Does fame bring freedom or imprisonment?

Yesterday afternoon I had a discussion with a friend of mine, and fellow MA art student, about the effect of fame on the freedom of creativity. We had just had a two-hour lecture / seminar on intellectual property and copyright law and how it relates to creativity, and part of that debate centered around the concept of ‘fame’ when it is generated from an ‘idea’ or ‘expression of an idea’ in the form of art and how an artist can deal with the economic consequences of that fame in terms of the law. We were looking at how to protect the ‘expression of an idea’, or in other words, how to monopolise it.

My friend and I, after the lecture, went off on a tangent somewhat, and we talked about whether we actually wanted ‘fame’ or not and the effect that fame might have on creativity. She concluded that she did not want fame, in fact she had no interest at all in fame, as she felt that it would rob her of her freedom in the expression of her creativity. Her art now is very personal and very emotional. She feels compelled to create, something I have talked about here before. She does it because it is part of her. She isn’t thinking about the wider world when she’s making art.

Behind her argument about fame is the question: who are we creating for? Are we creating for ourselves? Are we creating to express an idea and to influence perception? Are we creating to sell our work and make money, so that someone has a piece of us on their wall? Are we creating to earn a living? Fame could come accidentally, whether we want it or not. It is highly unlikely, but it could happen and it does often happen by accident. 

Fame, I want to live forever

I feel a little different to her on this matter. I quite like the idea of a certain amount of fame. I would like to earn the respect of the art world, and be able to have the ‘freedom’ to make art without financial worries. I like the idea of being able to talk openly about art, seeing people appreciate my art and generating discussion and debate. I’m not expecting glittery fame, but academic fame would be nice.

However, as she said, the irony is that the more fame you have, the more eyes are on you, the more you might end up making art to satisfy others and not yourself, and, ergo, the less freedom you actually have.

I agree to a certain degree. I think fame gained by making art that is personal to you, or that comes from your own philosophical thinking, is much more difficult to maintain than fame gained from making art for other people. So I doubt this dilemma will ever be a reality for me as I can’t imagine changing my own ‘compel to create’ drive. Author Elizabeth Gilbert talked about this issue as she faced it after her success with Eat, Pray, Love which she wrote for herself, about herself. How does an artist, or writer, follow a hit? That is, when the freedom to experiment is taken away. That is when the question’Do I create for me or them?’ really comes into play.

I haven’t had to face this yet so I’m not going to worry too much. I guess as students we might also have the question: ‘Do I create to get good marks or do I create for me?’ but, if I am honest, I haven’t really worried about this. I worry that if I don’t create anything I’ll fail, but I haven’t felt a fear about the quality of my work during my degree and masters. I just do what I do. Whatever comes. If it is crap, so be it.

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The power of the single punch

The University of Wolverhampton School of Art Fine Art Undergraduate Degree Show has started. Another year has passed since the last one. Time passes quickly. Time is repetitive. Time is cyclical, but it is moving upwards and onwards, always. A new group of artists are ready to launch themselves on the world, and disperse.

Seeing the show up and running, I suddenly feel as if I’ve been here a long time (four years). Of course, it is just a matter of perspective, I haven’t really been here that long. There have been 50 degree shows in this building in total. And anyway, soon I won’t be here any longer. It feels as if there is no end as time circles around each year, but there always is.

In those four years, which is a mere snip of the total, I’ve seen quite a change in direction and style in the undergraduate degree shows. Each year seems to build on the previous, trying to get closer to something, that allusive notion of perfection. Of course, this is an illusion, perfection doesn’t exist. It is all just a journey. It is ‘difference’ we are all striving for.

On first glance, the work this year appears more subtle, less ambitious in terms of scale, more traditionally executed perhaps and, for want of a better word, physically smaller, than the work on show on previous years. However, this is part of the beauty of it. Looking closer and looking at each individual piece in turn, taking time to consider each work, I realise that the art objects on display are buzzing, vibrating even, with power and emotional force. You can almost hear it, if you get close enough.

I harp on rather a lot about feeling or sensing the ‘essence’ within an artwork. This is that idea that for an artwork to be pure, it must harness the essence or force of things within it, and the viewer must be able to feel that essence or ‘force’ of life. The students graduating this year have managed to harbour that essence in a new way. I don’t just mean the essence of objects, which is what my practice is about, I am referring to feelings, humanity and thought as well (although they are all ‘things’ too). I felt this again and again as I walked around the show.

