This morning a huge package arrived, it was a painting by an artist called Ben Spurling – he and I have done a swap and now we each have a painting of Old Harry (a famous landmark in Dorset). It such a familiar view for me, and its lovely to have something of the place I grew up in on the wall. This got me thinking about other paintings I own that have influenced me or that trigger good memories...
The first is a tiny painting by an artist called Sheila McInnes. I bought it in a gallery in St Ives - I was penniless at the time and used to mooche around the galleries getting inspired. I fell in love with this painting but couldn't afford it so I went home but couldn't get it out of my mind. I ended up putting it on my credit card and the gallery sent it to me. It is still my favourite painting and has had a big influence on my work - I even did a number of images of walls with people sitting on them or leaning over them because of the wall in this painting! I even think my love of painting dogs may have been triggered by it.
The second is an oil on canvas by a college friend. He and I shared a studio and I loved his paintings and thought he was probably the best painter in our year. The problem was that just when I assumed he had finished a painting he would either paint over it or even scrap it - not many survived! I think this one was in his degree show and I bought it from him for £40. In the same room I have two small studies from another college friend and one of my own, so all three of us share the same space.
The next little painting shows an artist who can really paint, Jason Walker. I've always loved his paintings but his prices are a bit out of my budget. He normally paints big portraits (I think he may have won the BP portrait award). This one may be small but is so well painted and balanced and I am thrilled to have it.
And now, a trout! This wire fish is so cleverly made and has such personality. It is by a man called Gary Sore and I did him a painting in exchange for it. I have all sorts of fish made by him and even a prawn, but this fantastic fat trout is my fave.
This angel is by an artist called Edwina Bridgeman. She is about three foot tall and is made from washed up wood with a painted face and string plaits. She does have an angelic and peaceful aura and she makes me smile when I pass her on the way upstairs.
To be honest I could go on and on but the gist of it is that all these works of art have in some way helped me in my own art (and look good on the wall)!