I was a mess, my studio a crash site, gesso coating my hands, and paint all over me, I hadn’t realised quite how much I like to physically get down and dirty with the materials, because I love smearing and rubbing in with my fingers. My studio is trashed, not an inch of space to put anything anywhere. I start a piece of work with a reasonably tidy space, and then just go hell for leather, and because I use such a variety of stuff, materials, implements brushes etc, very quickly I have organised chaos. I have three panels in progress at the moment, all at various stages, so that when I am waiting for drying and setting time I can work on another piece, it also allows me to stand back from work to view with fresh eyes. Well, on reflection, there is no room to stand back!
I am finding that a lot of artists and makers are bemoaning not being able to get the materials that they have previously used. In my case it applies to raw pigments, and varnish, and so age old techniques that were part of an artists palette can no longer be sourced. I know that we have to live in the world as it is today, but we are also losing something valuable. Paint used to be made up using real raw pigments, like for example Lapis lazuli, mix them with binders and fillers themselves and create their own paint, and I used to be able to buy all the materials I needed from artists supply stores, but now the word I fear most is discontinued! My most recent bereavement is polyurethane varnish, I could scream at the loss of it, apparently regulations are not allowing the old recipe because of particulates, I have rung manufacturers and they agree that there are problems with the new recipe, but cannot help me with the problems I have now. Aaaaaaaah!
My process requires a recipe using earth pigment, which I have to buy from Germany, and a varnish that is no longer made, the image is part of a layering process I have that requires build up of multiple layers. If anyone has old stock of polyurethane varnish I would be interested in taking it off your hands, seriously.
I regard my works as landscape, I think of my work as conceptual, contemporary, abstracted, post modern,………
I could go on and on and on……. So how do you choose your box?, or do you just order a job lot from the wholesalers and do them all? I have a problem with that though , as there are not enough days, weeks, months, years! I look at an Earthscape, which is what I called them in one exhibition, but I also think they are equally metaphors for emotions as well, so am I saying that these images are open to interpretation? of course! Of course they are, so back to my dilemma, are they landscapes? conceptual…………oh oh, groundhog day!
This is a drawing of sunlight pouring through a chasm, but is it hope? or despair, is your glass half full or half empty?
I’m back working on new work, back in the shed and loving being there! I am in the zone, and everywhere there is chaos, noise, and mess. I’ve mixed up my gesso, and panel primed and good to go. I have just re-worked a panel and will put up an image. I usually work on several panels at the same time, as their is a lot of drying and process time to factor in, so I can be finishing off one panel, be in the middle of another, and just drawing out another. The good point of working like this is that it gives your eyes a rest from constantly looking at one thing, and refreshes them.
Sketch for new panel, inspired by wave patterns and formations both on land and in the sea. So much of my work encompasses change from one, to another, from light to dark, and because of my technique using relief, gilding and distressing, the work incorporates a changing light and so a time change dimension. I hope to shortly put on website a time lapse video to show exactly this. I have resorted to prep work that can be done in the warmth of the house till I can heat up my studio/shed.
I have not as yet set foot in my studio and I am beginning to feel the itch to get cracking. All work so far has centered around admin, and I am hopeful that this afternoon will see me begin by doing preliminary sketches for new work.
As soon as I get anything down I will post images. Albert Camus, is an inspiration, and I would like to share this with you, he believed that instead of despising difficulty, we should embrace it, as it helps the mind to grow. That old chestnut I know, that adversity inspires creativity, but it’s a new year, lets just do it.
Very sad to hear about David Bowie’s sad death, an inspiration for us all. What a human!
Happy New Year everyone, Hope you all had a great holiday, I know I did, which makes back to work a bit of a reality check. I start by making copious to do lists, but no resolutions, just, a get on with it attitude. Very often I am told how lucky I am to be an artist, people imagine that you spend most of your time in a creative Valhalla, but let me burst that bubble immediately, I adore the time I can just get on with my work, BUT, I also have to be an administrator, publicist, materials buyer, net worker………………………………………..it goes on, and so for the next two weeks at least that is what I will be doing. I wish you all a peaceful and happy new year.
So, the shed/studio was locked up for the night, and the cat went missing!!!!!!!!! The result was a lot of very delicate porcelain paper clay pieces drying on the window ledge were moved by said cat to make way for her night time sojourn until a morning rescue was effected. She was completely unmoved by her mayhem and was extremely hungry after her late night shift in the shed.
I intend to organise an “At Home”, or “Open Studio”, for the middle of November, so I have a lot of planning to do.
I find I need to have dead lines, and this will be good motivation for me to clear out the decks, offer some bargains and special deals. Iv’e picked out the weekend commencing Friday 13th Nov and finishing on Sun 15th, obviously lots of stuff to work out yet, I’ll keep y’ll posted.