A2, acrylic ink.
I have so far had a productive morning. I’ve made raspberry pancakes, and, more importantly, finally got around to sending my installation proposal to lots of Cardiff galleries… fingers crossed someone out there will be as excited about the idea as I am. Did I tell you about it? I think I did. But have an extract from my official proposal!
I have realised that in sketchbooks I am being entirely open and honest with myself, because when the pages were written I knew that they would have no audience. Nothing is censored, nothing is toned down. Whilst I was so worried about being contrived and fake within my ‘real’ work, I had an epiphany moment. I want to exhibit a sketchbook. Take something intimately private and show it to an audience. I want to tear out the pages from one of my recent sketchbooks, and nail them to a wall in perfect, neat rows, in chronological order. There will be 110 A6 pages, each attached to a wall with a single little nail.
So all I need is a wall. Hmm.
6 of the 110 pages… some are blank, some are crossed out, some make no sense, and some are horrible! But they shall all go up. It is a prospect that scares me somewhat. So I really want to make myself do it.
Similar to camping last week. Jumping off of cliffs into the sea with my dad and my little sister. It aint natural to throw yourself off of a rocky ledge 20ft above deep, cold, turquoise water. It’s high enough to feel yourself falling. But you make yourself do it, and it IS terrifying, and it is wonderful. It’s a bit like that feeling. That anticipation and adrenaline. I like that feeling. I love the sea.
Just realised what that noise was. There seems to be a torrential downpour outside my window. Fuck off rain. My coffee’s gone cold.
Some dodgy scans of some decent sketchbook pages from the last couple of weeks. All in biro, which I like very much. My illustration tutor in uni was so anti-biro, I have no idea why….. I am currently thinking about moving to London. And I wish I could make my mind up. I think I may just have to do it! Apart for that massive, life-changing decision, not much exciting happening. I have wasted many days theoretical London house-hunting on rightmove.com, and I have a big pile of unfinished textile work, but all I want to do is draw and paint. Almost finished a watercolour commission I’m working on. I want to spend all my time making art and absolutely no time with admin and applications and scanning and resizing and photographing and emailing and blah blah blah.
But it was ridiculously sunny today and I love the sun. More than you do. And I have tomorrow off work and am going to the beach with my little sisters and my picnic basket and I shall swim in the sea. I love the sea more than the sun. It’ll fix everything. Nothing matters.
“For your touch there are no words, I fly with high hopes and the birds, and I know there’s nothing better ‘cos I’m smiling.”
Or something of that ilk. I’m not as grumpy as I sound, promise.
In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.
Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.
A favourite poem that keeps coming back to me. Dylan Thomas is wonderful. Sweetdreams x
My grand sketchbook installation exhibition plan isn’t going to work. You know know ‘the wall I bought’? The wall I could do what I wanted with? Well I can’t. I can’t hammer anything into it. You can do what you want, as long as it happily lives in a frame. I do not want to be making work that lives in a frame. That is not what I want to do. So the gallery have offered to give me a refund, and I think I shall take them up on it. Sigh. Shall just have to find somewhere else to exhibit the piece.
Haven’t been oh-so-happy lately, which does seem to happen from time to time. So making work, and indeed washing up and brushing my hair, have been a little tricky. But things have started to look a bit brighter, and I am off to my friends open mic thing tomorrow, and there shall be life drawing on Thursday, and the boyfriend is coming here on Friday, and I have another GRAND PLAN to keep me occupied… May let you in on it one day! Exciting, innit. Everything shall be fine.
Oh and you should all watch True Love on iPlayer. Like, seriously. It’s good. David Tennant was wonderful. Harsh, realistic ‘love’ stories. It’s not all fairy tales.
I have sent off my submission for the John Gingell Award to the nice people at g39……meep. £5000 for 6 months and help and an exhibition at the end of it. Yes please! Fingers, toes and everything else crossable are crossed. If I got it, I’d probably be able to take a couple of months off work, to be a solidly art making artist. Oh to have so much time! We will see.
So I’ll be in an exhibition in The SHO Gallery in July. This is the one that I bought a wall for, and came up with big exciting dark crochety delicate felty vulnerable plans for. They haven’t worked out how I’d have hoped. I’m getting somewhere, but I think I was too ambitious. This plan may be a few years in the making. So much experimentation to still be done. It’ll come together one day.
BUT I have another plan. Honesty and secrets. How honest can anyone ever truly be? We only share with people the things we want them to see. We’re all different when we are alone. We all have thoughts that remain in our heads and never leave. We all have thoughts that we are too scared to even write down in a private diary that we know no one else will ever see. Because then we have to admit these things to ourselves. We do, don’t we? I am sure this is universal, but no one would talk about it. Uncomfortable.
I don’t keep a diary, but I do have sketchbooks. (Which are mainly full of words, cos, y’know, I like words. And ladies. Because that is all I draw. I think they are pieces of me?) Anyway, I had the idea to rip my current sketchbook apart, and nail the pages to a wall. That will be honesty. That will be me. Because at the time of filling the pages up, I knew that there would never be an audience. And so there is no censorship, I am being myself. I bloody hope. Nothing will be contrived, or fake, because it is real and I like that idea a hell of a lot. Although this may ruin sketchbooks for me forever, I can’t just keep surprising myself with HEY, PUT THIS ON A WALL, SHOW PEOPLE! Ha ha, na, it’ll be fine. Although it is a terrifying idea, and I think I shall need to warn some people before hand of the content… my sketchbooks contain my head. Not pretty sketches of landscapes and birds. They’re introverted, and scare me some of the time.
Anyway, it is an exciting idea, and I hope I have the guts to pull it off. I THINK it is a good idea. Argh.
Although it is very likely I will change my mind. Again.
I do like a good swear word. When it is appropriate, and in moderation. Use any word too often and it loses all meaning. Slightly off on a tangent, a tanker driver in work annoyed me yesterday. Can’t even remember what we were chatting about in the office, but he was going to swear, and then stopped himself, because I was there. Oh the poor little innocent lady who can’t cope with swear words. BAH.
I unexpectedly sold some embroidery on Newbloodart the other week- ‘False Hope 2’. I like it, but it wasn’t overly…..well done. But I think it had some oomph. Feeling. I made it the morning following one of the most traumatic nights of my life which resulted in absolutely no sleep. Rather mad, though lovely, friends and a bridge and shouting and ringing policemen and ambulance men and panic and…yeah wow. Not good times. Yet still we ended up in the school of art somehow the next day….?! So that is when I sewed this. All art must have a story behind it, I guess we just don’t always find out that story. I want to tell people my stories. Oh no, I’ve been rabbiting on about this, and I can’t find a picture of it… Oh no. Please don’t tell me I sold it without taking a photo? Oops.
This page from my current sketchbook seems appropriate.
Handed my work in at the Washington Gallery in Penarth this morning, tis a lovely space, I am very excited about the exhibition opening on Friday! Although wondering what they’ll make of my swear words… I managed to leave before they’re had a look. Oh it’s art, they can’t censor me. Ha ha. Pretty, huh? Well I like it 🙂