The above paintings, along with many others, are currently in my Winter Studio Sale, and I thought that I would explain why many of my paintings are titled with numbers.
As an artist I often think of a subject, or I am inspired by a scene so much that I want to paint it more than once. This is because the subject matter evokes a different feeling depending on the day due to influences like weather, seasons and what drew my attention on that day. This is not unusual for painters. Many artists will use the title over and over again for a painting and number them. This helps both the artist and the viewer to see them as part of a series.
I liked this idea, and when I set out to paint professionally back in 2008, I made myself a rule - I will only ever paint seven paintings in a series.
You may ask, "Why?", and I am happy to tell you! For me personally, I feel that a finite number of paintings in a series helps me to concentrate the experience and then to help me move on to another one. It keeps my work fresher and any buyer knows that they are getting a painting in a limited series that has not been overworked and is collectable.
When I made the decision for a specific number, I just liked the number 7. It wasn't as many as 10 but it was more than 5, and it seemed like the 'right' number for me. I have since done some research. I found a short but interesting article by the psychologist Guy Wright PhD where he describes how the number 7 has been a popular number for thousands of years!
Over the past week I have been focused on getting works loaded up into my online shop, and it has made me appreciate how my work has developed over the years. Up until the last few years I painted exclusively landscapes and trees. I relied more heavily on colour and texture to tell the story of that scene. Until I started to add wildlife. One of my most popular was the "Song of the Swallows" series. They were inspired by the seasonal appearance of lines of swallows on the telegraph wires right outside my childhood home. It was in the making of that series that I realised people liked birds in paintings, and I began to add them in other settings too. In the last 2 years I have added mammals too, and it seems that deer, fox and badgers appeared in my paintings just at the right time when everyone is becoming more aware of how fragile nature is. These paintings have been influenced by many trips back out into the Suffolk countryside - and I will continue to move forward with these themes in 2022, as I plan to do some more exploring.
I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year.