Having thoroughly enjoyed my solo exhibition at Tegg's Nose Country Park I now find myself wondering "What next?" and realise that this is probably something I should have been considering several months ago. Still, new to the idea of being a full time artist, I'm learning as I go and have spent my time researching ways to promote my work both in the real world and online. In January Ashurst Emerging Arts Prize held an online talk entitled' How to Grow your Art Career' which was very useful and makes me realise that I have to dedicate more time to promotion and discussion as well as to painting.
My current thinking is that I would like to find a suitable location to exhibit later in the year and concentrate on generating some new works and entering some of the many art competitions and prizes available. So far I've entered the Ashurst Emerging Artists Prize which, in early March will see 25 artists go through to the final - as yet this work has not been made public, but as soon as judging has finished I'll post an image of it. Deadline was 28th Jan and entry fee £20 per work.
Every year I'm determined to enter the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition with a view that at some point, even if many years away, I will get chosen to exhibit. The very lovely, Grayson Perry is coordinating the 2018 exhibition - such fabulously decorated pottery and textiles... and the frocks... Oh! My ears and whiskers! This year's entry had to be something I painted recently as I was too late to generate anything new, what with half term looming, so this colourful painting of Hen Cloud is my 2018 submission. Deadline for the RA was 14th Feb and it was £35 per entry.
Next will be an entry to Jackson's Open Painting Prize - deadline for submissions is March 16th at £5 per artwork and up to 5 submissions allowed. I'm painting something new for this but might enter something that already exists too.
Closer to home, well my home, is the Visual Art Open in Chester - deadline 28th Feb and £15 per artwork - which sees the winning artist receive £1,000, a solo exhibition, inclusion in the Chester Arts Fair in 2019 and a commercial mentoring package. So just one day to get this submission organised then!
And finally for this post, there's the John Moores Painting Prize by The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool which has a November deadline and is £30 per entry.
The theme on timings seems to be 'winter' so I'll be setting myself a reminder to 'crack on' in summer and autumn so as not to miss the deadlines next year. Would be grateful to hear of any other UK art prizes too!
“Would I give this wall space in my house?” is the question I ask of all my work. If the answer is ‘yes', then by law of averages someone, somewhere will also appreciate it, and the thing or scene it depicts. My paintings have to be of something or somewhere recognisable and my task is to capture and communicate the essential elements, whether that be colour, form, fragility, size, texture etc. There’s usually an element of fear in not being able to achieve this, which keeps me out of my comfort zone.