I am now within spitting distance of finishing my foundation degree at SCAT. It feels quite peculiar to be here after nearly three years. Making art, and documenting my making of art, have been in my life for so long. I have a final exhibition in four days and I’m currently in the process of finalizing the arrangements for that. I’m fortunate in that I’m in a position in which all the art work has been completed. I’ve hopefully sufficiently planned for the hanging and displaying of the artwork. I think everything is ready. I need to buy ‘nibbles’ for the Private View and decide what to wear but those are the fun jobs. I’ve publicized the exhibition to the best of my abilities, including lots of tweeting, facebooking, walking around Shrewsbury with posters and nagging friends to pass the word. So now I’m starting to reflect. I’ve made sure I have nails, a drill, a projector and a personal statement ready and now I can think back.
In my reflections on progress for this final assessment and the three years at SCAT which I’ve embarked on over the past few days, I have been reading back over my art journal since November. The one thing that struck me more than anything else is how much time and effort I have spent researching for this final project and how relatively little time I have spent drawing, painting, videoing and taking photographs, or, in other words, making art. So much of my journal is about reading, more reading, snippets from magazine articles, sentences from book chapters, odd quotes, odd thoughts, planning, thinking; the maybes and ifs. Not much of my journal is about drawing.
So is this what I, if I am to become a real artist, am destined to do? Am I destined to become an experimenter, inventor and researcher first and foremost and someone who draws second?
This is not a depressing thought. I like thinking and writing. I like researching. I enjoy brain storming and coming up with ideas. I fear that the ideas will not come but I enjoy the process of letting them come. They usually do come. Of course I enjoy painting, videoing and drawing too but I love the fact that now, by the time I get to this point, I’ve spent a long time mentally planning. Before I started my course at SCAT, I just painted things that interested me. Now, I plan, read, think, delve, sit in cafes and make notes.
I’ll never go back.