So, it marches forward, tick tock, it’s interesting…. I’ve looked at what I needed to change, to do better, to stop, to start, this year, and slowly I’m starting to recognise what works and what needs renewing…. some of the painting and drawing techniques I was using, and considered redundant, now seem quite important, other stuff I hoped to do now seems unnecessary.
I got back to print a little recently, and some of my older work seems relevant and fresh…
so I’m stirring the pot and keeping the flavours fresh, but not too much new spice….
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.
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……
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.
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….