The hours are worse

For the first time in my twenty years of borrowing, begging and blagging exhibition space I’m in the position of turning away galleries that are coming to me to show my work.
I’ve got group and solo shows booked pretty solidly for the next two years and other commitments stretching five years into the future; and they all came to me… How things have changed. Best not take the piss then. Best get on and ‘knuckle down’ as my mother would say.
I am also now able to sell all the preparatory drawings for paintings, which strangely adds a little more pressure. If people are paying for them I feel the obligation to work them a little more thoroughly and at least commit them to a decent paper. The disposal rate hasn’t dropped though; if I’m not satisfied with a drawing I’m not going to ask someone to part with money for it. Now that I’m logging all these drawings, and selling them, people might actually see how much work goes into a finished painting. Not to mention those drawings that never make it to canvas and the preparatory oil paintings too.
In some ways I’m glad that I lost all those years of old sketch books and experiments in the studio fire. They wouldn’t stand up to the work I’m doing now, and though I don’t think I would’ve ever sold them… well – you never know what’s around the corner do you.
I’m doing quite a lot of new paintings using just black and white (with very light oil glazes) and I seem to be getting some interesting results. How long this aesthetic and technical avenue will last is anyone’s guess. Something else will come along eventually…
It’s midnight here now. I’ll finish this entry and get on with some more drawing.
I wouldn’t change a thing in my life that has led me to where I am currently. I’ve now got one job; I’m a full-time painter. And after twenty years of supporting it with other jobs I’m prepared to treat it like a job, to work as hard as I can at it and produce the best work that I can. There is one difference between this job and others though. The hours. But at least I can smoke and drink at work…


Exhibition at Mauger Modern, Bath.


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