On the evening of the show, the following phrase kept popping into my mind: Less is More. Less is More. Less is More. My own degree show piece, two years ago, was the opposite of this. I exploded my ideas visually on the walls to translate my message. I was criticised for this by the Wolverhampton Express and Star. In my case, I was trying to bamboozle the viewer with information to make a point: my project was about repetition and saturation. However, perhaps the punch I was trying to give wasn’t as effective as I had hoped. I diffused it over too great a surface area. Maybe it is true that if you are going to punch, then one punch, executed with more force, more energy, more technical skill, and less surface area is more effective than a barrage of punches.

Whenever I try to review the degree show, I am always torn as to which pieces to highlight. The level of technical skill as well as the ability to ‘punch’ with a message has truly impressed me this year and I feel making a choice is almost impossible. The below works are just a taster.

Tariq Evans’s haunting drawings mesmerised me, to the point I keep returning to them even now as I am here in the studio. I just want to feel the strength of anxiety and angst he has put into them as I relate to that in my own life. It is incredibly powerful. I feel it every time I look at the drawings.

The punch of humanity, the work of Tariq Evans

Equally, the digital portraits of Hayley Bowker keep drawing me back to take a second, third, and now fourth look. It is her technical skill that sucks me in. I am interested in the blend of the digital and the real and her drawings, made digitally, illustrate that there really isn’t that much difference between the two. It is possible to ‘punch’ with data.

 

A haunting image made with pixels, by Hayley Bowker

I was attracted to the work of Charlotte Nock for it’s simplicity and it’s theme which is similar to mine when I graduated: repetition, anxiety and creativity. I felt that force very strongly through her simple pieces, illustrating the point effectively about the power of the punch.

To love and loath repetition, illustrated by Charlotte Nock’s work

Alexandra Fitzgerald’s two contrasting video image and footage – one moving, one still, one on black, one on white, one in day, one in dark, one in a generic city, one in a specifically English location – spoke to me as well. We are all guilty of invisibility cloak syndrome. We look out, but we are also being looked upon. There is tension there. It is constant too, in the real world and the virtual one. It applies on the macro level more so now then ever, and on the micro level also of our interactions with everyone we pass by.

Everyone is watching everyone, Alexandra Fitzgerald included

So, I am inspired now to think of a way to punch for my own final show in October. The art journey continues. Onwards and upwards.

 

 

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The point when it is all starting to make sense

On my studio wall is a phrase ‘objects that blend, objects that blur’. I wrote it months ago, not really understanding why. I wrote it one afternoon when I was stuck for ideas. It didn’t generate any. I wasn’t sure what it meant but I liked it. I am now, finally, starting to get it.

So what is it, that I am starting to get? This is going to be rather mind-blowing. I’m starting to get, or believe, that there is no such thing as solid matter, organic or inorganic. It is all just energy. Objects, as we see them, are not out there away from in here. They are simply an extension of us. Or, more accurately, they are part of us. They are a part of each other too. If we were to break all matter, organic and inorganic, down to the finest detail, it is all the same. It is all one big mush of mess.

We are so used to seeing the world in a dualistic way: us vs them. Us being our consciousness, and them being all the things we see, touch, smell, hear and perceive. But is this reality? I’ve been reading again (it is a dangerous business) and I have had a moment of enlightenment. I’ve been reading about the Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi. Wabi sabi is, in the briefest of terms, a Japanese aesthetic sensibility which appreciates the beauty of transient things and change. The origins of wabi sabi derive from Zen Buddhism. Zen Buddhism states that despite what we have been brought up to believe for centuries, more than centuries, there is no duality in the world. There isn’t an us vs them. We are not separate from what we perceive, we are what we perceive. So, ergo, we and things are all the same. We are all mush. We are all mess.

How does this relate to my art practice? I have most recently been painting objects that do not look like objects. I have been painting still-life objects that are almost completely unidentifiable as things. What are they? It is hard to tell. Some of them vaguely resemble the real thing; most do not. They are things deconstructed. They are things broken down into line, colour, form, shape, derived from the process of photographing them, remembering them, drawing them in virtual reality, remembering them again, and painting them.

What is it? I know what it is. Does it matter?

These paintings prove the point that behind, or within, all things is just something abstract, something not actually solid. They prove that all everything is is a manifestation of energy. So my argument, which I bang on about quite a lot but I am now starting to really understand, is that our virtual objects are no different from our real objects, which are no different from our remembered objects, which are no different from our imagined objects or our treasured objects, and indeed ourselves. So could this actually be true and not just fancy philosophical thinking?

