If I haven't got lots on I get nagging feelings of unease, but I know deep down it's all ego based unease so I do my best to not allow it to all consume, although it does sometimes take hold.
When I'm trying to reflect on what it is I want to be actually doing, my ego part of me wants to have loads to tell people about on Facebook and Twitter and to blog about! My blog hasn't been updated for a while and so my mind starts to think 'will people think I'm not doing anything? Will people think I'm not making art?'. And I know, I doubt anyone is even wondering what I am doing...just me!
And no I'm not writing this blog so I have something to say although I realise that may be how it now looks, but because I actually find this part of the process as important as any other event or piece of work I may feel the need to blog about.
I recently came to a fork in the road with my ideas and it's always tough when I get there,
because I have to be still, because I have to not paint and actually figure out what it is I now want to make work about. And that doesn't always come easily to me. In fact if I'm in the throws of self doubt or self questioning then most ideas I get are thrown out of the window anyway...so it's one of those times that has to be ridden out.
This break in my work also coincided with a tutorial I had with painter Graham Crowley at the ZAP studios in New Cross. It was an incredible experience and he totally got it, before I had even said it he said he could tell I was at a turning point and to stick with it and go with my intuition. Graham had lots of insight and knowledge to share and also some really good advice which was to slow down, to look at the subversive as opposed to the didactic, to work on the appearance of the content. These were the exact elements I was wanting to bring into my work but had no idea how! It was as though he had read my mind.
I also have made a point of chatting to and asking other artists if they too take time out, to reflect, to re-energise and to become inspired again and every single person I spoke to said yes. One artist who is doing so well that he's even had to take a year out from doing his MA at the RCA due to being so busy said that he will make a point to take time out, sometimes months to go surfing, bee keeping or whatever else it is that also feeds your soul aside from art.
I think it's important to resist being fearful of taking time out, to stop putting my energy into self promotion, exhibitions, networking and so on but to actually just be me, and be an artist in progress.
So here is a snippet of the work of an 'artist in progress' (what other kind is there?). This piece is called 'Study for Dove With a Gnarled Foot' and is one of the first free hand paintings I have done in years, so I feel nervous even showing it here. I'm not going to leave my regular technique behind but I do need to branch out, to allow more ideas to be possible I've got to extend my abilities. I've also signed up for a Life Painting course at City Lit so I can really try and get to grips with other painting techniques.
|Study For Dove With a Gnarled Foot|
I have been really busy with other new ventures such as Vintage Trudy which I set up with my mum and is based on illustrations by my nan dated 1951/52 so please do check that out. And I will be back here again soon hopefully to tell you about some new pieces of work, some new shows and new arty ventures...but until then I'll have to make do with being a bit quiet.
So happy art making, researching, exhibiting, visiting exhibitions or whatever else it is you may be in the midst of yourself at the moment. And if like me you are revising, going back to the drawing board see you soon with our new works I hope! Xxx