During our enforced lockdown I am sure you all missed our weekly gatherings. The idea of a newsletter was born with the idea of keeping us all in touch no matter what the circumstances. We still have some time to go before things are back to normal and I know some of you will still be a little hesitant about mixing with other people.
We hope to produce a newsletter initially once every three months. However we cannot do so without you. Please send me an email with any interesting programmes regarding art you have seen. If you hear of any exhibitions, art courses, or articles regarding artists, do send them in. If you see interesting scenes, photographs etc. or just generally have some news let me know. Personal stories about the trials and tribulations of your art are always of help to others. Looking forward to hearing from you.
SATURDAY 10TH JULY- Open Air Exhibition
It is the 100th anniversary of the War Memorial in Kineton this year and we thought we would try to celebrate the event by holding an Open Air Exhibition around the War Memorial and in the churchyard in the centre of Kineton. The Committee are currently working on plans to hold this exhibition and more details will be forwarded to members. We would be delighted if you could participate in this event by providing some artwork for display. No particular theme is envisaged, just all the masterpieces you have created during lockdown. There will be the opportunity to sell your work if you wish.
How I became a Full Time Artist
“Art will only ever be a skill of mine; it is not viable as a vocation so I’m going to do a teaching degree in Primary Education instead”, said 18 year old me. This is what I truly believed, that being an artist in the sense of the romantic idea of standing at your easel and selling paintings was just not real life. In a sense I was right, but I was also quite wrong.
In Art class at school, I loved painting on canvases or making lino prints, and producing art to a brief for workplaces like the local police station and Howletts Zoo. However, I didn’t fancy any of the jobs my art teacher had listed up on the wall: graphic designer, fashion designer, interior designer… none of them appealed and I knew in my own little dream I’d rather just be a Fine Art artist, but I’d heard so many people say that that wasn’t really possible that I believed it. I mean, grown-ups must know, right?
So I studied Primary Education at university, and then taught for four years in Primary Schools. I am a statistic: ‘50% of teachers will quit in the first five years of their career’. For me it was due to stress and realising that I did not want to retire and look back on my life and see that I had spent every weekend catching up on work, rather than enjoying life. After a particularly tough day, I called my mum and announced that I was quitting and was going to be an artist. To be honest, I’m not sure what her response was… I wasn’t in the mood to listen to anyone. That weekend my husband (Alex) and I went out for a pizza and discussed our new plan and agreed not to do anything rash… a few minutes later we had made my first arty purchase and bought a £500 camera.
When the school year finished, my husband and I moved to Sheffield where Alex had some new work. There it all started. Like many artists, I supported myself with another job (some supply teaching in primary schools), and gradually I did less and less teaching and more and more ‘arting’. We agreed to give it three years, and if I hadn’t made any money in profit, then I’d have to go back to school teaching or at the very least full time supply teaching. This monster of a notion stalked me for the first couple of years, snapping at my heels, but it drove me on. I had to succeed in order to live my life how I wanted. Although it still stalks me now, it is some way off. I think it will always be there, ensuring I don’t get lazy or complacent. My 18 year old self was right; it is hard to make a living as an artist, but if you keep ahead and look out for opportunities, it is actually possible.
Next entry by Sarah Miles: Life as a Self Employed Artist
For more from Sarah, visit: http://www.sarahmilesartstudio.com
In my first studio with very early oil paintings and lino prints!
I suggest you check out the following:
The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross on BBC4. 7.30pm
Graysons Art Club Channel 4 8.00pm Fridays
Portrait Artist/Landscape Artist of the year – Sky Arts
The Great Big Art Exhibition – People are encouraged to display their paintings in their windows. See how to enter at firstsite.uk. On until 7 May
In future editions we will be publishing some members’ art work. At the moment, if anyone would like to submit their paintings to Graeme Bassett he will email everyone. Once we have sorted out how to present everyone’s paintings we will do so here.