An empty mind full of ideas?

Episode 36

21 April 2021


To express yourself in a creative way you don’t need structure, you need an empty mind.”

Anonymous

A problem when your mind is so full of ideas. Loose very abstracted florals are one of my current obsessions. I love colour, I love gardens and flowers. I know I can paint realistically but I want to go to another level. And I have been trying. I want there to be the barest reference to flowers just the joy of seeing, smelling and touching.

I had done several 30cm square works (on my website soon) which I felt were getting closer to my intention. Inspired by artist such as Conn Ryder, Wendy McWilliams and Sandy Welch I decided to move up to four times the size.


A work by Conn Ryder from Pinterest

These two below are my works in progress. I start out quite loose and free but get drawn back to realism. Going larger means I should go larger with size of marks and shapes; that means larger paint spreaders and more paint on the palette. These were done mainly with oils sticks. They aren’t thick enough for what I want to achieve. Still a lot to do on these. I have to wait sometimes for the paint to dry before going further.



I know flowers don’t appeal to everyone, especially abstracted ones. I know I can paint more realistic flowers and still lifes but I want to push myself. Also, even if I am not satisfied someone else might absolutely love it. Challenging myself and experimenting are what drives me, not so much the number of sales or likes.

A friend, now a ‘collector’ asked the other day how I know a painting is finished. It’s much more straight forward with representational work; usually only a few tweaks to finish something. For me a painting gets to a stage where I feel their is a variety of interesting marks and shapes, interesting tonal and colour contrasts but also a cohesive colour palette. There is a danger in ‘fiddling’ and loosing the freshness and spontaneity. The question I ask is , ‘Is there any more I can do to take it where I intended?’

I don’t feel the need as some artists do to control or influence another’s response to my work. Every viewer brings their own context, feelings, memories, hopes and dreams. I feel if I have created with passion and joy that is enough. Make of it what you will.


Struggling with two from my shapes series. I wanted to use stencilling over complex and mono colour backgrounds, one in blues, one in reds. The lighter overlays and rigid structure weren’t working for me. The blue one has gone back to the blue base and the red into more geometric shapes similar to work I was doing over a year ago. That might all change.



Collages are developing. Shifting focus to a different media is an approachthat is great to rest the eyes and the mind. This is one of four 30cm collage paintings and a couple of sections of my concertina book. It has been fun to do and interesting to work with acrylic paint again rather that oil and cold wax. I don’t use brushes either with acrylics, techniques learned from oil and wax.



Pages 1-3 of the concertina book

Pages 7-9 of the concertina book

I was thrilled recently to sell a set of four small works to a lovely lady in Rosebay. They were from my leaf series.


Tomorrow I attack with passion and exuberance a large sheet of prepared 300gsm paper which is on an easel. There will be large marks and lines using heaps of paint. Hopefully I will achieve something exciting!

Love any comments or suggestions you may have to improve my blog and website gayeoakes.com

2 thoughts on “An empty mind full of ideas?

  1. Hi Gaye, it’s Becky Pyle from Denver. I LOVE the pink peonies. Do you sell your work? I might be interested in purchasing.

    Like

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