When people look at what I paint, I want them to see not what is in front of them but what is in my mind! For it is there that you will really get to know me as an artist. But that is not possible, hence my task and endeavour is to communicate my thoughts to you, the viewer. Sometimes however those thoughts seem somewhat fragmented. The best way I can describe to you my artist’s mind is through this analogy. I have a thinking shelf. On it are jars filled with visions of what I want to paint, messages or truths I believe are important to say or simply a desire to communicate my story. Some have been on that shelf for 20 years. I take them down from time to time, or when I have a moment of inspiration, handle them, then put them back on the shelf, not quite sure what to do with them.
ART IS A LINE AROUND YOUR THOUGHTS. GUSTAV KLIMT
This is the artist’s journey, gaining a visual language so that we can communicate those thoughts and concepts. Recently I have been working on this language. It is a language of freedom and expression, vastly different to my previous style of tightness and control. If you look in my current portfolio, you will see paintings of fruit, flowers etc, these are the equivalent of me learning the alphabet of a new language, my language, which is uniquely me.
Art is a journey. It is a journey of discovering the self, either through my process of making or your process of seeing. That is why it is important to create from a place of authenticity and perhaps dare I say it imperfection. Painting to impress others with one’s great artistic skill is rooted in pride and I confess consumes the early part of my career! But this is a journey too. The stripping away of self to paint as me. With authenticity comes vulnerability, it reveals the soul of who I am.
PAINTING IS SELF-DISCOVERY. EVERY GOOD ARTIST PAINTS WHAT HE IS. JACKSON POLLOCK
As I enter my next chapter and body of work, I hope to take down the jars of the shelf and embrace them whether they make sense or not! I want to my paintings to communicate story with a freedom of expression. Through them, I want to ask questions of identity, journey, connection, and hope. Please keep an eye on my journey and see how my work progresses!
I am delighted to say that my painting, ‘Heralds of Autumn’ which is currently on show through Vancouver’s Artist for Conservation Virtual exhibit has been purchased. The oil painting on canvas depicts two Canada Geese which I painted in the studio from studies done at my local park. It was fun to sit on warm summer days and draw the geese and ducks around me, a perk of the job!
The painting sale also benefited two charitable organisations, Artists for Conservation and World Land Trust. I have been a member of Artists for Conservation since 2008. I have exhibited in many of their North American shows as well as being part of a dive team to the Cayman Islands in 2013. The money donated will go towards their efforts to support conservation through art. The foundation consists of over 500 artists from around the world. It is a huge privilege to be a member of this foundation.
Secondly, the World Land Trust. The donation from this painting was matched funded in a special campaign to purchase one of the most important but unknown rainforests in Central America. The World Land Trust along with their partner Fundación Jocotoco (FJ) raised an incredible £500,000 in just 2 weeks to safeguard the largest remaining tract of Ecuador’s once-vast Chocó forest – the home of Jaguar, Harpy Eagle, Horned Marsupial Frog and one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Please check out the link to learn more:
I am delighted to announce that I have been awarded funding to travel to the Falkland Islands in 2022. assisted by Falklands artist, Louise Clarke will run workshops and nature walks as well as train teachers and children over a 4 week period, helping them to engage with nature through creativity.
The purpose of the funding awarded by ‘The Shackleton Foundation’ is to enhance the quality of life of the Islanders, increasing knowledge and promoting new skills and activities. Lorna said, ‘I love working with individuals to improve their ability to draw and see. It is an important skill to be able to observe what is around us. Often our lives are busy, and we rush from one place to the next and take little notice of what is around us. However, when we engage in drawing, it allows us to stop, be still, and really take time to observe, think and imagine. Many people no not consider themselves to be good at art, however with some guidance and encouragement, individual’s flourish in confidence and ability, empowering them to continue their creative journey.’
‘For in the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we have been taught.’ Baba Dioum
It has been proven through many studies of the benefits to being outdoors in nature. Inhaling fresh air, hearing silence, or encountering nature and wildlife, all contribute to our mental and physical well-being. When this activity is shared with others it takes on a deeper dimension of healing. It starts to create connection, build relationship, and eventually creates community.
All these elements are valuable, and if combined, they become a powerful tool to help people flourish and grow individually and collectively.
As part of the schedule for Artists for Conservation festival in Vancouver, I led a 1 hour Facebook Live painting demo. I was one of four artists situated around all parts of the world, Australia, Cayman Islands, America and myself in England.
I painted two demos, one a still life and another a Canada goose. You can watch again at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1697626867053522