Sunday 8 June 2014

One Year Later...

Hello again, wow i'm really starting to get back into this blogging malarkey, here's hoping the enthusiasm lasts! This one will be kind of a personal post but hey, I never said it would all be fun and games and delicious cakes! Before you start reading the rest I feel I should probably warn you that this post is rather heavy on the old parentheses. (enjoy)

Okay so yesterday morning I got a rather groovy email from a chap I haven't spoken to in over a year (hence the title of the post) but it's nothing overly dramatic or particularly too exciting (at least probably not to you, I mean obviously it is to me or I wouldn't be blogging about it would I) it's just that he bought some big ol' paintings from me last summer and wanted to send me an update on their current whereabouts.

For those of you that follow me on my various social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest (shameless plugs I know but this is a blog after all!) you might remember that around this time last year I was just wrapping up my BA degree in Fine Art and showing my work in the degree exhibition. 

Although I took a lot of progress shots for my degree file (and for Instagram) I was going through my prolonged 'no blogging' spell so I never actually documented the process on here. Obviously i'm not about to regale you with a whole start-to-finish essay about something I did a year ago, but I am going to at least explain a bit about what I did.

For my final pieces, I produced four large scale acrylic and posca paintings for the show on 1819 x 607mm (about 6 x 2 foot each) boards and in case you missed it last year, this is what they looked like up on the wall in the exhibition space.

The paintings were pretty big, a real pain in the patootie to move anywhere and even more fun to actually put up on the wall. But once they were up in the space they were kind of striking enough that people paused to look at them, which is all I could ask for really! If you can't quite visualise the sizes mentioned, here's a snap of one of the exhibition visitors gazing up in adoring wonder at one of the paintings (actually she's my friend Porscha but I did NOT pay her to pose for the photo, honest!).

Followed by the only photo of me with the paintings in existence, a slightly blurred farce of a photo. Unfortunately i'm blinking like a total moron in the pic, but ignore the fact that I look like a bewildered sloth and focus instead on the paintings in comparison to my height (i'm wearing heels by the way). Now you'll understand why they were such a chore to lug about and why they took me so ruddy long to paint (a full week on each board from start to finish in case you were wondering).

Well, since the degree show was held during the TT festival (more about that HERE) in a public space (a local shopping centre) we got all sorts of wonderful visitors from all over the world and as luck would have it, one afternoon I got a call saying that someone had been in to the exhibition requesting to buy my work.

Initially I didn't think much of this since i've had people ask to buy my work before and then I never hear from them again. I mean I was kind of attached the paintings at this point, i'd spent the last month huddled over my kitchen table slaving away at them night and day. I drank so much Red Bull through curly straws during the painting process that I now can't even look at a can without shuddering or immediately thinking of Lana Del Rey (her music set on repeat pretty much fueled the entire month of painting).

I'd coated aforementioned table in spatters of paint and for a solid month my flatmate couldn't actually use the table at all because it was so covered in pots of paint, brushes and massive flipping wooden boards! They were the biggest paintings i'd ever attempted and I wasn't even sure that I wanted to actually sell them. They were, and still are, incredibly personal pieces of work.

Then I began to realise that if I didn't sell them I would no doubt be stuck with them forever. Which means I would probably either damage them by accident or get really angry one night and set fire to one, or all, of them while screaming insults at the flames. 

I have a strange relationship with my work but these paintings were 'my girls' and however much I loved them (and I did) I knew it would be easier if they weren't cluttering up the place. I was undeniably flattered that someone had even momentarily considered buying my work so I got in touch with the prospective buyer and quickly realised that he was actually serious!

Obviously I was SUPER excited by this news, it's nice to know that someone likes your work enough to want to actually pay money for it! A few emails later and the deal was secured (as it were) and a few weeks after that, I shipped the paintings over to England and met the buyer off the boat (yes it was as thrilling as it sounds). Anyway, at the time when I sold the paintings I genuinely didn't know what was going to happen to them. The buyer said he planned to hang them in his house and that he'd send me a photo, but months went by and I had other things to think about so I just sort of began to forget about 'my girls'. 

The last time I saw them all together side by side was about a fortnight after the exhibition came down, stacked in my kitchen the day I packaged them up for their trip overseas. I bought a funk-load of parcel paper as well as 100m of bubble wrap (possibly the best purchase i've ever made in my life as there are literally hours of fun to be had with a roll of bubble wrap that is 100m long) and I carefully wrapped up the paintings ready to set sail for Heysham.

When we docked in England I met the guy that was buying the paintings and just over a month after i'd first set brush to board I handed them all over and they were no longer my responsibility. Which is probably a good thing since they'd have undoubtedly ended up stacked next to my fridge if i'd have kept them, or more likely plonked behind the sofa gathering dust.

Anyway since then I haven't thought much about them, like I said i've had other things to think about. But over the past few days i've found myself pondering over their sale and wondering whatever became of them in their new home in Cambridgeshire. Did they get put up in a house, did they get sold on, were they shoved away in a garage? So in true nosy-parker style I messaged the buyer just to try and find out what happened to them.

 Well as luck would have it, as I said at the start of the post (before I started wittering on uncontrollably) I received an email from the chap that bought them and he sent me this...

and this - "Hello Jade, I'm sorry that I never got around to sending you pictures before so here you go. As you can see they are hanging on the wall in my house. Have had no problems with them, they been very well behaved! I'm very fond of them and will not be selling them."

So now I know, and now YOU know as well. They're safe and sound in a hallway hanging above a staircase. Which is frankly pretty awesome to know! I like the idea of them keeping watch over the stairs, no doubt intimidating people with their candy coloured ferocity (at least I like to think that's what they do). It's kind of brilliant knowing that my paintings are still being displayed, now all I need to do is crack on and start painting some NEW ones.

 And on that sentimental note I think I shall draw this post to a close. Mostly because i've exhausted the '( )' buttons and I can't really think of anything else to say. Lucky you.

It's not really a great ending to a blog, it's not even a very good ending, but it's an ending all the same.
So until next time, that's all folks!
thanks for reading (or if you just looked at the pictures, thanks for that too)

bye for now...