A bit like the King is dead; long live the King! Life goes on. A new beginning of anything holds promise. An anticipation of exciting adventures and/or changes yet to transpire. I take pleasure in those first few waking moments of a new year. All the less than good events can now pale into the depths of our own history (unless you haven’t paid all your bills; these will follow you into the New Year!). The happier events jolly us into the great expectations of having a whole year to achieve our hopes, wants and aspirations. Or should that be resolutions for those who have made some? I have decided not to make any resolutions to carry forward into 2017. Instead I have created a bucket list for this year. This bucket list though needs trimming down because I have got so much that I want to do and achieve this year that twelve months just isn’t long enough. I will review this list over the next couple of days and decide on twelve desires or tasks to complete in 2017. That’s one a month which, hopefully, will be achievable. A bucket list is so much more positive than a resolution. And so much more exciting too.
The beginning of a new year is similar in a lot of ways to starting a new painting. There is nothing to beat the pleasure of peeling off the wrapping to a new canvas. The anticipation of great things to come is so exciting. I can always ‘see’ what I want to appear on this pristine white canvas. Getting the image on there is another matter. It takes effort. Hard work at times. Frustratingly so on occasions. Not everything I start gets finished. It doesn’t get thrown away, it lies still for a while. Sometimes an unfinished piece will wait for months, even years, to be completed. Other times it becomes something else. Nothing gets thrown away. Two reasons mainly: I don’t like to be wasteful and I enjoy recycling. I don’t even throw out the leftover paint from my palette. I use the leftovers to underpaint or put a ground cover on a new canvas. As much as I enjoy tearing off the wrapping to a new canvas, the white distracts me whilst working so I have to cover the whole canvas as quickly as possible. But that is another topic, perhaps one for another day.
I began the first hours of 2017, after waking, enjoying a leisurely breakfast in bed reading, listening to the radio and anticipating all the art projects I could do in 2017. Not procrastinating on this occasion, more a constructive thinking time. And here I am now, in my studio, arranging the display area into a suitable space to showcase my daily paintings for the FunAday Dundee 2017 Event. You will find more details about the event here: FunAday Dundee 2017
I have completed my first painting for this event already. My project folder has all the 31 compositions planned out. I have been working on the planning of this project for a few weeks now in preparation for this event. Some of the sketches are nothing more than doodles, some a bit more detailed. I may share some of this in a later blog. I may even share the ‘process’ at the February exhibition. My commitment to this event is to complete one 6x6in (15x15cm) canvas each day. Each small canvas will be a painting in its own right but will also be part of a larger piece of art work. I am working on a suitable display for the complete body of work but in the meantime it will be displayed, one by one as each canvas is produced, as a column at the end of my studio gallery. This way I can still use the gallery space for my current exhibition of work. Photos will come later. I’ll try to get around to posting a photo of each new piece daily. This event is a good way to start the year. Being creative raises the spirits – and I encourage all to try it!
I have planned other projects for 2017. Some small, some much larger. My main project for 2017 will be to take my art in a new direction. I am heading into the realms of abstract. I will be embarking on a course of self-study, research and practical application. The pull towards abstract art came several months ago and by the last quarter of 2016 I had become quite serious about taking this development further. I look forward to seeing where this route leads me.
It’s worth mentioning that I will continue to be offering workshops and tuition throughout 2017. In fact I have planned to run more workshops this year. I will also be continuing to produce my usual style of artwork, such as landscapes etc. I do enjoy painting landscapes and, as often is the case, I am sad when they leave my studio. I was quite sad to see the latest commission, “Tighnabruaich”, leave with its new owners. This was one I travelled to the location for and fell in love with the setting. It was a trip well worth embarking on and I have lots of ideas for new paintings from around that area. A second trip is on the bucket list for 2017!
I have written far too much for a New Year blog so I will end here and wish you all a Happy New Year. May your year be full of pleasures and blessings.