I’ve been doing a fair bit of painting, recently, which has been a nice little side project aside from my writing and illustrating. I haven’t painted prolifically for a good few years now – probably not since I finished my fine art degree back in 2014. I think I became a bit demoralised after ending my studies, because I no longer had a formal reason to produce any artwork. Without going off on a tangent about my university days, suffice to say I fell out of the habit of painting regularly after my degree ended.
I’ve always loved painting. With acrylics, specifically, as I never really got the hang of working with oils. And, well, it’s better to stick with the devil you know, I guess, isn’t it? I find the process of applying paint to canvas and creating something from nothing both fascinating and therapeutic. I tend to go into my paintings with no definite end in mind, and so the creation process is always something of an adventure, as I never quite know where I’ll end up. That alone excites me, but also I also find the act of applying the paint calming and mesmerising. For me, it’s a form of meditation.
My approach to painting is so different to the way I write fiction, or even draw illustrations. With writing and drawing, I’m consciously plotting what action I’ll make next. Whereas, when I paint, my thought processes are much more subtle, subdued, close to unconscious.
I suppose there’s an element of stress involved with my writing, as there’s a right and wrong way to put words on the page. Yes, there is a lot of artistic freedom and choice involved, but there are defined rules to writing. Such rules don’t exist within the world of my paintings, as they’re invariably abstract and expressionist in nature.
Although fiction writing is my number one passion, there’s something about the art of painting that I’m so in love with. I think it’s the freedom it provides, the endless opportunities. And so, while I might not be the world’s best painter (understatement of the year right there), I’ll never stop doing it as it brings me joy.