I’ve never been one for resolutions usually because I undertake boring ones that I get bored of after a few weeks. However, this year I asked my friends to suggest some things that I should do before turning 30 next year and they came back with some varied suggestions including; ‘go skinny dipping’, ‘work at a festival’, ‘ride a motorbike’ and ‘do something that terrifies you’. I ended up with a pretty decent list and kicked the year off with a skinny dip in the North Sea on New Year’s Day. Yes, it was very, very cold as the bemused dog walker who spotted me pointed out. After this fun start to my challenges I had a look at the rest and the one item on the list that worried me for obvious reasons was, ‘do something that terrifies you’. I originally thought of a skydive in memory of my Paratrooper Grandad Stan, thinking that this must surely be the scariest thing I could do…
I was wrong.
In August I saw a Tweet by @ArtBattleMCR asking for local artists to compete in their biggest art battle to date at the newly opened London Road Fire Station. The premise being that 10 artists paint live, in 30 minutes, surrounded by an audience of 500 people who then judge the winner. A few things I should probably mention at this point…
Which all made it a prospect that definitely terrified me - a good opportunity to tick that off my list. So taking all of this into consideration I decided to enter. I have NO idea what came over me. I spent a few days hoping that they wouldn’t pick me (they did) then I spent another month hoping that a zombie apocalypse would break out (it didn’t). And when they announced my involvement online and I got a mention in the Manchester Evening News, I finally had to face up to my decision and figure out what on earth I was going to do. I went through several ideas, some good, some bad and most totally impossible in under 30 minutes including a portrait of Bill Murray and a detailed drawing of the venue.
It was only a week before the battle that I finally found something that I could just about paint in time and that I didn’t completely hate. So in the run up to the battle this Friday 14th October I will be painting the same piece over, and over and over in the hope that I can recreate it on the night despite my already flight inducing nerves. Right now jumping out of a plane sounds like a wonderful idea, though I think the adrenaline rush on Friday night will be greater for me.
I will write a follow up post next week and share some of my practice work as well as the painting that I will hopefully produce on the night, unless a zombie apocalypse does break out in the next few days… a girl can always live in hope!