Believe it or not, this is a hoover.

I think so. An now I just need to wait for science to agree with me, in totality.

 

 

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Mixing art with dignitaries

Friday 7 June was the opening of the annual undergraduate degree show at the Wolverhampton School of Art. This is now the fifth year in a row I have attended the opening, the 50th degree show at the George Wallis Building. The first time was as a prospective student, nervous and in awe; then twice as a Level 6 undergraduate, firstly with my bronze balloons, and secondly, with my repetition room; then last  year showing my black-and-white fuzzy things; and finally this year, with nothing to show but an important job to fulfil.

This year, I didn’t really get the chance to look properly at the graduating students artwork as I was too busy keeping my eye elsewhere. This is because I had been tasked with the job of escort to five important people: the Madam Mayor of Wolverhampton, Mr Consort of Wolverhampton, the Deputy Mayor of Telford and Wrekin, a councillor from Telford and Wrekin and the body guard of the regalia of the mayorship. 

What the bodyguard was protecting.

I admit that I been been very nervous about the prospect of such a responsibility. In fact, it had been on my mind all week, but the nerves really kicked in on Friday morning. However, I had accepted the offer to act as escort the weekend before the final show because it was so unexpected and an honour, and I knew it would be quite a challenge for me. I’m not naturally a people-person (if such a term exists). I’m quite introvert. I’m an observer not a talker. I can get very overwhelmed when it comes to social events. More importantly, I get lost very easily, even in a building I know well. I’m not sure why I was picked for the role. But I’ve been a school governor and vice-chair, so I’ve had to put myself in situations where I’ve had to put on the social persona to people who hold important positions, I also had to do this sort of job a lot during my time in Japan. So this was not that new to me. That didn’t make it any less scary.

When the time came and once I launched myself into my position, the reality wasn’t as daunting as my imagination had had it out to be. I had some help from someone very close to me, my partner in all respects, who came to give me moral support. I couldn’t have done it without him. He saved me a lot of angst and nerves and he helped make it a very memorable evening for all concerned. He is not connected to the School of Art but has a creative spirit and also has lots of experience of such social situations. In addition, he provided an interesting extra dynamic to the conversations we had. On a practical level, it took two of us to keep the party together (and, believe me, even with two this wasn’t easy). On an emotional level, he grounded me and allowed me to relax and go with the flow of conversation, directed by our distinguished guests. Two hours after we started, which felt like ten minutes, we parted from the dignitaries, and I felt genuinely sad that the evening was over. I will remember that night for a long time, not least for the taciturn bodyguard, who showed no emotion whatsoever, hardly spoke, but kept a corner of one eyebrow raised inquisitively at the artworks he encountered.

‘What is fine art?’ This was one of the questions I was asked by my guests. My reply: ‘How long have you got?’ 

The evening was a success I felt, and I was very moved by the emotion of the degree show, another year gone, another year of students moving on to a bright future. Madam Mayor and Mr Consort are a lovely couple and seemed to thoroughly enjoy their tour. They bumped into so many people they knew along the way and it was touching to see how well-received they were by everyone and how smoothly they interacted with the students, asking them about their work and future plans. The two Telford dignitaries, also, were genuine and down to earth, and really good company. They asked me many questions about art, such as ‘What is fine art?’ and ‘What is the difference between product design and fine art?’ They were fascinated by some of the work on display (they also were quite taken with the free nibbles). But then again, who isn’t? Free beer, free nibbles. Roll on next year. If I am asked to do it again, I won’t hesitate to say yes.

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Can you speak paint?

I’ve been doing a lot of painting recently. Despite lots of dipping into video, animation, photography and poster making over the last seven years (since I started this art journey), I always seem to bounce back to drawing and painting (or, as I have argued before, drawing with paint). I’ve been trying to work out why I can’t leave painting alone. What is it about painting that I love so much? The times when I have not been painting I have missed it with an ache. So it must be within me to do it. 

What I like to do – paint

There isn’t really any good reason to paint in the 21st century, given that it would be much quicker, and neater, to use digital technology. Of course, I don’t really believe that. But if you look at painting as a means of conveying a message, then it does seem rather archaic.

Painting isn’t just putting marks on a surface, adding colour, and depicting something. It is so much more than that. It is a means of expression. But it is also more than that. The act of painting is one element. The marks made are another. The transference of emotions from artist to canvas is a third. The fourth element is the thing that is being depicted. The final element, is a big one, and that is me, the artist. 

