... and then that lovely word, “congratulations”. I love those museums and galleries that lie in the bits of Britain I have never had reason to visit. Invariably the institutions showing my work lie within beautiful buildings. In times gone by, when I got those emails, I started the process of planning my trip up for the artists private views, my opportunity to talk with other artists, swap tips, some inside info, have a drink, moan about this and that etc. This has of course now changed. I won’t do it, am not mentioning the sentence starting with the words ‘when B...’ and ending with the words ‘and co allows us’. No. The fact I am at the mercy of others’ decisions with no end in sight is something I am choosing to ignore. But anyway, here is the link to the academy itself. http://rcaconwy.org/
It’s taken a while, I had a clear out and the studio is ready for painting again. I have also been accepted for a show at Studio 1.1, which is exciting, though we don’t know when that will be, all, as usual, is dependent on what the Govt decides.
I have been selected for a show or two, details to follow. Also brushes, the acquisition of more brushes for detailed paintings. A new body of work to start again soon.
I spend a lot of time fantasising. Open fields, remote property, real fires and dogs. This is temporary, the public square is closed, my life has stopped. The only communication I have with the outside world is countless galleries constantly emailing me with their latest, doomed to failure, attempt to either show my work, or return it safely. I despair.
I am genuinely perplexed, where will the money come from to keep the country going if we are all at home?
I’m hearing rumblings of more restrictions coming. I have work locked up across the country, many museums and galleries, it breaks my heart.
I’ve had a lot of preparation to do and haven’t been able to make paintings. All done now and after Christmas I will start again. They have placed us in tier four. Tier four isn’t a tier of any kind, it’s a lockdown, all shows stopped dead again. The public square is closed. I can’t see what the government and everyone else is up to for myself, with my own eyes. I am now dependent on the media and different commentators. This is new for me.
What to say? More of it. My shows are closing last minute, next year’s shows in the balance, some galleries teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, friends working in tv are doing ok, artist friends are expecting their long awaited shows to be cancelled for next year, journalist friends are just about hanging on. I went to a restaurant I frequent with an artist friend the day we found out we were about to be locked down again last week, the waitresses were in tears. I was in tears. If I hear the words “Boris is a libertarian” just one more time, I may cry.
I was so delighted to receive this particular email this morning, I did a big jig in the kitchen and made myself so dizzy I had to sit down. ‘They can’t even make the pigs fly’ has been selected for The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2020. @WillisHCT
As I plodded along the north bank of the Thames for the second time in a week, once to deliver the painting for the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition https://www.sundaytimeswatercolour.org/ and another to deliver one for the Royal West of England Academy Open https://www.rwa.org.uk/pages/annual-open-exhibitions, I vowed never to make such big paintings again. Of course this won’t last.
My new Blog begins on a drizzly Sunday afternoon in early October 2020 as lockdowns start again throughout Britain. I have just returned from visiting a ‘locked down’ city, Swansea, where the population has been told to go home and stay there as much as possible. No one is allowed to enter or leave the city other than business travellers like us. The trip was to attend the BEEP exhibition. Beep Biennial was launched in 2012, an international painting prize, and I was utterly delighted to be selected.
I know everyone says ‘it was an excellent show’ however, this really was an excellent show, I have been in a few this year and this was particularly strong. It was at the Elysium Gallery.