Just for today I will put up a picture of myself. It’s for Sky Arts Portrait artist of the year 2022. It’s not something I would normally do but then as I grow in recovery and in my art I’m finding myself pushing out of my comfort zone again and again. Just for today I will challange my insecurities about not being good enough. My fear of failure and my indecision.
Just for today I will acknowledge how incredible it feels to be two years sober. I will recognise how far I have come on an artistic, business and spiritual basis. Just for today I will accept compliments of my works with the due gratitude and humility it should be granted. Just for today I will believe in my ability to take the next step forward and move up to the next level on my artistic journey. Just for today I will accept that it is not in my time. It is in my Higher Power’s time.
Just for today I will focus on the love I feel and share with my family, friends and I include those who follow me as friends, and my connection with God. Just for today I will feel the grass beneath my bare feet. The breeze that tugs at my hair. The sound of birds actually living their lives in the now and the ever so gentle warmth of the Sun on my face.
Just for today as I accept that spring and summer will arrive as planned, that the chill air will grow warm and that life will blossom in it’s usual explosion of colours and shades. So I will accept, just for today, that the preordained way I am to follow will open out before me as I walk life’s path.
Autumn, a time of retreat, of change, of decay yet such a beautiful season. The wind, rain and storms approach with a ferocity that only nature can conjure and the days begin to darken, as night stealthily creeps closer; there is still so much colour and beauty.
Meandering through the local woodland, watching the squirrels hustle and bustle as they store for the coming winter the landscape has exploded into nature’s palette. Reds, yellows, browns and golden wonder stand stark against the crisp blue background of the sky.
Nature inspires me. It presents me with a spectacle of awe, a framework of colour, shade and light that I look to bring to my own artwork. In these troubled times as the planet’s life force itself stands on a knife edge I try to do the best I can. It is never enough but I try. I want my children to have a world of splendor and beauty, a world full of hope, to be the guardians of our world which we have only borrowed to keep safe for future generations.
So I look to create beauty, calm, fantasy and wonder in my artwork. To try to say these images do not only have to be in our imaginations, they can become real. We are all individually like a stone dropped into water. The ripple we cause will have an affect on everything. The Butterfly effect. So we can chose to bring darkness and chaos or we can chose light and beauty.
My latest work, in oils this time, is on the theme of gratitude. A woman simply grateful to be sat in the warm sun. It’s an easy word to say but not always so easy to actually feel! I have much to be grateful for in my life both as an artist and as a human being.
There is a lot going on at the moment which could easily stray me from the path of gratitude. I currently have ‘shingles’ which is really impacting my life with severe pain and fatigue. I try to distract myself through my art but it has to be in small increments.
I’m also attempting to put my presence further out online by applying for some of the top galleries such as Saatchi and Artfinder. Of course with this comes fear. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of rejection. Attempting to understand that a potential rejection of my work is not a rejection of me as a person.
But gratitude has to be the key. I’m a selling artist, my following is increasing quite dramatically, I’ve been featured in various media including the Daily Mirror, I have a loving home and most importantly, I’ve not picked up a drink today. ODAAT.
I hope my next blog will have good news within it but if not the journey, as it always does, will continue. Bye for now and take care.
I decided to name one of my latest works, ‘To Be Free Again’, to celebrate and look forward to the end of lockdowns and restrictions and to explore a place of peace and serenity within my work. Yet we now find, with this new Delta variant, that this may be far from the case.
I, just like you, have no idea what the future holds. What I do know is what ‘Now’ holds. Now holds the opportunity to live life one day at a time. To take in and be present in any given moment and therefore, to live life to the full.
Creating my artwork brings me much serenity but it is not just the finished article that provides this. It’s the journey, just as in life, where the true serenity lies. After all, as humans, we are not born to be merely happy. We must experience the full gauntlets of emotions we encounter on a daily basis if we are not to fall into the happy trap!
Wherever our paths take us I hope we can continue the journey, through my artwork, together. We all walk our own path, heading towards our own destiny but it is nice to meet up with you from time to time. Until we meet again friend!
It feels, just as it does in the direction my painting is taking, that I am beginning to come out of the dark in more ways than one. Just last week I was interviewed by a local reporter from The Wrexham Leader about myself and my work which was a very nerve wracking experience, as I find it uncomfortable talking with those I don’t know.
However, I found that gave me the courage to put together a virtual gallery tour of my paintings in my studio. Something I would never have dreamed of being able to accomplish in the past. Again I felt so nervous but feel so pleased with it. A small task for some maybe but a huge step forward for me.
Perhaps a lot of my new confidence is coming from the amount of commissions I’m being asked to produce. My latest, below, was an album cover of ‘The Levellers’ for a couple’s 15th anniversary which was also posted on a Facebook fan page and received some lovely comments. Creating art is an amazing experience but getting my profile out there is a lot harder! I’m grateful to my partner, Darren, for all the encouragement and hard work he puts towards increasing my artistic profile online.
So many of my past paintings have been very dark in image, very probably due to where I was in addiction. Whilst I still enjoy this style I’m seeing and appreciating the colours around me in recovery. This is inspiring me to explore works in new, vibrant tones, feeling the beauty of the rainbow my life is becoming.
Recovery is giving me the opportunity to explore new pastures, to re-evaluate life and my place in it. To reach out, through the fear of the unknown, and allow self expression in a new light. It’s even lead me now to the idea of of a new medium of expression using oils. Allowing me to build a confidence in a new format and hang the results!
It’s strange how going with the flow can make such a difference. Only a few days ago I was struggling with self doubt. Worried about the choices I was making. Whether I’m creating the ‘right‘ kind of art. Should I be commercialising my work? Wanting to stay true to the styles I create that are meaningful to me.
Two days later and I have four commissions and a request for a print! Whilst this request is away from my usual work a commission is a commission and I’m always extremely grateful to receive a request. Whilst creating for the sake of doing so will always come first it is nice to feel appreciated and it does help to put food on the table!
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