Sunday, 14 December 2008

It is strange, the obligation one feels to post once you start a blog and I noticed something else about obligation this week. Two years ago I received a commission to paint a series of historical portraits. You can see them at
The advice from friends and family was to use this opportunity to launch a portrait painting career. Having been self-employed most of my working life, I understand the need to be commercial and market myself. If you’ve come across Robert Genn you will be familiar with his excellent and realistic appraisal of the conflict between making art and making money from it. Anyway, I think it was a combination of doubt about my abilities and reluctance to start a new business which made me ignore the commercial imperative. Thus the new job. What has struck me this week is that I don’t have to sell anything. I can just paint. I can take my time to absorb the new information the Munsell student book offers, I can take a day to compose a still life composition and, provided I keep putting pencil or something to paper on a regular basis, I can simply relax and enjoy it all. I may have less time to paint but I feel that the time I do have is more productive precisely because I don’t have to produce. Perhaps this blog is just a way to introduce another imperative.
I’ve been working on a still life with a leek. It is a member of the Alliaceae family so related to onions and garlic. I am posting a value study which I’m still tinkering with. I think I’ve put enough time into it to call it onion # 15

Onion # 15, Leek, White bowl and Books, charcoal on paper, 350 x250 mm

1 comment:

Anita said...

Nick - you are so right about feeling you must post. I went several months when I didn't post on my blog and felt awful about it. I have also come to the realisation, and it was impressed on my by another artist, that there is some joy in not feeling you have to make a living out of art and that you can just paint from enjoyment. When there are sales its an added bonus.