To start the New Year, I needed a fresh perspective on my life, not all of which takes place in London now. I spend a lot of time by the sea on the North Norfolk coast and exploring this very different environment will present me with exciting challenges, or so I tell myself…..
I’ve felt for a while that I needed to take a few risks with my subject matter and find a new direction. Sadly change is not really my thing – I’m a creature of habit and I need to be dragged kicking and screaming just to try out a different pub. So leaving my comfort zone/rut of the London transport as a subject, albeit temporarily, has been surprisingly stressful.
And to be honest, I’d like to keep my galleries happy – the trouble is that commercial galleries are very keen on sales (fair enough) and would prefer you to keep making the work that they took you on for and for which they have a ready market.
They don’t especially appreciate being told that “yes, I did used to paint very popular views of cats in baskets but now I’m only able to paint post-Apocalyptic landscapes.”
Ideally we wouldn’t need to sully ourselves with the filthy lucre and we’d just go where the Muse takes us but unfortunately we all have bills. And I would definitely like to continue paying my studio rent, buying new materials and generally carrying on with my happy working life.
So here’s to new experiments – not too radical and proceeding cautiously, of course – steady now…..
Pages from my sketchbook.
I must first say that I love your artwork connected with London transport but having lived in North Norfolk for most of my life I am very excited to read that your exploring the coastal environment and I would very interested to see the results, so best of luck! Tom
Making art is stressful I think some people think it is a very easy life and it isn't. Perhaps it will become less stressful for you Gail once you have started to find your feet in this new subject. I think the sketches look really good and I particularly like the first one of the pier and could see it as one of your lino prints.
I can't wait to see your take on life at the seaside – will you be using the same colour palette I wonder? Could be exciting. Sure you'll make it work for you – don't worry!
We don't have a pier on our beach, but I might look out my sketchbooks and see what can be done with sand, sea and the odd bird – I've always dismissed it as impossible to do justice to before…
Thanks for your comments, Tom – I am concentrating on Cromer at the moment although eventually I'd like to attempt some of the bleaker, wilder aspects of Norfolk….
And I absolutely agree with you, Jacqui – people often say 'how lovely' when I tell them what I do but the reality isn't so romantic.
I'm trying to lighten my palette, Colin, so using lots of pale blues, whites and yellows, with flashes of red.
Thanks so much for the comments – it's so nice to hear from you as I often feel I'm whistling in the dark…..
Can't wait to see your take on the North Norfolk coast, I'm sure that it will never be the same again… For the better of course..
Could go either way, Julie – applause or a deafening silence, and obviously I'm hoping for the first one !
Hi Gail- There's nothing like a change of scenery to gain inspiration. I'm sure the new work will be just as stunning as the London transport pieces, really look forward to seeing the new pieces.
Thanks Amanda – a change of subject matter is definitely invigorating although I feel a bit like I do when I'm driving a new car – not entirely sure what I'm doing….
I think it is fantastic that you decided to try new things and I can't wait to see the results. Oooh, it's going to be great.
Thanks Jazmin – if it all goes horribly wrong, the results will be burnt ceremonially in the wood burner in Norfolk x