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Artwork by Patrick DolanMore Information

Getting Organised (Or Not)

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I have known for a while that the Surface Gallery International Postcard Show was coming up. I viewed last year’s and I said to myself at the time that next year I will definitely enter, but here I am, only a few days from the deadline, withering and dithering and trying to start!

To be fair, I have had a few …. er …. challenging weeks recently, with the world conspiring against me in my efforts to get any work done. I’ve had various family members coming to stay with us, meaning again, that no work gets done when they are here. There has been Christmas and New Year to contend with as well. Add to this the fact that both my partner and myself have had / are having a few health issues, so there are mitigating circumstances …. that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

So, after a few false starts, here I am with my postcard sized, pieces of card, ready to start work to submit to the exhibition.

At least I have the means to start the work now. The card is cut. It’s ready to take the paint, or whatever.

It is the weekend I have the time to start.

There’s nothing to stop me getting on with these now.

Check the size of the cards. Yes, 4 by 6 inches.

I am ready, I can start.

WHY CAN’T I START???

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A couple of hours later

That’s the surfaces primed then. I have painted my card both sides with white acrylic. Now what? My mind is a blank. Somewhere in the subconscious, I must be thinking that I will use bright colours, otherwise I wouldn’t have painted the white base coat. OK, so I will use bright colours for the background – or shall I? Bright colours might make the work stand out amongst the other entries, but will that be perceived as a ploy to do just that? I do use lots of bright colours in my work, but will viewers just see this as laziness, letting the impact overtake the content?

The content – WHAT shall I paint? Should I create some pieces similar to my usual stuff, or shall I go out on a limb and do something completely different? If I do this though, it might appear contrived. What if it is simply not up to scratch? Is it wise to submit work which is not ‘tried and tested’? If I am not happy with the work I produce I have wasted time, of which I don’t have much. Should I submit figurative work, which is my usual genre, or abstract (the safe option)? Mixed media – obviously. What about adding collage? I do use collage quite extensively in my work. Would that be over complicated on a 4 x 6 inch postcard? Painting or collage, or both? My brain is starting to hurt.

WHY CAN’T I START???

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Made a start - at last

Made a start – at last

Some time later

I have painted one card a vibrant mid blue, one a bold red and the third a delicious pea green. At last, I am off! Now I have started, I know the ideas will start to flow, thank goodness. I have decided to use collage with acrylic and pens as I am comfortable using these – stick to what I know. As I’m going bold with the colour, the artwork may as well be over the top too. I have some gorgeous gold border craft stickers, which my instinct tells me to use in this project, which will be three coordinating pieces. So out they come.

I have something going through my head, like ‘Bea’s Art Sampler’ (no 1, 2 and 3). The idea is to take some of my previous works and patch them together as a collage. Added to this I will collage words and phrases to give an abstract direction to the pieces, so the viewer can put their own interpretation on the images.

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Several hours later

Phew. At last. I am finished! After a long frenzy of painting, cutting, sticking, drawing and varnishing, I have my pieces ready to go. I have changed the titles though, I am using words or phrases I have used in the pieces for ease of identification. Plus, I really like the words I have used, such as ‘gurn’.

Gurn

Gurn

I wonder if other artists are like me, needing to enter brand new work to open exhibitions, but then procrastinating, putting things off, and panicing when the handing-in deadline looms? Or are they ready in good time, with plenty of spare pieces of work which they casually just earmark for each event?

Should I Ditch My Man?

Should I Ditch My Man?

Anyway, I am done. Illustrated here are small snippets from my pieces – I don’t want to reveal all, till the show. For anyone else interested in submitting to this exhibition, the closing date for entries is 10th January 2015 and the exhibition runs from the 16th January 2015 to 14th February 2015. All the details are on the Surface Gallery website at;  www.surfacegallery.org .

And now I need a large, strong cup of tea!

Bottom Boil

Bottom Boil