The When, What, Why Where and How of ‘My life with Paint’.
Paint ‘found’ me when I was very young.
My Dad attended a parent’s evening at my infant school in about 1975. The teacher told him of how I’d been painting sunsets with ‘great enthusiasm and accuracy.’
I was 5 years old and I’d felt the need to record and share the beauty of what I could see from my bedroom at the back of our house in Fensicowles, Blackburn.
Paint – this ancient medium, giving colour and fluidity to mark-making and self-expression since our earliest ancestors first decorated their cave dwellings. With all the technological advancements we have made, paint is still one of the most therapeutic and empowering natural methods of expression we have. I can’t imagine life without it.
I’m going to try to explain why painting feels good.
It could be psychological – I always received praise for my paintings so I came to associate painting with pride, happiness and achievement.
It could be productivity – art can sell, and a career can be made from painting and decorating, The act of painting is transformative – colours and surfaces are changed and the application of paint itself is engaging. In a deeper interpretation, we ‘zone out’ during the procedure of paint meeting surface, and there are different areas of the brain engaged for each type of application, from the pure expression of mark-making which stimulates the primeval responses, to sophisticated cogitation required for delicate and accurate detailed interpretation.
I quickly increased my painting productivity from painting sunsets at infant school to painting at home too.
My Mum used to watch a show on television in the early 70s called ‘Paint along with Nancy’ hosted by Nancy Kominsky. This talented lady used to paint with oils and a knife. The radical approach of not using a brush inspired Mum to try this method, and I still have her ‘knife painting’ to this day.
My Dad also painted, and I loved to go to Seed and Gabbutt’s shop in the town with him on his day off work, where he would buy inks or special paper for his cartoons and sketches.
My brother was also an artist – he could work in modelling clay and also on paper. I have never known such a talented interpreter of form. He had the ability to see everything so sharply, and then record what he saw with such skill and accuracy. My sister would spend hours showing me how to work on detailed crafts like patchworking and making decorations, and my eldest brother would often travel to different locations in his job, so when he took me with him I got to see some beautiful landscapes and colours. We both shared a love of seascapes and large open skies.
Inspiration was everywhere.
I’ve had the good fortune to work with most types of paint, from my art student days at Blackburn College, working in a creative industry, and a teaching career in art and design,
There’s always a paint for each project, whatever it may be.
Sticks and gooey printing ink are great for mark-making and experimental work.
Brushes and rollers for the re-decorating of walls and ceilings.
Tiny transportable watercolour sets to take with you on holiday.
Chalk paints and waxes to transform your furniture.
Inks for caricatures and detailed portrait work.
Aren’t we lucky to live in a world where we can express ourselves and have the tools to do it?
Welcome to Paint Kitchen, Nice to have you here.
Now, let’s paint something!