Posted by: Natalie | April 13, 2010

The Eye of the Beholder

Today I have been entering competitions. I like competitions but I rarely enter them because I can’t cope with the disappointment of losing! But, in my attempts to grow thicker skin, get noticed and fill my life with lovely things, I am having a go!

But, already I have gone off on a tangent. I entered a competition to win art – nothing to do with writing, but if you have been to our house, you will know how much we love our pictures. I say “our” pictures, technically, they belong to Steve, but I enjoy them just as much.

When you walk into our cosy living room, the first thing you notice is the TV. Secondly, the large limited edition print above it by Nadeem.

"In The Spotlight" by Nadeem and published by Washington Green

Even though we have other paintings by this wonderful artist, this is by far my favourite. I love the sadness and the frailty of this robust character. It tells such a long story, filled with hopes that seem ultimately dashed. A lonesome figure, looking back on his youth with a weary smile tinged with regrets of what never were.

I often stare at this picture when I am trying to write. When inspiration fails, I look to this man and think about the journey he has taken to this point. I think about family – if there are any – and friends that have stuck through all his problems, ups and downs. I imagine there has been addictions of one form or another, drink? drugs? women? success? Something that caused the sadness. Something that caused him to stand alone with broken dreams. It works. He more often than not locates the missing key to the words locked in my head. I am aware these things are not necessarily what others see, but that’s what is so incredible about his work. It really does allow people to see their own beauty art, read their own stories, create their own characters. This faceless man is my muse.

Then I saw this competition.

It is the Blank Canvas competition run by Washington Green. The idea is that you attempt to inspire an artist to create a piece of artwork. So what better? Nadeem, unbeknownst to him, has inspired me over and over again. This painting, above all the others in my house is the one I call upon when I need help. If he can inspire me, why don’t I try to repay the favour. Its a long shot, I know, but it’s just my little piece to try and redress the balance.

So wish me luck. And if nothing else, I hope I have given you something new to look into today. And a little more insight into me.


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