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…..
The question would always be, why are you making art? What’s the particular goal, and why this particular thing. Naturally, we have our reasons. We have our motivations. We have our goals.
whar I often find is, that as I make an artwork I am thinking to myself, this is the best thing I have ever done… now that May or may not last, minutes, seconds, days, forever. But, at that moment, as that creeps into your head, that’s the result… it’s nor about the subject, the technique, the awesomeness of ones skill…. it’s all about the intention…. that moment is when, you realise, that what you intended to do, ia being realised to the best of your current ability…. and it is to be savoured.
I don’t know a lot of painter techniques, nor the tricks of the trade.. I don’t have that style of education, so I’ve often found myself inventing them myself, whilst secretly acknowledging that I’m probably going over previously trodden ground… but I enjoy often finding, by accident, something that works for me…
Lately I’ve found myself not cleaning a brush fully between colour changes, so as to let the original colour interrupt and interfere. This delivers equal measures of fun and frustration, but overall it’s interesting.
I suppose all this lark has been done, from sfumato to action painting, but sure fuck it, it brings me joy, and is all part of the journey… it may not be exacting, but at the end of the process it brings me results that I feel I set put to achieve. it’s just like taking different routes for the same journey, just for the sheer avoidance of routine…..
I don’t know what I know about art… or perhaps I cant quantify it. Its one of those things where you which you had a definitive grasp, so when people start to quiz you would, thus, have definitive answers. I suppose, its because, once your recognised as an artist, there is a certain expectation of knowledge…. but, you see, I’m not art educated, not really. So I constantly find out that there is something I don’t fully understand…. but the question is, is that important?
It leads me to the whole “my 5 year old could do that” shtick… now we all know this to be utter bollocks almost exclusively (well there’s one thing I know), but that’s an area to consider about art knowledge. I think, once you’ve a certain level of understanding about what the creative process entails, then you understand why the aforementioned nipper can’t create a Pollock or Mondrian…
So that’s the thing, I don’t know what I know, but I definitely know something, and I’d urge everyone to encourage those around them to gain some art knowledge… firstly so that they may better appreciate the aesthetics of the simplicity of the world around them, secondly so they can realise that, beautiful as it is, the crayon fish on the fridge is not an Emin and finally, so they can start the 5yr old on the path, to perhaps, being able to do ‘that’ in their own style, in some hopeful future.
Art is often horrible, a frustrating nightmare of bad images and
unresolved ideas… and that’s only for the artist. So you sit staring at blank spaces, or half realised images, messes of paint and ink, lost.
And that’s the thing, a swirl of loss and sadness and ugly erotica, or blurs of ideas and malfunctioning hand-to-eye…..
So what do you do? force yourself to work? can you?
Keep working, that’s all, keep working, try to avoid the traps, avoid trying to follow the cliches…. move away from the idea, but not the work, be oblique, experiment, and ultimately be patient…. it will all come together soon, and the results will be worth the convolution.