A strange in between place, no pressure, no deadlines, no running track. Launched like a bird into the wide blue yonder, qualification trailing my name.
I am sitting inside. Outside the faint breeze has reduced the temperature to a more modest 30, down from 35 yesterday. The time away lying by the pool has given me time to reflect on what happens next.
I have submitted recent MA work for some Open competitions, a long shot, but if accepted, comes with a feel good boost and hopefully, wider recognition.
In the meantime I have been reflecting on how to move my work forward. I like the idea of working in series, building on the knowledge of work and self, gleaned from the previous series, but this time there will be more planning, exploration of form/ mood/colour/support/size.
More planning has the potential for more procrastination, so it will be important to be honest, but working within such a structure feels right for the orderly me. This will not preclude the more decorative work, which will offer light relief and balance to the more intense and emotionally draining series.
So what to paint? I am working on two ideas. The first abstracting the figurative drawings and mark making from the exploratory drawing group, revisiting older paintings, to create a historical trace of the journey from decorative to figurative, an exploration of the luminal space between.
The second, a more demanding and emotionally charged project based on historical family letters that I have yet to read.
I want to work with the academic year to have the body of work developed during the Autumn/Winter months, and I will be scheduling the work once I have had a chance to read the documents, review the timings of the submissions I plan to make and quantify the volume of work I need to produce for the Opens and local group shows.
To support my self imposed academic year, I have joined a local crit group run by Paula McCarthy at the De La Warr Pavilion. I will be presenting my work in December to the group, with the focus on the experience of undertaking an MA in later life on a distance learning programme. I have never spoken about my work in public before, but I feel now is the time to push myself and be uncomfortable. In the Autumn I will also be forming a local crit group with some fellow members of the experimental drawing group, with a view to a joint exhibition in 2018.