Autumn update

22 October 2019

I had a bit a revelation regarding my printing and painting challenge last night... The current print I am working on is a new one of the Gold Pavilion, I tried painting it last week and I didn't really enjoy doing it - although I am enjoying printing it... And yesterday I went on a mushroom hunt at Evenley Wood Garden and took some lovely mushroom photos that I fancy painting but don't fancy printing...

It seems silly to make myself paint the same subjects that I am printing just for the sake of making my challenge neat and tidy, when it is stifling my creative urges to do something else. Maybe it is time for the paintings to take a different path to the prints...? And maybe that turns out to be the point of the whole process... the personal revelation that some things will be more appealing to me to print and some things will be more appealing to paint, and some scenes suit paint better than relief print? After all, I don't really want to replicate my prints... I want to accompany them with some paintings, they don't have to be exactly the same.

16th October 2019

So 2019 began and I decided that I would like to create more prints than last year, so I set about thinking of ways to up my productivity. I decided to set myself another challenge – It worked in 2017 when I managed to complete fifty prints in a year - it had been really hard at times and I worked my socks off, but I did it, so I can do it again right? This  year I also wanted to focus on developing my painting without abandoning my printing. So #25prints50paintings2019 was born. The paintings would be small and quick and there would be two for every print, like companions to the prints.

The challenge started out really well, (you can see all the work in the previous blog post) and I was very pleased with how my paintings came on so quickly and some of the prints I produced, I think, were my best yet. The paintings were always inspired by the current source material for my prints so I didn’t have to spend time trying to decide what to paint; I just got on with it. 

However, I have fallen behind with my challenge. This has been largely due to other artistic commitments using up too much of my time and energy. Despite a few attempts to catch up, I think now that it would be better to have a rethink and maybe find a new goal.... Although I did not achieve my target, it has helped me improve my painting and that was one of the main reasons for doing it. I used to do much more painting and doing a few quick paintings for the love of it has been enjoyable and brought some fresh perspectives on analysing colours and scenes. This should also help with my printing. 

I am disappointed that I didn’t manage the challenge, but having been recently ill and away on a trip [to Japan! More on that in a different blog post] I have come to the realisation that I don’t need to push myself quite so hard and can maybe concentrate more on my achievements rather than failures...

So with that in mind, here are some positives to come out of my challenge...
• I have a stack of paintings done which I am quite pleased with
• I feel I have found new perspectives on colours and compositions
• And I feel I can now paint quicker, better and more loosely
• I am excited about painting again

I was planning to show all the challenge prints and paintings together next year, but I think I will just plan a general solo show at some point, rather than this challenge being the focus. I need to take the pressure off myself a bit. I will continue to do the paintings and prints and see how I get on, but not get too hung up on whether I get the quantity that I was aiming for. I might also start to approach selling the paintings rather than hoarding them all.

I guess sometimes things don’t always go as you plan, but you get benefits anyway, and need to keep re-evaluating your working practice.


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