You remember my 2017 weekly(ish) art project? The one I confidently declared in this post would be a modular diary of 2017? You want to know why it got to five pieces and then stopped? Why it’s now nearly April and there’s still not a new one to show?
Well, the project began because I needed to experiment. I needed just to start. I had a glimpse of a new way of working that came out of my workshops at Stockport war Memorial Art Gallery and I wanted to play, without feeling that I was wasting time playing. (Not that playing ever is a waste of time. I just lie to myself it is sometimes when I am being nasty to myself.) I needed to make art without imposing any weighty expectation on myself.
So what happened?
Well, first I started off the project my making photo collages and painting over them so that the collages showed through. Only I grew to really like the photo collages. Especially when they were framed with a good mount. So I took them into my gallery Dot Art in Liverpool and they liked them too. They want a stock of them for the retail space in homeware shop Rex in Bold Street when it re-opens soon after its relocation. So I stopped making collages to paint over and went to take some graffiti photos from Liverpool and some images with posters and signs in that allow me to refer obliquely to Liverpool.
Then I sourced some frames that will allow me to make the work look great but still put the work at the right price point for Rex. And then I set to practising making them look as good as I can. It may look like they are random but there is some work goes into balance, colour harmony and giving the eye some resting places. As you can see, although I am perfectly pleased with the actual product and the crisp bright white mounts make them look wonderful with no effort on my part, my first attempt to photograph the frames and mounts is not yet perfect, but I hope you will excuse a slightly shadowy image with an annoying creamy tinge just for today’s purposes.
At the same time I rather amazed myself that the paint over the photos was something I could do. After all, I am a textile artist by heritage, having taken up textiles for the very reason that I believed I could not paint. So one Saturday I stopped being nasty to myself and gave myself permission to play. I took two panels, a load of paint and mediums and started. I painted and I messed up and I painted over and removed and added and eventually got to a couple of sample of panels I really liked. That I painted!! I am loving the texture and can’t wait to have time to play with that more.
I took those into the gallery and they want to stock some in that series in Rex when it reopens…
So basically, that what happened to the 2017 weekly series. It did it’s job of inspiring me and moving me forward and now it’s having a well deserved rest while I get my act together making the art it inspired. I may well return to it. After all I only promised 52 by the end of the year not one a week. On other hand I might well not. To be honest, I now have more than enough ideas to work with this year. We shall see.