Wednesday 2/15/17 time 12:26 PM
I am a painter / print-maker living in London who has been making art since completing my Fine Art degree in 1987. I arrived here at Haihatus Artist Residency with my wife Carole at the beginning of January 2017 and we are staying for 3 months.
Last year Carole and I planned a break from our regular jobs and we are now almost 5 months into a 12-month sabbatical which has taken us initially to Bordeaux, France for 3 months and now to Finland. In April, we move on to Berlin Germany for 3 months where I will attend Takt Artist Residency and continue painting and making prints.
I have painted for most of my career but actually started off as a sculptor. But leaving college and continuing to make sculpture seemed to present too many obstacles for me and so in truth I became a painter because I thought it would present fewer practical problems. I quickly discovered that creatively it was harder but immediately felt I had a much more authentic personal voice as a painter than I ever did making sculpture. And I do think that a background in sculpture informs, in some small way how I make my paintings.
In London I was typically working 2 or 3 days a week in my studio before returning to my part time job. What is most rewarding and exciting about this planned 12 months is the uninterrupted time to be able to work, reflect and experience different locations and environments.
I have exhibited fairly regularly over the years but wanted to challenge myself to be more focussed and ambitious about my art and was looking for a residency which provided this opportunity as well as the chance to have fun and experience new things.
Haihatus Artist Residency is an ideal, relaxed and comfortable setting, perfect for concentrating on my painting, thinking through ideas, mixing with the other artists and as a base for excursions. Before coming to Finland, Carole and I did not know very much about this country, its customs and culture. We did know it was going to be cold, snowy and quiet in Joutsa which suited us well. When not working, I have really enjoyed the peace and tranquillity, ice skating, cross country skiing and of course, saunas!
After the first month, I am very happy with how the painting is progressing and feel that the residency has provided me with both space and freedom to explore my work as well as a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere and I look forward to the next few months.
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