Recently the art society I joined last year asked me to be their Artist of the Month. This is a ‘getting to know you’ exercise rather than a merit award, but still flattering to be asked. It involved hanging examples of my art and writing a short bio. Easy peasy.
Or so I thought. Turns out, I had artwork stored in five different rooms of the house. It included a small amount of surviving school work (almost every place I’ve ever lived has flooded or sprung a leak right where I stored my artwork), work from when I ran an illustration business, many years of work (mostly oils) made in workshops, a whole lot of life drawings, and the Daily Art works that haven’t yet found a home.
When it comes to framed paintings, I have either my favourite work (which I don’t want to let out of the house) or the least successful pieces of those worth framing. I’ve been better at selling or giving away art than I realised – and the portraits I did all went to the sitters. All this mades it difficult to gather a set of work that was good enough to display. In the end I chose one favourite figure painting because it is huge and will take up 1/3 of the space, an animal painting, a portrait loaned to me by the sitter, some life drawings, some Daily Art pieces and a recent still life.
In the process I did a some tidying up and a bit of culling. Mostly from the big pile of life drawings.
I found the first, and only, self portrait I’ve ever made. I was 14-15 years old.
Paul made me a folio holder on casters many years ago. After going through all my art I asked him to add shelves at the base for smaller pieces like Daily Art and still lives.
So participating in Artist of the Month had an extra benefit – making me get all my old and unframed art organised, locating some pieces I’d forgotten about or hadn’t seen in a while, and nudging us into updating the art storage.