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Friday, 28 September 2012

Feel it don't think it.

this is not a horizon, 'Drawing Now' Linchpin Gallery, Eastbourne from October 6th -26th 

Disconnect shell collage 1
Drawing is a language we should all practise. If you do it often enough it becomes a natural extension of you. Distance yourself from ideas that drawing should be this or that. Drawing is mark making, expression, thought.

If I apply this same freedom to other areas in my life I can get a better sense of myself unconstrained by what other people or groups think. Without judgement. This in term allows for a stronger integrity and truth.

My disconnect series continues with work based on reflecting a state of mind, a psychological self portrait. Investigating my history, my reaction to influences in my life such as faith, family, culture, education and location. Black graphite is something I strongly identify with and use a lot. I am using a combination of  representative forms such as triangles and landscape as a structure for thoughts, feelings and emotions.

It feels clumsy and shaky but I think drawing gets more interesting the more vulnerable I feel, I often feel very nervous while I'm drawing. As I'm doing it though, strangely, there is a transferral of confidence and strength. As if another force is at work and that is my logic letting go and instinct becoming dominant I have to feel it not think it.

Oddly enough articulating this phenomena involves thinking not feeling it. Which lies at the heart of writing an artists statement. My conclusion is that I should see writing as drawing and get practising.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Juddering through my internal terrain

Internal terrain #1 

Yesterday I went to a very interesting talk by artist duo Annabel Tilley and Rosalind Davis at the De La Warr Pavilion. 
The A to Z of surviving as an artist. 
Annabel and Rosalind are founders of ZAP or 


What came across was passion, drive and 'can do' attitude. This duo is dynamic and entertaining Rosalind and Annabel seamlessly tore through the alphabet of do's and don'ts a lot of which were good old common sense, but who doesn't need a bucket full of that tipped over their heads now and again? It never ceases to amaze me how I can be thinking of doing something but just never really actually DO it. So I picked up a few salient points.

Be ambitious and audacious! This is strong stuff, sometimes I feel very ambitious and strangely guarded at the same time. But once broken into small enough chunks most things become reachable so I aim to grow into these characteristics and be more myself.  
Research doesn't just mean reading. It also includes (and thank goodness for those of us bad at and easily bored with reading web based text) visiting, talking, tweeting and building relationships face to face. 
So yay! I CAN do that after all. 

Set aside 10 mins each day to check over a few relevant blogs rather than try and read them all and then instantly forget everything.

Being an artist is a job like any other, you need to put in the hours and work hard at it. This is common sense GOLD. I reckon there are several other people out there like me who are still struggling with the inherited notion that it's a vocation and something to do in between other things ....but if we don't take ourselves seriously and develop strategies for all the blocks and hurdles that we encounter then who will?

Following that little revelation is the small matter of choice. I have a choice (ta da!) and need to practise using that right and become skilled at communicating it well, focussing my choices to make the most of opportunities for my artistic career. 

The 5 P's 
Persevere - keep on keeping on. 
Plan - research and use direct experiences 
Pick wisely - be aware of choices and agendas
Pernickety - agree to some things not everything and get details right. 
Posterity - what am I laying down for the future and how will that future be nurtured?

The reality is I am not emerging as an artist. I am juddering on as an artist....forwards a bit and then stopping before something spurs me on again. Does that resonate with you? 

I my next post: more of my latest judderings and some further explanation of the internal terrain series.