'MY PHOTOMONTAGES OFFER A DIFFERENT WAY OF VISUALLY CONNECTING TO THE PLACES & SPACES THAT SURROUND US'

'MY PHOTOMONTAGES OFFER A DIFFERENT WAY OF VISUALLY CONNECTING TO THE PLACES & SPACES THAT SURROUND US'

Claire Gill Fine Art logo

STARTING THE 365 DAY CHALLENGE – THE FIRST WEEK

The 365 day Challenge. I have always thought that setting out on any creative endeavour was like looking for a door. You are stumbling about looking for clues as to how to open the door, gathering resources, experimenting with ways of working and playing until something clicks and the door opens. This is what I am trying to do with this challenge. I have been working with photomontage now for a number of years and I have found a way in. I’ve developed a visual language, a way of working – well that works, but I have reached a point where I feel a disconnect between myself and my work. I don’t know if this is because I need to find a new approach to my work, a new subject matter or is it because I don’t have much time to connect to it right now?

I am hoping that My Creating Art in the Cracks challenge will open a door for me, a fresh approach and connection with my work.

I recently read a book which said the thing that all successful creatives had in common was that they turned up for work, no matter if they were feeling like it or not. It was a job. This made me think that even if I felt like I didn’t have time at the moment to make work, I should work with the time I did have, and do it consistently.

In my experience, inspiration isn’t something that you just wake up to in the morning. More often than not, it is something that comes after I have started working and it intensifies the more I engage with what I am doing. I have realised that doing something/ anything  can start this process, because once you have created something, you have something to work with or react to or improve or change. This is why I am trying to be open to whatever comes to mind in this challenge.

I wasn’t quite expecting to begin like this however.

Day #1 Creating Art in the Cracks: My head said I need to get started on submissions for the RSMA Exhibition but my heart got the paints out. Every time I work I think about how I could translate what I learn into painting, but I tell you everything went out of the window when I started painting. I lost any ability to work with colour and texture, where I usually feel confident. I didn’t know what I was doing at all. I started off very self consciously and then it ended up a bit like landscape, but I am not going to judge. I am in awe of painters, who make this look so easy. I think this was my way of slowing things down, of feeling I had the luxury to play.

the 365 day challenge, Claire Gill, Artist Claire Gill, Claire Gill Fine Art, Day#1, Art Challenge, Digital Photomontage, Inspiration, seascapes, Creating Art in the Cracks

Day #2 Creating Art in the CracksReflecting on yesterday’s painting I realise that recently I have been very drawn to landscape painting, and Painting in general. I love work which starts from a point of looseness and freedom and then gradually tightens as the artist realised what they want the work to be. I enjoy abstract work, because i love colour and texture. My recent work is quite tight and place based and I want to try and get more fluidity into it. I decided to start just working with the simple image of sea and sky and layering photographs up to explore this.

the 365 day challenge, Claire Gill, Artist Claire Gill, Claire Gill Fine Art, Day#1, Art Challenge, Digital Photomontage, Inspiration, seascapes, Creating Art in the Cracks

On Day#3 I came home from work feeling really uptight, and about to explode. The challenge sort of helped, because the lack of time to engage with my artwork meant that I couldn’t dwell on the negative feelings I had brought home with me from work. I just sat down at the computer and tried to let my frustration come out through the work. I was feeling quite angry and wanted to see how I could translate this into imagery, by working with images of rough seas. I liked the idea of things clashing together. This theme continued into Day#4 when I woke up unusually early at 5am. I used the opportunity to go and cut out an image I have taken of a rough sea against the railings. I came back to this in the evening after cooking dinner and tried to place it in the context of sea and sky. I enjoyed being able to heighten the drama by using dark textural photographs in the layers.

the 365 day challenge, Claire Gill, Artist Claire Gill, Claire Gill Fine Art, Day#3, Art Challenge, Digital Photomontage, Inspiration, seascapes, Creating Art in the Cracksthe 365 day challenge, Claire Gill, Artist Claire Gill, Claire Gill Fine Art, Day#1, Art Challenge, Digital Photomontage, Inspiration, seascapes, Creating Art in the Cracks, Day#4

By Day#5 I couldn’t cope with any more stress and just wanted to find some sense of serenity. I really realised this week how ruled I am by my emotions. I must be a nightmare to live with!

the 365 day challenge, Claire Gill, Artist Claire Gill, Claire Gill Fine Art, Day#1, Art Challenge, Digital Photomontage, Inspiration, seascapes, Creating Art in the Cracks, Day#5

On day#6 I felt a bit lost like I had reverted to what I knew in the way I worked. I started panicking a bit about how I could keep this challenge up. The lack of time I had now seemed to relate to the time to reflect on the work I had accomplished, and work out where to go with it.

the 365 day challenge, Claire Gill, Artist Claire Gill, Claire Gill Fine Art, Day#1, Art Challenge, Digital Photomontage, Inspiration, seascapes, Creating Art in the Cracks, Day#6

I drove to Margate on Day#7, the next day to deliver some cards to the Lombard Street Gallery and worked out that I was going to use the opportunity to take some abstract photographs along the coast. It is the Saturday of the Royal Wedding and therefore really quiet everywhere.

