Variety is the spice of art
The bulk of my career, my working, waged life has been in Education. If you include my own school life, I was involved in the education system for 42 years. I've been a pupil, an undergraduate, a teacher and an adviser. I still go into schools sometime, it's such a joy to work with children. I'm looking forward to a project in Beckermet School in June.
I've always been an all rounder and believed variety is the spice of life. Being a primary school teacher, I was able to teach all the subjects of the curriculum. It made for interesting, varied days. There was always plenty of art going on in my classroom.
As a professional development officer I organised in-service courses for teachers and joined in many of the courses particularly enjoying the art ones. I will never stop playing or learning new things, which is crucial for me, especially as an artist.
My first paintings as a developing artist were landscapes using acrylics. I painted forests with a seasponge, especially the way the light falls through the trees. I've been orienteering since a young child and so I've spent many times deep in a forest only to be suddenly surprised and captivated by the changing light.
I treated myself one Christmas to a full set of Derwent Graphik Line Painters and began painting my favourite Lake District views. With outdoor loving parents, my family have always spent time on the fells and in the lakes.
Experimenting with different materials is a joy. I've created with inks, pastels, collage, watercolours. During lockdown I used watercolours to paint the buildings around me when we were confined to the local area. These house and street portraits have been my most popular artworks.
Lately I've been trying to spread my wings into new areas with an exhibition of my paintings of buildings in Kirkcudbright.
I applied for Spring fling but was turned down.
The panel felt that the images submitted didn’t present a coherent direction and therefore they didn’t meet the core criteria of 'Clear intention, substance and coherence in work presented'.
Although they appreciated the architectural images, the total collection could have been the work of three different artists.
I was disheartened but I think that just restricting myself to one art process would be difficult as a lover of play, variety and creativity. I think that variety is at the core of my personality.
"Artists should create art for themselves to stay true to their vision and passion, rather than seeking validation from others.""Artists can push beyond their comfort zone by trying new techniques, experimenting with differentstyles, and taking creative risks.by David Bowie
I love the work of David Hockney and the way he has evolved. His prolific versatility spans multiple media and genres. He draws and paints, uses photomontage and film and is progressive in the way he embraces new technologies, materials and processes.
I've had a number of solo exhibitions of my art projects over the last 5 years and hopefully next year I'll be ready to show my postbox project. I love all my styles and I'm happy to continue to experiment with materials and new subjects.
Meanwhile, I've just bought a set of oil pastels......