I was lucky enough to have some time out to visit the Fountain Gallery last week. Inspired by my tutor's comments on observing what I liked and didn't in order to give me insight into my own germinating artistic style, I studied myself and the pictures carefully, noticing those reactions of 'love it,' and 'hate it'. Those I loved, I spent a bit of time with: what did I like? What spoke to me? What drew me in? Undoubtedly I like bright colours and big, bold images, but the most striking was a watercolour portrait, intimate and loving, carefully observed, with delicate blue eyes. Close to it was no more than splodges of colour, laid one over the other, with rough patches of untouched paper. Style and skill I can only dream of.
Enjoying a cappuccino afterwards, I began to contemplate what it is I like in a more general sense. What makes me me, and separate from others? How am I defined by what I love and what I hate? Separation and difference unnerve me a little, but here are some differences between me and others that I feel certain and sure of.
I love wearing my jeans but I hate wearing tights.
I love running but I hate team sports. (Too much pressure.)
I love delis but I hate supermarkets. (Rabbit-in-the-headlights, my children and friends know better than to expect me to go in one.)
I love George Michael but I can't stand Sting. (Sorry, darling!)
I love watercolour paintings, but unless it's in a major gallery, I really don't like oils.
I love 'Fox in Socks' but have never really enjoyed 'Where the Wild Things Are.'
I love Clive Owen but can't stand the sight of Richard Hammond, to the extent that I feel the need to point this out to my husband every time he appears on the small screen.
I love the Pre-Raphaelites but don't really like Picasso.
I love e-mail and text but just don't do, or get, Facebook.
I love avocado, prawn crackers, noodles and Toblerone but I can't bear banana cake, beetroot or chocolate oranges.
And all of these things tell me a little more about who I am.