I’m delighted to be joining more than 90 artists as part of this year’s Chester Arts Fair at Chester Racecourse on the weekend of 18-20 November.
It’s always a challenge to begin something new and I’ve just been an arts fair visitor so far, dropping in on other artists and weighing up the possibility of showing my own paintings, deciding whether I’m ready and if I’m prepared to take the risk in terms of energy and funds.
Over the past 18 months I’ve built up a body of watercolour paintings through consistent practice and study and perhaps for the first time feel I have a line of enquiry that is meaningful to me and am brave enough to share. I’ve exhibited a combination of watercolours, drawings and oils at other events but felt there was much further for me to go with this tricky medium.
Not only that, but in reaching a certain age I realised that if I don’t simply commit to what excites me, I’m always going to be more self-critical than is healthy for artistic development and for me as a person. I tend to hurl myself most thoroughly into learning but the downside is a constant feeling of disappointment in the simple pleasure I feel in looking at light, tone and colour (ok, not too much colour as I’m ultra-sensitive!) and in playing with materials. I’m always curious to know: what would happen if… I mix this with that, add more/less water, use this paper or that card (especially stuff a watercolorist is not ‘meant’ to use).
The thing is, all this comes through in my work, and I see it in others’ work too – the energy and risk and joy of creation; and also of watching the world around us, noticing this and that – not necessarily the high drama events but the ordinary visions. This morning my attention was caught by the wires spreading from a telegraph pole and the knots holding them in place. There are artists who will photograph it, others who will study its angles or social significance, and others who will climb up there and wave. I love them all and I also love that I will reach for the ink and bleach or a water-soluble pen and see what happens, see if I can create the same feeling as the chinks of light push through those lines.
Chester Arts Fair webpage http://www.chesterartsfair.co.uk
My exhibitor page http://www.chesterartsfair.co.uk/exhibitors/janine-pinion