It’s a process.

2021 into 2022

January 2022

Me two, a mixed-media painting I made while reflecting on transformation at the turn of the year. Read the story of Me two in my January 2022 blog post: Me two for you, too. Happy New Year!

'Me two' for you, too photostory SAL SALchemy 2021-2022

October 2021

The peace seeker SALchemy SAL 2021

The Peace Seeker: a mixed media painting. An expression of my UK summer. I wrote a little more about it in my January 2022 blog post: Me two for you, too.

July 2021

Hello again! I wanted to get back into using real paint; this was a transition-time painting into which I channelled the energy of reunion, arrival and joy.

March 2021

'Blossom gatherer' iPad painting by SAL, March 2021
Blossom gatherer (iPad painting, created at a size of 10×10″)

Blossom Gatherer expressed my own tentative hopes for a lighter year than we all lived in 2020. After a break from the iPad, I returned to it to create work like this, drawing on the 1000+ hours I spent painting my C-19 project artworks. I feel that Blossom Gatherer both reveals and celebrates the best of what 2020 taught me… that though I’m sensitive and at times feel fragile, my creative-explorer spirit is resilient (and even joyful!) in the face of my fears.

2020

C19 iPad paintings by SAL

The year the world, and my life as I had known it, stopped. In March 2020 I bought a new iPad and Apple Pencil, and visited the David Hockney Drawing from Life exhibition at the NPG London, just before the first UK lockdown. These were synchronicities that led me to my 2020 body of work. From 15th March to 31st December, I made an iPad painting a day, for my personal ‘survival’ project COVID-19 Degrees of Separation (click HERE to see the 290 iPad paintings).  I posted the final painting on Instagram on New Year’s Day 2021. 

2019

It began with this (the story starts here on The road to Chile):

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Which led to The Joy Experiments. And finally, to this (on the eve of 2020) reflection on Angels and motorbikes. For me, creatively, it was a year when an accident pushed me to me paint with my left hand… and what eventually emerged was a more hopeful, and at times more joyful, voice. What I’m especially glad about is that I wanted to paint and share the story of the paintings, and that I did, no matter what.

2018

Just this… it was a midlife turning point for me. My wish is that anyone in midlife might take comfort from this story:
sallytownsendblake.com/2018/12/31/my-friend-is-the-sun/

2017

Read about the painting called Balance here:
sallytownsendblake.com/2017/12/28/balance/

Here I am hanging out with the painting on Christmas Eve, in soft light:

Earlier in 2017 I made Wake up call (below), read about it here:
sallytownsendblake.com/2017/02/10/wake-up-call-by-sal/

dreamscape waking up 2017 by SAL

2016

In 2016 I kind of lost my voice. But I did make a self-portrait response to the #Brexit vote result. You can read about the painting called After #Brexit here:
sallytownsendblake.com/2016/06/29/after-brexit/

after brexit paint sketch SAL june 2016

2015 December

Five paintings came from a deliberate observation of emotions felt ‘after the milonga. That is to say, not so much ‘after dancing tango’ as after the whole experience of attending the tango dance event itself ( I spend many hours a week at the milonga in Buenos Aires; such is la vida milonguera). The paintings transit the final months of 2015.  Please read their story on my blog here:
sallytownsendblake.com/2016/01/15/after-the-milonga-despues-de-la-milonga/

Here are three of the paintings:

2015 September

Five paintings were born in the world of tango in Buenos Aires in September 2015 and are the first I made after my experiment with the expressionist drawings below. Please read the story of ‘the darker side‘ paintings on my blog (in English y en castellano), here: sallytownsendblake.com/2015/10/16/the-darker-side/

Here are two of the paintings:

2015 July

27 expressionist drawings came in July 2015 from Blind Spots, the Jackson Pollock exhibition at Tate Liverpool. Seeing his ‘black and white’ works and some work in the next room by Willem de Kooning released something. I must not be afraid to express what I am compelled to say, what comes up when I am not thinking, what the paint drives me to make. I made these one a night before sleep (at times exhausted from the day), they are just simple crayon sketches but they have led me on. Part of the process. Here’s a sample of the work:

2015 January-May

Early in 2015 I wrote three blog posts to accompany these SALchemy paintings in a time of building up to seeking a deeper sense of authenticity (living and expressing my truth) in my own life. This was when the word SALchemy first came to me. SAL + alchemy = catalyst for transformation. It just felt right. The paintings and their stories are here:
sallytownsendblake.com/2015/04/05/dance-on-your-magic-path-with-us/
sallytownsendblake.com/2015/04/16/be-seen/
sallytownsendblake.com/2015/05/04/connect-with-your-soul/
The paintings were a first attempt at letting the work come from a deeper place within me rather than from something I was actually looking at.

2014

In 2014 I made a series of paintings that I might loosely describe as ‘mindscapes’ from physical still life set ups of toys. They were begun at the Slade Summer School in London where I spent two weeks. I understood the concept of building ‘bodies of work’ on a theme, and I pushed to find ways to express my feelings and emotions using the toys. Here’s a sample of the work.

2013

The key paintings in 2013 (for me) were my nudes. They were made from life and I wanted to use strong colour to connect myself with the figures I was painting. When I painted them I felt I was really painting myself and my emotions. The nudes led me to feel that I wanted to explore the nature of being human in my work. I also painted Carlos. Here’s a sample of the work:

2012

This was a time of early exploration with acrylic paint, and I painted  my immediate environment.  My family. Shropshire. Buenos Aires. I had an obession with the ‘NO HI HA SOMNIS IMPOSSIBLES’ tower (1907, Eduardo Rodríguez Ortegaon, Avenida Rivadavia). I learned about working with the paint (fingers, cards, brushes, some collage) and a limited palette. Here’s a sample of the work:

2011

The beginning. I tried to paint the energy I felt in a situation or person. Simple acrylic paint sketches of whatever or whoever came into my path. My mum was dying, I painted her in the Severn Hospice, I felt compelled to do it. Painting was the last gift she gave to me, and the first painting I ever made (the portrait in red and green) was of her when she was struggling with her illness. I love you mum, and every painting I make is for you. SAL.