Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Back to Work Again

It's been a long time, since I last posted here. That may have something to do with the fact that it's been a long time since I was last able to really concentrate on my portraits. So long, in fact, that my last portrait has collected dust, and specks and spots, and has finally been confined to the trash:-(

Oh well, a new start should probably mean a new project, anyway, and maybe, a change in direction. I have lots of ideas which have been on hold, as I have been busy with the family and their school work. Just what will work, given the short bursts of time that I have to work with, remains to be seen.

My sister, Sue, has been encouraging me to venture into religious art for quite a while, now, and I must admit that I've had the thought to portray the suffering Jesus, for some years. The only thing stopping me is confidence - to dare to undertake such a project seems an awesome responsibility. It's not something I would want to do badly.

Lifestyle portraits are another art form that I love to do. Norman Rockwell is one of my very favourite artists, despite his commercial orientation. I love the wholesomeness of his postwar family scenes, rather more than his later, political work, regardless of which may be the most deserving of artistic merit. For a long time, I have had an ambition to do my own version of modern, wholesome family life, in the 21st century - perhaps, as an antidote to the negative and politically-conscious type of creativity that seems popular, these days. Among the families I know and the environment we live in, that hope-filled positivity is a reality and it would feel a bit like a personal mission to portray it in all its beauty.

My third ambition is to write a children's book. I've had an idea for a plot, since I was a young mum with just three children. The trouble is that writing is not really my strong point. I wonder if I could learn the skills or whether I really should concentrate on the illustrations and pass the story over to my talented sister - if I could persuade her to take it on, that is!

In an effort, to ease myself back into a work routine, I've been going through my old paintings and drawings. This usually makes me either giggle a little patronisingly at the so-called 'artist' of my past or cringe with shame. The picture, above, is a first attempt at an acrylic portrait, which I painted when my eldest daughters were one and four years old (they are now 18 and 21). It wasn't exactly a success and I never painted with acrylics, again - I found them flat and plasticky, compared to oils.

I also spoilt this portrait with a lack of confidence. You see, I had got the likeness. Even now, the picture straightaway takes me back to my daughters' preschool years and I can remember how excited I was to have got their appearance right. The trouble was that I was scared to finish it off, in case I ruined it. So, what I was left with was an unfinished picture which, by its incompleteness, was ruined anyway. I think this painting was a great lesson to me in taking risks. Since that time, I have been much more willing to risk destroying a picture than wasting my time coveting an unfinished project.

So, which direction now? There's too many choices! But, I must admit that, despite a bit of trepidation, I am feeling excited about getting back to it, again:-)


  1. I can't wait to see what your next project is going to be. Whatever it is, I'm sure it's going to look fantastic when it's done.

    I looked at the acrylic picture at the top of the post, and I honestly recognised Megan at once. I quite like that picture.

  2. Thank you, Immy! This portrait was a learning experience - I keep it mainly because it reminds me of when the girls were little.

    Thank you for commenting:-)

  3. Vicky,

    It's good to see you are going back to work.

    I love your acrylic picture even though you think it's not perfect. It captures Megan and Carrie beautifully.

    You sound excited about all the possibilities!

    At the rate I'm editing my novel, you should be able to write yours and have it published long before I finish.

  4. Thank you, Sue. I like this picture because it's just as I remember them but I wish I'd finished it properly. Maybe, if I had done it in oils I would have been happier with the result.

    I'll post an oil painting of Carrie next time so you can see the difference it makes.


Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate your comments and feedback. Vicky