Since acquiring the trading license for Ballintoy Harbour over the last number of years, my art and the relationship with the customer base has changed and I have acquired a greater understanding of what it means to be a commercial artist.
The fine blend of controlling your urges and the need to produce work that is pleasing to the purchaser.
The North Coast still remains a compelling view for the many tourists. No one comes to North Antrim for the weather but the views remain impressive and something of wonder.
Having been born and spent my life in the Glens, whenever asked ‘where are you from’, the answer is “I’m a Glens man”. My office is Ballintoy Harbour where the inspiration of the natural beauty urges me to create my paintings. Blending the eye, the mind and heart into the canvas is somewhat easier in the surroundings I work.
To continue to improve within my now recognised style is compelling, each day brings new challenges. This summer (2015) was trying for a plein air artist with many wet and windy conditions. The autumn has started with bright but cold days and now as winter approaches, many new paintings of high seas crashing on the rocks at the harbour are expected. It is a good time of year to paint, with a rugged beauty available on a daily basis.
Creative impulse is not a one time phenomenon, it is ongoing, every day is a new day, a new canvas. The blank canvas stands ready, do you dare to dream? In my paintings I try to paint you into each scene so that you can share dreams and emotions. I want you to wander with a sense of wonderment through majestic landscapes and in flights of imagination.
Now a creative journey inward has begun…
There is a creative passion that makes all sorts of discoveries and achievements possible. Often this seems a mysterious phenomenon. Many people gaze at the intense focus, total absorption and the inspired flow of a professional painter.
For me the excitement of the creative passion needs to be fed and exploited, to fill the canvas with the boldest and most exuberant expression possible. These paintings usually begin with some extraordinary idea followed by an irresistable impulse to act on that idea.
Impulses and hunches may not seem entirely sensible, or even rational, at first, but can often be the spark that ignites the creative fire, and the results are paintings of mystic that dare to test my creativity. To have an artist’s optimistic heart, something inside always seems to compel me to take an additional step to improve, to put an extra touch, to any work or to go the second mile on the road to achievement.
The true characteristic of creative passion is that it contains the power to consistently overcome hardship and rejection. The main challenge is to find some way to transform those temporary surges that overwhelm doubt, frustration and seemingly impenetrable barriers. To grab hold of a dream on canvas, lay it out in your mind, layer it, colour it, paint it broadly and then add those fine details that makes a painting spring to life.
The value of my work…
How easy it is to get caught up in work for the sake of some final reward, the pride and rebel of meeting a deadline, the glory of raising money or a badly needed pay cheque. But for an artist, the fulfilment of a much greater reward is that of knowingyour creation has transformed a vision into a significant work of imagination.
I know that my grand vision had been tucked away somewhere, indeed for over 30 years a mere flash in the greater scale of things. But as I have discovered, the minute the revived vision had begun to work, something happend and the passion began to work towards fulfilment. Now it seems that it is more important to live to paint than to paint to live.
To value my paintings, we must consider its worth as a work of art, a gift from the mind bestowed onto canvas. Perhaps an inspiration to me the artist to enable it to be inherited for generations to come, so that all may enjoy its wealth.
This is my painting…
For anyone born in the 50’s in the North Antrim countyside, life was different, the option of becoming an artist did not exist as a practical or sensible option. Always one to be toying with drawing and painting, from an early age I saw this skill somewhat improve with the move to study art. Throughout those 7 years in the early sixties, everything changed, freedom of expression ment that even art became a possible career choice, however…
The need to earn a living eventually won and so for the next 30 years the paint brushes lay dormant. The 70’s and 80’s were there for existing rather than for expressing one’s artistic style. Twenty years ago, and for no particular reason, I began to paint again. Looking back on some of those early paintings impressed the need to rediscover the teachings of times of old.
Joining the local art club brought back influence to paint and gradually, hundreds of paintings later, rekindled the passion which allows for progression.
Joining the ‘Create’ programme allowed contact and exposure to other artists, their experiences and hardships in a effort to become established. However, to me it seemed to emphasise the direction that my work should take. To become a creative artist and try and discover for myself what that defines…