyone is in the area, they are at 35 Dundas Street and it all starts at 7pm.
Vendetta in Furs,  oil on canvas, 50 x 40cm

Art Club Rendezvous, oil on canvas, 50 x 40cm

A few of the pieces you may have seen before but I produced quite a lot of new work specially for this show. In general, I saw my work take a slightly darker turn during the long cold winter here in Scotland. I had some trouble with my back and I think the combination of the constant pain and the cold, dark days, really affected the colours I chose to paint with. When I started painting, I was working in acrylics and the colours were extraordinarily bright, in big blocky brushstrokes. But I switched to oils a few years ago, and fell in love with the skin tones and texture they offer. I seem to paint many, many layers until the effect seems right, but it means that the paintings take a very long time to produce and as long to dry!

Many of my works are based on photographs taken at Dr Sketchy's Anti Art school modelling sessions. Here you get the chance to draw and photograph the fabulous people of burlesque performing and sitting for the audience of 'art monkeys'. In general the stage is bare, apart from a few props, so I like to add in details to make the painting have more meaning. Daddy's Gone (below) is based on an act by Miss Hell's Belle called Caught Red Handed, danced to the Nick Cave song with the same title. The idea was that she had bumped off her newly wed millionaire husband, so she gets down to her red satin underwear and drapes dimaonds on herself before revealing that she still has his head in her suitcase. I love this act as it relates so well to the Grimm's fairytales I am so inspired by. I called it Daddy's Gone, with Daddy being her sugardaddy. I dressed her in a white dress, like a wedding gown, and laid her on a bed of money, just help get the point across.If you look closely, you can see the word Evil in there too. My real femme fatale!

Daddy's Gone, oil on canvas, 50 x 40cm
Cheeky Angel, oil on canvas, 24 x 30cm
Beach Bum, oil on canvas, 24 x 30cm
The Reveal, oil on canvas, 30 x 40cm
Little Seductress, oil on canvas, 24 x 30cm

And lastly, I seem to have become infamous for painting bums, so I couldn't let a show go up without a small selection of those.