On Sunday I went to the Forge World Open Day and entered the painting competition. This was first time that I'd shown my work in public and I was rather nervous. It was, though, an amazing experience, which really made me feel part of the community. It was also an immense pleasure to have some of my work in a display cabinet with other dedicated and talented hobbyists, and to display my work in GW HQ only meters away from classic and contemporary works of painting wizardry. Thanks again to everyone who gave me wonderful and positive feedback, including one of the FW designers who thought I'd won (I didn't).
By pushing myself to participate/compete I've now got the confidence to work harder, stretch my abilities and enter more competitions. My work is very different to the vast majority of what's out there, but seeing it side by side with the 'mainstream' I've had an opportunity to reflect on how it holds the same value, despite standing out for its stylistic and painterly departures. I began painting as a therapeutic exercise in dark and difficult times: I hope you'll forgive me blowing my own trumpet a little because it has evolved into a genuinely self-asserting craft.