Just as on Day #1 when my head told me to do one thing and my heart said another, I wasn’t really getting excited by the abstract photograph idea and what really grabbed my attention was the numerous seagulls along the shore. I didn’t quite have the courage to run into them shouting, camera poised to capture the ensuing chaos, more through fear of what everyone would think. I did realise that what I was interested in was the movement that would happen when they took off. Luckily a helpful soul starting throwing food at them, which got them going and I tried to capture this.

the 365 day challenge, Claire Gill, Artist Claire Gill, Claire Gill Fine Art, Day#1, Art Challenge, Digital Photomontage, Inspiration, seascapes, Creating Art in the Cracks, Day#7

After just one week of working in the cracks, I am heartened by what I have done. I have touched on some things that excite me. I have shown up and done the work. I feel the insecurity of not knowing where it is going, but must tell myself that I always feel this, as many creatives do when they start something new. I feel the pressure of figuring out what to do tomorrow, and not knowing how much time I will have. However if  this week has told me anything, it is that I will do the complete opposite of what I plan, so why bother? I have to trust the process and be open to what next week brings.

I came across the quote ‘You can’t make Art in the Cracks’ in an interview with Jessica Bell in a book entitled ‘Creative Block’ by Danielle Krysa. Jessica Bell was quoting an Artist friend of hers, but the phrase stayed with me, because it was exactly how I felt about making my own work. This is partly what inspired this challenge. To read more about what inspired my to set myself this challenge, please read my blog post CREATING ART IN THE CRACKS

To see more of Claire Gill’s finished prints work please click here SEASCAPE LIMITED EDITION PRINTS

 

 

 

 

 

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    CURRENT & UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

     

    Kent Painters Show

    Sevenoaks School | Sevenoaks

    Saturday 26 October - Sunday 27 October 2019

     

    Print Fair

    Southwold Gallery | Southwold

    Saturday 15 February - Saturday 29 February 2020

    SOLO EXHIBITIONS

    2016 | Claire Gill : New Works | Lombard Street Gallery | Margate | Kent

    2014 | Seascapes | Tunbridge Wells Hospital | Tunbridge Wells | Kent

    2014 | Where the Land Meets the Sea | The Trinity Theatre Gallery | Tunbridge Wells | Kent

    2013 | Scene Unseen | The Margate Gallery | Margate | Kent

    2013 | Seeing through Whitstable | Horsebridge Arts Centre | Whitstable | Kent

    2013 | Mary Portas Windows | Margate | Kent

    2012 | Seascapes | The Deeson Group | Canterbury | Kent

    2012 | Seascapes | The Margate Gallery | Margate | Kent

    2010 | Chandler Wright Salon | Blackheath | London

    group exhibitions

    2019 | Kent Painters Group Annual Exhibition | Sevenoaks School | Sevenoaks | Kent

    2019 | Summertime Rendezvous | Lovleys Gallery | Margate

    2019 | Summer Escape | Lombard Street Gallery | Margate

    2019 | Print Fare | Southwold Gallery | Southwold | Suffolk

     

    2018 |Royal Society of Marine Artists Exhibition | Mall Galleries | London

    2018 | Kent Painters Group Annual Exhibition | Sevenoaks School | Sevenoaks | Kent

    2018 | Pattern Colour Texture | Lombard Street Gallery | Margate

    2018 | Elemental Exhibition | Horsebridge Arts Centre | Whitstable | Kent

    2018 | On Margate Sands | Lombard Street Gallery | Margate

     

    2017 | 25th Anniversary Show | Henry Paddon Gallery | Eastbourne | East Sussex

    2017 | Royal Society of Marine Artists Exhibition | Mall Galleries | London

    2017 | Summer Show | Southwold Gallery | Southwold | Suffolk

    2017 | Sea More | Lombard Street Gallery | Margate

     

    2016 | Royal Society of Marine Artists Exhibition | Mall Galleries | London

    2016 | Summer Exhibition | Stark Gallery | Canterbury

    2016 | Tunbridge Wells International Art Fair | Assembly Halls | Tunbridge Wells | Kent

    2016 | Early Summer Show | Bircham Gallery | Holt | Norfolk

    2016 | Mixed Show | What If Gallery | Bluewater | Kent

     

    2015 | Bexley Arts Open | Stable Gallery | Hall Place | Bexley | Kent

    2015 | Best of Kent Showcase | What If Gallery | Bluewater | Kent

     

    2014 | Summer Show | Lombard Street Gallery | Margate

    2014 | Group Show | Sulgrave Manor | Banbury | Northamptonshire

    2014 | Summer Show | Bircham Gallery | Holt | Norfolk

     

    2013 | Autumn Show | Henry Paddon Gallery | Eastbourne | East Sussex

    2013 | A1 Open | Horsebridge Arts Centre | Whitstable | Kent

    2013 | Sevenoaks Visual Arts Open | Kaleidoscope Gallery | Sevenoaks | Kent

    2013 | Summer 2013 | Coastal Gallery | Coastal Gallery | Lymington | Hampshire

    2013 | Duo with Barry Feldman | Show off Gallery | Whitstable | Kent

     

    2012 | Summer Exhibition | Serena Hall Gallery | Southwold | Suffolk

     

    2011 | Beside the Sea | The Margate Gallery | Margate | Kent

    2011 | Retro Vintage Classic | The Margate Gallery | Margate | Kent

     

    2010 | Seaside | The Margate Gallery | Margate | Kent

    2010 | Land Sea Sky | Ingoldsby Gallery | Margate | Kent

     

     

     

     

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    Claire Gill | Artist | Limited Edition Prints