Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Race Favourites

It's been a busy few weeks, with the whirwind that was the SBA exhibition and a couple of things taking up precious time, it's time to take the brush back up again and get on with some painting. Next year's SBA exhibition title is 'Blooming Marvelous', which at first reading sounds like a bit of an easy one to capture. Hmm, I think not.

Get on with it

Painting to a title can be quite a daunting prospect, and if it's for an exhibition as big as the one the SBA holds, you really want your work to stand out. This year, as in the past few years there have been some enormous paintings on display. Now, these will of course take up a whole wall on their own, and you can't really miss a painting of that size. And they seem to be getting bigger. There were fewer too. Well, it seemed to me that there were fewer this year, but the class of work was higher. Even my mum, who is no art critic herself, thought the quality of work was much higher, and she picked out some real gems as her favourites, (after all of mine of course). Go mum!

This year I was nervous about making the grade for full membership, after my fatal slip up last year. For this submission I concentrated on content and diversity of skill, rather than satisfying the brief. But, the selection panel evidently thought my work did fit the bill quite nicely, and the pieces were eventually hung in a rather nice position in the exhibition. That's always a boost.

My favourite of the group was the faded tulip, but when I was showing my family my little display, I did overhear a number of other visitors say how much they liked the brambles. Yes, those darn brambles again. It always surprises me that the one I really like, is not always the one that is the favourite with everyone else.  

Visitor favourtie

My favourite
The tulip was a real change for me. First, it was painted a twice actual size, and was of a fading bloom rather than a perfect flower. The previous year I had played with the idea of flower heads, and for the tulip stayed with that simple treatment. It was much more complex, than the dahlias from last year, and I payed particular attention to really getting the shadows really punchy, and above all,  right. It's always that 3 dimensional appearance that is the hardest part of getting a painting to jump out of the page at you. 

The dahlia from the 2015 SBA Exhibition

For next year's exhibition the pressure is off a bit. Being a full member means that I don't need to go through the rigours of selection for membership, just the rigours of selection for exhibition. Well, it's a different kind of pressure, and it means now that I can explore new directions for my work. I've got some things in mind subject-wise, and I know I want to go bigger and bolder. Maybe not as big as some of the works by Billy Showell or Ann Swan that were on show this year, but just a little bit larger than life would be nice I think.

A favourite colour palette might make an appreance

Beautiful peonies by Billy Showell adorned the cover of this year's catalogue

Inspiration for next year from Ann Swan

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