Intriguing Art Idea #3214: What on earth do you do when there are still splodges and smears of beautiful paint left on your palette? Too precious to go to waste. Drench some paper with it. Throw, splatter, flick, smudge, bleed. Work quickly, intuitively, honestly; no over-thinking allowed. Who knows what lovely things and serendipitous accidents may occur! Without the pressure of your own great expectations (and expensive paper) these moments offer freedom and clarity and, for me, often form the starting points for new work.
[For these paintings, I used brown sketchbook pages and acrylic paint; the ubiquitous red and blue (with a touch of sienna) acrylic paint. Imagine them nailed simply to a wall, arranged as a group. Why do I always want to hammer nails into my work?!]
We Made A Tent, 2011
I was approached by the Fashion and Textile Museum in London following my degree show in 2011, and went on to sell work through their shop. Some of this work was a series of rosettes – commemorative, awards for the little things; signifying important parts of time that have passed. Time that has been lived through. Badge of honour. A cathartic underlining of events. And move on.
I wonder if this is worth exploring again…?
We made a tent. Everything is ok.
Watercolour works in progress…
She is someone else and you don’t know her.
For an unemployed person, I am one ridiculously busy lady.
I have completed my CAB training, and so this week I was let loose on the public, attempting to help them sort out their problems…. So far, so good. Starting Monday, I am spending two weeks volunteering as a teaching assistant at a primary school… which is a rather daunting prospect. Arg. Terror. AND I’m attempting to organise an art exhibition at the little gallery I volunteer for! Oh my. Unemployment is definitely not boring these days…
And, when I get a moment, there is art! And yoga. SO MUCH YOGA. I love yoga. I have gotten so damn bendy.
Lately I’ve been spending time looking into the more meditative, emotional, calming, thinking side of yoga. Which turns out to be fascinating and ever so thought provoking. A hell of a lot of my art has been about feelings and emotions and thinking (or not thinking) and what’s real (or not real.) I’ve spent a lot of time and energy attempting to fight negative memories and emotions…. With yoga, you just let it be. You accept that you are not in control. Things come and go. You recognise emotions are there but you don’t fight anything. Oh it’s all so… liberating! And peaceful. But I’ll stop there before I go all obsessive-preachy-hippy on you. Uh oh.
(Go look at this lovely lady’s website if you do happen to want to read more about it all…http://www.ekhartyoga.com/blog/yoga-and-emotional-pain)
Absent minded scrap paper biro doodles…
A sneak preview. I’ve sewn the horizontal rows, now just gotta stitch these all together…. getting there. It’s gonna look amazing on a wall in a gallery. Oh yes please! Loosely hung up, so its all lovely and textured and tactile and vaguely crumpled…. so you could attempt to see the other side perhaps……
From my sketchbook. Ah, healthy self-doubt and a delightful lack of confidence. I think that spring should hurry up and get sunny now.
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.
(indian ink, A3)
So I have been on holiday, and it was lovely. We stayed IN A CASTLE. Oh yes, a castle. Beach and sea and waves and rain and sun and too much wine and good food and… and. It was nice. I bought a fur coat, of all things, and floated round the grounds like a proper pretentious sod in my sun glasses, reading Virginia Woolf. Christ. I had fun, screw it. And I got home to discover that I’ve sold five pieces of work on Newblood last week! Really must put new work up, and really, really must increase my prices. I’m still getting the hang of it. Have started working on a new embroidery commission; “A tidy house is a sign of a dull women” perhaps? Or “Man was made for something better than disturbing dirt”, said Oscar Wilde….. I wonder if he thought the same of women…
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.
(This is A2 by the way… Big words.)