What Paris did for me (apart from provide two of the best months of my life) was to confirm for me that I needed to change direction in my work and to stretch myself to learn something new but most especially to follow my yearning for figure drawing and adding a figurative element in my work. I was inspired by the great masters of art from Europe who did not use only one discipline of art, but instead were proficient in many mediums including sculpture, printing, drawing and painting in various mediums. I knew I needed to up my game. I have been hungry for change and Paris was the catalyst to push me to pursue it earnestly.
So Since September last year I have been playing outside my comfort zone, sketching in pen and ink, drawing figures, and animals, painting self portraits, and recently gleaning from my family photographs of old, painting some nostalgic figurative pieces. It has at times (most of the time) been so difficult and very frustrating and I have felt like I have been working in the dark. I am in the deep end now and will keep learning and stretching myself, exploring new techniques until I become proficient in my new direction and seeing some light in this darkened room. Loving it.
Gill Allderman and Marcelle Sprong, two of my best friends, overlapped at the Cite in Paris during my time there. It was wonderful to spend time in this amazing city with these talented artists and special friends. Gill arranged for our post Paris exhibition at her pop up Gallery space in Newlands, aptly titled what happened after Paris. It was a very special exhibition where we followed on the theme of the Open Studios that we hosted in Paris, and presented our work in progress, our thought process, inspirations and our finished artworks. I include a few of the pen and ink sketches drawn from scenes in and around Paris, as well as some dogs which captured my attention.