Sunday, February 3, 2013


I have consistently played at Art for most of my life and as an extension, never treated any of my work with seriousness.  All along, I've used whatever came to hand as a support for painting on, believing that I shouldn't spend real money on my equipment because I wasn't professional and didn't deserve to.   Well that attitude changed when I arrived in the UK and after I got a book from the library on Creative Abstract painting techniques.   I'm always on the look out for technique guidelines for acrylic abstract painting - believing all along, that I just didn't know enough and that my work was unsophisticated because of my imagined shortcomings in this department. 
Partially self-taught artists suffer this complex all the time.  

The book by Brian Ryder (a British artist, who stays in Norfolk and who I draw inspiration from) really opened up my eyes to several things - most importantly, that I have mastered all the techniques he describes in his book and did so many years ago.  Even more profound, as far as I am concerned, I have developed my own techniques, and these are completely unique to me.   I spent some time looking at digital representations of work that I've done in the past and all of the pieces have a common unity of style - I have a defined method I use for my work and it stays pretty much the same for each abstract that I do.   

I mulled over these thoughts after the paints, canvas and brushes arrived which I had ordered online a few weeks ago.  I decided that i didn't just want to prop the canvas up against a cupboard, wall or on a chair ... i realised, with a bit of a thud, that I needed to find something 'professional' and sturdy to work from and this meant an easel.  

I have worked on box/table easels and had two in South Africa but I only ever used these for small pieces and definitely not for abstract work.  Canvases I use for abstract painting are just too large.  So in South Africa, I always propped the canvasses up on chests of drawers, or on kitchen units, even on the floor.   One canvas I propped on two chairs.   I think this is one of the reasons why I never sold my big abstracts - even though they were eagerly taken by members of my family before I left SA and most of the really big ones now adorn the walls in my son's home.   I didn't treat the canvas with the respect it deserved before I started working on it. 
 So today, I bought an easel online, as well as a pallette, some heavy gel medium and more acrylic paints -

Hopefully, I can now start treating my work with some degree of seriousness and maybe sell a few works in the process!

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