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Remember to enjoy / 3 December 2015

Alan Hopwood

Blog  December 2015

With Christmas coming, I have decided to write my blog early as I know it will be a bit mad in the next few weeks. Likewise, I have been working on my artwork in haste, knowing I will get few opportunities during the holiday, and for the past few days, I have noticed my anxieties rising and a familiar dark moody pressure approaching. Luckily nowadays, I am able to identify such low moods as they grow and I am able to put my strategies such as meditation into action.

Thinking about why I am feeling stressed (anything on top of my illness can push me over the edge!), I began to think about the purpose for my art, and beyond that, the purpose for Christmas to a non-religious person such as myself.

Although I have worked in Art for decades, right now, as a person struggling with a disability, it’s primary function is to keep me sane. I take my work seriously, but there has to be a balance of therapeutic activity and overwhelming pressure to succeed. I escape into my art in order to take refuge from the day to day, allowing it to become another problem is counterproductive. As too is Christmas. For I see it as a time for family and an opportunity to take a break from the practicalities of daily life.

So here I am today, feeling (working hard to feel!) more relaxed about the progress of my work and more relaxed about the weeks ahead. My time in the studio today was more enjoyable and more productive. I continue to explore my new project (see last my blog), looking at memories, interventions that create chapters of my life. This is proving to be a difficult concept to translate into painting; I have been layering and sectioning imagery, attempting to put them into a relationship with time and significance, all without becoming too literal in my visual language. It has made me re-think my processes as an artist, which can only be a good thing, and within my sketchbook and some of my digital studies, some coherent pieces are emerging. I must be patient and work through it and remember to enjoy the process.

The image I have shown here is a section of a sketchbook study, the use of bands as “chapters” with the contrasts and interactions of imagery are hopefully showing one direction I could take. Please follow my Facebook page if you would like to see more development of this project. Thank you.


Alan Hopwood

8 December 2015

Thank you for your comments, I often use colours in a reverse special manner, I use tone and contrast to push the cooler colours forward. I am developing various avenues and this new project will soon be available to monitor on my website. also if you visit my Facebook page I regularly show sketchbook ideas and work in progress.

Colin Hambrook

7 December 2015

I like the fragmentary, cut-up, collage feel for the work. The use of colour is superb: it's never easy to get warm colours to sit behind cold colours as you've done in this image with the blue and red particularly. Thanks for sharing some of your process here, Alan. It sounds like t=you are making great strides in moving in a new direction.

Ron Moule

3 December 2015

The artwork is wonderful, and the sentiments and some of the strategies shared. I would like to be see and explore your work more than in this format.