There are too many paintings in my studio

What does painting need in order to be a language? It needs three things: syntax, pragmatics and semantics. Syntax refers to the grammar. I think there is a sort of grammar within painting. The relation of its component parts do have a consistent relationship to the painting’s meaning. Pragmatics refers to the connection between the speaker or listener and the means of communication. This is something which painting has – the viewer is able to understand the message of the ‘speaker’ or ‘artist’ through the medium of paint. Semantics are about the literal meaning of an expression. A brush stroke can be considered to have expression, as can colour, tone, light and shade. But finally, languages also depend on nuances and tone to convey an exact meaning to the ‘listener’. That, certainly, is something which painting does well and arguably does better than a more traditional spoken language. The biggest advantage painting has over spoken languages is that it does not need translating. It speaks for itself.

Paint is a language and it is a language that I speak. So I am lucky in those terms. I find speaking with my voice quite hard. I stumble and mumble and cannot find the words often. I find writing easy. I find painting easy. I guess not everyone is fluent in every language. So, I need to stop questioning my language of painting and keep on speaking.

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Those pesky shadows – we must praise them

I’ve had many thoughts about shadows, and I have written my thoughts about shadows here recently. I’ve been thinking about shadows again today as I’ve just finished reading a tiny, yet huge (in terms of impact), book about shadows: In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki.

Tanizaki was a Japanese novelist of much talent and I knew about him before I came across this book. I had previously read one of his novels while I was living in Japan: Some Prefer Nettles which I remember as being quite beautiful and moving. Incidentally, I read a lot of Japanese fiction in Japan – some of the best books I have read were Japanese in origin.

Tanizaki died in 1965 which I think is why In Praise of Shadows is described as ‘vintage’. It might have been written a long time ago, but its sentiment is far from vintage. In Praise of Shadows is a work of non-fiction and it is about shadows, both real and metaphorical. Essentially, in it Tanizaki is urging us to look at and treasure the accepted, the mundane, the negative and, above all, the shadows. He travels through a plethora of Japanese things and discusses them as he goes.

The man and his cat

On one level you could read this book as a celebration of Japanese culture and the Japanese aesthetic over Western culture and the Western aesthetic. On another, and on the level I read it, you could see this book as a celebration of the still-life, the worn out, the used, the touched and the taken for granted. It is a book about things and places. It doesn’t actually matter whether those things and places are of Japanese origin or not. It is how we look at them that is important to Tanizaki.

My favourite passage is near the beginning, which is a description of the poetic beauty of the Japanese toilet. We all sit in the toilet and ponder, but we never think to notice it or to consider it. Why not? We should. It is a place of sanctuary from the rest of the world. It is a place where we can be calm and think.

His descriptions of how Japanese naturally feel the need to retain the patina on their  resonated with me. He argues that in the Western world we loathe a thing’s patina and we polish it off, so that the thing appears ‘as it originally was’ rather than ‘as it is now’. In the West, we want to still time, we want to preserve. In Japan, they worship time and dislike preservation. Time can’t be stopped, they believe, so why would you want to? Time is part of the history of the object. We want to eradicate it. They accept it. I’m with the Japanese on this one.

As an artist of objects I look at the patina of things. I love the idea of the ‘trace’ on an object, I always have. I cherish the shine of an object’s grime and I want to sense the lives that has touched it. So for this reason, this book spoke to me.

Then after finishing the book, I read the afterword and this sentence also struck a chord with me but for a different reason: ‘He [Tanizaki] has the perverse habit of shifting without warning from a tone of high seriousness to something near facetiousness’. The writer of the afterword is assuming that the ‘Western’ reader would find this frustrating, as they would the ‘haphazard style’ of Tanizaki.  I took umbridge to this assumption. I disagree, quite strongly. I feel a sort of kinship with Tanizaki’s style of writing, for my writings, for what they are worth, are quite similar. I meander from thought to thought and idea to idea. It is just how it comes. Take this blog, for example. I just want to write about this book. I didn’t know what was going to come out of my fingers. I don’t feel the need to edit it now as I re-read it. It works well enough as it is.

The same philosophy applies with my art. I am constantly wondering around, off on tangents, following thoughts and ideas, going on new journeys. I am sure it is the way I will always be. Perhaps this is the Japanese way and maybe I was influenced by my two years there, and all the books I read during my non-working hours (I read a lot). But whatever the answer is, shadows rock, they really do. Go forth, people, and consider the shadows. Toilet too. Go and ponder.

