Phthalo II – Recent Work

Phthalo II - E Tann

Phthalo II (2016)

Acrylic

… a tiny smidge of green found it’s way into this one, which is most unusual. Slightly murky, smokey little painting.

 

 

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Specimens – Current Work

Specimens I (2016).JPG

Specimens I, 2016

Experimental acrylic paintings (12 x A5), using a limited palette of cadmium red and phthalo blue.

I loved making these little glowing, ephemeral paintings – they’re currently stuck to my kitchen wall and make me very happy every time I see them. A fairly rare occurrence – coming back to look at recent work is always a little daunting. How often paintings seem lacklustre and disappointing “the morning after”…. not this time. To be continued.

Meditation

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 biro doodles

Absent minded scrap paper biro doodles…

 

 

I Want To Do Everything

I want to do everything. However fleeting an idea, I sometimes end up being convinced that it is the big epiphany I’ve been waiting for that’s going to make it all make sense. And that makes me ridiculously non-coherent as an artist.

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I’ve been painting with acrylics all morning, which is something I ain’t done in years. Abstract calm red blue purple floaty misty glowy. Really been enjoying it, and, although they’re not finished yet, I think that they will look good. And god forbid, perhaps the kind of thing that could be commercial, the sort of thing that people may want on their walls?!

Ah, but the painting will be a phase. Last week I decided that crochet was the way forwards. Any suggestions how to deal with this conundrum? Should I really just try and focus my efforts on one area? Or go with my instincts and my heart and flit between everything……. I think I know what I’ll do. Surely everything will just fall into place eventually!

In other news, I baked a loaf of bread this morning. Quite possibly The Best Loaf I have ever made!  And, somewhat more exciting- it’s my birthday at the weekend, and we’re going to Aberystwyth! I haven’t been there since graduation in 2011, so am looking forwards to it muchly.

I think there are too many exclamation marks in this post. I hate it when people use too many exclamation marks. Here’s my beautiful bread:

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Inspiration; ‘A Bigger Splash’ and the oh-so-wonderful Ms Abramovic

It is cold and snowy and we keep getting power cuts. I am attempting to sew, but my fingertips are going numb. Work in progress:

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We took a trip to the Tate Modern at the weekend to see ‘A Bigger Splash‘, which explores the relationship between painting and performance art. It was really inspiring and thought provoking, and I want to make art! I admire performance work, but it is something that I have never done myself (though I have often thought of it. But I’m sure every art student has their OH-MY-GOD!-naked-performance-art-epiphany moment.)

The show started out with a Pollock painting on the floor, underneath a film of him creating it. Excellent. Highlights were a beautifully messy Bruce Nauman video, a Yves Klein naked-women-painting video, and Eleanor Antin’s utterly captivating video of her putting on make-up. It struck a chord with me. Make-up is a peculiar thing. Slightly creeped out/morbidly fascinated by the work of the Vienna Actionists and all the documentation of painty, bloody orgies….

Anyway, it’s a really good exhibition- any exhibition that makes you WANT to get home and work has to be good- go see it! It’s on til April- you have time.

Sticking with performance art, I am reading a wonderful Marina Abramovic book. I love her. How she thinks about things, writes about things, and the themes and concepts she explores… I don’t like all of her work, but as an artist, she is truly admirable. Formidable. Compelling. Human. Honest.

An extract from the book;

“Attempting to escape the body is a dissociative response that produces a mental effect similar to that of self-inflicted pain, since the body in pain is a body without verbal language even though pain’s language is visually expressive. For Abramovic, performance itself provided a means of escape. In response to the question, ‘Who are you?’ Abramovic answered, ‘I don’t know; I learn about myself through work, not through life’.

 

 

I always thought I’d be a painter…

A1 acrylic painting, 2008

Rediscovered this beautiful painting whilst packing. I did it during my art foundation course, many years ago…. how things have changed. I was very fond of Turner back then….can you tell?! I always thought I’d be a painter. Maybe I still will be. But probably shouldn’t specify. If I’m an artist, I can do anything. Anything I tell you! And it shall be splendid. Less than two weeks til London moving day; once that is out the way I will be productive and ambitious and focused once more, in my little studio, in our lovely flat.

There are wonderful things to come.

I Am Fine

Embroidery, 2011

I have longed to move away
From the repetition of salutes,
For there are ghosts in the air
And ghostly echoes on paper

Dylan Thomas

I worry that I’m not making art in the right way, that I’m doing it all wrong, I’m going about it wrong. But then again, that is a stupid statement- there aren’t any rules. I wish I could be content painting pictures. Landscapes preferably. I wish I was just really, really bloody good at painting. People buy paintings, people understand what a painting is. I don’t think about what I’m doing, I make something because it feels right. Why is it art?! Just because I say so? But my work has integrity, and it has power, and emotion, and it is real. Maybe none of it’s coherent, maybe I should plan things out. I need a plan. I have so many unfinished pieces of work… I need to find focus. But it’s hard to go back to work on something when the feeling that inspired it in the first place has gone. I want to sew and I want to paint and I want to draw and I want to write and I want to crochet and I want to….. I want to do everything. Yesterday morning I thought I could take over the world, now it’s all a bit overwhelming again and my confidence is running away….. Maybe all my work is about making art. All my work is about me. My work is about everything. Take that, maybe it makes sense that it’s not coherent. Life isn’t that straightforward. Oh it’s all a mess. It’s best to not think about these things too much isn’t it. Life is too short to be unhappy.

There’s some new work up for sale on Newblood. They want me to sew more words on vintage fabric, so that my page is ‘coherent’, and because people want that sort of thing. I suppose I have to play the game and do that. I’m not a textile artist. I don’t think I’m a textile artist. (But I did sell five bits of work through them last week, so that is rather pleasant.)

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