Pre – Christmas wishes and food for thought
by martin davis artist
I’m terribly bad at this kind of thing – but I’m just wishing all my blog readers season’s greetings and a splendid Christmas time. There that’s it, all done I guess. Don’t know why I find it so hard to do but I do, it’s so excruciating even with people I know well. Half of me thinks it’s foolish, kind of arrogant to think that anyone else is hanging on my every word or greeting and that they might feel awfully let down if I forget to wish them well…..ridiculous isn’t it? but what about the other half of me are you asking? well let’s just say that that half is a timid slave to custom. HAVING SAID ALL THAT I DO WISH EVERYONE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY & PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR….GENUINELY!
There is a link with art here though now I think about it. I’m not really conscious of it at the time but the views of others, freely and quite likely casually offered during the year, are so valuable. Enough reason surely for thanks in the form of a mere Christmas greeting? it happened to me this year that someone(who shall remain nameless, not that it matters – he knows who he is) proffered the view that the strongly contrasting light and colours in one of my recent paintings seemed to be my strongest suit. I thought about that simple comment and the more I did the more I’m convinced he has latched onto something fundamentally true about my work generally, and my best work in particular.
For some time I have been giving my output free rein in the hope that some kind of signature style would eventually emerge. This is something I would give my eye teeth for as an artist and like many people I’ve spent many hours admiring (secretly envying?) the “signature” work of other artists. Copying is pointless, technically good practice perhaps, but ultimately pointless – so what to do? My solution to the problem was to forget about it when faced with a blank canvas and just paint from the heart, something I’ve been doing now for a good few years waiting, waiting, waiting for that magical imagery to appear that announces your arrival as an independent creative spirit and not just a copyist. I want more than anything to possess a style that is uniquely and recognisably my own. I think now there may just be the stirrings of the glimmerings of something happening, and this is what those throwaway comments got me wondering.
How ironic then that if it turns out to be true it should be someone else, not me, that spots it first. It just underlines how elusive that quality is that all artists surely strive for. So thank you for saying simply that “contrasting light and colour suit me best” or words to that effect. This is the landscape that caused the comment:
Having looked back over my portfolio I’m excitedly thinking this is so true. I picked out at random those pieces I am most proud of & that I think are my best yet. Guess what? they are all or virtually all artworks that feature strong chiaroscuro tones. Here are a couple:
In March I will be mounting a solo exhibition at Leabrooks Gallery, Derbyshire, UK. I’ve been wondering what sort of theme to adopt but I’m now seriously wondering if I can put together enough pieces like these to make “Paint it black” (so to speak) a genuine useful theme. Between now and then I shall be doing my best to do just that. Artistically I am now so looking forward to 2015.
As I was saying earlier, if you’re reading this I hope you have a splendidly merry Christmas and a bright and optimistic new year.