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Drawing an MP – without meaning to

Today, I travelled to my studio for one reason and one reason only: for a tutorial with my personal tutor. We were long overdue a catch up and she’d just read the latest (perhaps eleventh, maybe twelfth) incarnation of my thesis so she needed to give me feedback on whether it was finally going in the right direction or still travelling off on its own blissful tangent. I also needed to talk to her about where I am at with my art practice. Before and after the tutorial, which was scheduled for 1pm, I was just going to work, potter, think and blog as usual.

However, the plan changed thanks to a chance encounter in the lift on the way up to my studio. Travelling up to the sixth floor with my coffee in one hand, my phone in the other, my head elsewhere, I was joined by another of the fine art tutors. He asked me how I was. I replied in the positive. We were making conversation, as one does. He then told me that he was travelling in the lift to attend a morning-long session with a bunch of interested students in drawing and photographing the MP for Wolverhampton, Eleanor Smith. He asked if I’d care to join them. 

Serendipity plays a large part in my life and certainly is the mother of luck in my life. I thought for a few seconds about his invitation, remembering all the urgent emails I had planned to reply to, and then replied with ‘yeah, why the hell not?’ So that is what I did.

I hadn’t expected to spend the day drawing an MP, but that is exactly what I did do and enjoy it, I did, immensely. I had been aware of this competition to produce a portrait of the MP for Wolverhampton which could result in the chance to exhibit at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery but I had dismissed it as being something I didn’t have time to do. I had been vaguely aware of a session to draw Eleanor Smith in preparation for the competition, which I thought was soon. Then, I had this chance meeting. Then, I started considering the prospect. Then, I drew and photographed Eleanor and, more importantly, listened to her. Then, I had an idea. I decided that I could enter. I wanted to enter. I would enter.

Eleanor Smith’s feet

So, I have added a new project to my already heavy cart full of projects but that is how I operate at best. As my old friend Andy said recently when he asked me to paint the library at Wolverhampton: if you want something to be done, ask a busy person.

As for my tutorial – that went well too. The thesis is apparently not too bad. She actually said she enjoyed reading it. Woohoo. Winner! I also came up with an idea for the final show at the Walsall Art Gallery while chatting with her. Or, maybe. We’ll see. It might have some legs, a couple of legs perhaps.

So as I gallop towards the final furlong of my MA on the aforementioned legs, I feel that I might even be able to gallop happy with my head held reasonably high, and on the side, create a portrait of the MP for Wolverhampton. We’ll see. Watch this space.

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What the strange wooden, painted things are

I’m not sure I know the answer to the question ‘what are those strange wooden paintings?’. I’m referring to the strange wooden paintings filling up in my kitchen. However, I can explain from whence they came, in terms of the concept and the idea.

This is an inhaler

A few weeks ago, I asked friends to give me a ‘can’t live without object’ and post a picture of said object on social media. They responded with many things. I then drew these objects in virtual reality. This was a massive challenge as an isolated activity. The process of doing this threw up lots of questions: about the nature of the ‘thing’, about the difference between real and virtual, about the nature of drawing and also about the role of the artist. 

After that, I decided to recreate the virtual reality paintings in oil on wood, bringing them back to the ‘real world’ so to speak. So that is what I did. I created a series of odd, semi-abstract drawing / paintings of just-about-recognisable ‘things’. These were interesting, albeit a little odd.

Then stuck about where to go next, I had a dream. I dreamt that I should recreate an element of the sensation of the virtual reality drawing experience by paintings the objects again, this time in three dimensions, of sorts, to give the feel of space as well as time and form. So that is what I have been doing. 

The next day, after my dream, I trotted off to B&Q and bought some interesting bits of wood. I painted them black, stuck them together and started painting on them in the style of virtual reality drawing, even more abstract versions of a selection of the original ‘can’t live without’ objects. These creations, the ones I have completed to date, do not resemble the objects at all now. I don’t believe that someone could look at one of these paintings and say ‘oh, that’s obviously a shoe’ or ‘it is definitely a mug of tea’ which they could do with the flat paintings, but I hope they will see something. I guess it doesn’t matter too much what they see, so long as they see a ‘thing’ and have an experience. This ‘thing’ might be just, on a superficial level, an abstract painting in three-dimensions. It might be a recognisable shape. It might be a thing they feel exists in time and space, as well as form. It might even be a ‘shoe’ or a ‘mug’. Who knows?

