For more than ten years my creative output has broken clearly into two parts. The studio work that has resulted in paintings, constructions, prints and works on paper. All carefully worked out and refined, often in quite extensive series of incremental steps. Alongside this has been an extensive series of small scale, rapidly made, landscape drawings and paintings that have filled hundreds of pages of bound sketchbooks.
These two series of work have, at times, hinted at the possibility of coming together and supporting one another. But up until now, although there have been tentative connections in one way or another, I have never really felt a crossover occurring or a serious engagement between the two branches.
However, that situation may be about to change. It’s early days to shout too loudly about it, but maybe, just maybe, things are on a collision course, time will tell. Here, in the most recent studio work there is a genuine landscape image, reminiscent of one of my sketchbook paintings, stands central….and there are more to follow, possibly making use of images such as this woodland watercolour.
The last weeks of the school year have arrived. The pupils are intermittently at school for tests, a few last appointments and finally the picking up of reports. Apart from a huge amount of clearing up, once this stage of the year is reached there is generally time at last to spend a little while working on a task that has been continually pushed to the side throughout the year. That being presenting the work of pupils on the walls and in the glass cases around school.
It is an important job, at least in terms of raising the profile of the art department in the school as a whole, both for pupils and staff. Some great things do get made in the art department, we produce good final exam results, but still the importance of a bit of PR work is never wasted. Colleagues from other subject areas are generally pleased and interested to see the creative work that pupils produce. But undoubtedly the most important thing is building the interest of the younger pupils to potentially choose the creative subjects as an exam subject in our upper school.
From a personal point of view, I do also get a sense of satisfaction in seeing the pupils’ efforts presented clearly and well. This is especially true for the larger group projects that I have carried out with whole classes during the last months.