I am not a trained artist, I did enrol at Rolleston Art College in the summer of ‘98 only to change my mind and pursue other things. It remains my only real regret, I should have took the course and learned all the disciplines of art.
That to one side, my view is art does not have to be a photographic quality image, it is creative expression. I have recently produced three square canvases, portraits of three well known actresses and to be honest I have not captured their likenesses. Technically they are not good paintings, but I like them and I do believe they have something about them of artistic merit and value.
Rather than them being copies in paint or images of photographic quality, I think of them more as impressions, my interpretation of that image of the person. And the art in these paintings was conceptual or the idea behind them anyway, that is, three canvases, three actresses, three hours – roughly an hour on each painting in an afternoon and following morning. In this respect I believe I achieved the art, the actual paintings have just the style of someone in lower Sixth Form.
The thing with drawing and painting is this – you have to keep practicing and pretty much do it all the time to get any good at it. Which is true of most activities us humans do. I have simply not done this, my ability remains largely undeveloped, it has not progressed much in 20 years. When you have a job and other responsibilities you do not have the time available to develop your painting and artistic style.
In the end, you can only keep trying, I just wish my technical abilities matched my creative instinct and ability to appreciate almost anything visually. When a canvas has been completed and I stand back to look, I take into account the lack of technical skill but on the other hand I see something in it worth keeping while thinking to myself –
But is it art?