Lined Paper. This Ain’t School.

This may be whiney teenage angst bullshit (but I hope not- it must be avoided at all costs- there is a thin line my friend), but I like words, and I want to do something with lined paper and words and splodges, and this page is from a little while ago and is an experiment. Obscuring and revealing and making things beautiful and OH my god, colour! The lined paper obviously isn’t meant for watercolours, and so it goes all nice and crinkly when it is water-coloured. This page is quite a nice object. Lined paper’s not meant to have paint on. Maybe it is meant to have doodles on, but in general you’re meant to be able to read what lined paper says. It’s for ‘proper writing’ and school and essays. It is neat and precise and organised and it is not to be crumpled. It is not a sketchbook. I love the idea of being entirely honest and then hiding it. In plain view. Write down horrific secrets and draw pretty pictures over the top. Turn it into something else. Hide. Pretend.

I’m having trouble going back to finish The Unfinished Work because I want to make new things. Oh my god I will never ever do anything worthwhile because I CANNOT FOCUS! So many ideas that slip in and out of my mind, that I KNOW will look beautiful if I just pin them down and hold onto them, and OH make them real. But I… don’t. Not Good Enough.

I’ve got happily stuck into an embroidery commission though, and I am really, really enjoying it. My design’s all colourful and kitsch and flowery! I’m slightly surprised at how good it’s looking so far. But you shall have to wait til it’s finished to see.

Oh, I forgot, ha ha, there is BIG NEWS. We have a flat. I’m moving to Kent, to Gravesend to live with my boyfriend in about a months time! It’s a lovely flat, in a big Victorian house, with a bay window and original fireplaces and a big kitchen with a range cooker, and a spare room which shall be my studio…… But of course, now I shall have the obligatory panic. And now I have to find a job. But it is very exciting. Just scary. Everything will change again. I’ll be ok.

 

 

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Watercolour Words

(This is A2 by the way… Big words.)

I Love Words.

How can anyone feel that they can express themselves adequately without the use of words? I don’t think that I could. I sort of feel that maybe once you start using them in your art, it’s very hard to stop! But the visual is still just as important as the meaning. Anyway.

One more shift at the coffee shop, and then I will have my weekends back, and much more time for making new work. Which is just as well, as I have got myself into a month long summer exhibition at a little gallery in Cardiff. I have a wall, and I can do what I want with it. I have grand plans, oh yes. A big installation. None of these silly little dull things in frames. Something grand. Lots of words, lots of honesty, on paper and fabric, tatty, lacey crochet. Threads and nails and sewing and biros and doodles, and the contents of my skull on a wall. Black, white and cream. Hopefully beautiful and fragile and intriguing and terrifying. Let’s all question the sanity of the artist! I have an idea, and an image in my head, just gotta make it happen…. Trying to get my thoughts in some sort of coherent order at the moment. Could take a little while.

But, it led me onto an interesting train of thought. If we can see something with our eyes, it is solid, it is real, it exists. If we can see something it is true. Visual = truth.  One reason of self-harm is that it makes abstract thoughts and emotions real. It validates them. One see’s proof of what one is feeling, and this is satisfying, and comforting. I am intrigued by the parallels that seem to exist between the creation of art and self-harm. Bear with me. So with regards to making art (and more specifically, from my point of view, making art which involves text), if we make our thoughts into something solid, turn them into part of a tactile object that we can see with our own eyes, this can be comforting and satisfying. Thoughts in our minds could be fleeting or confused and jumbled, but once they are turned into something solid, outside of our skull, they become something else entirely. We can see them and they are part of our real, material world, they exist and they are valid. They are pinned down, trapped, and so are easier to contemplate and deal with and make sense of. They become something we can see, and so they definitely exist. And so is it this process, of taking something abstract, from the inside of our skulls and making it solid and part of our real world, is it this act which is central and very important to the creation of art?

And breath. Oh dear. Words. I fear that I may not be expressing myself very adequately. I’ll get there.And I guess what I’ve said can be thought of in relation to art psychotherapy.

And I shall leave you with a wonderful quote;

“I am a freak user of words, not a poet.”

Dylan Thomas