I hurt my back again , or rather to be more specific it would be easier to say my back is hurting, it’s the injury, it’s always there, and right now it’s right here, chipping away.So I’ll stand down in the studio and wonder if I can channel the discomfort into what I’m trying to do, into the changes I’m trying to make, to not just indulge my own cliches but the express the core of what I’m trying to put into my work. I’m not even sure if the discomfort of this spinal injury is something that can really express itself through art or indeed whether it should all be indulged.
But then, on consideration it has always there, informing my practice in less obvious ways, sometimes slowing me down or stopping me, sometimes ensuring that I can’t work in the style or at the pace that I would desire, and sometimes it’s even right there on the canvas. So, just like the sarcoidosis, or dreary days or petty annoyances it is it important part of what I am and therefore an important part of what I do.
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…..
You can be a bit static, looping, redoing, keeping going but reverting back… getting tired and being unsure… I painted, repainted, erased, went back… and just as you have that sense that nothing is gonna work out, you get lucky..
The painting was thick, heavy and weary, yet, in a moment, I clicked with it, and with sly delight I felt a joy and comfort, the colours spread out evenly, and it felt easy to finish…
It was countless dragging hours and a quick flourish… and now, it’s a burst of fresh energy which should sustain me through a few more works….
So, I wake up this morning and in in pain, tensonitis in the Achilles… it permitting and frustrating… it’s a secondary symptom of my Sarcoidosis… discomfort, need some painkillers pronto.
The sarcoidosis is a pain in it’s own rights, attacking my lungs, I have 50-60% oxygen absorption of each breath… get tired easy, sleep a lot, weak and weary??? everything is twice as hard, and making art involves ensuring not of the chemicals involved are liable to irritate my breathing.
Some of my art has hints and reminders, some of the imagery refers to my condition…. it seeps in, when you’re sitting in front of a artwork listless and unfocused… you can get angry, annoyed with your own inability..
I have a spinal injury too, I bend down to pick up a brush I dropped, it’s a strain to straighten back up, I get a head rush and start to cough… I groan like a weightlifting pensioner… I get back to the art… fuck it, I’ll keep going, there is no other way.
Good art is an attempt to lie. It’s not what it seems, nor appears. It’s a lie to your eyes, makes you think you’re seeing something that’s not there. It’s a necessary lie, to guide you to a more significant truth. Perhaps it’s misdirection, but the intention is to fool you into thinking…..
The light that bounces off of an artwork, filtered and diffused, is a conduit for this misdirection…. you are looking at surfaces, at shapes and colour tones, and the lie guides you in… and you will see that lie until the reality is revealed….. it’s more than pigment and sand and form, it’s more than the image, the object…
It tells you the simple lie: I am something to look at!
It leads you to a truth: I am something to think about!
Art is too important to a society to simply be there to window dress it, to solely be a source of beauty…. art is the collective consciousness, the Holy Ghost, the electricity that kicks the atoms, it is the moment when the mind of the artist pokes that of the viewer and says, I am not what I seem, come closer and look into your own imagination ….
It may have been habitual to paint and create with a bit of music on he go, but for a while now I find I’m working in silence. When I’m painting, and I feel it’s an expression of a creative impulse, the presence of music seems to interfere, almost as if another’s creativity if bleeding in… everything from tempo to lyrical content seems to influence the way I work, so rather than being a gentle, wholesome place, the music makes the studio confusing and distracting….. it takes away the pure focus I find myself needing these days…. so for the most part, I am finding myself, more and more, in relative quiet, totally immersed in the work, with the hope that this facilitates purity if vision.
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.
Recently, amongst various things, I’ve been working on some pieces which are loosely influenced by the Lazarus Taxa…
In paleontology, a Lazarus taxon (plural taxa) is a taxon that disappears for one or more periods from the fossil record, only to appear again later. The term refers to the story in the Christian biblical Gospel of John, in which Jesus Christ raised Lazarus from the dead.
I had a fascination with these since I was a kid, specifically the Coelacanth, and I also like the connotation of their nomenclature and the sly humour if it…. Whilst if hasn’t always been apparent in the past, I do sometimes have little elements of fun hiding in so e of the darker corners of my work….
Whilst, this is not the sole thread of thought within the works, or indeed the sole influence, I am enjoying finding elements and applying them as part of an overall idea of reemergence, and in a lot of ways recovery
I’ve snapped some of these works on my phone, and stuck them below…..