This painting has a lot of depth. It spans a whole three decades and more for me. When I studied Fine Art first time around there were certain things I wanted to learn. I was too young and naive to verbalise what I wanted from my studies and felt very much pushed into something I didn’t want to do (though I learnt a lot useful other stuff non the less, all about colours, and texture, printing and film making). But it was a time when ‘concept’ was more important than drawing and painting and I had wanted to learn the technical skills. That is why I went and studied again. Again I thought to learn the technical skills, and learnt that telling a story was important and all the computer skills relevant in todays society. It now, more than ever stands me to good grace.
And now I have combined both Fine Art and Illustration, and finally after three decades have found what I wanted from my art in the first place. By the very nature of going to a teaching institute you learn what it is others have learnt. That then needs to be separated out from what one wants to experience for oneself and make new. I no longer feel the need to listen to what I have been advised, but to forge my own way. For too long I had stopped myself from painting Cherries, or blossoms, or animals or the like because it wasn’t considered ‘art’ in the 80’s. Well, bollox to that. Why not, and if Damien Hirst can set this precedent by painting Cherry Blossoms as his current body of work, then I don’t want to follow, but listen to my heart’s desire, and create and have my own cherries. I have been wanting to paint cherry blossoms for such a long long time now! This picture nearly received a different title, ‘Who sets the precedent anyhow?’