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The Honest Painting
04 Feb-10 Feb 2014
Children's Workshops at RBS
(Left: Adeline age 3, painting 'Frank', 1990)

The Honest Painting Project
Children's Workshops at the Royal British Society of Sculptors

For years I painted.  One day, I questioned the ‘honesty’ of my painting, my motives and whether I had something meaningful to say.  I harshly but rightfully questioned my technical abilities too.  My style was constrained, restricted and self-conscious. I stopped painting. 
When I found this picture again recently, I thought to myself ‘this is what an honest painting should look like’ – fluid, intuitive - with Picasso’s famous quote resonating in my mind, ‘Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.’
This is food for thought.  Maybe I can learn how to paint again thanks to children. 
Now a sculptor, I have decided to make a ‘creapture’ version (creature-sculpture) of this portrait, called 'Frank' which will serve as still life for children to paint.  I’m organising a one-day painting workshop where children will be invited to paint, while I observe and learn from them.
Workshop for Children at the Royal British Society of Sculptors
The ‘Honest Painting Project’ will involve a series of painting and sculpting workshops with the participation of young children aged 7 to 9.
Each workshop will start with the first-half of painting (from still life: Creapture 'Frank'), and the second-half of sculpting (from their own paintings they will have produced in the morning).  It will hopefully be interesting for the children to have the workshop go full-circle, having had painting as a means to explore sculpture both as still life and as their own final creation.