Why does starting again feel so hard?

Painting should be an enjoyable process. It IS an enjoyable process – overall! But every stage also bring its doubts.

Beginning a new series is full of potential; new ideas waiting to be discovered. I find colour often leads the way, endlessly surprising combinations are one of the joys and key reasons I paint and I feel these will contain brighter flashes so using unexpected colours is often what this stage is about… something to jolt me out of the boredom of the familiar. I don’t pre-mix colour so the variations layer and grow and bring a complexity to the finished paintings.

Every time I want to further develop the way I use paint. It’s like a living thing which needs nurturing and also encouraging and I love that I still need to learn how to mould it to do what I want. Each series is a bit like setting out on a new journey without a map. You may have a compass; something to give direction, but you’re not yet sure where you are heading.

Of course, usually this stage comes after you’ve completed a group of work. One of my criteria for feeling a painting is finished is that it has something magical about it and has reached a point so that even I don’t fully know how it was created. So I suppose it’s inevitable that starting fresh reminds me that I’m always just exploring.

These paintings will continue to explore feelings of freedom and space, hopefully with a freshness that spring brings and you can see more of the starting stages in the video below.

At the other end of the scale, I’m busy finishing framing and photographing the recently completed “Wild Swimming” series which I began during the summer mid-lockdowns. These paintings will be coming first to my mailing list in April and include large and small paintings. Last time the small ones all sold within 24 hours so do add your name if you’d like to be included.

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