Latest effort

Latest effort

I'll show it, but not today. Fun post when it comes.

Following up on the small watercolour I put on the Forum the other day, which coincided with an acrylic on which I was working, I've now (I think) finished the latter. It's a long-format painting; it's of a local beach, as was the little watercolour; it's empty of people, so far - and will probably remain that way; it's about distance, and childhood memories, and my distance from people - distance generally. Made me think - you could regard it as just a long post-card, should you choose to. On the other hand - if I'd wanted to make it commercial I would have included figures, beachcombers, kiddywinks galore with buckets and spades, but - haven't. Yet. Should I? Oh Lor', I don't know..... I'm drawn to wide open spaces rather than to people, but it's always a struggle to consider whether to include people or not. And of course, people, and dogs, are a bit hard to paint - is that why I'm not wanting to do so? Am I indulging in, gulp, an excuse? These questions plague me, and possibly plague others: but I don't want to include detail because others seem to want it - and yet I'm not of the Alan Bickley school, which (if I may reduce Alan to a 'which') consciously, knowingly, deliberately excludes these extraneous details - on the whole, by no means always - as not essential to the main theme and therefore to be excluded. So I end up with a compromise, basically - no people, doggies, kiddywinks - but perhaps an aching void where they ought to have been. I'm beginning to think that this painting business is actually quite difficult: not necessarily technically, one gets over that: practise often enough and your technique improves: if it hasn't after 50 years, you've gone a bit wrong somewhere. But conceptually - you don't question how you're painting so much, as what you're painting, and why. I begin to understand Dégas's comment: painting is easy when you don't know what you're doing; very hard when you do. I'll post the finished result, when I'm sure it is finished. But I know already that it would never sell - at least, I don't think it would. Whether this is a sign of my just painting what I want to paint, or the abandonment of potential profit, I really don't know. These uncertainties are sent, no doubt, to try us.
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Isle of Wight tarts don't need a web address, Marjorie: their entrepreneurial spirit marks their endeavours with such success that they hardly need to advertise. Or so I'm told.

Re reading these Robert, I mis read your web address and took a double take....Thought it said " isleofwight tarts"!

Pat - I've been a member of two Isle of Wight art clubs, both of which have folded - if another one sees me coming they'll cry 'Jonah!', and rush for the lifeboats.

Selling a painting is proof that you are not the only one who likes it ;-) You may have missed a golden opportunity but you can always go and have a look if you might like to join next year.

Personally I see two obvious reasons to paint (and know a third exists but have yet to experience it) 1. Technical exercise - to simply improve. 2. Emotional motivation to create art - in which case the subject chooses you and says "paint me!" 3. Financial gain, which aside from commissions number two should hopefully produce by accident assuming your taste is not purely unique to you (and since you are a human being maybe somebody else is similar to you) I look forwards to seeing your work.

Yes, it's a difficult one to decide Robert, and until I see this latest offering none of us can advise you. Lew made a comment on one of my 'loose' works recently, one that I HAD dotted a few figures in and I quote, 'I always like to see a human element in paintings', or something close to that. What you need to ask yourself is 'will it improve the painting', if the answer is yes, then dot a few coloured splodges in the relevant voids, or quite often they will add balance. I suppose 50% of my recent stuff contain a small figure or two, so I must have felt it necessary to add them. Apart from commissions, which I don't particularly care for so I don't take them on nowadays, I would also NEVER paint anything with a view to commercial gain. It would totally destroy any hint of creativity and will almost certainly show in my work. I've seen it happen and the results are not pretty... I don't think that my style of oil painting is commercially accepted anyway by the general public. OR in the main, by the viewers on this gallery. My comments are diminishing by the day almost, but still receive enough to keep me interested in posting - so far anyway!

I've painted to sell but I've never painted anything I didn't want to paint ( if that makes sense). Today we were on the beach and the number of people were so few ( hurray! ) that they didn't really get in the way re the view. But I do like a view which only I am looking at, the senses really go to work then.

I, too, paint just for myself Robert and haven't sold any, not that I've tried. I know that you have sold your work but it's good to go on learning even at our age!

I don’t think I have ever painted anything to “sell” I have always painted for me...oh except for Ded dogs but I don’t sell those either, I do them for people I like and I know would like a painting iof their deceased pooch or kitty. So the urge to add people, doggies and kiddywinks rarely bothers me. Very occasionally there is a need to add a figure or an animal. I love Alan’s lack of detail and on the gallery always home in on the impressionistic paintings . Perhaps, Robert you have a whole new learning curve a head of you , that’s really exciting. Go with it and enjoy the moment. NB That Degas quote is one of my favourites and so very true.