Upheaval

It's been many months since I last updated my blog, and whilst this has been on hold, my art making certainly hasn't. I moved house in November - we are now Faversham residents and settling nicely into this wonderful community. 
After a hiatus in making art, understandably connected with the upheaval of moving, I'm now able to dedicate proper time almost every day to making and exploring. I've been having 1-1 art lessons with fantastic Whitstable artist Tracie Peisley, who is helping me to spark new ideas and embark on adventures in paint and colour.

I'm also very excited that I'll be getting my own garden art studio in a few weeks - we've ordered a luxury log cabin, which I've been saving up for for some time.

Back to the art - I'm loving the surprises that come with just splashing paint around and applying mixed media.... some great, some not so great, that you put down to experience! I know this is enriching my frame of reference and experience and helping me overcome my nervousness of working in colour as monochrome is most definitely my comfort zone when it comes to my art, having a past firmly rooted in graphite pencil drawings. I will always love graphite on paper, and don't intend to move away from it completely. I'm always compelled by drawings in galleries. There is something so accessible yet beautiful about pencil on paper.... I can't quite put my finger on why.

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Exhibition of wildlife art - lost connections

If you're quick, you can catch an exhibition of my wildlife art at Café Moroc, Rochester High Street, until the end of September. It features my detailed drawings of animals and birds: prints and originals are available. 

Café Moroc

Café Moroc

My artwork is the result of my passion for the natural world: an attempt to explore its beauty and fragility through the most detailed pencil drawings. The drawings are an attempt, through hours of painstaking work in the studio, to forge a long-lost connection to our animal cousins: the most vital living embodiments of Mother Nature.

When I spend hours and hours drawing a subject, I feel I come to know them as an individual. I want that animal’s existence to be acknowledged: This is a creature who has his or her own subjective life experience, their own story - joys and sorrows (including, in some cases, their own captivity in zoos as exhibits). I want to communicate how each animal’s existence is as important to him or her, as ours is to ourselves and for us to value that accordingly.

The exhibition is on at Café Moroc, 365 High Street, Rochester, ME1 1DA until 29th September.

Ocotopus, pen & ink. £250

Ocotopus, pen & ink. £250

It's like watching myself in 1980....

It's the school holidays and I spent my first day alone with my 5 year old niece, who is really into art, and who, it seems looks up to her artist aunty Becky. So what better thing to do than to take her to spend the day at my art studio?

My neice in the zone...

She had a wonderful time - using clay, and for the first time, charcoal and pastels. It was great to just watch her create - she just drew and the work flowed out of her. She clearly just loved putting colours and shapes on paper. 

I'm guessing this is much what I was like back when I was her age and used to sit for hours on end drawing, most often watched over by my godfather and babysitter uncle Brian, who indulged me with art materials and attention.

Interestingly, I saw the seeds of self deprecation, which I'm hoping she doesn't take too seriously - I was doodling alongside her, and when she saw my drawings, she was comparing herself to me - and of course as a 5 year old, coming up short (in her opinion)... It's sad that this starts so young: artists constantly have to unlearn and deprogramme these kinds of feelings from their psyches if they are to make art unencumbered, and few really manage it well.

I encouraged her to use my drawing (below) as inspiration for her next piece, then I in turn used that as inspiration for my following piece. It was a lovely way to see how ideas can evolve and she produced a beautiful abstract pastel drawing.

My first charcoal doodle

My first charcoal doodle

She took the circular motif as a basis for her pastel drawing, and chose a beautiful variety of pastels to create her abstract piece.

My niece's beautiful abstract

My niece's beautiful abstract

My drawing based on a combination of my previous work and my niece's... 

My drawing based on a combination of my previous work and my niece's... 

It was an exciting way to create new work playfully. I loved the fact that she could have drawn all day, she was so absorbed in what she was doing. What is it about making art that can do that to us? There's such peace in us when we are fully engaged in making art - that's why I continue to do it - it feels so 'right' and I love the satisfaction of having created something at the end of it.

Here (below) is a final photo of her and her finished pieces in the hallway at the studios where she left them 'for everyone to see'.