Updated: Nov 18, 2021
I bumped into an old friend a few weeks back and in the course of the conversation we ended up chatting about my art. Apparently there are some folk that are of the opinion that my last few bits are me taking the piss - presumably out of art/artists. As if I would... Me? ha.
But seriously, That's not my intention at all. I can however see how one might arrive at that conclusion. If you've spent years learning (or unlearning) how to paint and then some fucking idiot meathead is banging out stick man paintings and stuff it might raise an eyebrow I suppose.
But no, I'm not strategic, not deliberate enough to devise a plan and stick to it regarding painting. If I was I would have stuck with a recognisable style and genre, therefore selling more art for more money. That's not me though. I fly by the seat of my pants and paint what I want to and when.
I know the last couple of years has mostly been me saying that "I've not painted for while but I'm going to" or words to that affect. But the simple fact of the matter is I've just been busy as hell. I work away half the month, I've got a wife and little girls, I'm on call with the fire service when I'm home which involves plenty of training courses, drill nights and of course the pager going off whenever. I've also in the last few years immersed myself back into grappling.
The nice lady at Occupational Health must have thought I needed a little break from fires to get some painting done as she said I had failed my Fire medical and had to see my Doctor about my apparently atrocious hearing (at least I think that's what she said). I think by this point of the examination she was trying to get rid of me as she had already had her ears talked off about 'good fats vs bad fats', cholesterol and the food pyramid when she questioned me on my diet and why I exercised so much. So now I've got a little break from fires until the doctor has a little check in my tiny little head. Old age. What can I say?
The point at which i started painting less will correlate exactly with the change in my exercise habits. After years of prioritising lifting weights above all else I switched to more functional stuff and fitness, this coincided with getting back on the mats grappling. This new training was a real upshift in energy expenditure. This coupled with coming off Facebook.
Facebook: A pseudo reality of polarised opinions fostered in echo chambers and then played off against each other, all the while the fires being stoked by algorithms and nefarious actors seeking civil unrest and stealing your data illegally with impunity) handy for looking at your old photos on and staying in touch with people that its handy to stay in touch with but not that you actually want to stay in touch with that much. Anyway I digress. But to digress a little further this 'Metaverse' stuff is fucking madness. it's literally Ready Player one happening in real life. Fuck off.
Anyway where was I.....Ah yes I've spent the last six months or so pretty dedicated to MMA training as I took the bait and agreed to fight again in Dec. Sadly the fight has been cancelled but there will be others. And I feel great right now. There we go, and now if I choose to I can give a little more time over to painting. The actual time consuming part mainly involves having a clear head, or maybe more accurately: clearing your head onto the canvas. I know that's getting dangerously close to twatty art wanker type chat but it truly is a cathartic process.
When I'm not actually producing any work my brain is still going, my notes app gets longer and longer and I started asking how I could get my ideas out in the most efficient manner.
The upside of this time efficient style of painting is that with me spending much less time on each piece I can charge a lot less. I didn't plan this, I just kind of thought well I won't take the piss with pricing these. What I really enjoy about this is that it's led to new people buying my stuff. The best thing about painting is when you've expressed your ideas and it resonates with someone so much that they exchange their free time (sacrificed for money) in exchange for your idea on canvas. That is awesome.
Painting and more specifically selling art is a strange old process, and a bit like fighting, you can get out of the swing of it, then you have a few messages enquiring about bits that you've already sold and you think, oh yeah, people like my stuff and literally want to buy it. Why aren't you painting you lazy bastard? You actually want to paint, you just don't get round to it. I kind of forget that people will give me money for something I actually enjoy doing. And like many things in life the more you do it the more you enjoy it.
And so, I probably will do some more painting. And some fighting. But some painting next week. Probably