Tuesday, 27 October 2009

London calling

Cardinal's Wharf
© Teresa Kirkpatrick 2009

It's almost Halloween, and the last of the leaves are clinging bravely to the trees in a wonderful Autumnal display. At last I'm managing to get the rest and relaxation I need to recharge my batteries and my enthusiasm. It's been a busy time at work, and I've felt quite frustrated having to spend my days in an office rather than painting, but of course it keeps the wolf from the door. And London can be a wonderful source of inspiration; I'm lucky enough to work right by the Thames at Bankside, an area of the most amazing history for those who care to dig deep enough (sometimes literally!). So I've decided to use my experiences of the area to produce some London-based art, starting with the pen-and-wash drawing above.

Cardinal's Wharf nestles right between the Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern. I pass it every morning but of course it wasn't until I started to paint it that I really, really looked at it; began to wonder who lived there; what the significance of the flagpole & coats of arms are, and so on. Some of the answers can be found here.

Having made the decision to use my time on Bankside to produce some paintings, my ideas are starting to crystallise, and I'm feeling more optimistic. Yes, I'm painting again!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Here be there dragons

It's the middle of October and the nights are drawing in. My overwhelming urge at this time of year is to go into hibernation mode; I haven't felt like doing a great deal of painting recently, but last weekend I decided to cheer myself up by some doodling with gouache - a medium which I don't use very much - and found myself creating a dragon - my first, in fact. As you can see, he's not a scary dragon, but quite dynamic nevertheless. He's given me a few ideas; in fact, I have almost too many at the moment. Some I thought were fixed keep changing, too, which is making it hard to get to grips with anything new!

My First Dragon
© Teresa Kirkpatrick 2009

It's only now I can take an objective look back at Open Studios and recognise how well things went. My fellow-exhibitors and I agreed that the best thing about it was the opportunity to meet and discuss art with the general public; our own art, each other's art, and - in many cases - the visitors' art. And this year I've had a taste of something less easily defined: the thrill you get when your work touches somebody. It's not shared vision, exactly - everybody's coming from their own standpoint, after all - but something in your work which resonates with them.

When one of my paintings struck a chord with people, their pleasure with it made me revisit it again in my mind; I recalled the scene which inspired the painting and the fun I had creating it. Someone bought a print of a favourite photo; reminding me of what I loved about it in the first place. So. although it's a difficult time of year for me, I'm keeping positive. The dragon, after all, is a symbol of life force and great potency. Perhaps I should frame him and put him on the wall to inspire me!