The sky is grey, outside is wet and I'm probably going to spend most of this weekend indoors. Being indoors is making me feel all introspective and I've been reflecting on one of my reasons for making art which is to capture experiences I have had. I find it easier to do this when the experience is actually happening - like painting a view while looking at it - rather than trying to remember later on what the experience was like.
The rain has reminded me of the time we went to a music festival in Bethnal Green and it was lovely and sunny when we got there. I'd gone prepared to do some sketching and I had my travelling watercolour set with me and my little camping stool. I set up camp in front of the sound stage and, ever conscious of opportunistic thieves ready to steal my belongings, I began to sketch what I could see.
Before long I attracted an audience of my own who were keen to watch me over my shoulder while I worked. I found this unsettling but was resigned to it since this often happens if I work outside where there are people around - you briefly become public property. What I wasn't prepared for was one man with his small daughter who took up a position slightly behind me and to my left and behaved as though he was my personal security guard and even directed other members of my 'audience' where to stand with an imperious wave of the hand. Since I wanted to get on with my task in hand I didn't bother to remonstrate with him; instead I hoped he would get bored and leave me alone. This did not happen but in this instance I was saved by a downpour which you can see made the paint run (sketch shown above) and made those of us caught in the rain head for the nearest tent. Although it's not possible to see it in my painting when I look at it I can remember the feelings of claustrophobia and the lack of freedom I felt when I was hemmed in by my group of onlookers.