From 16-20 October my exhibition ‘Passions – Superpowers of everyday people’ was shown in London at Nolias Gallery, Bankside.
Artistic UK presented the exhibition, hung it, and supported me through it.
Private view is a bit of a misnomer as all were welcome to come and see what was essentially a ‘grand opening’ of my show. I was extremely nervous about whether anyone would come, as it was in London on a week night and I knew that wasn’t the most convenient time or place for many of my friends.
However, I was delighted that I was supported not only by old friends and new, but by members of Artistic UK, fellow artists, art collectors and art students, as well as people coming in from the street on seeing my paintings.
It was a brilliant way to celebrate all the work I’d done, talk to people about what I’d painted and why, explain the stories of the subjects of the paintings and chat to other people about their art.
People asked me how I felt seeing all my work up in the gallery, but to be honest it was a bit overwhelming and I wasn’t sure how I felt apart from very happy. I wasn’t even bothered about looking at all the bits on the paintings that I felt I could have improved, my overriding feeling was how different the paintings looked on the wall, in real life with spotlighting bringing out the colour of the paint rather than all propped up in the dark corner of my studio at home.
What I learnt
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of producing a series of paintings for an exhibition and I learnt so much from it.
I learnt that it is most important to be clear about the purpose of what you are doing and to thoroughly plan your preparation and painting accordingly. I wished I could have had time to paint a few more pictures, and there are various things about the materials I used that I would do slightly differently next time.
I learnt that having a chance to do a series of images teaches you a lot about your methods and motivations, far more than you would learn from painting one picture at a time. It gives you a chance to push your creative methods and compare what works and what doesn’t. Commissions are not the place for experimenting, generally, so this felt very freeing.
I also learnt that I need to get started smartish on my next series of paintings, so next step is lots of brainstorming to work out what I’m going to do. Can’t wait.