These are two new pieces which I made for Bloom at the Garden's Gallery in Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham. The exhibition features work by fellow Falmouth graduates Sophia Bloxham, Lucy Boden and Liz Clayton, as well as our talented friend Katie Thomas, and runs until Tuesday 14th May.
I decided to get away from using the computer to colour my illustrations, and it made me realise how much happiness I get from painting and collaging. There is something about making things with your hands, and discovering through making, which a computer cannot replace. I have a box of collage materials dating back to my first year at Falmouth - different types of paper, sheets painted in acrylic, bits and pieces collected in terms of colour - and it was nice to let the materials shape the direction of the work.
I have a few of the instruments pictured - the banjo, ukulele, melodica, glockenspiel and autoharp - although I would never consider myself a musician - I have a very talented brother who plays guitar beautifully - but I like to make music in a very amateur sense, for my own amusement.
The typewriter illustration is based on a quote by J.D. Salinger from one of my favourite books, Seymour, an Introduction.
The quote comes from a letter that Seymour writes to his younger brother Buddy:
"When was writing ever your profession? It’s never been anything but your religion. Never. I’m a little over-excited now. Since it is your religion, do you know what you will be asked when you die? But let me tell you first what you won’t be asked. You won’t be asked if you were working on a wonderful, moving piece of writing when you died. You won’t be asked if it was long or short, sad or funny, published or unpublished. You won’t be asked if you were in good or bad form while you were working on it. You won’t even be asked if it was the one piece of writing you would have been working on if you had known your time would be up when it was finished…I’m so sure you’ll get asked only two questions. Were most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out? If only you knew how easy it would be for you to say yes to both questions. If only you’d remember before ever you sit down to write that you’ve been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world Buddy Glass would most want to read if he had his heart’s choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself. I won’t even underline that. It’s too important to be underlined. Oh, dare to do it, Buddy! Trust your heart."