I’m going travelling.
I’ve wanted to say that for such a long time. I’ve certainly been thinking about it for what feels like forever. It’s every artist’s dream to take time out to travel and be inspired.
I’m excited, my friends are excited and my family are excited.
A little under five years ago, I moved to Hamble where so many good things have happened. My children grew into adults and moved into their own homes and my two grand-daughters were born. When I opened Sea Sky Art Gallery, I put my heart and soul into it. I felt I’d put down roots and it helped me feel like I was part of a wonderful supportive community. I made many friends and consider Hamble, home.
Over the last few weeks, friends have dropped by for coffee and asked me why I want to go away, especially as I was doing so well with the gallery. Good question, I thought so I decided to write it down.
I need a reason to paint. Finding that reason is the hardest thing as an artist. Coming to the end of my residency as Artist in Residence at a female prison, was one of those life changing moments when I realised I had come to the point where I need to make time to unpick that experience. What started out as a six week project lasted almost six years. It was a big part of my life. Prison was intense
Free Spirit, the body of work I created over the last couple of years is complete. Somehow, I’ve become what I painted – a free spirit. I want to think about that work now; take time to reassess and understand the process of how one piece of work led to another, then take the ideas and contemplate how I got those ideas. I have questions that need answers. Do I need to hold on to some of this work or is it done? Is there an important part of it that means more than to me than I thought at the time? It’s like re-reading an old diary, or looking back over old photos and letters. A time for reminiscence.
Having the gallery allowed me to meet like-minded people, like Karen, an Interior Designer who lives in Curaçao. She introduced me to a gallery there and said: “Come and paint with me.”
I feel that circumstances have led me to this point. Because I got into art late in life, I feel that time is precious, it’s important and I’m grateful for it. Now that the door of opportunity has opened, I don’t want to go back. So, Curaçao is the starting block for my Artistic Adventure.
I’m scared. What if I go there and don’t do anything and end up treating it as one big holiday? My biggest fear is that I might not create anything. I’m quite a responsible person and wonder if what I’m doing is worthwhile? I feel guilty too, asking myself if this is simply self-indulgent. I suppose that’s part of being a mother. I’m going to miss the daily contact of friends and family, and have to keep reminding myself that the world’s a smaller place if I need to come home. I just hope that I don’t come back with my tail between my legs.
With only a few days to go before I leave, I’ve cleaned, dried and packed my brushes. I’m eager, hungry and ready to try new techniques. I can’t wait to see all the new sights and colours and light. I wonder how being with other artists will influence my choice of materials. I don’t have a preconceived idea of what I’m going to do. If I go with my usual brushes that might make me do my usual stuff. Do I buy paint there? In that light I might want different colours! I tend to have an emotional response to things I’m involved in and that influences and translates into my paintings.
This trip is about art, about meeting artists and talking art. If I can sell a painting, great. That will allow me to move on. But I’m not going to be precious about bringing my work home. It’s the experience more than anything I want to hold on to. I hope that I’ll come back a better artist and person.
It’s the big day on the 9th of April. I’m off with some brushes, paint and a head full of ideas, so please check back and join me in as I begin this amazing adventure.by