Happy New Year to one and all. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful festive season and that you’re all looking forward to whatever lies ahead in 2019!
For me, it’s either my rapidly advancing years or the fact I’ve been having such fun in 2018 but this first post of another New Year seems to have come around surprisingly quickly, hence a distinct feeling of deja-vu!
Here’s a quick look back over the year, beginning with my top nine most liked posts on Instagram:
What I like most about this little montage is that it reflects my visits to Barcelona, Paris, London, Dieppe, the South Downs and, of course, time spent in my hometown of Brighton – and that alone makes me happy!
What makes me a little less happy, albeit by this rather unscientific measure, is that all of these paintings were done in the first six months of 2018. If I didn’t know better, it would be all too easy to think that my painting has taken a turn for the worst!
On the whole, I think last year was a particularly good one for me so I thought it might be useful to remind myself of my hopes and aspirations from my first post of 2018:
- Submit my work to some of the more high profile/established open submission exhibitions in a spirit of nothing ventured, nothing gained
Tick – I submitted works to lots of competitions and open exhibitions during 2018. Admittedly, this did prove rather fruitless until my perseverance was eventually rewarded with a painting being selected (and shortlisted for a prize) for the Biennial Worthing Open Art Exhibition. I’ll try to keep this up in 2019, but I’ve already decided to be a little more discerning about which opportunities I go for, and what I submit.
- Participate in Brighton Festival’s Artists’ Open Houses and (weather permitting!) the Brunswick Square Art Fair again
Tick – along with a few fellow residents for where I live, we ran our very own Open House during the Brighton Festival – during which time I sold more work than I have ever previously sold. For 2019, we won’t be running our own Open House again but I’ve secured a place in another Open House and will provide more news on this as the year progresses. The Brunswick Square Art Fair didn’t take place this year so I wasn’t able to participate but, if it goes ahead again in 2019, I’ll aim to have a presence there.
- Approach a gallery or two for exhibition opportunities/advice
Ah, erm, yes, well I did ‘think’ about this on and off during the year but that’s as far as I got! I’ll mull this one over a bit to see whether I should add it on to my 2019 ‘to do’ list!
- Explore the merits of ArtFinder (I’d welcome feedback from anyone that has any experience of ArtFinder!)
Hmmm, please see answer above…
- Paint more plein-air/on location
Hmmm, quoting my school reports of old, I think the phrase ‘could do better’ seems applicable. I did do some on location painting and sketching, most notably joining the British Plein Air Painting Society’s ‘paint out’ in St James’s Park, London.’ This was definitely my highlight for plein air painting and again, it’s something I’ll try to do more of in 2019.
Aside from these points, 2018 did also feature a few other things worthy of note:
- Some really enjoyable sketching in France with outcomes that I actually liked! (this felt like real progress!)
- Participating in the Heart Research UK’s ‘Anonymous HeART’ charity art auction and raising £358.66 for Heart Research UK
- Receiving my wonderful new Binning-Monro watercolour palette from John Hurtley’s Little Brass Box Company
- Eventually getting around to creating a page that documents my materials and equipment – something I’d been meaning to do for ages. All I need to try to do now is to keep it up to date!
- Maintaining another year of 52 weekly Wednesday blog posts (small fry compared to what many bloggers do I know but it still feels like a huge achievement for me!)
- And finally, and perhaps most importantly, meeting more people, both online and in real time, who share a passion for painting or creativity more widely.
- Oh, yes, there was a nice end to the year when my last painting of 2018, Rooftops of Kotor, Montenegro sold before the paint had barely dried!
There may well have been some other things too, but these are the ones that have come to mind first!
Looking ahead to 2019, I think that the very best that I can hope for is some more of the same so, in an effort to start as I mean to continue, here’s my first effort for 2019 – a view down a side street behind the Eglise St Remy in Dieppe.
And with that, I’d like to wish you all the very best for the year ahead – let’s hope it surpasses all of our expectations!