A close up of a shoe

I find the concept behind these paintings interesting but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be interesting to people who see them, people who probably won’t know about the concept. I will just have to wait and see.

Another close up – I think this is a turtle

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When the obsession grips

I can go months without creating anything, or even something, of merit or otherwise. This is a topic which I have discussed here before. I find these periods of inactivity and numbness deeply troubling and upsetting. I know they are not unique to me but they still concern me deeply at the time. However, like bouts of mental unwellness, when stuck in that zone it seems to be the only way. The brain is biased. It is so in art too. These ’bouts’ are never in fact the only way, it just feels that they are when you are in them. For I can also, equally, become very easily and very frantically obsessed with creating ‘anything’ and often even ‘something’. During these times I will easily forget how I felt during the sludgy periods of inactivity.

As I was finishing my five-year long road to a BA in fine art, my obsession became doodling on a plinth. This followed a period of extreme doubt and inactivity (these moods travel in waves). At the time of this particular obsession, I didn’t count how many hours I spent doodling what was in my mind out on my plinth (which, incidentally, turned into two plinths) but I fear it was rather a lot. I eventually took sides (of the second plinth) home to draw on as I couldn’t cope with not being able to draw when the mood struck me. I would wake at 6am to draw. I drew and drew and drew. I went through a lot of black fine liner pens. I sometimes took the plinth (or a random side of the plinth) to bed so I could draw late into the night or first thing in the morning. I doodled at every opportunity I had. I was obsessed. I loved it. It was my drug. I was lost in it. This is a good type of lost.

Currently, now as I trundle along towards graduating with an MA (I hope), I appear to be obsessed and lost again. This time, rather than drawing my mind on wood, I am frantically  creating weird, semi-three-dimensional, semi-abstract, semi-odd paintings / sculptures. The idea for these came to me in a dream. I don’t often act on ‘idea dreams’ as they frequently make little sense in daylight but I was desperate to do something rather than nothing so this time I did act on my dream. And as a result, my kitchen has turned into a  Warholian factory (with just me as the maker).

The kitchen floor

I am lucky that my children are currently being tolerant of the state of the kitchen (perhaps because this has happened on and off during their childhood). It is dominated by brushes, paint, pots, paper, wood and amazon envelopes-as-pallets. The food takes second place. I love it. I love that my life has become this way again, for however long. I can’t stop painting. It feels amazing. They are coping very well with me.

Big pile of wood

I don’t know whether this latest ‘idea’ for a body of work has any merit. I usually care about that quite a lot. However, as with my repetition plinths, I find myself not caring that much. I am getting something out of this process even if the result isn’t spectacular (and who knows, maybe it will be something). I am firmly out of my comfort zone (abstract art), I am enjoying the thrill of the obsession (who doesn’t enjoy that?) and the thrill of the new (again, what’s not to love about that?).

Work in progress

So I will keep going, creating these unusual objects and filling the kitchen with crap. My creations are still-lifes, of sorts, so although I am out of my usual ‘zone’ of realism, they are still true to me. I think I need to write a blog explaining these artworks more fully. Perhaps I will do that tomorrow. But for now, I must return to my brushes. It is not yet bed time and I have some creativity in me that needs to come out.  My fingers are itching.

Close up of a work in progress

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My studio space is my mind

As I draw towards the end of my MA (I have six months left but it feels as if the end is looming), this week I have been sitting and looking at my studio space which I have created over the last two years.  It started off as blank white walls, and now it is a jumble of stuff, words, images, things, ideas and thoughts (just like my mind). A lot of the time over that period in my life I feel as if I have mostly been sitting on my chair, on my laptop tap-tapping away at random things, expressing odd thoughts, adding bits and pieces to my thesis or writing this blog. Yet, I must have been creating work at some point as my studio space (my little corner on the sixth floor of the art building) is packed with piles of work, printed images, bits of paper, words, books, coffee cups, stacks and things. There sits two years worth of stuff, two years worth of thinking, of playing, of making and of writing. It is all there. Can I hand in my studio as my final piece? I should be able to. If only it were that easy.

Piles of paintings

The first thoughts I had about ‘arty farty bollocks’

Facebook conversations and random photos

More random images and wisdom from Michael Caine

Facebook conversation explosion

More Facebook chatting

Pile of books

Pile of paintings

 

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