We have a Guest Post today - A member focus of PCG member 090413425, Michael Brown from Paint Affects.
drawn and painted (even before I could walk) and at school I was involved in
painting all the back-drops for 2 large stages every time plays were
performed. I also ended up painting murals all over our common rooms and
corridors during holiday times! So I learnt how to scale work up to a large
size very early on. This changed my perception as I realised what appeared to be
large daubs coalesced the further you stepped back ! (This was obviously
stored away for later use).
I have worked as a graphic designer (before p.c.) where I learned my craft
properly after that I used my skills and talent to work as a mural painter and
I also worked with Interior designers creating specialist paint effects
for new builds. My customers
would either want their
children's bedrooms and nurseries painted top to bottom or they would want a sky
painted right across a huge ceiling.
time I was invited to open a studio near where I lived in a local community
centre the only proviso was would I be prepared to tutor community members
one night a week? Looking
back I think this was the turning point in my painting career as I've met so
many artists who are obsessed with getting their work seen and sold I
actually started to realise this wasn't the way forward. The more people who
started coming through the doors the more I realised I was helping them not
only to draw and paint but also to build their confidence and I actually
started modifying my technique in tutoring and painting so much so that my
whole approach to painting completely turned itself on its head.
community studio has been running for over 10 years now and is entirely
voluntary I take a nominal fee for heat and light. We occasionally obtain
funding for equipment but I teach students to make their own stuff and recycle
and re-use everything.
Over the last
15 years I have had various features in local newspapers either for jobs I've
been working on or pieces of work I've donated to local charities for
fund-raising this has helped them out a great deal and they've always written
back and thanked me some of these letters are on my website one painting in
particular I donated to a diamond charity event raised around £400 or so but
more importantly the guest of honour was H.R.H. the Countess of Wessex and she
saw my work so sometimes its not about grubbing about to sell the work I give
about 4/5 pieces away every year to charities and I find this more rewarding.
I have also
exhibited in quite a few local galleries and have been lucky enough to sell on
those occasions, however the galleries take such a large proportion it is not
cost effective to use them and I rely on the public visiting my studio direct. This also helps because I don't believe in framing the work as I like the
customer to make their own choice, they seem happier with that choice.
studio runs out of Glenroyd House in Consett, County Durham. One day I walked
into my local D.C.V.S. office and told them what I could do and would they like
to make use of me as a volunteer. It didn't
take them long to fit my skills and talents to 'local art classes' and we now
have nearly 30 people on our books, from the start I think we knew this was
going to be the start of something new as Consett is a depressed area and there
are a lot of people existng on the fringes of the community who have
challenges and it was very much a case of "if you build it they will
come". By word of mouth more and more people started coming to the class of
all different abilities and life experience. The role of coach or tutor has
changed as I've had to learn to take on people with varying challenges in their
own lives and they are truly inspirational to work with and again this has had
a dramatic effect/affect on my own work as my painting and drawing has become
so paired down and de-constructed I am able to paint without any pre-planning. It is completely spontaneous. I try to pass on this method to my students as in
my own personal life I've had challenges too!
Over the past
few years I have been forming a social enterprise which is a largely non-profit
organisation and diverts any funding into sourcing resources for the art to
keep moving forward. I am not interested in personal greed and I cannot have
anything as superficial as money clouding the production of my work. I have had
to learn to balance my tutoring and my own painting but this is half the fun,
I'm lucky to be able to paint for myself and not allow the aquisition of
material objects control my art.
sum up I've been painting for over 30 years
based in the North East I have 2 studio's
featured in several prominent local papers and magazines.
My work has
raised a lot of money for charity I have met Newcastle's Lord Mayor for my
exhibited in local galleries but don't like to.
I have 30
years experience in buying and selling and producing art to exhibition standard.
out on my degrees.