I don’t think I’ve ever had as much time off at Christmas as I just have. It’s bloody brilliant, although shrugging off the warm but smothering wrap of Yuletide duvet is doubly hard when you’ve had close to a two week break.
The daily cycle ride to work up and back the Taff Trail helps blow the dust off (although having gone close to three years without a puncture I got two on the first day back, what are the odds…) as does my application for the yearly rejection from the RA for their Summer Exhibition, yah!
One of the things I did with my time off was give my studio a good clean and clear out. I discovered a lot of paints I didn’t know I had and a few sketches. On a practical level it doesn’t just help me navigate around the space but when I’d cleared my studio and rolled some work up it was like a breath of fresh air.
The two pieces (‘Glow (10)’ left, ‘Glow (2’) below, both oil on paper 2014) I’ll be submitting will be from my ‘Glow’ series, which I’ve been working on for roughly six months. I decided after seeing my work in one of the group exhibitions in London last year that I was going to pick some subject matter and work and refine it. It’s produced a series of warped portraits which I’m really excited by. I’m hoping to get a solo exhibition in London later this year where I can showcase a selection of the ‘Glow’ paintings. Constantly refining my practice based on a very narrow source has thrown up some surprises for me, and as the paintings have progressed they seemed to have increased in depth.
I’ve also focussed on letting there be one identifiable facial feature in each painting, whether it’s an eye, the curve of a neck or a mouth. Hopefully it gives the viewer a visual clue to be able to make sense of what their seeing and provide a platform for the more abstract elements. I think the ‘Glow’ paintings make more sense together, but I wanted each paintings to stand up in its own right.