Yesterday I was found, and what a difference that makes and will make going forward.
Being selected for the East Sussex Open at the Towner Gallery, by the distinguished judges, Jenni Lomax, Melanie Manchot and Brian Cass is a very satisfying conclusion to MA2.
Happy Families, Watercolour 58 x 78 cms
I have also been ‘found’ by a fellow Blue Monkey network member who steered me to an amazing drawing group, just when I needed direction. I have been contemplating the work of Alberto Giacometti and his approach to form, but have been unable to connect my own endeavours with his practice. I now have the perfect tutor in Marie-Louise Miller, http://marielouisemiller.com/fineart/drawings/index.html, who just happens to teach a few minutes from my home. She comes from a balanced Chinese perspective, where the vocabulary for mark making is developed through association with the elements and full body movement.
Figure drawing from a model, pencil on A2 paper.
Looking back whilst selecting the journal pages for submission, I have reflected on just how far I have traveled this year. The anguish, the confusion, the uncertainty, the trauma of letting go, not of individual outcomes, which I am happy to do, but of the bigger picture, and at times, it felt like, my sanity. I was, however, reassured by Sarah Thornton, in her book, 7 Days in the Art World, that this feeling is normal and necessary to achieve transformation.
There are also the influences, Celia Paul, Giacometti, Marlene Dumas, Silk Otto-Knapp are all evident in Happy Families. The lines and mark making of artists as diverse as Roy Oxlade, Paul Feiler and Kitty Sabatier are bubbling under the surface. The emotional vigour of Frank Auerbach, Peter Lanyon and Hughie O’Donoghue is being processed. Such an exciting time to be me.
Reaching into the darkness and trusting the process has been as essential to the outcome, as an inherent belief that all the research is ‘in there somewhere’ and will surface, when the time is right. I came into this process with that belief, I have engaged with the work of 300 historic and contemporary artists, I can physically feel the process working, the change is palpable.