I’m in the final stages of preparation for my submission to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. In the run up to a decision like this, there’s a strong whiff of doubt in the air…will I be able to come up with anything vaguely good enough…?
At first I had it in mind to rework a failed experiment which you can see emerge here a couple of days ago, and I thought it was the one. Since then I’ve been reminded of this piece (painted in October 2017) which I am considering…
…and then with just a day or two remaining I made this, a return to my recent angel designs. This is the largest of them to date, painstakingly crafted onto an 80cm x 30cm canvas.
I like them all. Now here I am – with too many choices, and only a day left to decide. Sometimes The Angels Punish Us, By Answering Our Prayers.
On the plus side at least I have choices to make, much better to be in that position than staring at a blank canvas at this very late stage! This deadline has galvanised me to produce some interesting work.
Footnote 1: For completeness, this is the other painting I am currently considering. Acrylic applied with fingers and a palette knife, on a 75cm x 50cm canvas.
Footnote II. Re: Winged Angels, in other news it’s the 20th anniversary of the unveiling of The Angel Of The North this week, cool huh.
Footnote III. I opted for the black and blue piece, titling it ‘The Gathering’. Let’s see how I get on…
This weekend I am finalising my submission for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. The deadline for applications is February 14th, and as the theme this year is ‘Art Made Now’, I’m planning on delivering something current.
As you can see, in the last 24 hours this canvas has undergone quite a transformation.
I took the art work outside today – to see how it photographs in daylight. As I was putting the art on the easel – I realised I couldn’t decide which way is up. Can you?
Here are a couple of close ups, and a shot of the work in direct sunlight. I made this art on a 75cm x 50cm linen canvas, using acrylic paint, my fingers, and a palette knife.
Another day, another angel! I started making this last night, and on and on it went. I opted for a much longer wing shape than before, and the steady hand required to paint the angel made the process quite tiring at times. Anyway, here it is, ready to go into the wild as the next free art drop. I’m enjoying making these so much I’ve called this one, ‘I Think I’m In Love’. If you’re down The Wallington Arms tonight – I’ll have it with me in case you fancy a closer look.
I painted this design on December 8th 2017. I was live painting at an event and it was a cold day. As the event unfolded and speakers began to tell their stories – I got a sense of the difference between how powerful an individual story can be, whilst at the same time, acknowledging how small I often feel as an individual on this spinning mudball we inhabit.
In due course – I got the chance to tell my story at the event too. I spoke about art in general, it’s power to change, coping with loss, togetherness, the free art project, doing things differently, the importance of persistence and the beauty of impermanence.
This was a really enjoyable day. I got to make art in front of some lovely people, hear excellent stories, and tell one of my own too. Huge thanks to Yetunde Hofmann and her amazing team for putting on such an excellent event.
I thought I’d try twisting the current angel theme a little today – something a little messier. I like the unpredictable nature of spraying paint, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get.
This angel is titled ‘I Never Saw It Coming’ and it will be the next free art drop. Keep an eye out for it over the next few days.
I’m really enjoying playing with these angel designs at the moment. Here’s a new one I made in London last week. I painted this using an iridescent orange acrylic which really catches the light. I used a lovely blue/grey Paynes Grey for the angel figure – the two set each other off really well. I plan to keep going with these and I have ideas for some more larger scale pieces in the series.
This piece has been sold.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of Dad’s death, and though he is much missed, I’m choosing to use today as a day to reflect on many good memories.
Something I admired about our Dad was his deep sense of responsibility towards the local community. He was well known in his local area for helping others and for getting stuff done. After he died, Dad was remembered with the planting of some trees in Littleheath woods, a place we often visited as a family when we were kids.
I’ve yet to visit the tree planting, and it may yet be a while before I do so. The weather’s been awful in the past few days, and I expect the woods are really wet and muddy. Maybe I’ll toddle over later in the week and take a look…we’ll see. For now – I’ll make do with an impression of what the woods will look like on a clearer day once Spring begins to show.
The angel making experiment continues…
These pieces were drawn and painted in recent days, using pencil and acrylic paints on water colour paper. They are fiddly to make, and require a steady hand, I’m really enjoying this phase of making, and seeing how the images change depending on how the light plays on them.
The green/blue piece will be the next free art drop, and I am considering entering the golden pair into the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
Following on from the Angelic UpstArt sketch I posted earlier, I’ve made one or two changes to the larger angel canvas. Here it is in its ‘before’ state:
And here it is again after some more marks have been added.
This work is on an 80cm x 30cm canvas and I used Liquitex Heavy Body Professional paints.
Whilst I like the overall design – I’m personally not 100% sure about this one, and I’ve learned not to rush, so I’m sticking with it, for now at least. If you would like to buy this piece, you can contact me for more details via doug dot shaw at wgalimited dot com.
After some encouragement from good people in my network, I designed a 2018 calendar featuring some of my free art project work. Over 40 were sold, thanks to everyone who purchased a copy.
In today’s post – I received an important piece of paper, namely the receipt for a charitable donation of £176, paid to the good people of Wallington Animal Rescue, which was made possible through sales of the aforementioned calendar.
This has been a fun thing to do. Curating the art work itself, compiling a set of notes telling the story of the art, and finding a way to make the product has been an enjoyable challenge. On the last point, I learned enough to ensure that if I repeat the experience, I should be able to deliver a similarly good quality product, at a slightly lower cost. That means I can offer the calendar slightly cheaper, or alternatively, raise more for a charity next time.
Thank you to everyone who supported the calendar project, and thank you Wallington Animal Rescue for the excellent work you do.