Grey Lavender Dusk

Image

DSCF9743

Grey Lavender Dusk (2016)

Acrylic paint

© Emma Tann

 

Giving my paintings titles does not come easily. There is no “concept”, no meaning. They are simply beautiful colours, shapes – does a label get in the way of the painting? Will a name remind a viewer of something else, will preconceptions and associations get in the way of seeing the painting as it really is, for it’s own sake?

Rothko’s paintings always seem to have unobtrusive, subtle names. There are an awful lot of untitled and numbered works, and those that simply reference the colours on the canvas.

No over-thought, contrived names here. I would rather spend my time painting. The image matters, not the name.

Thoughts?

 

Cadmium II – Recent Work

Cadmium II - E Tann

Cadmium II (2016)

Acrylic

Very much an experimental piece. Horizontal brush strokes, cross-based composition (I’ve been playing around this for a while), and of course beautiful white blank paper and the usual muted palette. The painting exists on the surface of the paper, the paper is part of the work, not simply a material for the paint to rest on, an after thought; the painting isn’t the object. There is a difference. I’m not certain that makes sense – must work on my articulation. Maybe another day.

 

Finished Embroidery – We Daydream Alone

I finished this today. Need a better picture of it, but it is quite gloomy here now, alas. Have to wait til tomorrow.

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‘We Daydream Alone’, embroidery, 2013

Yes, the words are InMe lyrics…(I love them oh-so-much)… I wouldn’t say they were stolen. What’s that silly arty word I Iearnt once-upon-a-time…? REAPPROPRIATE. I have reappropriated beautiful, inspirational words. And there is nothing wrong with that. I think they’re rather bloody good words to want to have around.

(Oh and in case you’re interested,  it’s free hand embroidery (i.e. I made it up as I went along) done with red cotton, on a lovely delicate tiny doily I found in an antiques shop on one of my jaunts to Rochester.)

 

Mrs Dalloway is always giving parties to cover the silence.

 

 

“She had the perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very, dangerous to live even one day.” 

Mrs Dalloway  – Virginia Woolf

It’s high enough to feel yourself falling. (And a proposal.)

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.

Newblood Art

I didn’t know this (I should pay more attention), but on my Newbloodart page they have written their own statement about my work. No one’s ever done that before! Have an extract;

“Tann’s work is confessional and guarded, and always bittersweet.” 

‘Tann’s work’…. wow, makes me sound like a real artist. Awesome. I’ve never used the words confessional and guarded about my own work, but they are very apt. Confessional….. I have things to confess?! I probably do. Makes me feel a bit uncomfortable… Being an artist is a strange thing.

You can go to my page to read the whole thing- there’s finally new work up for sale as well! Some fairly awesome rosettes, even if I do say so myself.

If anyone would like a rosette commissioned, DO get in touch! I’d love to work collaboratively with someone else’s ideas. Or any other commissions for that matter.

I just realised my fingers are covered in ink…. I have absolutely no idea where it’s come from. Uh oh…..

 

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