There is no doubt that 2020 will be remembered as a very difficult year.
I’ve worked really hard over the last six years and I’ve been lucky to have very successful exhibitions. It’s always humbling when people buy my work and after each private view there is a huge sense of relief that I’ve made enough to fund the studio for the following year.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have an exhibition in 2019 because of the uncertainty of Brexit and I needed time to catch up on studio work. This meant that I was caught out financially when the COVID Virus hit this year.
This, I’m afraid has forced me to make some very difficult decisions regarding my painting career. Jenny and I have thought long and hard about the best way forward and we came to the conclusion that it’s very important for me to remain painting in the studio for as long as I can. The only way to do this is to substantially reduce my outgoings.
So, I’ve made the decision to retreat back into the studio and work for as long as I can. There will not be any exhibitions until 2022 at the earliest. Like many businesses in this difficult environment, the phrase “it will be cheaper for me to close down than stay open” will become a very well used one. I’ll work in the studio full time until I have to go part time and find another job.
The art world is really struggling at the moment and it’s going to take years for it to financially and emotionally recover. I’m sure it’s the same for many, but it’s a matter of riding the storm as well as you can waiting for a glimpse of normality to return.
I’ll use this increased studio time as productively as I can.
Throughout the first lockdown I was drawn to the portraits that I’m working on for the charity HCPT. This year has really highlighted the importance of this body of work to me. I’m passionate about this charity and it’s been a major part of my life for many years, so I’ll continue to work on them and give the paintings the time they deserve.
I love working on landscapes, so I’ll continue to work on my Jurassic Coast paintings. I know there are people who have been patiently waiting to buy a landscape from me but I’m afraid there won’t be an opportunity for that until 2021 at the earliest.
I’d like to thank everybody who has supported me over the years and it’s always been great seeing you at the various exhibitions. Meeting the public will be something that I’ll greatly miss.
I know this new chapter of my career will bring its own rewards, and I’m sure it will be a very productive time in the studio. It’s an opportunity to stop and think what’s important, and how I want my work to develop. It will be good to really concentrate in the studio, just me and the paintings.
I’d like to thank everybody for the support, and I’ll keep posting regular studio updates on social media. I’m already thinking about the exhibition in 2022 and it’s going to be the most exciting one I’ve put together so far.