This piece started as a tester to get my brush back on while practising for Soulfire Sunday, but become a calm space to return back to in the first week of the Covid-19 lockdown. It continues to be a really stressful time for many and I have sincere gratitude for all key workers, NHS teams and all those on the frontline trying to make this period easier for the rest of us. This painting became a piece for my brain to dump ideas and creative space for me to try and make sense of what was going on outside.
As horrific as this continues to be for so many, I have benefitted from taking time to find quiet time amongst work hours. I didn’t realise how much I was missing painting in recent years. Super grateful for good health, quiet space and the ability to get a few things out of my system xx
I was really stoked to be invited to paint at the Moseley School of Art, having just recently moved back home to Birmingham at the end of 2019. It was a quiet day as we were on the cusp of the Covid-19 lockdown and we weren’t sure if the event would be able to go ahead, but around 40-50 people arrived to join the Soul City Arts team.
Painting alongside Elph-One and old Birmingham Master, Zuke, I was really nervous as this was my first Live Paint event for a good few years, but I was made really welcome. It’s good to be pushed out of your comfort zone sometimes and its given me the impetus to keep at it. Despite the lockdown I have been getting creative again and am really grateful for the opportunity to participate at the event.
In December I was brought in to work on a project with Charlie Dark, called Words on Walls, which was commissioned by Newham Council and the Discover Centre, Stratford. The aim was to work with “The Mix” who are a local LGBGT youth group in Plaistow, to provide a space to convey a phrase that inspired them and to enable them to learn the basics of mural design and painting their design.
We gathered for a session to capture ideas, then met at the wall on a cold and rainy December afternoon, to get their plan painted. Big thanks to everyone that made this happen.. It was great to meet such a positive and confident group, and to work together to brighten up Barbers Alley.
I have been trying to organise myself to paint with a couple of friends for the past few months, but with a broken shoulder, it took a while to plan this one. Once I got all movement back in my arm again and it was strong enough to roller the wall and paint above my head again, we got out and about last month, with a few cans.
Half the pleasure in being out painting, for me anyway, is the social side of being at the wall. Having a natter while playing with the paint. Having a bit of an idea, but not really sticking to it, in any great detail, showing another person not to be afraid of making mistakes.. all makes for a good afternoon.
This time I collaborated with Harki, who has been a great friend this past year and fellow runner from Run Dem Crew.. You should definitely check her typographic work out here too.. We’ll be back on the wall again soon and hoping to get the captain out for a paint again too xx https://www.facebook.com/harkirankkalsi/
Finally got out for the first time of the year, for a chance to get a couple of the girls together, with a few tins of paint and an ideal excuse to put some colours on walls. With Patricia and Miqui 1-Stop, we had a plan, to try to get the logo of Chasing Lights Collective up and collaborate with each other to re-generate our love for tinkering with paint tins.. Great to be out for the day and re-establish the need to get surrounded with colour, on a regular basis.
This year has been busy and hard work in many ways, but probably my least personally creative year. I’ve dipped in and out of paint jams with Unity but have struggled to get past a block that seemed to last for months. In the middle of this, I got chatting to my brother and was invited to get out of the country and go join him to paint a block of flats in Grenoble, France.
As always, Will has a habit of keeping everything low key and when I booked my train ticket to take a week out to join him, I’d no idea how big, going big was going to be.. Except for being told I would have the chance to drive a cherry picker – that gave me the inclination that it was going to be off my usual scale.
Depression has a way of making you feel that you are an insignificant dot amongst the landscape and living in London has left me feeling with an overwhelming sense of my works unimportance. Having the chance to spend a week with my brother and get a masterclass in going big, gave me the magic pep back in my step.. For the first time in months, I was travelling away from the world of the office and ready to see something new. I’d been suffering from visits of the black dog for months and although not the first time in my life that I’d been ill, this was the first time I actively acknowledged this was happening and on a level I’d not seen before.
There’s something really weird about being high up on a cherry picker and watching how these kinds of walls are tackled. Its a whole new way of thinking about colour, shapes and brushes. Will used a mixture of rollers, paint, brooms, even larger paint brushes, spray paint and the pair of us spent 5-6 days up on a crane, making his marks on a block of flats. The event was the Grenoble Street Art Festival and the artist roster was incredible. We met some amazing people, who really looked after us well and kept us smiling despite the rain. I felt really honoured to be able to participate in this, as Will’s assistant/sidekick/sister and loved seeing all the styles and variations of Street Artists working on sites across town.
For smiles and chance to get a new perspective on life, this was a super charged kick up the backside and I highly recommend watching how these guys paint, whenever you get chance xx
Its been a busy couple of months, and also really laid back. I’ve been really lucky to snatch some days out with Unity, Sofly, Miqui Onestop, Miller and loads more lovely people, on both Cardiff Boardwalk and Leake Street, London. But it doesn’t stop there.. this month there’s a few more sessions planned and I’m working on canvases and some illustrations to make into prints.. Will be letting you know more soon xx
To mark the start of the year, a few of us got together in Shoreditch for a cold, but happy paint on Blackall Street. Painting over the Saturday & Sunday, the event was organised and supported by Femme Fierce with the space organised by Global Street Art.
Artists included Elno, Giusi Tomasello, Mondi, Mutiny, Pyklops, New Art Rioter, Sofly and Unity.
Big thanks to all the bloggers and supporters of the event. There’s more info and pictures available on the Street Art Atlas FB album or on my Instagram page. Big thanks to Global Street Art and Femme Fierce for organising and all the ladies who came to paint xx