Are these worth another look?

Few artists have the space (or the inclination) to display all their older pieces which never found new homes.

Many of us have ‘boxes of shame’ where we store paintings in the styles we left behind, experiments that didn’t quite come off, and bits’n’bobs that simply AREN’T VERY GOOD.

It makes sense to put on show the works that represent you at your very best, that demonstrate who you are as an artist right now. But it does mean the longer you’ve been working, the bigger and more numerous those boxes…….







I often paint over canvases that I don’t feel are up to scratch. It leads to interesting effects when you scrape back fresh paint to reveal ghostly hints of the old work underneath. Anything on paper is perfect for tearing up and reconstructing into collages!

Last week I was trawling through my reject boxes for canvases to re-purpose. A lot of my early work wasn’t very impressive from a technical point of view, but I don’t want to discard it all, as it’s interesting to compare what I’m creating now with what I was doing ten years ago. And every so often I unearth something that deserves to see the light of day again.


Water Gardens, for example (above left, acrylic and collage on stretched canvas in a white wooden frame 24 x 24 cm). I really like the colour palette here, the juxtaposition of deep crimson and turquoise; and the suggestion of willow trees and waterfalls in the background.

Then there’s a little un-named piece (above right) – un-named because I was never sure whether or not it was finished, and what (if anything) it represented. It’s mixed media on a 25 x 20 cm stretched canvas, and I like the textures in it, and the combination of iridescent lilac and soft turquoise.


Finally, there’s Star Flowers (acrylic on stretched canvas, 30 x 24 cm), painted in a class run by the wonderful Ali Cockrean. She showed me how to use a colour shaper to push the paint around and get that delicate spidery effect for the petals. I particularly like the purple velvety depths in the background.

So there we are – three sweet little pieces rescued from the reject bins! They might even find their way on to my gallery pages in due course…..