A Favourite Painting
We all have those moments. You will know what I mean if you regularly visit art exhibitions. I can tell at a glance in a gallery whether I wish to stay or leave. I know immediately whether my visit will be a brief encounter or one where I will take my time absorbing every single painting,colour combination,subject choice and composition in as many mediums as possible.
When I walk through the door to any show my instant decision of entering or not is made by the impact of my first glimpse.This is why I strongly believe how an exhibition is hung is vital to the success of any event. Without great art and clever presentation visitors will make their choice as to stay or leave.
With the Society of Women Artists 150th Annual Exhibition my decision was already made as last years show was breathtakingly brilliant. I am an SWA member and as part of the council, yes in a way obliged to be there. Friends know this so to pretend otherwise would be futile. However in my view, each year the SWA Exhibiton gets better and better. I feel it cannot and yet it does. Even so, when I very first saw this years exhibiton my jaw dropped. I was like a child in their favourite candy store. I wanted to view every room and every inch of wall space. I felt my desire to race home and pick up a brush burning by the talent on display. Talent that left me as always feeling inadequate because I have so far I wish to go on my own art journey. That comment may amaze my blog readers. I was with an established artist recently who told me they loved my work and envied me because of my enthusiasm for life and art. Whilst they understood my feelings they also told me they wished they could paint as I do. Freely and with such a sense of movement. I was taken aback as I am nowhere near as brilliant as he is. In fact I doubt I ever will be.In my eyes anyway.
But back to the SWA exhibition.
I began my eager viewing of the paintings on show. Moving from one, in awe, to the next. I was taken by so many beautiful subjects. Animals cleverly caught in oil and amazing landscapes. The three sea oil paintings by SWA member Tina Stokes really made me wish to use my oils again. She caught the beauty of sailing perfectly and with simplicity. The "Foxhounds Greeting" by SWA member Vanessa Jayne were wonderful. I marvelled at the texture in the work by SWA member Judith Roberts.
I could mention every painting because there were so many I loved. Especially the portraits as this is where I started painting and teaching as a subject. I have always loved painting personality and aiming to capture more than just a face in my results. I want to evoke emotion and entice the viewer of my work to wonder what my subject was thinking,whio they were and what their lives were like.
As I stood in the main hall of the Mall Galleries in London I looked up and saw an image that stopped me in my tracks. As a child I had very bright copper hair. It was so thick that my grandmother insisted on keeping it cut short for easier management. But I longed for long hair like the other girls I had seen in my school. It was a time when every child in the village had that one special dress for Sunday best. I longed to wear mine as it was the only item of clothing with beautiful delicate colour that I possessed. Everything else was practical and not very pretty. My "Sunday best" dress was. It was far too big for me but I was told I would grow into it. I never did. My little legs stuck out from under the overly full, long skirt and my tinier arms seemed lost in the over large armholes. The stiff hem touched the floor pushing the neckline up to just under my chin. When I walked it moved with me inside it. It rustled each time I moved. As I looked at my favourite painting I went back in time to my childhood and remembered putting that dress on. In my mind I never once saw the dress that was too large for me. In my imagination I was wearing the prettiest dress in the world and it fitted. In my imagination I could see the prettily dressed little girl I longed to be.
How amazing that one look at a painting could bring memories flooding back as this one did.But isn't that what good art is all about.Capturing a viewers attention long enough for them to absorb the story being told or imagine their own.
As I type I wish I had bought my favourite painting but unsurprisngly it sold the very first moment it was seen. As all good paintings are.
If you visit the SWA Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition 2012 please look out for this artists work. They have no idea this blog entry is about their painting or why I loved it so much.
Here is my favourite painting, and maybe it will evoke memories for you too.
Vikky Furse SWA
"The tilt of her head,
The fall of her hair
The glow of her dress
Beauty every where
A wistful expression
A moment in time
This painting evokes
Memories so sublime"
I have to say a very big thank you to everyone who has sent me touchiung messsages by email to thank me for my blog. I have read each one almost feeling like crying because I had no idea how inspirational my posts have been and to some very special people.
Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know how much my blog posts mean to you. I wish you the most magical of art journeys and I hope your dreams all come true,no matter how large or small they are.
Keep painting because your own work could be the favourite painting of someone elses tomorrow.
Make someone write about your art as I have wriiten about Vikky Furse SWA.
That would be wonderful,