I am back in my hometown of Bristol now and early next year I will start work towards opening a new gallery in St Nicholas Market in Bristol. Unlike my Open Art Studio in the lovely village of Leominster in Herefordshire I will also be showcasing other creative people’s work, which will include handmade bags, jewellery, hats and photography by some of my inspiring friends.
There will be lots to do before it opens, not only the financial and legal side, but also on the creative side – I have seen a wonderful watercolour technique which I believe will turn my nice acrylic paintings into WOW watercolour paintings. That’s what I want, I want people to walk through the door and say WOW, that is my aim. Organisation and perseverance is the key to any undertaking so the first thing I need to do is plan my attack, my art attack, then step by step I believe my dream will materialise before my eyes.
I will keep you all updated.
To add to my current melancholy mood I have just read about a chimp who is selling his photos for £75,000. Obviously it is not the chimp who is selling the photos it is in fact the chimps guardian. If you follow the link above it’s appears that it is not even the chimp who is holding the camera, but that is by the by.
A few years ago, on my birthday, I met a beautiful elephant and to my surprise I found out that the elephant was a painter just like me. This made me very happy as I love painting and I love elephants.
This is a painting of the elephant I met, which was done by me not the elephant.
After meeting the lovely elephants and finding out that one was also a painter I had a look on the safari parks website to find her artwork. I was very happy to hear that the money from selling the artwork went towards the upkeep of the safari park and not only helped the elephants but also the other animals who lived there. This was all very good and made me very happy.
What has upset me, or annoyed me, or has made me question the point of art and why someone should spend their starving life struggling to be an artist is that the chimps photo’s sells for so much more than the elephants paintings.
Ele Art – £95
Chimpograph – - £75,000
Why is this?
Neither the elephant nor the chimp know what they are doing, neither of them have a degree in art, been away on an art holidays or at the very least attended an evening class. So why is there such a huge difference in the price of their art?
It makes a mockery of everything I am working towards and goes to show it is not what you know, but who you know. If the elephants knew the same people they would no doubt be selling their artwork for thousands of pounds and if the chimp lived on the safari park his photos would sell for under £100.
Now animals are selling more art than me maybe it is time I put down my brushes and stop trying so hard, if I can’t compete with an unqualified chimp who doesn’t hold the camera and takes out of focus photo’s then what is left for me?
Lord please give me strength.
Sometimes I think that I would love to be one of those artists who makes a living by expressing their emotional self through their art.
I understand that many artists use their art to express things that they find hard to say. Many years ago I did the same, as you can see in the drawing below. I drew this in 1998 when I was 19, 3 years after I left home. Since that time I have become completely capable of expressing my discontent verbally – some may say to an excessive extent.
Personally I don’t think that it is healthy for any kind of artist to spend their life in emotional pain in order to make a living or to gain fans. I don’t think it is healthy at all. I believe that the point in life is to become the best you can be and in order to do that you need to stand up and face your demons in order to move on. I have faced all of my demons and dealt with all of my issues so far in life, but, things still often upset me.
I no longer get upset in a personal sense, as I did when I drew this picture.
Instead, I get upset on a planetary scale.
The way humans across the planet treat each other upsets me very much. I don’t understand it at all and I often find the disharmony in the world quite scary. Maybe I should use my art to express my discontent, maybe I should show others the problems I believe we face and I am using the beauty in my art as some kind of shield against the negativity which I try to rise above and ignore in the world. Maybe without drawing unhealthy pictures like this I would not have become healthy and capable of voicing my feelings, maybe all expressive art is helpful and it is never harmful to the artist – we all know there are cases where the latter is not true.
Maybe, maybe, maybe.
As I write this 1000′s of horrific images come to my mind that I could paint to express my deeper darker self. Should I bury these images beneath light hearted and happy paintings of otters and stags at sunset or should I give them the space in my mind and time out of my life to express them?
I don’t know.
My main aim is to have a healthy mind and I believe that in order to have a healthy mind you must have a clear mind, so maybe if I rid my mind of these images it will become clear, or will it merely promote more negative images to fill the space? My personal fear is that if I paint a negative image, provoke an emotional human reaction or move people inside in some way they will expect me to paint more and more negative images and once where there was joviality and lightness in my work there will be a sad darkness.
As a person, being positive, happy and fickle is working very well for me in life, but maybe I should be true to my deeper darker self. Maybe I should try to express my deeper feelings in my art, and maybe, just maybe, I should express the person I really am inside and not simply the person I want to be.
I guess the real question is
“How much of myself am I willing to give to my art?”
“How much of myself am I willing to give to you?”
How could anyone not love a donkey! That’s what I think. Sadly there are many people on the planet who don’t share my view and some poor donkeys are made to work within an inch of their life and beaten to death. I would happily house (or stable) all of the unloved donkeys in the world if I had the space, but sadly I simply couldn’t fit them all in my small flat, so instead I have decided to help them another way.
When my partner and I toured around Cornwall in our beloved motorhome we stopped off at the wonderful Donkey Sanctuary. I completely fell in love with the donkeys and I was inspired to paint this.
Don Key Leone (2011)
You can watch the painting come to life in the time-lapse video below.
I grew up in the countryside next to a pig farm, which was rather smelly at times, but that smell always brings back wonderful images and memories of being a child and playing in the garden with the animals. Nearly everyone in our village had a horse (except me) and in the summer we were surrounded by the sounds of buzzing bumblebees and bleating lambs as they bounced all over the place. My mother loved animals and our house was a bit of a small mammal farm. We homed lots of different small animals from dogs, cats, hamsters and ducks to chipmunks, quails and cockatils. I have always had a great love of animals and I strongly agree with people who think that animals can help with emotional healing processes. No matter what life threw at me as a child I always had my animals to turn to. They would listen without judgement and love unconditionally all they ever wanted in return was to be loved and cared for.
As I love donkeys so much and believe in the work they do helping young people and adults with difficulties I would really like to help them. I have decided to use my skill to help by selling the above illustration as a framed print, on stretched canvasses, cards, ipod skins, iphone cases, t-shirts, hoodies, bags and throw cushions via Society 6.
All of my profits will go to the donkeys to help santuaries continue to care for donkeys and help children and adults with physical and emotional difficulties. I may not be able to help everyone, but at least I can help someone.
For more information simply click on an image below
As I have this opportunity I simply couldn’t miss telling my favourite joke.
Q: What do you call a donkey with three legs?
A: A wonky donkey.
Q: What do you call a donkey with three legs and one eye?
A: A winky wonky donkey.
Q: What do you call a donkey with three legs and one eye who can play the piano?
A: A plinky plonky winky wonky donkey.
Q: What do you call a donkey with three legs and one eye who plays the piano badly?
A: A honky tonky, plinky plonky, winky wonky donkey
Here are some useful links if you would like to help the donkeys