The Great Advantages of Painting Later in Life

I knew I was a painter for many years before I started producing paintings at the age of forty-eight. Before that, I read all I could about painting & established a social media presence in preparation for what I knew was coming.

I thought about it, between a full time occupation of transporting & nurturing our three sons, spread over twenty years. My husband was completely immersed in building his own business. He left at 7am & returned at 7pm in time to say “goodnight” to them when they were young, and cook for us as they became older.

Once I started painting, the great advantage was that I knew myself & had a lot of pent up energy!

I enjoyed the process of it, & what it did for my state of mind, so much that I really wasn’t preoccupied with what other people wanted me to paint. I haven’t stopped painting since.

The Hen House (30x40cm)

From my wealth of work & life experience stored up (with feelings of anger, sadness and joy), I knew what I liked & disliked, following my own mind’s natural revelations. I created my own world where I was truly happy, & no one could touch me. I found that I could paint such joy from experiencing such sadness.

I also resolved the anxiety surrounding mortality within myself; My paintings will far outlive me &, having suffered the life changing experience of friends’ deaths, this was really important for me. When I paint, this is one of my main motivations.

Petals & Shadows (61 x 100cm)

I picked up from where I left off working in the fashion industry (‘pre-computers’), but having children had changed my view of the world; I felt protective, & the fashion industry seemed immoral to me now. I originally went into this vocation because my Dad was a knitwear man, before I knew myself better. But I’m glad I did it, because my experience all feeds in to my paintings now.

I tried out other people’s painting styles, experimented & evolved my own thoughts through failings until I found a unique artistic style that I wanted in my own house. I had looked for similar paintings & I couldn’t find them elsewhere.

My friends & family were, & still are, so supportive. They were also, frankly, surprised that there was more to me than they thought, which came out in my paintings. I’m really gobby when drunk but learnt from an early age, growing up as a little girl in the Sixties & Seventies, to keep my thoughts to myself. I am fairly quiet as an adult, as a listener, a reader, an observer. I tend to see the best in people, until crossed.

Whispering Shadows

Painting has helped me release & reveal myself, connect with kindness & like minded people, divert thoughts & anxieties of external beauty to channel internal beauty.

I will paint until I die. It is is an ageless occupation which makes sense of my entire life. The ground colour flickering throughout my paintings is my life weaving itself in, to make a whole of something that is fractured & sensitive.

Sophie Waiting

‘Tones of Velvet Bohemia’

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My second solo exhibition, ‘Tones of Velvet Bohemia’ will be taking place at The Alfred East Gallery in Kettering mid November for 4 weeks, so I am working hard towards that at the moment. There will be around 20 new paintings on the theme ‘Tones of Velvet Bohemia’ in a variety of different sizes – the challenge was to decide on the name for the exhibition before I’d done the paintings!!

Neutral Buoyancy

A moment in time – Foxton, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, England

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A quick painting last week on paper of the canal close to my home – I wanted it to sparkle with light and the weather was dull so I had to use my imagination quite a bit!!

This painting is now framed and for sale in the ‘On Paper Exhibition’ at The Open Door Gallery on Church Street in Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

Whispering Shadows

Whispering Shadows

I have a vase of artificial white roses in my hall – I’m not really a fan of artificial flowers but these were long stemmed and elegant with a papery randomness about their petals.

Occasionally – and I haven’t worked out how to predict it – a shaft of light comes from between the trees outside and casts this poignant shadow across the wall. It is so beautiful and unexpected and only lasts a short time. It’s like being allowed into a magical world for a moment and then just as quickly, it’s gone.

‘Neutral Buoyancy’

Neutral Buoyancy

‘Neutral buoyancy’……weightlessness, feeling suspended, neither sinking nor floating.

A state of calm & balance, focusing on your own breathing and mortality, allowing you to fly slowly in a mainly silent, multidimensional, cushioned world. If sound comes, it comes from all sides, muffled and unsure of direction.

The light above is golden, the depths below are terror and intrigue. Slow steady breaths dispelling the anxiety of silently entering an uninvited other world….

 

I learnt to scuba dive in December and the feeling was so extraordinary I came home
and painted it. The words above describe how I felt and what I painted. I thought the painting needed some explanation as it is a little different from my normal style but I also thought that you don’t have to be a scuba diver to recognise some of these thoughts & feelings. I would be very interested in any feedback on this painting, I did give myself free rein & was a little surprised at how it turned out! Please feel free to comment.

The Painting of ‘Mr Gilbert in his shop’

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‘Mr Gilbert in his shop’ Oil on canvas. 16 x 24 inches ( Approx )

Every September in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, independent shops/businesses & local artists collaborate to promote each other.

The artists ‘Open Studios’ takes place at the same time.

This is the 5th year of ‘Art Windows’ and we have 28 mainly independent shops displaying local artists work in their shop windows for the whole of September. It’s a great event with a chance to win fantastic donated prizes to anyone who picks up a leaflet in the shop and enters the draw. All you have to do is identify 10 shops & artists taking part.

This year, for the first time, a wonderfully traditional shop on the High Street, called ‘Frank Gilbert’s’, is taking part in ‘Art Windows’. I have wanted an excuse to paint Mr Gilbert, who works in the shop with his lovely wife, for as long as I have lived locally. I am told he is the son of the original ‘Frank Gilbert’ and his father would I’m sure have been proud. Every day Mr Gilbert brings out his wares – baskets of every shape & size, mats, mugs, you name it and places them carefully around his shop and onto the pavement.

Upon entering the shop it becomes obvious why he does this! The shop is full to bursting with everything a house, particularly a kitchen, could possibly need. You would imagine this would make for a bad tempered shop keeper but Mr Gilbert & his wife are the sweetest people and it’s a pleasure to buy from them. Whatever you’re after they have it there… somewhere!Image

Mr Gilbert in his shop’ in my studio during the painting process.

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‘Frank Gilbert’s’ on Market Harborough High Street.

Look out for ‘Mr Gilbert in his shop’ in ‘Frank Gilbert’s’ window during September 2013!

Bucks open studios…

Lovely to read about someones first experience of visiting ‘Open Studios’ having ignored the signs for years!

I’ve lived in Maidenhead for a long time but never taken any notice of the yellow signs you see around this time of year saying ‘Bucks open studios‘. This year a friend asked if I’d like to go and visit some of the homes and studios of local artists. I’m so glad I did! You just don’t know what’s on your doorstep. Firstly, lots of very talented people and beautiful art, and secondly any excuse to explore and see some amazing, very English houses, gardens and countryside. It’s also an opportunity, if you’re lucky enough, to meet the artists themselves and see where and how they work.

And so followed a lot of driving around Buckinghamshire, as far as Wendover (with a few wrong turns along the way, and lots of chatting (which probably contributed to the wrong turns!) Here are just a few of  the artists whose…

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