Friday, 12 April 2013

Painting the way I paint.

Sometimes the painting in my head just dances onto the canvas, a few brushstrokes here, a splash there, and I'm in love with the fresh, vibrant result. Here's one that took me an hour. (Crows and gulls, acrylic 30cm square)


I understood exactly what I wanted, the story behind scenes, the shapes, movement and light. I finished and realised there had been no 'pushing paint around' - I'd instead placed the paint where it should be first time.

Ah, if every day was this easy...

Well, if every day was this easy I wouldn't end up with paintings like this.


Not fresh, not lighthearted, a battle from start to finish - but I love it ten times more than the first. Its *rich* - at least for me! It took HOURS and hours and I lost my way all the way through. Is it because I lacked clear meaning for the painting in the beginning? Maybe... I got frustrated with myself trying to paint pictures of the sea because I'm Jenny Aitken and I paint pictures of the sea.

I read something that stuck with me the other day: trust your process. My process is - paint till the soul comes through. I've been doing this long enough now to know that each painting needs to have its own 'soul' for me to be happy with it. Sometimes that emerges immediately, sometimes its born through the painterly struggle. This one - well, half way through I stopped for an hour or so to stare and figure out what I was trying to say.

I wanted the antics and noise of gulls. (i tried painting them but no - not my thing.)
I wanted the brisk, salty sea in the air and the sound of the surf.
I wanted the amazing coastal comfort offered by a sheltered patch of grass amongst the gorse. Sit with me.
(Oh and I wanted the beacon - of course.)

A few other stories threaded in and it came together... after just a few more hours of carving and revelation via damp rag.

Onwards :)

Friday, 5 April 2013

Creative highs & lows

Why are some days so purplepatchy for painting? And some just ok, and then some... its like the art fuse has blown.

I'm trying to make sense of the patterns.

If I'm ill, or over-tired, painting is a completely foreign language. MUST REMEMBER THIS.

If I'm listening to music that doesn't particularly inspire me, the paint gets moved round the canvas like unwanted food. I can be quite picky, and I don't always know what the music should be.

If I'm in company, eg. with my girls, I can paint a nice pretty picture.

If I'm emotionally preoccupied - happily, sadly, angrily or whatever - well, it can go either way. If the energy gets channelled in the right way, the best paintings can emerge. If not, its back to paint-pushing.

If I'm feeling encouraged, ie by positive critique, feedback or sales, then good painting usually follows.

So - on my own, healthy and rested, positive, with the *right* music = good painting. Hopefully.

Sold two yesterday from Studio 61, including this one - Round the Cliffs, Bolt Tail. Must go visit the exhibition now its up - amazing to be exhibiting alongside Nansy Ferrett.


Now trying to focus on getting work ready for the exhibition in June at The Mulberry Tree in Swanage. Just got to wait till I'm well-rested, healthy, alone, positive, un-rushed and musically inspired. Hmm.