Welcome to this month’s blog where I will enlighten you as to why I create different types of art simultaneously and why I don’t stick to one particular genre like, say, just portrait painting, for instance. Of course, many artists find their niche and stay with it for a long time and become known for that style, but even they eventually want to stretch their creativity and do other things, but mostly they tend to stick with what they know.
Maybe I must have a short attention span or something because I need variety; I have been like this my whole life. Even at school my English teacher, Mr Davidson, told me I had to choose one style of handwriting and stick to it - I just couldn’t. My English book must have resembled a book of condolence or something with all the different styles of handwriting. One should never judge a book by it’s 1980s wallpapered-cover, or it’s eclectically jotted pages either, come to that.
Variety Is The Spice of Life
Long before my art journey began, I learnt through doing different jobs and hobbies that I am much happier all round and my enthusiasm increases when variety plays an important role in whatever I am doing; and so it is with my art, too. I have found that my creativity tends to bursts forth and my poor wee brain can’t stop - even the nightly 4am toilet trip doesn’t escape it.
If you have read my bio on the website you will already know where my art journey started. For those of you who haven't read it, the condensed version is that I attended leisure oil painting classes, took to it like a duck to water and never looked back. I found that I could paint most things in a realistic way, which was great, as everyone loved the fact that ‘it looks like a photograph’. I even won an award, got some recognition and my artwork in some magazines.
Anyway, as is The Kay Way, I quickly became bored with it. Painting realism is very time-intensive, as you can imagine, and waiting for each oil layer to dry only prolonged the process even more.
Around that time, I was honoured to be asked to create three commission paintings for the global organic textural artist, Clare Sykes. I admired her work and was totally fascinated by how she applied the thick paint with a knife and how spectacular the end result was, so I decided to give it a whirl but on a much smaller scale. As I began to learn, I started to experiment and lay down my own textured petals; tentatively at first but as my confidence grew, so did my creativity and I was then applying the stuff with gusto.
Aside from the popularity of my collectors and followers, here was a kind of art that complimented my fine art pieces perfectly as the paint was applied more intuitively, the acrylic paint dried much quicker (even when thick) and it was a world away from the realistic still life paintings I had been producing. And although I had reference material for inspiration, the majority of it came from my imagination.
One of my first small pieces went to Clare as a thank you for her inspiration and support. I continued to learn, experiment and improve in both artist styles. Happy days… then along came covid and a lengthy lockdown.
Although I was not looking to add a third string to my bow, instead of creating more florals and fine art during lockdown, like everyone else, I browsed social media and in doing so came across a fluid art video rather by accident; this artist was pouring different colours and swirling it around the canvas. I was hooked and enthralled by the different techniques and ways of applying the paint to end up with these dreamy, abstract paintings.
I wanted to learn more, so I researched it a little… then a little more… then decided to give it a go. I was encouraged by my early results so, as the festive season was approaching, I decided to gauge opinion by gifting some sets as Xmas presents. They went down a treat, so I made a few more and cautiously put them on my social media where they sold straight away. Off she goes again... and I have been pouring fluid acrylic paint onto my ceramic tiles ever since, even branching out into vases and tea lights, trays - if it can be poured on, let’s give it a whirl!
What I hadn’t realised whilst on my variegated creative journey was, although the three art techniques are very different, they all appear to influence each other - whether intentional or not - in different ways that has not only surprised me, but helped me along my creative journey (sorry, I sound like Simon Cowell - I’ll be ‘making it my own’ next).
Firstly, I have noticed that certain ideas can spill over from one genre to the other - you will find some of my abstract flowers lend themselves rather well on, say, placemats or serving boards.
It has also not escaped me that my fine art commissions have begun to loosen a little (around the edges anyway) as the speedier technique and skills used for my florals are subtly being adopted on those paintings; I am learning to use one brushstroke to make a mark when I would previously have used five to still get the same end result. All three techniques seem to overlap in some way that emanates through my entire current artistic spectrum.
Having initially used acrylic paints thickly in my textured florals and then again thinly for my homeware paint pours, I have slowly started to use acrylics more in my fine art pieces and less of the oil paints; something I never thought I would do, but I have. Of course, I will never do away with my oils but I have pretty much switched to acrylic paints now as their versatility as a painting medium means that they happily cater to all my artistic endeavours nicely. And much more - who knows what I’ll try next?
Just kidding - I am happy with my three creative paths currently and I am not looking to add another one as I am too busy learning, experimenting and exploring my way through this lot whilst having great fun. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to do what I do and make a lot of people smile along the way.
And there you have it - why I am not like all the other artists who just stay with one style and technique, and how it has helped me to continue to grow as an artist.
I suspect Mr Davidson would be rather proud of my varied artistic endeavours these days and that he would quietly forgive my handwriting melange in that old school book if he had known what it would mean for the student years later. What do you reckon?
HOT OFF THE EASEL!
LOVE IN ABUNDANCE
12" x 10" (each)
Watch the time-lapse video to see how I created it