I realised at a certain point on certain works that I was looking at the painting from the wrong perspective… thinking, realising…. there is a goal,, that’s to see when a painting Is finished, gather than looking finished… and that, oddly, when you consider it should be obvious, was a wee bit of a revelation. So now, I’m reviewing, re-viewing, reconsidering what I am looking at at any given moment and hoping that this new clarity will lead me somewhere interesting……
As I’ve said, I’ve been looking at changing things in my art practice. It really felt important, and necessary…. I’d often gotten to a point where I feared I’d just run around in circles, or indeed, get bored with what I was doing or just feel that it wasn’t exciting enough… just one of those things, when you’re sitting somewhere, looking at or merely thinking about what’s happening, and you just think…. this is shite and pointless… so then it’s time to make some sort change…, I kinda feel, if you’re doing the same thing a few years down the road, then you’re doing nothing….
So I hit a landmark birthday, I felt it, it didn’t slip by, it was like a big old train steaming through… I looked out of its window, and I desired that fresh view. This was great, I actually felt that it was a good time to change, to reevaluate…
So I decided, on one hand and it kind of happened on the other, but change was engendered. I didn’t want to keep approaching my practice in the same way, I wanted to reexamine…. everything about how I was painting, drawing, printing, I wanted to look at, and not waste time with it…. and this was very interesting, because it made perfect sense to me.
I’ve been peeling back, chipping away, scrubbing ideas and, when it comes down to it, trying to make everything new and fresh, challenging myself, a new approach, and to be honest, it’s great, and fun, and finally, today, I got stuck into some new work, and it’s joyous…..
It’s fun, sometimes, to consider the secrets paintings and their subjects contain. I enjoy it, even with my own pieces… to think, to consider, what might be going on.
This idea, is part of the dialog between artist and audience, an invitation for consideration….
I sometimes find, that perhaps unintentionally, I have presented an image with a degree of ambiguity or indeed a sense that even I, as the artist, may be unsure… and that’s okay, because, I do feel that, as part of the conversation, the viewer must be comfortable with their own ideas and/or interptritation, rather than just have the work dictate too distinctly..
When a member of the audience for Re:Collect wrote that looking at my works was like looking at themselves, I truly felt it had achieved much more than I could have hoped… and that’s the thing, artists must allow the viewer in through that crack in the door, and when they do, they allow a little more light to shine on the work…..
New work in 2017, thinking about people’s ideas for the future.. the monsters have pulled off their masks and are walking openly amongst us, there is new ugliness of heart and spirit…. the future is in danger of being fucked…. they will leave you with nothing… Your Children Will Witness This.
Well we survived 2016, the loss of our icons, the rise of the cult of men-babies, the new racism and re-normalisation of ignorance, misogyny and racism…. it was indeed a shit year, full of shit things, so we kind of need to overcome.., and as artists, we often feel a responsibility to say/do something, to think our way around these horrors.
So now, back to the easel and the colours… trying to embrace the year and the possibilities of a new year. without getting wrapped up in the negativity… so we just have to work, think, consider, create, and resist.
As an artist, I always look forward to new work, to something new emerging and that is the positivity that an artist always carry forward. And you always hope that the negativity of the current world doesn’t pollute anything you do, and to a certain extent you make better art, and perhaps, through this, shine a little more light back on the world.
Artists often have issues getting work completed… can be so many reasons, creative blocks, issues with materials, fatigue, illness. And this is it, I’m here, the studio is down the hall, I’m tired and in pain/discomfort, it’s difficult to apply or concentrate and yes that’s the frustration..
Normally I’d circumvent these issues, but just today, it feels like I lack the required concentration and fear that id be rushing or making unnecessary errors due to this..
So for today, I sit back, contemplate the possibilities, and hope that tomorrow or later I’ll get in there and get stuck into the current, almost finished painting.
There are new meds and new looks at the sarcoidosis, X Ray’s and scans done and to do, but at the moment, the related arthritis and tendinitis are just pissing me off…. but I will channel this frustration and see beyond…..
Yeah, it’s been a right old shit of a year on a lot of levels…. we lost all our favourite singers (almost) a lot of familiar faces off our TVs, and, unfortunately, in my case, recently, some relatives, old and youngish… it also rolled over to the 15th anniversary of my sister passing, oh, I’ve just spent a month being barely able to walk because of the sarcoidosis… but a dose of steroids seems to be beating that down… so here’s hoping on that front.
The thing is that all this badness is not feeding artwork, it’s hard to concentrate when you’re in pain, so with all that in mind, I’m hoping that 2017 will run along a bit more smoothly on so many fronts… I am still doing a bit of painting and writing, but just not enough focus to keep going at it consistently… I just want to get my head down and be able to work… not too much to ask….
So farewell Bowie and Leonard and Prince, rest in piece Anne and Aunt Bridie, and begone sarcoidosis…