New Zealand has finally joined the rest of the world and I am locked down sketching away, gazing at my mountains, but preparing a departure from landscapes. I wouldn't say it's sexy exactly, but there is no substitute for solitude and few distractions. New work is filling my head, even though I cannot get to the studio. Thank God for the Internet.
My news is that I have been accepted into the Nelson Suter Art Society. Those with art degrees may join by application, but those of us on a self-taught journey (credits to my excellent tutors) must submit four works, of exhibition standard, to a panel of members. Despite a little wet paint trying to steal the show, the paintings were welcomed in. I spoke about them in my last blog and photos appear in the Instagram feed on my homepage.
Success means that I may submit work for consideration into group shows hosted in Nelson's truly lovely, large, regional Suter Art Gallery. This privately-funded and well established gallery is equal to any municipal gallery in the world. I’m truly excited about this, because it guarantees a quality audience for my work without the need to find my own gallery, assuming the work I submit is accepted. That filter is another welcome means of upping my game. I attended 2020’s show as a new tourist to Nelson, so this feels like real progress.
Working at Purpose Gallery, meanwhile, has been an extraordinary experience. I enjoy introducing the work of other artists to new people as they visit Mapua and include us in their wandering. Aucklanders and Christchurch love Mapua. The best part is how happy people are as I wrap their purchases. The photo below is a lovely Auckland couple who bought a bronze and who hailed me at the airport as we all arrived on Tuesday! "Grand Ecart" is in the yellow bag...and will now be gracing their home. What a great job I have!
It’s been suggested that I have the skills to run a gallery of my own, but I love the hours of painting too much. As if to tempt me, the highly creative owner of Purpose Gallery, Irish-Kiwi Roisin King, has invited me to drag my easel out of my studio in the rear. You’ll recall how much I enjoyed painting in Sprout Gallery in London during my solo show, so I complied. I have been “unpainting” rather than painting, carving back into wet work to enrich the layering (less messy), but there is no doubt whatever, that my paintings raise their own game in the presence of such lovely work by others. I have to go along with them.